Australian Christmases are a glorious thing. Long days filled with barbecues, back yard cricket and glorious weather. It’s really the time of year that our gardens come into their own and are thoroughly enjoyed. Plants such as Agapanthus and Christmas Bush are renowned for putting on extravagant displays at this time of year, particularly Agapanthus which have become a much loved favourite and a true icon of Australian summer gardens. There are also Nandinas that have red growth in summer, and other reddish foliage plants that will give your garden a great Christmas feel.
Now is the time to plant these beautiful plants. With a warm spring heralding what will be a hot summer, plant these plants now, keep them well watered until established, and you should have a magnificent display of flowers in December. The new cultivar of Agapanthus Queen MumTM is the first bi-coloured variety with blue and white coloured flowers that bloom in large stunning starbursts of multiple head flowers. These flower heads are extra large and certainly make this plant a real show stopper in the garden. Queen MumTM will reach up to 1.5m tall when in flower and has the typical clumping, glossy green strap like foliage. Cloudy DaysTM is somewhat smaller version of Queen MumTM, reaching up to 1m high and providing excellent height contrast. Both boast low seed set and multiplication rates when compared with non-hybridised forms, meaning they are a more environmentally friendly choice.
There are many other plants that will produce stunning results in the garden at Christmas time - AmethystTM, a Liriope with stunning purple flowers, is one of these. Its clean dark green foliage contrasts beautifully with the deep purple flowers that bloom in an abundance and sit well above the foliage. Amethyst will be a stand out feature in a flower garden.
Other plants that display stunning colour changing foliage at this time of year are FlirtTM, ObsessionTM and Little RubyTM. FlirtTM and ObsessionTM are forms of Nandina domestica, Flirt however is the only dwarf ground cover form of this variety available that produces striking red new growth at various times of year, including summer. Obsession, with the cultivar name 'SEIKA' meaning sacred fire, is just that, and at Christmas time it will flush new bright red foliage with a dense upright growth habit. Little RubyTM is another stand out plant with stunning deep burgundy foliage. It is a mounding ground cover with a compact spreading form and a third the size of common Alternanthera dentata. These plants can be used to accent your garden in the form of borders or feature plants, and will have all your guests impressed during the holiday period.
So whether it be a stunning show of flowers in your garden or ever changing foliage that sparkles at Christmas time, now is the time to think ahead and plant these plants for optimum results in December.
For more information on drought tolerant plants and turf: http://www.ozbreed.com.au/