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Garden Design

Designing for year-round interest

Phil Dudman

Phil Dudman

December 12, 2011

One thing I love about my garden is that there’s always something coming into bloom to provide interest. Just as one thing finishes, another one starts…it’s never dull, that’s for sure. The Pride of Madeira, Echium candicans, with its beautiful spires of purple has just finished its show and is ready for a prune, and I’ve just cut down the gigantic flowering stems of my Gymea lilies, which were spectacular this year.

Eucalyptus ‘Orange Splendour’

One of the latest things that has everyone in the street talking is my Eucalyptus ‘Orange Splendour’, Corymbia ficifolia, in full bloom right now. It’s one of those very showy gums from the west, that’s been grafted onto a hardy local rootstock to better cope with local conditions and it’s absolutely covered with florescent orange blooms… a bit gaudy, but I love it. The other show stopper is my ornamental pineapple… you rarely see it in gardens around here so I’ve planted out by the front footpath for passers-by to enjoy. Once they’re done, it will be my summer heliconias that will steal the show.

Ornamental pineapple

So how do you go about planning your garden for year round interest? Well, the best way is by making a list. Keep a notepad handy around the house, and whenever you see something looking good, write it down under the corresponding month. If you’re not sure of the plants name, take a photo and get it identified at your local nursery. After a year has passed, you’ll have a super list of ‘must haves’ for your garden that you know will perform well. This is a great thing to do if you are planning a new garden, or you want to create more interest in an existing garden… so why don’t you start making that list today… and if you are looking for more easy down-to-earth tips for designing your new or existing garden, then be sure to check out my complete guide to design and construction.