Accent the Positive
Shrubs and trees carry the volume, bring scale into the landscape and quite often play up the shape and delicacy of their companion plants. One tree can be the star of the show, but it’s difficult for a shrub to assume that role—difficult, but perhaps not impossible. We’ll visit our cities and see what they have to offer in the way of native shrubs and trees for landscaping re-vegetation.
For our city on the Indian Ocean, a native shrub with the name Callistemon Great Balls of Fire is certainly catchy. It deserves the name—spectacular and capable of focusing a whole lot of attention, the color and intensity has the impact its name implies. It’s strength will act like the datum line that defines everything else—in this case the essence of a design.
Then there’s the native to Western Australia, the Weeping Peppermint, which has a graceful dome shape and weeping habit with it’s beautiful flowers come Spring. This is one of those trees that could easily assume a starring role in a landscape diorama. Nice to know that it’s a very hardy tree under Perth conditions. Serves well as a shade tree along the waterfront. It’s also being used as a street tree in the coastal areas.
We might want to be prepared for a wild and wooly look in our Alice Springs native re-vegetation scheme. For instance, the native saltbush is a “character” for sure. It’s almost one-sided, be there such a thing, and it has a patterned texture that looks as though it’s been brushed in a definite direction, see? We just need to be very determined to work with it or…perhaps we figure out a way to retrain it, or dig every other one up mid-growth and face it the other way. Who knows? But fun, yes?
The bloodwood tree almost seems related to the saltbush—look at its shape and decide for yourself. Warped by the dry desert winds, it offers another silhouette that seems almost two-dimensional and rare. It will require careful handling in our venue, so we’ll see how this turns out.
Try to explore the native shrubs and trees for landscaping around Alice Springs and let me know about your landscaping design ideas
Surprise! We’re jumping off the program a bit and abandoning Sydney for Darwin for the totally logical reason that it lies in the tropical zone, whereas Sydney and Perth more or less share the same climate and we really do want a full sample of Australia’s climates. I hope you agree.
A start will be a rock example, a really nice one. These looked like a rock family headed out for some water fun—even brought the family pet! Looking at grasses in the Darwin area gives us a few ideas, with Windmill Grass leading the parade. As you might expect, it has a shape and can let itself be blown in all directions only to return to its original shape. Rather stubborn—but goes with the territory and for a native grass, needs to be if we’re going to re-vegetate.
Not knowing whether to call this one a shrub or a plant, it is a bit on the diminutive side, but might serve. Called a Club Mangrove, it waltzed over here from Indonesia. Nice move. We’ll pick up the Darwin trees next go-’round.
With all the native shrubs and trees for landscaping, you’ll never run out of inspiration for your landscape design. Feel free to leave your comments and share this post with your friends below.