Inspiration from Lambley Nursery

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I discovered a fantastic new site for dry garden inspiration.  That Lambley Nursery and gardens in Victoria, Australia is on the other side of the world matters little to me as I am using it to discover new plants and see them used in ways I haven’t enjoyed before.

Some plants are eluding me — like the white flower in front of the yucca? Anyone know it?

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Same goes for the pink plant here.  From the image below –which is identified as Phlomis and Gladiolus – I gather it to be the gladiolus — but I have a need to know which one….as this is not your (off trend) tacky 70’s glads….these are stunners!

Phlomis and Gladiolus at lambley nursery
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zauschneriaLooking around this dry garden, I’ve resolved to give a few new things a try….one is  Zauschneria californica ‘Western Hills’ (the red plant)  – I have found it in the US at High Country Gardens.  (up close below)

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Also – I am tired of dreaming about Echinops.  I am going to plant some and so I can have my own purple ball party (I’m looking for bulk seeds…probably going to buy them here).  I’ve got just the place for a big masse like the one by the bench.

new_mediteranean_with_chairBut I am disappointed to learn that not only can I not find — but presumably couldn’t grow this fluffy white friend of echinops in this picture.  (I love the purple and silver white combo!!)
bystropogon_canariensisIt is called Bystropogon canariensis  – CANARY ISLAND SMOKE BUSH.  It is an evergreen (or should I say evergrey) shrub that is a relative of other woody herbs like oregano and thyme.  I wonder how it tastes?  Have you seen it before?

images from lambley nursery 

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

10 Comments

  1. Lorraine on February 25, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Those are beautiful gardens, very inspiring. Too bad they are so far from me. The Phlomis is the yellow flower and the Gladiolus are the fuchsia pink flowers. Great combo. Bystropogon canariensis with the Echinops is also outstanding. Bystropogon canariensis is not hardy in my Zone 5, but Phlox “David” would make a good substitute or even Hydrangea Annabelle.



  2. Loie on February 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I thought the pink flowers that look like Gladiolas were Watsonia .



  3. Loie on February 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    The white flower in front of the Yucca could be Ixia ‘Alba’, listed in the catalog for the garden under bulbs. It looks like the right height and you can see a few strappy leaves coming through the other shrubby plants. Also, a good resource for interesting Gladiolas,and other bulbs, is PacificBulbSociety.org.



  4. Kaveh on February 26, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Love the Bystropogon canariensis. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. I think the Gladioulus might just be G. communis. Neat garden and website and exactly my sort of thing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!



  5. Lorraine on February 26, 2013 at 8:16 am

    The cultivar of the gladiolus could be: Applause (which grows 38-60 inches high). Color is the same.



  6. Joy on February 27, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Hi Rochelle – Lambley is indeed an amazing place – we visit a couple of times a year. Now – while I’m no expert at identifying plants, I can tell you that there are no gladiolus within cooee of Lambley, and the white plant in the top pic is more likely to be something like matthiola. Lambley specialises in salvia – which is what the red and purple flowered plants are more likely to be.



  7. Kaveh on February 27, 2013 at 12:56 am

    The magenta flower is definitely not a Salvia. I still say it is a Gladiolus communis or similar species. It could be a Watsonia but the flowers and form of the leaves seem more Glad than Watsonia to me. Maybe Watsonia borbonica. But it is hard to say for sure because of the size of the photos.



  8. Scott Weber on February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Kaveh is probably right about the Gladiolus, still, I thought it might also be Gladiolus byzantinus.



    • Kaveh on February 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Good call, Scott. G. byzantinus is even more likely.



  9. Patrick on November 8, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Yes, as a staff member at Lambley Nursery I can confirm the Gladiolus as Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus. We have a wealth of Gladiolus on the property. The Ixia is Ixia polystacha