Putting on a magnificent show of colour in the bushland along the east coast of Australia, this stunning evergreen native shrub kicks off in spring with cream-coloured flowers. After this, the calyxes turn rusty red – just in time for the festive season. Reaching about 5m high x 1.5m wide, Christmas bush is easy to grow in your garden. For best flowering results, plant in full sun. Each year, harvest a few branches covered in blooms and display them in vases or along the centre of your Christmas table.
‘Tis the season for all things silver
Eucalypts are beautiful, wildlife-attracting and occur in bushland right across the country. Commonly known as gum trees, eucalypts come in a wide-sweeping range of shapes and sizes for you to choose from – ranging from towering trees to compact shrubs. Look for varieties with silver-grey foliage – an Aussie bush-themed Christmas table just isn’t complete without them!
Lovely Christmas lilies
With their graceful crisp-white trumpets, glowing yellow stamens, lush green foliage and enchanting perfume, it’s no wonder that Christmas lilies have been adored for generations. They are a fabulous accent for your summer garden or pots, plus if you mass plant them in clumps – you’ll achieve incredible impact in the garden. From time of planting, Christmas lilies take 12-14 weeks to bloom, so look for potted bloomers now or buy bulbs and plant them next season. Best thing is – they’ll flower every year. Top tip? Snip a few flowers and arrange them in a vase so you can enjoy their scent indoors and out.
The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are the ideal time to get your hands on Australian natives like the Bottlebrush.
Pretty-up with poinsettia
Poinsettia in its natural form flowers in winter. The ones you buy now have been grown in special conditions, tricking the plant to think it is winter. Buy one now and it will flower again in winter and next Christmas it will be all green.
Here’s an idea – buy a few potted specimens and wrap each with brown paper and a festive bow. You can use them to decorate for Christmas Day, then send them home with your guests as gorgeous gifts.
Not only are hydrangeas one of the most loved flowers in the world, they’re also reliable and easy to grow. Used by gardeners far and wide, hydrangeas offer beautiful bouquets of clustered flowers. With their flamboyant flower-heads in cool blue, pink or white, they are one of the signature blooms of the summertime garden.
The name says it all, these red and yellow waxy flowers are a familiar Christmas decoration for many down under. Blandfordia grandiflora or Christmas Bells grow well in sandy soil but are easiest to grow in pots.
The showy blooms of hibiscus will make a great centrepiece for your table or add much needed colour to your hallway. Each blossom lasts about 24 hours, with new ones flowering the next day.
A tropical affair with a tad unglamorous body shape, the frangipani makes up for its unique fleshy appearance with an unbeatable perfume that packs a fragrant punch.
A choice flowering shrub to add a touch of sweetness to the garden is the agapanthus. Its flowers are mostly purple, blue and white. They make an excellent edging plant along the driveway or around the pool.