Plants to Suit Every Climate and Garden
Think about your outdoor space for a moment. Is it an oasis you rush home from work for? Is it warm, inviting, and colourful? Does it attract butterflies? Is it filled with beautiful scents? Can it supply your kitchen? Does it stay cool even on the hottest days?
If the answer to any of these is no, then it might be time to greenify your outdoor area with some plant life.
It’s amazing the difference a few plants can make to a patio, veranda, pergola, courtyard, or garden. Certain flora thrive in different environments with different levels of care, so finding something to best suit the space and your needs is easy.
Whatever your needs, here are some of the best plants to get the most out of your outdoor space:
The ‘go-to’ easy plants
If you want exquisite planting without the hard work, these gardener favourites will have your outdoor space looking wonderful. Easy to maintain, these plants will have you well on your way to the oasis feel your outdoor space is lacking.
The Hydrangea Quercifolia (Oakleaf) offers striking three-, five-, and seven-pointed foliage that thrives in just about any climate. In autumn, the large white flower clusters fade to pink, turning the foliage a beautiful maroon colour.
Pink flowering currant
The Ribes Sanguineum Var. Glutinosum ‘Claremont’ (pink flowering currant) is shade and drought tolerant, making it extremely easy to maintain. Native to California, this deciduous shrub grows to about two metres and features dark-green leaves and clusters of rosy-pink blossoms.
Actaea Simplex ‘Brunette’ (black bugbane) is a late-season blooming perennial that offers beautiful leaves of purple and black. From early autumn, the bugbane features bottlebrush wands of pale-pink flowers that send an incredible fragrance through the air.
Flower carpet rose
Rosa Noatraum (carpet rose) is the easiest and fullest ground cover rose. Once established, they can provide up to 2,000 flowers from spring until autumn. No matter the conditions, this carpet rose should thrive with very little maintenance.
A pergola is a great way to add depth to a garden, protect an outdoor space or provide a walkway. The best plants for a pergola are ones that will grow quickly, covering the structure fast and with minimal care. While many climbing plants are self clinging, it generally helps to provide your plants assistance with a stake or trellis to get started.
A good idea when planting for your pergola is to choose a range of flowering vines that bloom at different times in the year. Always make sure also, that your pergola is strong enough to carry the weight of multiple plants.
Clematis is easy to grow, relatively lightweight, and is filled with beautiful bursts of colour come early spring. There is a very wide variety of clematis species, offering lots of different colour, so try mixing a combination of different blooms. Another option is to combine clematis with climbing roses.
Passiflora (Passionflower) offers eye-drawing purple and white flowers and is very fast-growing. There are several varieties to suit varying climates.
If your pergola gets lots of sun, a wisteria climber can be extremely striking. Weightier than some other climbers, wisteria needs to have good support but with a little maintenance, wisteria is very beautiful.
If colour is what you require from your garden, look for plants that bloom at the times you most use your outdoor space.
The name Primrose means “first rose”, and the wildflower is traditionally the first flower of spring. A hardy perennial, the primrose features crimped leaves and a bright yellow centre. It blooms in varying colours, including yellow, pink, purple, blue and white. A good mix of sun and shade is required.
You could be fooled into thinking that daffodils are hard work and easy to break, but in fact, daffodils are tough and hardy. They prefer cooler, more damp areas in the garden, and should be planted in a cluster of a dozen for dramatic effect. Daffodils come in yellow, pink, peach or white and have strong orange centres.
Tulips are available in virtually every colour of the rainbow, making them a great plant for lots of spectacular colour. Tulip varieties range from short to tall and work best when teamed with shorter annuals and perennials.
For people who are renting or for those with a small outdoor space, pot plants can be a fantastic way to introduce some greenery. Pot plants can sometimes be harder work than ground planting. but the effects are just as beautiful, if not more so.
When choosing your plants, speak to your local nursery about which plants best suit your climate. Often potted plants prefer either sun or shade.
Petunias offer good colour all year round, and feature rounded 5-lobed flowers and dark green leaves. Deadhead petunias frequently to keep the plant flowering.
Geraniums love full sun, and bloom in spring and summer. Most species are pretty hardy, and feature dark green leaves with large clusters of coloured flowers. Crush the leaves for their incredible scent.
Clivia miniata (Clivia) has dark-green, strap-like foliage and orange, red, cream or yellow flowers. The most common and hardiest of species is the traditional orange, which makes a dramatic plant in a courtyard.
Azaleas are happiest in pots, and produce a mass of colour in winter and spring. Once hugely popular, azaleas are hardy and can survive most climates.