Exotic flowers usually demand loads of attention, but the brilliant orange and blue blooms of strelitzia are quite happy to do their own thing, without much fuss. The stunning flowers look like tropical birds floating above large deep-green leaves, hence the common name bird of paradise. Once established, it is very hardy and tolerates long dry spells. Plant in full sun or part shade and in well-drained soil.
Popular back in the 70s, this perennial succulent is making a comeback! Its dramatic strappy leaves are much loved by landscape designers, who use them for feature plantings on their own or in groups. Its showy flowering stem makes an appearance five to 10 years after it becomes established, and this signifies the end of the plant. But don't worry, it produces plenty of offshoots, or 'pups', which you can pluck and replant. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.
With tufts of dark-green grassy foliage, mondo grass makes an attractive addition to any low-maintenance garden. Forming dense clumps, this low-growing grass can be used along borders, grouped as accents or planted close together as a groundcover - it will help suppress weeds, too. Plant in full sun to part shade and in moist, well-drained soil.
For a spectacular addition to the garden, go for a yucca. This strong, architectural plant looks great growing along borders or as a specimen planting in a garden bed. There are various forms available, too. You can find varieties with a single short trunk or a tall slender trunk, and even with multiple branches - all with a handsome rosette of stiff lance-like foliage. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.
If you want to make a statement in your garden, plant a gymea lily. The rosette of large green sword-shaped leaves looks spectacular all year round, but when it flowers and sends up a 6m stem topped with a deep-red bloom, it really shines. Native to Australia, it's incredibly hardy but will benefit from watering in the early stages. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.