Members of the protea family are not only valued for their striking shapes, they also grow naturally in nutrient-poor soils and require little additional fertilising. Most make exceptional cut flowers, good hedging and many are suitable for containers. Generally quite social, they grow in close proximity to one another, forming a dense cover that protects them from prevailing winds, prevents compaction, cools the soil and reduces evaporation.
1. TELOPEA ‘SHADY LADY’ RED AND WHITE
Native to Australia, this beautiful, tallgrowing hybrid (Telopea speciosissima x oreades) produces vibrant red or pure white blooms in spring. It likes dappled shade and cooler, more protected spots. It’s perfect for low-maintenance, lowwater-use gardens and as a feature shrub in beds and large containers.
2. MIMETES CUCULLATUS ‘COMMON PAGODA’
This unusual, multistemmed shrub is easy to grow and reaches up to 2m high. Neat and compact, it’s colourful throughout the year. It likes to be well watered from autumn through to spring. An excellent plant for coastal gardens, it can also be grown in large containers.
3. LEUCADENDRON ‘HARLEQUIN’
This compact 1 x 1m shrub makes a perfect low hedge. Its green foliage emerges from bright red stems, and from late