Dicliptera clinopodia is a hardy, shrublet with glossy, dark green leaves. Dense clusters of faintly scented violet or magenta flowers adorn this bush from March to August.
The flowers attract insects and thus birds to the garden. The foliage is browsed by game. Prune regularly to keep neat and flowering.
It is a lovely addition to a semi-shade part of the garden and looks beautiful planted under trees.
Size: up to 1m
Aloe ecklonis is a very hardy evergreen to deciduous, grass Aloe that has broad leaves with white-toothed margins. The rosettes of leaves alone are most attractive. It flowers in summer from November to January, with characteristically short flowering stems. The flowers vary in colour from yellow or orange to salmon-pink and even rarely red.
It is an attractive garden subject as a large number of inflorescences are borne simultaneously. Plant in amongst grasses in a grassland garden or as an attractive form plant in garden beds or containers.
It has medicinal and magical uses and the leaves can be eaten as a vegetable.
Plant in full sun or light semi-shade, and if not in moist soil, water well and regularly.
Size up to 40cm
Pelargonium graveolens is a hardy, evergreen shrub with large, velvety leaves that are strongly rose-scented. It bears showy, pinkish-white umbels of attractive flowers peaking in August to January. Attracts insects to the garden.
Geranium oil is produced from the fragrant leaves. The leaves can also be used to line cake baking tins to impart their flavour to the cake. Leaves can also be added to cordials for a pleasant taste. The beautiful leaves last well in a vase.
This many-branched shrub adds texture and fragrance to the garden and can be used in mixed borders and in a cottage style garden. Attractive when planted in containers and large hanging baskets.
Plant in well-drained, moist soil in semi-shade and prune to keep in shape.
Size: up to 1m
Salvia muirii is a hardy, evergreen shrublet with light green, almost greyish small leaves. When crushed the leaves release a light, medicinal scent, reminiscent of Vicks. It has a persistent rootstock from which it re-sprouts if damaged. The spikes of intense blue flowers with white lips, are borne on a spike from mid-summer to autumn. They are quite large for the genus, and attract butterflies and bees in abundance.
The plant is long-lived, drought-resistant and virtually pest free. Plant this useful garden and container plant in compost-rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Prune regularly to keep in shape and encourage flowering.
Size: up to 30cm
Senna petersiana is a fairly hardy, deciduous shrub or small tree with attractive feathery leaves and grey-brown fissured bark. It bears massed spikes of scented, yellow flowers from February to April. These are carried above the leaves and attract insects and birds to the garden. The flowers are followed long, hanging, brown, edible pods which also attract birds.
A good tree for the smaller garden. Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: 4 to 6m
Ruschia lineolata is a hardy, small, evergreen succulent plant that forms matted cushions. It is very drought tolerant.
It bears beautiful purple flowers with striped petals which are about 2cm in diameter. Their brilliant flowers are borne in winter. The flowers attract a whole host of insects which in turn attract wildlife to the garden.
Their round cushion-shape make them ideal container plants. Mass plant in terraces, rock gardens and mixed beds. They can also be planted to help stabilize soil.
Plant in full sun and be careful not to overwater.
Size: Up to 10cm
Ruschia macowanii is a very hardy, small, evergreen succulent shrublet with small warty leaves. The slightly woody stems give it a weeping shape when cascading over rocks or the edge of a retaining wall. It is very drought tolerant.
It bears such massed flowers that one cannot see the leaves. These beautiful, glistening Fuchsia pink flowers with a dark stripe, adorn the plant from July to October. The flowers attract a whole host of insects which in turn attract wildlife to the garden. Plant a few together to maximize the show of flowers.