Arcadia Sustainable Design header image

Plant of the Month

A monthly series of great landscape plants for Melbourne gardens. These are plants that survive well and stay looking good without too much extra amintenance or water.
Some will be old favourites but others will be just be plants I have taken a special fancy to.

Garden design with colour contrast

May 2013 Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’

Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea' Purple Spiderwort The purple spiderwort is a very useful and striking landscape plant. It is a low growing ground cover to 20cm high and 30cm wide. It is very useful in a garden design because the strong purple colour of its foliage continues to provide great contrast all year. It works well

Learn More
A small tree for and indigenous landscape design

April 2013 Banksia marginata

Banksia marginata Silver Banksia Autumn is banksia season, and a banksia that belongs to the Melbourne region is the Silver Banksia. Banksia marginata is a small, though variable, tree and is a wonderful landscape planting for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it’s a great habitat plant that provides nectar producing flowers for honey eaters and

Learn More
Crepe Myrtle would make an effective inclusion in a courtyard or small garden design

March 2013 Lagerstroemia indica

Lagerstroemia indica Crepe Myrtle  Crepe myrtles have been quite a feature around town this month and right through summer with their flower displays, which can be pinks, whites or luscious raspberries in colour.  They are very rewarding landscape trees that look great through the year and cope with the torrid summer conditions.  They are very

Learn More
Drought proof plantings

February 2013 Cotyledon orbiculata

Cotyledon orbiculata Pigs Ears February can be a soul destroying month for gardeners in Melbourne. If plants survive hot the blasts in January, February can finish them off, especially when a couple of 40 degree days are thrown in. Succulent plants will be one obvious choice for hot, dry conditions. They’ll stay looking healthy while

Learn More
Cape Chestnut

January 2013 Calodendrum capense

Calodendrum capense Cape Chestnut The Cape Chestnut is a medium sized evergreen tree to about 10m that really comes into its own in summer. During December and January it has been putting on a glorious display of pink and white flowers around Melbourne. While it’s not especially common, it is quite noticeable where it has

Learn More
Victorian Christmas Bush or Coranderrk

December 2012 Prostanthera lasianthos

Prostanthera lasianthos Coranderrk - Victorian Christmas Bush Apart from being seasonally appropriate, this is a great plant for a number of reasons. It is an attractive and useful landscape shrub which is indigenous to the Melbourne region and has an interesting connection with for local Wurrundjeri people. It gets its festive English common name for

Learn More
Hymenosporum flavum

November 2012 Hymenosporum flavum

Hymenosporum flavum Native Frangipani The Native Frangipani has become not only a very popular and ornamental tree around Melbourne, but a very reliable and consistent performer.  It has a very elegant form to it, growing erect to around 12m with spaced, horizontal branches that give it a rather open habit. Its prime feature is its

Learn More
Rhaphiolepis indica, Indian Hawthorn

October 2012 Rhaphiolepis indica

Rhaphiolepis indica  Indian Hawthorn Rhaphiolepis, or Indian Hawthorn, is a very effective screen or hedging shrub that also gives you a great spring display of pink or white flowers.   There are a few cultivars and hybrids but they will generally be 1m to 2m high and wide.   It has tough rounded leaves that maintains a

Learn More
Landscape plant for September

September 2012 Echium candicans

Echium candicans Bees  Head  The Echium is a medium shrub that grows to about 1.5m high and wide. I love it for its boldness. It has rather architectural lance shaped leaves in a soft blue-grey and then produces big heads of blue to mauve flowers from early spring right through summer.  As a landscape plant

Learn More