Expert Tips

Plants for small spaces

Native Plant Project’s resident expert, Digby Growns shares his Top 5 Plants to try in smaller spaces such as courtyards, balconies and decks where drama, impact and style are key…

#1. Banksia blechnifolia

Bring some wow factor with this striking prostrate ground cover banksia that also works well in pots to make a dramatic statement. The striking foliage is just as interesting as the architectural cone like flowers.  A hardy option for sunny spaces.   Order here. 

#2. Adenanthos serecia dwarf – Dwarf Woolly Bush

This small shrub brings interesting texture and can soften hard lines of courtyard walls with its lovely silvery, tactile wooly foliage and small red flowers in Spring. Growing to around a metre high it’s another low maintenance plant that can tolerate frost and is particularly good for coastal areas. It requires full sun to dappled shade. Order here. 

#3. Hibbertia dentate – Trailing Guinea Flower

Try this climbing or trailing plant in a hanging basket or as an edging for retaining walls to enjoy the full effect of its deep green leaves, purple highlights and yellow buttercup like flowers from late Winter to Spring. It can be pruned to create denser cover and is happy in shadier spots.  Order here. 

#4. Pimelea ferruginea alba – Rice Flower

Tough, easy to grow the pimelea flowers in white or magenta ‘balls’ making it a striking feature plant for rockeries, pots or borders.  Let it thrive in a sunny position and enjoy it go to work bringing butterflies to your small space. Order here.

#5. Anigozanthos ‘Bush Fury’ – Kangaroo Paw

A host of different anigozanthos work well in small gardens – look for ones such as ‘Bush Fury’ that flower all year round to provide constant colour and interest. They work well in pots or planted en masse as a border plant in retaining walls to bring a quintessential Australian feel to your space. They all prefer a sunny spot and well drained soil but can cope with light shade.  Order here. 

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Meet our Native Plant Project Expert ~

Digby Growns is the Senior Plant Breeder at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. He manages programs in the breeding and development of Anigozanthos, Boronia, Chamelaucium, Corymbia, Grevillea, Leptospermum and Scaevola.  He has worked for many years on the development of Australian native plants for horticulture and over 40 new varieties of native plants including the hybrid Chamelaucium ‘Pearlflower’ series and Grevillea ‘RSL Spirit of ANZAC’. He leads research into new technology developments in plant tissue culture, biotechnology and plant breeding. Digby shares his knowledge with Native Plant Project in a regular ‘Top 5 Picks”…


Photo credits: Derek Swalwell for Acre Landscape Architecture

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