Is your garden looking worse for wear after the Summer? Realized that those Hydrangeas you adore just wont work in that spot? Don’t want to have to spend another Summer standing at the kitchen window hoping that no more of your beloved plants turn brown and crispy?

Don’t fight the weather! Adapt your garden to better cope instead.

Surviving Melbourne Summers is about creating protection where you can and having the right plant in the right spot elsewhere.


If you simply must have Hydrangeas, consider keeping them pots so you can move them as you need to keep them out of the harsh afternoon sun. Also use pots to keep any other Shade loving plants under built structures like verandas and pergolas.

Building up buffers against hot winds will also go a long way to help sensitive plants survive the heat waves. Adding in tall growing shrubs as a hedge, clusters or dotted through a mixed border will stop the wind ripping through your garden. You can also create pockets of shade when mixing taller shrubs through the border and as a tall hedge they can they will throw a little additional shade on south and east facing beds in the afternoon.

Murraya can be pruned into any shape you can imagine, or left as a lush, large shrub.

Ideal candidates for large, sun tolerant shrubs include Acmena Firescreen, Michelia White Caviar, Murraya paniculata, Portuguese Laurel and Pomegranates. These can all be clipped into shape to suit your landscape.

The most dramatic way to change the conditions of your garden over summer is to introduce trees. Narrow growing trees along the boundary will cast shade at certain times of the day, where as a broad reaching shade tree can cast shady relief to whole sections to the garden for part of the whole day. Trees also provide a buffer against drying winds. Opting for deciduous varieties will allow warming winter light into the garden and your home.

Tristaniopsis Luscious

Tristaniopsis Luscious

Trees that are sun hardy include Tristaniopsis Luscious, Chinese Elm, Citrus, Gleditsia Sunburst, Ornamental Pear varieties, Magnolia Exmouth, Ginkgo. Blueberry Ash, Pin Oak and Tilia Green Spire.

Blueberry Ash

Blueberry Ash

The right plant:

Sometimes there is no means to offer protection to plants in a certain spot. In these instances the only option is pull out those plants that endlessly struggle and replace them with sun hardy varieties.

Consider the following:

  • Raphiolepsis Oriental Pearl
  • Westringea fruticosa
  • Nandina varieties
  • Pittosporum Miss Muffett and Pitosporum Golf ball
  • Escalonia Iveyii
  • Teucrium fruticans
  • Loropetalum China Pink
  • English Box

Always remember; even tough plants bake in the sun if they aren’t adequately watered! This especially goes for the freshly planted!

At the Tree Shop we are here to help you find the right solution for your green space. If you’re after more ideas, stop into the nursery and speak to one of our friendly staff to see what will work in your garden.

English box

English box