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NAT­U­RAL­IS­TIC and Ba­li­nese are two gar­den styles in the lime­light this sum­mer, land­scape ar­chi­tect Kirsten Brown says.

“The nat­u­ral­is­tic style is char­ac­terised by soft-tex­tured plant­ing of na­tive grasses or peren­ni­als in cool colours of var­ie­gated fo­liage, whites and greens con­trasted boldly against strong ar­chi­tec­tural shapes and top­i­ary clouds of plants such as Ja­panese box, teu­crium or westringia,’’ Brown says.

“The trop­i­cal Ba­li­nese style is char­ac­terised by fo­liage gar­dens where the plant­ing de­sign is re­laxed, in­ter­est­ing, colour­ful and bold. Plants such as bougainvil­lea, frangi­pani, heli- co­nia, bromeli­ads, rhoeo, calathea and pop­u­lar.”

Brown, from Topos Land­scape Ar­chi­tects, says sum­mer gar­den de­sign should be about tran­quil­lity and shel­ter from the heat.

But if you don’t want to adopt a spe­cific gar­den style, just add a few sum­mer plants to your ex­ist­ing gar­den.

Flow­er­ing, fra­grant and heat-tol­er­ant plants can eas­ily up­date a gar­den.

Fra­grant plants in­clude star jas­mine, gar­de­nias, her­ald’s trum­pet, frangi­pani, port wine magnolia, but­ter­fly bush, an­gel wing jas­mine and the Mada­gas­can jas­mine.

“Sum­mer and heat-tol­er­ant plants in­clude many suc­cu­lents, na­tive grass- philo­den­dron, colo­ca­sia are es and sil­ver-leaved plants. Drought­tol­er­ant plants in­clude yucca, teu­crium, westringia, plec­tran­thus, eu­ca­lyp­tus, euony­mus, but­ter­fly bush, hebe, laven­der, rose­mary, thyme, salvia and phormi­ums,’’ Brown says.

Food gar­dens re­main pop­u­lar, she says.

“Cit­rus trees, fig trees and pa­paya trees are at­trac­tive trees suit­able for a town gar­den and herbs like sage, pars­ley, thyme, lemon­grass can be in­cluded in the over­all gar­den,” Brown says.

“If you have a trel­lis you may want to climb some pas­sion­fruit on it and ben­e­fit from both flow­ers and fruit.”

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