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Plants for a shady courtyard garden in Sydney

Need to add some shade to your courtyard? With good design, not only can you control the degree of shade, but you also create a focal point within it. Click here for more about courtyard gardens. For a constant cool green courtyard garden here are some of my top ten plants to include in a Sydney courtyard garden.

 

TREES to create the shade – For those locations when winter sun is a must, use Acer palmatum Osakazuki, common name Japanese Maple. .This Maple handles the Sydney heat and humidity better than most…

SHRUBS – A goodie and a reliable favourite are the Gardenia’s. They offer a wonderful deep green leaf in shade and part sun locations. Easy to grow, just keep them moist and they will reward you with beautiful aromatic flowers…

…if however you are looking for an evergreen tree, a reliable small tree for a courtyard garden is Tristaniopsis laurina Luscious, common name Luscious Water Gum. A great Australian small compact tree with year round lush and glossy green leaves. Both these trees can be planted directly into the ground or in pots.

…contrast Gardenias with the very striking Zamioculcas zamiifolia or Zanzibar Gem. This plant likes heavy shade and is often used indoors. Exceptionally hardy, it requires very little care.

…for a fine leaf blade, almost a grass, I use Liriope sometimes known as Lily Turf. Ever reliable and a great filler for all those irregular spaces…

PERENNIALS – A recent find that I can’t resist is Ligularia reniformis otherwise known as Tractor Seat, perhaps a little obvious when you see the leaf shape. An unusual leaf, which is why I love it, as it adds a wow factor to a shady garden…

…Arthropodium cirratum commonly known as New Zealand Rock Lily is great for planting underneath a tree which maybe drier than other parts of the garden.

GROUND COVER – I often use Zoysia tenuifolium or No Mow Grass as a ground cover to any shaded garden bed. It will also tolerate sun if kept moist, this plant offers an undulating textural form to the garden. As the name implies, you don’t need to mow it…

CLIMBERS – To cover up the courtyard fence, one of the better options has to be Trachelospemum jasminoides commonly known as Star Jasmine. It looks truly wonderful in spring and summer with its prolific flower display. A great fence or wall screen all year.

…for a lawn alternative I use Dichondra repens or Kidney Weed. Whilst it’s preferred aspect is full sun, it will grow readily in up to 80% shade. It is not really necessary to mow this either unless you crave the 4 stroke fix from time to time.

Contact Brian, he would love to show you more.

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