Griselinia scandens

I first saw this South American arching shrub at the Mt. Tomah Botanic gardens and immediately knew I had to have it. It has elegant long arching branches clothed with stemless glossy apple-green leaves and in winter it produces open clusters of tiny chocolate flowers. It is however its habit and leaves that it should …

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Maesa montana

This odd shrub came my way quite some time ago and didn’t initially make much impact. The leaves are large and a bright green but not of a particularly interesting shape so I plonked it in the garden to see what if anything interesting it could do. It has now made a shrub of about …

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Mackaya bella

This South African shrub in the same family as Acanthus (oyster plant) is an unsung garden hero! It will grow in dry shade as well as sun, will quickly get to 3metres each way, is easily pruned to size, has lovely rich deep green foliage and a mass of trumpet flowers that are off white …

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Neillia thibetica

This deciduous Asian shrub isn’t used anywhere near enough in gardens and anyone who has a copy of my now out of print first book “Exceptional Plants” can look it up and find out everything about it. For those of you silly enough not to have bought this important book I had best give you …

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Aristotelia fruticosa

This rarely offered New Zealand ever-bronze shrub should not be ignored by we gardeners and for the following reasons: It is upright and narrow to 3 metres or so making it ideal in narrow beds, between windows or as a narrow eye catching feature plant. The tiny bronze-green leaves make it texturally interesting and although …

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Kolkwitzia amabilis

This large arching deciduous shrub from China isn’t seen anywhere near enough in Australian gardens. It is cold hardy, reasonably drought tolerant and will grow well in sun or semi-shade. It can easily reach 3 to 4metres tall and in late spring its arching elegant branches are covered with a mass of little pink trumpets …

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