These ‘plant-and-forget’ pink bloomers will delight you with their gorgeous colour, yet require very little maintenance in return
Sun-loving marguerite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens) are trouble-free, compact herbaceous shrubs that are covered in blooms for most of the year. They need watering about once a week, and while not strictly necessary, pruning back the branchlets at the end of winter does produce an abundance of new growth. These daisies tolerate mild to moderate frost (-3°C).
The cultivars that have pink blooms include ‘Angelic Giant Pink’ (pictured), ‘Twinkle Light Pink’ (35cm tall), ‘Sun Star Summer Melody’ (50cm tall), which has double cerise-pink flowers, and ‘Sun Star Summer Stars’ (50cm tall) that has semi-double bright-pink blooms with a yellow centre.
These evergreen Australian shrubs (Callistemon hybrid cultivars) are the perfect ‘plant-and-forget’ choice. These sun lovers are water wise, thrive in hot regions, cope with coastal conditions and tolerate moderate frost (up to -5°C). The striking blooms appear in late spring and early summer. Make sure to plant them in soil that drains well. ‘Pink Perth’ (pictured) is an upright small tree 3–4m tall, while ‘Hot Pink’ is a 1,5–2m tall shrub.
Queens of the winter shade garden, these densely-foliaged, evergreen, 2–3m tall shrubs bear their lovely blooms over a long period and need very little attention other than regular watering and fertilising before their flowering period.
Autumn-flowering Easter camellia (Camellia sasanqua) cultivars are more tolerant of sun than other varieties and grow in sun or semi-shade. Winter-flowering Camellia japonica cultivars and hybrids prefer a position in dappled shade. In cooler areas, spring-flowering Camellia reticulata (pictured) grow in full sun but need shade from afternoon sun in hot regions. They all tolerate severe frost (-12°C).
This 1,5–2m tall evergreen shrub can be planted in a partially shaded spot where the soil drains well, and thereafter can be left to its own devices. However Rhaphiolepis delacourii ‘Coates Crimson’ (pictured), flowers more profusely with regular watering, especially if it is planted in a sunny position. It flowers in spring and tolerates severe frost (-12°C).
For big summer blooms, select a Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Hawaiian cultivar. These 2m-tall shrubs remain evergreen and are completely trouble-free plants in frost-free regions. In gardens with mild frost, they lose their leaves in winter and dead branches need to be cut back after all danger of frost is over. In hot, dry gardens, remember to water them regularly.