Hot Hot Hot
This spring has brought intense heat to most of Australia already, and now that summer has begun we can expect much more. Once high temperatures make their force felt, the garden becomes more about survival than about revelling in the lush new growth of spring. This is when most gardeners fondly think of adding more native plants to their home patch- our amazing Aussie natives have evolved to cope with the extremes of climate that this country can produce, so it makes sense to seek out and utilise some of our unique and tough plants. But it does pay to do a bit of homework before you part with your hard earned cash, to find out which plants will suit your needs best. Summer heat is not the only thing that plants need to contend with. Depending on your area, you may also have frost, humidity, saline soil, air pollution, raging wind, wet seasons, and other hazards to plant life.
A lot of our hardy natives come from arid areas, and have evolved to cope with both heat and extended dry periods. Some can find it tough going when hit with other difficulties such as extended wet weather, but native plant breeders are working hard to breed and select varieties that can perform well in gardens and landscaping in a wider set of conditions than they might encounter naturally. The range of natives now are a big improvement on ones that were available when Australian plants first became popular, and are a tribute to the skill of our nursery women and men.
My website has a large database of Australian native plants, and I have made an advanced search area for you to match your growing conditions to the plants. Check it out
New Australian succulents are appearing on the scene, and I have put some real beauties into my own range of selected natives. They have the bonus of also being bush tucker plants, with edible fruit and foliage.
Disphyma Hot Stuff
A great perennial groundcover for hot areas, it will grow in saline and poor soils and sand as well as most other types, and can take wind and light frost on as well. It has large silky bright pink flowers in spring and summer, followed by the edible fruit.
Carpobrotus White Hot and Carpobrotus Pink Passion
Two more perennial succulents, White Hot has blue green foliage with striking large white flowers, Pink Passion has glorious large pink flowers . They take on heat, drought, saline, sandy and poor soils and light frost, and laugh them off.
Tall and Tough kangaroo paws
Kangaroo paws are good summer survivors, as they grow from an underground rhizome, which are enlarged root structures. Once the plant becomes established, the rhizome enables the plant to store food, so that if the plant suffers from heat, drought, frost or other damage, it can throw up fresh new growth from underground.
Adenanthos Flat Out
From the hot areas of Western Australia comes the ‘flame bush’, and the new cultivar Adenanthos ‘Flat Out’ is a spectacular prostrate ground cover with great foliage texture and colour. A great summer loving plant!