There comes a time when tidy rows of half a dozen specimen plants just doesn’t cut it. One craves a looser planting scheme while still using plants as a design element.
This is achieved by contrasting heavy elements with a light and joyous planting scheme. Concrete, metal and glass all make excellent foils for perennials and annuals accentuating their ephemeral nature.
Flowers come and go, seed-heads are encouraged and not tidied and seasonality is welcomed. While this can look untidy or sometimes a little bare, the effect can be kept as just a small part of the overall landscape.
For instance native wildflowers such as Linum, Euphorbia and Hibiscus can easily be grown to fill a substantial concrete oblong, or square pot. Gardens with hard edges such as concrete contrast with the exuberant planting. Using plants with a similar habit in the one bed has the best effect ie either all upright growing or all low growing.
Strong geometrical metal or glass sculptures amongst all the different foliage and flowers looks terrific. Listed below is but a small selection of herbaceous natives.
- Linum monogynum - Pure white flowers over fine grey-green foliage.
- Mentha cunninghamii - A native mint with a delicate smell.
- Euphorbia glauca - Attractive red stems an glaucous foliage.
- Hibiscus trionum - Primrose yellow flowers and attractive seed-heads- self-seed readily.
- Libertia species - Lovely white flowers in spring.
- Apodasmia similis - jointed stems wave a crackle in the wind.
- Lepidosperm australe - club rush.
- Dwarf flax - Any of the small upright growing flax fit into this format.
- Leptinella - Mats of ferny foliage and yellow button flowers.
- Acaena microphylla - A mat-forming plant that becomes smothered in red flowers in spring.
- Wahlenbergia Akaroa - Dainty blue flowers in spring.
- Clematis Sweet Hart - Masses of white flowers in spring cover this scrambling plant.
- Clematis Black Ice - Dark ferny foliage and stunning white flowers best suited to being staked.
- Arthropodium Te Puna - Dainty form of rengarenga. Short stems of white flowers in spring.
- Coprosma Orange Roughy - A C. acerosa form that looks great as a tangled mass falling over walls.
- Dianella Golden Chance - Delicately marked leaves of cream and green. Mauve berries in autumn.
- Anemanthele lessoniana - Known as gossamer grass for its long gossamer-like flowerheads.
Wahlenbergia Akaroa Heads
Clematis Sweet Hart
Arthropodium Te Puna
Dianella nigra - Dianella have beautiful blue berries in early autumn
Anemanthele lessoniana coming into flower