Favourite Australian Shrubs

 A bottlebrush.

I live and garden in New Zealand - a quiet, insular neighbour of Australia. There's been rivalry between the countries for years. But we share many good things - particularly people (like the Moosey Son-in-Law), trees, and shrubs.

Delightfully Diverse

Australian shrubs are delightfully diverse, since Australia covers many different gardening conditions - tropical, arid, and temperate. I grow numbers of hard-working Aussie shrubs in the Moosey Garden, mainly sourced from the temperate areas of the lower east coast.

They have quite a different range of flower colours to the New Zealand natives (which tend to be yellow and/or white). I particularly like the bright reds.

I have a Bottlebrush (Callistemon) at the back of the house, with red flowers at Christmas time (midsummer) - nice! Another red flowering shrub, a Grevillea, brightens up the Moosey Shrubbery in spring. And I have a glowing golden Banksia by the washing line which I always forget to prune. Hmm... I get fewer and fewer seedheads each year...


Excluding the Moosey Son-in-Law, my favourite Aussies are a creamy-white waxflower (Eriostemon) and a purple mint bush (Prostanthera). These can always be found lurking in nursery bargain bins - I suspect many local gardeners consider them 'scruffy'.

Good Green Company

But in the company of some good, solid New Zealand greenery (Phormiums and Hebes are the perfect neighbours) they really shine. Their Aussie textures and flowers are actually quite subtle...

 A beautiful purple flowering mint bush.

Australian shrubs are easy to share space with. They're cheap, and as tough as old gardening boots. They're straight-forward, have no frills, don't dither, and always call a spade a spade...

 Variety unknown, flowering in spring.

Hmm... Bonza, mate!