Thankyou very much. Bottle brush grow very well here.So many possibilities. This could be fun thread with many interesting ideas. I'll begin with one.
Bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp. and hybrids). There is a wide selection of drought tolerant shrubs in this genus. Bottlebrush vary from groundcovers to small trees and every size in-between. Besides low ater use, they also will grow in a most soil types and have few diseases or insect pests, at least in North America. Flower colors include reds, yellows, pinks, lavenders, and creamy whites. The flowers are quite popular with both honeybees and hummingbirds.
They do very well growing with my Eucalyptus and pines in both sun and semi-shade conditions. That is why I thought of them first.
None need pruning, but I do have a few Callistemon citrinus that I do prune one a year to control their height. I prune by branch thinning, which I find far preferable to hedging.
Callistemon is now sometimes included in the genus Melaleuca, which is another genus containing similarly useful shrubs.
Thankyou very much. Here, in Zone 10-A, can both of those take some shade and still grow well?Another Australian genus that would work well is Grevillea. The larger hybrids like Long John, Scarlet Sprite and Penola grow reasonably quickly. Abelia is another species that blooms well and can take most any condition. There are low-growing varieties and several variegated ones that would give color all year without having the seasonality of flowers, although it does bloom all summer too.
Appreciate the information. There a just a few pines, in comparison to the more frequent Eucalyptus trees.Are you gardening under pines with short needles (4" or less)? These will drop into shrubs without hanging up on leaves and branches. If it's a pine with longer needles, you will constantly be cleaning them off. We have Canary Island Pines (10-12" needles) that are a real pain to grow anything nice under due to always being covered with needles. They don't necessarily smother them, they just look awful all the time.
If that's not the case, try Photinia, Cestrum, Brunfelsia, Ginger, Hibiscus (if it's light shade), Brugmansi or Justicia.
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