Plant What Where | Urban Lush
PLANT WHAT WHERE | Urban Lush
Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be challenging. A lush garden is a thing of beauty, not to mention the health benefits of urban green space.
Research has shown that cities can be up to 5 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside in Summer. Paved courtyards have replaced the traditional backyard lawn, while dark coloured roofing absorb the sun’s heat, increasing our reliance on air conditioning. Residential gardens have the potential to make the greatest impact in lowering our city’s temperatures, while also improving general health and wellbeing.
Look for plants that not only soften hard lines and surfaces visually, but also help reduce the outside temperature. Consider plants with dark green, glossy foliage that will absorb the sun’s heat in the height of Summer, and cool the surrounds.
A lush garden doesn’t have to mean high maintenance. There are many low maintenance plant options that can be used to create a green refuge. The trick is to choose plants that perform well in specific conditions, taking into consideration the amount of sunlight and available space.
Helleborus ‘Cinnamon Snow’
Known as the ‘Winter Rose’, this is an excellent plant for massing under trees and for other shaded areas of the garden. Cream centred, white flowers emerge in late Winter over a shiny, deep green foliage with blue tinges.
Hedera helix ‘Pittsburgh’ (English Ivy)
A low-growing and spreading variety of Ivy featuring small, dense, dark-green, pointy, triangle-shaped leaves. Perfect for as a groundcover or as a clinging vine for wall.
Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe pbr’ and Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ pbr
Add colour with this shade-loving perennial. Tall delicate heads with small flowers rise will appear in Spring, but it is the striking, rich coloured foliage that makes Heuchera remarkable.
Liriope ‘El Marco’ pbr
This evergreen grass with a clumping habit is perfect for use in Modern Native, Tropical and Formal designs. Features dark green, glossy foliage. Plant en masse under trees or informal borders for a fine grass effect.
Popular for its lush foliage and dramatically lobed leaves. Requires high light conditions in cooler climates for optimal growth. Can be planted in drifts for a mass tropical display,or combines well with other plantings.
Add texture with this lush perennial featuring large, glossy dark green ‘tractor seat’ foliage. Great for underplanting a pleached hedge or feature tree.
Gardenia ‘Aimee Yoshiba’
Exquisite white, beautifully perfumed blooms which contrast against dark green glossy foliage. These versatile plants look terrific as a low hedge or as underplantings.
This hardy plant can survive in almost any area of the garden. Features with dense leathery foliage with mildly perfumed clusters of small white flowers through summer. Makes a great mid-height hedge.
Also known as Japanese laurel, Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’ features lance-shaped glossy green leaves. A great filler in shady areas with impressive foliage when planted en masse. Works well for a Japanese inspired design.
Ficus ‘Figaro’ pbr
If you’re looking for a tropical effect, this super-tough evergreen with lush green foliage is an excellent choice. Can be grown and shaped into tight narrow positions.
Camellia japonica 'Brushfield Yellow'
Camellia japonica brings a burst of colour in the heart of Winter with its beautiful blooms - colours range from vibrant reds to more subtle whites and pinks. Versatile by nature it can take many forms – a flowering hedge, a feature tree or espaliered to conceal an unattractive wall. Thrives in dappled light.
A lush selection for screening and hedging, featuring rich red/burgandy new growth against dark green foliage. This upright specimen is ideal along fence lines where space is limited and dense screening is required.
Laurus ‘Green Stem’
This Bay Laurel is a fantastic alternative to Ficus ‘Flash’, suited to Melbourne’s temperate climate. Features dark green foliage, and bright green new growth. Clip twice a year for a formal look.
Magnolia ‘St Mary’
If you’re looking for a traditional look, this evergreen magnolia will grow in a wide variety of conditions. Produces large fragrant flowers during the warmer months. Create a more contemporary look with smaller underplantings.
Glossy dark green leaves with slender spikes of small, scented white flowers in late Spring. Creates a dense, thick dark green screen when clipped. Stunning as a flowering pleached hedge.
Having a small garden doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement. Japanese maples are ideal for creating visual interest in a small space. Being deciduous, they put on a show in Autumn with their changing foliage colour. Check out Acer 'Senkaki', with its stunning coral bark, for continued colour through the Winter months.
This evergreen tree features small flowers and grows to 6 metres in Melbourne. It is ideal as a large informal screen. On a warm humid night, the scent from the flowers can be enjoyed from a great distance.
Tristaniopsis ‘Luscious’ pbr
This is a great native alternative to Magnolia. Shiny foliage topped off with red coloured new growth and yellow flowers with a sweet perfume. Bark is a striking port colour that peels back revealing a mottled cream stem.