Modern Coastal Plant Combination for S.E. QLD
This plant combination is ideal for a garden that requires low sight lines (such as beach views) or with contemporary-designed architecture. This selection has a strong ‘beach’ or ‘resort’ feel, but a few subtle changes can vary the dynamics of the style. Change the Pandanus to a bottle tree for a native style, or swap out the Mingo with Zoyzia grass for a lusher feel. All species are very drought tolerant, and are also salt tolerant (ideal for properties near the sea).
1. WESTRINGIA fruticosa
Grey-green foliage and dense screening bush. This is a large shrub that will grow tall enough to screen high fences, though it needs room to grow out.
- Little brother and sister ‘Zena’ and ‘Jervis Gem’ are a great partner, as they are identical in appearance (the flower colours are slightly different), but smaller so the overall composition is repetitive but the scale changes.
2. POA labillardieri
A tallish grey-green foliaged that grass works well with the westringia foliage.
- Long thin leaves sway in the breeze with its heavy seed head. This creates lovely movement in the garden.
- The seed heads are reminiscent of the Westringia’s small thin leaves.
3. PANDANUS tectorius
This is a large feature tree, used sparingly. Pandanus needs to be the star-of-the-show, and not hidden behind shrubs or low trees.
- Up-lighting into the under canopy will dramatize the Pandanus as a stunning focal feature to any entry.
- The trunk, and defining roots should be shown where possible, with nothing higher than the grasses or groundcovers to add interest under.
- The grey-green leaves mirror the agave in size, colour and texture. The colour also synchronises with the other plant colour tones.
4. THEMEDA 'Mingo'
This is a low grass-like ground cover, often called flattened kangaroo grass as it looks like a tall grass that has been trampled in the middle.
- Leaf colour matches with the POA and Westringia
- Leaf shape is similar to the Pandanus leaf though on a greatly different scale.
5. PENNISETUM alopecuriodes
The ‘swamp fox tail’ has a similar foliage structure and look to the POA, though the fox tail’s foliage colour is green-yellow, rather than blue-green.
- Planted with the POA in clumps, it will break the monotony of too much grey leaf colour.
- The seed heads are the striking feature of this plant, and come in many colours.
6. AGAVE parryi
This is a dramatic feature in the garden - sharp and spikey. The location needs great consideration, but do not be afraid of this one - it is absolutely stunning. Grey-green in colour, it has large leaves that repeat the pandanas’ size and texture.
- AGAVE parryi needs to be used sparingly, as it is so interesting and complex.
- Plant varied sized specimens from the nursery to play with size and scale.