Which plants to choose?
- Cordylines - These upright growers now come in an extended range of varieties so there’s sure to be one to suit every garden. In cooler climates the new red-leafed forms of Cordyline australis add trendy colour shades, and in the subtropics and tropics the choice is even greater.
- Palms - Although palms grow most abundantly in the tropics, there are some that will cope with cold conditions. These include the Australian native cabbage palm, the New Zealand nikau palm and the slow growing (and therefore expensive) rhapis palm.
- Clumping, strappy-leafed foliage plants - such as the many forms of lomandra, dianella, liriope and libertia make well-behaved and hardy ground covers that suit all areas.
- Cannas - especially the new varieties like ‘Tropicanna’ with striped foliage, have large leaves that arch out from vertical stems.
- Hibiscus - are the defining shrubs for warm climate gardens. There are hundreds of evergreen cultivars, and deciduous species (Hibiscus syriacus) for the cooler areas.
- Petunias, calibrachoas, coleus and impatiens can all be grown for their vivid colour as summer annuals or short-lived perennials (depending on climate).