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.

 Check out another great combination of plants right here on the SEED Landscape blog that work well in part-shade gardens in Brisbane and South-East Queensland. Feel free to contact us to discuss your own planting needs.

Paul SteinComment