About the garden
Grahame Rowe and wife Kim moved into their home 10 years ago. The property had no garden or lawn, but plenty of trees. A camphor laurel, suckering willow and eucalyptus with an ‘untrustworthy’ lean were removed. Left in place were two flowering crepe myrtles and a few boundary trees, including a corymbia, a ceratopetalum and a gardenia.
Close to the coast with the ocean on the doorstep, the area has mild winter lows and cool summer highs, with a welcome nor’easter that helps cool things off. There’s a degree of coastal humidity, but that’s great for the plants Grahame grows.
Lushness is achieved by creating interest at varying heights, using Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Rubra’, palms (dypsis, bismarkia and kentia), ground dwellers and self-sowers such as justicia, coleus, succulents and plectranthus. “Once you have that height transition you can throw in the upright colours of canna, cordylines and gingers,” says Grahame.