GARDENING: Transform your garden with cool flowering shrubs
HAVE you ever noticed how much cooler a garden planted with white summer flowers can look?
So why not plant a garden of white flowering shrubs as a cool escape from our hot, humid climate?
The warm weather that we experienced during most of this week can be made to feel even hotter when looking into the garden and seeing nothing but the hot vibrant flowering plant colours.
There are many beautiful shrubs that could be used.
The following are some interesting white flowering plant varieties that I noticed blooming in gardens this week.
All are worth trying in an attempt to cool yourself and your garden this summer.
Calliandra haematocephala Alba or The White Pom Pom is a large spreading shrub, growing to three metres if left unpruned.
It is able to be kept trimmed into small hedged without a lot of effort.
Showy white pom pom flowers appear most of the year, though heaviest during July and August.
Carissa Desert Star is an attractive shrub with dense thick glossy green foliage and small thorns.
During the warmer months this plant is scattered with star shaped lightly scented white flowers that appear at the end of each branch.
Desert Star is ideal for pots and tubs, dry borders and rockeries and will require little maintenance.
Clerodendron nutans is an upright evergreen shrub grown for its showy flowers of pinkish buds which open as cream five-petalled flowers in pendent clusters backed by small bronze bracts.
It grows well in compost rich free draining soils in the full sun, though it may require some shade in Summer and can grow from 1.5m to 2.5m high. It is also excellent in decorative pots or tubs on paving or patio areas.
Ervatamia coronaria or Mock Gardenia is a beautiful tropical shrub growing around 2m high by 1m wide.
This shrub is suitable for most positions in the garden and can be heavily pruned. It will flower throughout the year with lightly perfumed white flowers that cover the shrubs like snow.
Gardenia florida is one of the most water-wise gardenias available to local gardeners.
It has glossy, green foliage and a dense habit and growing to 11/2m high.
It will flower throughout the year with highly perfumed, double white flowers.
It is best grown in a position away from the hot afternoon sun, a northern or easterly position is best.
Hibiscus heterophyllys Alba or Native Rosella is a fast growing shrub that produces an abundance of white flowers with rich burgundy centres.
The flowers are followed by hairy seed capsules containing a number of seeds.
The hairs on the capsules can cause severe skin irritation and need to be handled with care. The showy flowers are an asset to any garden, and its value is not restricted to its beauty but will attractive to lorikeets, honeyeaters and butterflies.
The flower buds can be made into a jam, with other parts of the plant also edible.
Ixora Campons Pride is a white-flowering Ixora that is being promoted as the best white flowering variety that has ever been available to Queensland gardeners.
With its attractive dark glossy leave and large heads of white flowers, I believe that the promoters are probably correct.
Like most Ixoras, it does prefer a reasonably moist position, but will also tolerate wet or dry positions for short periods of time.
Expect it to grow to around 1.5m and 1m across in most garden positions.
Murraya paniculata or Orange Jessamine is a beautifully scented long flowering evergreen shrub which produces clusters of sweetly scented white flowers mainly in spring and summer. In warmer climates large red berries appear in winter and spring.
It makes a good informal hedge.
Plumbago auriculata alba is a hardy, drought resistant evergreen shrub to 1.2m high and bears masses of white flowers throughout the warmer months.
Regular heavy pruning in late winter encourages flowering and maintains a dense growth.
It is ideal for informal hedges or planting on slopes and requires a well-drained sunny position.
Plumeria pudica or the Hammer Leaf Frangipani or Bridal Bouquet is a fast growing evergreen Frangipani.
This Frangipani produces an abundance of brilliant white flowers with a little yellow in the throat.
The elongated leaves are unlike most other Frangipani with a hammer shape, thus the common name, Hammerhead Frangipani.
It can grow up to 5m tall or is able to be pruned and shaped into a bushy shrub.
Why not give one of these cool flowering shrubs a try in your garden.