Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Plants

Eucalyptus regnans- Mountain Ash

Recently I have been designing a garden for a lady I do cleaning for. She has a property in Healesville in the Yarra Ranges just outside Melbourne.  The property gets quite cold in winter with some snow falling in the cold snaps, while in summer is one of those areas prone to bushfire. They are surrounded by huge Mountain Ash or Eucalyptus regnans, so the garden is protected from harsh winds and direct sunlight, although remains shaded for much of the year. In this part of Victoria the soil is delightfully rich and moist with a constant layer of mulch provided by the huge eucs, so its pretty rare for it to dry out.

My client wanted some colour in their garden without removing anything substantial, so my challenge was about finding colour for a cool shaded spot which would blend nicely with the rest of the garden.
In the past the brief has often been about using low maintenance drought tolerant plant, this garden was pretty much the opposite, a delightful change!

Chaenomeles japonica - Flowering Quince Red form
So I set about finding awesome colour for a shady spot and was pleasantly surprised with the result. I chose a couple of Acers: a Coral bark Maple: Acer palmatum Sangokaku  and a small weeping maple: Acer palmatum dissectum "Water falls", along with some gorgeous fat little red correa reflexa, and a beautiful red Japanes flowering quince or Chaenomeles japonica . The one i couldnt stop myself from purchasing for my garden was the flowering quince.

Chaenomeles japonica - Flowering Quince Pink form

I bought the red one for the customer and a pink one for us. This is a plant which my mother had in our garden at home, she adored japanes flowers, camellias, apple blossom, flowering quince, and a whole bunch of other gorgeous plants but i do remember these. They do produce fruit but have large thorns so beware. they are deciduous but are amongst those plants which flower during Australian winter, if you are in the northern hemisphere they wont flower until spring.  However I think you'll have to agree they are quite lovely. They are part of the rosaceae family as are roses, apples, crab apples and many other beautiful and maybe thorny plants. But I think I forgive them their thorns!

I also included a couple of Peonies which are beautiful,hellabores or Winter Rose and some Iris Germanica or bearded iris for later in spring colour.  So I think this will definitely add some colour to this lush green spot in the hills.


  1. I garden in southern Canada and it is amazing how many of these same plants mentioned in your blog are what we grow in our gardens here. Small World!

  2. Where we are is in Victoria at the South East of Australia and I believe our seasons are similar to your. Although we dont have the freezing winters which you guys get!! I'm kind of happy about that!!! Thanks for reading BTW

  3. sounds like it will be a divine garden. I recently bought a couple of white flowering quince plants. I felt I had to have them - like you, they remind me of my childhood and they are so special. It's a pity about the thorns though. The pink and white one is extra lovely I think.

  4. Thats the one I bought for us Catmint! When I get back from HOlidays am going to build myself a new garden bed and get stuck into the backyard again. ,,,,,,always goes to hell in a handbasket over Winter!

  5. Hi Serena, I live in Healesville, small world. My garden is an older garden say 60 -70 years old. Was made by a head gardener at some posh school some where and he grew a lot of plante here which also went into the school. Whilst a lot is gone thanks to the people who lived here in between, we still have a lot of rare and unusual plants. Like the African Daphne, Calico plant from the US, many old Camelias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas including an evergreen yellow one, and lots more. I am finding all sorts of delights just popping up here and there wehre old garden were years ago. I am a plant nut like you and have found my heaven here.


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