Using Plants for Colour

The plants in this section are a mix of pretty much everything… trees, flowering plants, herbs and vegies. The one thing they all have in common is that they will all add either a splash of colour or a wonderful accent to your garden.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Using Colour in your Garden – With a little planning and preparation it is easy to achieve a garden with colour and interest all year round.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Acer – Japanese Maple – Lovely green leaves that deepen over summer and then autumn sees stunning, almost iridescent, oranges, yellows and bright to deep crimson reds. Acers truly are spectacular!

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Alyogyne – Australian member of the Hibiscus family known for its gorgeous open satiny petalled flowers. Flowering from late spring to the end of summer, it produces hundreds of flowers which open in the morning and last the single day.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Bonsai – The art of Bonsai can be traced back as far as the 6th Century AD. Far more than simply miniaturisation, a Bonsai should capture a moment in nature. Requiring skill, effort and an appreciation of the subtleties of each tree, the results can be truly breathtaking . It may seem daunting when you first start reading about it, but providing you remember to carry out the routine maintenance it really is quite straight forward.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Boronia – Quite a lot of breeding has been done with boronias and numerous lovely cultivars and hybrids are on the market and worth looking at. Perhaps the most exciting development is the grafting of boronias to give them a longer garden life.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Bulbs & Perennials – There are many beautiful plants that may be grown from bulbs, tubers, corms or roots. Many are suitable to grow in pots or small spaces and produce prolifically in the first season. They provide seasonal colour and many are excellent cut flowers.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Callistemons (Bottlebrushes) – One of the most profuse flowering of all our native plants, the bottlebrush is both beautiful and tough. Colours range from white and cream through to pale pinks, brilliant reds and purples.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Camellias – Camellias are one of the most enduring and versatile evergreen garden plants. Their garden value is further enhanced due to their winter flowering season when most other plants are either in decline or dormant.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Capsicum & Chillis – Summer is the perfect time to get in your Chilli and Capsicum seedlings. Once the fruit starts to set there is nothing better than seeing splashes of bright red, orange, yellow and green dotted throughout the vegie patch. There are so many great summer salads and stir fries to use them in… what are you waiting for?

Photo from Unsplash by Julie Rønberg
Clematis – Clematis are beautiful flowering climbers, and can be quite easy to grow given the right conditions.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Deciduous Trees – The glory of autumn foliage from the hundreds of tree varieties introduced to Australia is only one good reason to grow deciduous trees. The bare trees of winter, stark but beautiful, are also valued for their ability to provide change to the scenery.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Flowering Gums (Corymbia ficifolia) – This is a fairly generic term, but commonly refers to Corymbia ficifolia and all the various grafted cultivars of this genus. They are available in a wide range of stunning flower colours… from soft pinks to vibrant oranges to flaming reds.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Grevilleas – Grevilleas are ever flowering, ever popular and there is an ever-increasing number of new cultivars released each season. This genus ranges from groundcovers to trees and can have some widely different requirements and tolerances.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Hardenbergia violacea (Happy Wanderer) – The long flowering period make it a valuable pollen source for native bees. Frost tolerant and copes with dry exposed sites, but prefers some protection from the full sun. Looks best planted in groups. Gorgeous, delicate soft pink flowers from late winter through spring.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Hellebores – The hellebore, or Winter Rose as it is commonly called, adds charm and elegance to any garden. Their nodding flowers provide winter cheer throughout winter and on into early spring. The colours vary from white, green, pink to my personal favourite… black; with loads of and varying shades in between.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Heuchera – Originally a useful groundcover with attractive foliage and light airy flowers popular with honeyeaters. Now hybridised and bred to create a truly amazing array of leaf colours, and the flowers are relegated to an incidental bonus. They flower in late spring and surprisingly, they work well as cut flowers.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Hydrangeas – Hydrangea flowers are produced from early spring to late autumn; they grow in flowerheads (corymbs or panicles) most often at the ends of the stems.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Indigofera australis (Australian Indigo) – Flowers are sprays of soft purple through to pink from mid-September to November. Lovely soft blue green lacy foliage. Form can be variable, pruning will give a neater dense form, leaving alone will lend to a more delicate open arching form.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Kangaroo Paw – There are 12 different Kangaroo paws, 11 different Anigozanthos species and one Macropidia fulginosa. All are from Western Australia. Many of the named cultivars available from the nursery are hybrids of these different species.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Malus trilobata – Grows to a nice comfortable 6-7m x 2-4m wide. In addition, it has dark green, deeply lobed maple like leaves turning to brilliant and eye-catching red / scarlet in autumn. The charming white flowers of spring look good against the dark green foliage and are followed by green crab apples in autumn.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Mock Orange – Philadelphus mexicanus – A perfumed, cottage garden must-have, Philadelphus mexicanus is an evergreen medium shrub with pointed oval shaped light-green leaves. They bear fragrant creamy-white single flowers in late spring.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Old Man Salt Bush – The attractive silvery grey leaves are variable in shape and size, and when dried and crumbled are sought after as a salty flavouring for many foods.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Persimmon – Persimmon are a highly ornamental deciduous fruit tree with dense bright green foliage, spectacular orange and red autumn colours, light grey bark, and a beautiful twisted form in old age. In same cases, the large orange fruit are held on the bare branches after leaf-fall, creating a jeweled sculpture!

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Poinsettias – Love them or hate them, they sure do multiply around Christmas time. Here are some tips to keep yours healthy for longer.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Proteas – Proteas, Leucadendrons, Leucospermum, Telopeas and some other Protea like shrubs offer colour and interest year around with minimal maintenance.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Rosemary – Rosemary is the perfect way to start off your herb garden. They are dead easy to grow providing you follow a few simple guidelines. Not only are they one of the most versatile herbs for cooking, they are also a beautiful ornamental plant that will bring colour and fragrance to your garden. The botanical name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means ‘dew of the sea’, very appropriate given how often rosemary is used in Mediterranean cooking.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Roses – Since its earliest cultivation the rose has been hybridised from the species to now boast such styles as old garden roses, hybrid teas, floribundas (cluster flowered), miniatures, climbers (pillar, climbers and ramblers), weepers, David Austins (English roses), groundcover, patio and shrub roses.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Silver Birch – Several decades ago Silver Birches were the tree of choice in Melbourne. Their glorious trunks and delicate foliage danced across the Melbourne landscape.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Tetratheca ciliata (Pink Bells) – The long flowering period make it a valuable pollen source for native bees. Frost tolerant and copes with dry exposed sites, but prefers some protection from the full sun. Looks best planted in groups. Gorgeous, delicate soft pink flowers from late winter through spring.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Violas – Lower growing and more profusely flowering than pansies, their smaller flowers have the bright and bold colours associated with their larger cousins and are equally enchanting.