Inspiration from Lambley Nursery



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?


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

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)


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 

Blog Comments

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.

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

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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