Lomandra: The Ideal Plant for a Coastal Garden
When speaking about Australian coastal gardens, the first thing that comes to mind is relaxed style plants. In fact, these types of gardens are the most favoured among Aussies since who doesn’t love to spend his/her afternoon relaxing in a coastal garden with a sea-breeze cocktail in hand while watching the plants dance to the gentle sea breeze?! Priceless, right?!
So it should go without saying that plants play a huge role in creating a coastal garden. And before moving on to the right type of plants for this type of project, it is fundamental to mention that moisture retention is one of the main problems in this area, so conditioning the soil with rich organic matter few times a year is the first thing to do before planting. That way, you can help the soil to increase its ability to hold nutrients while the mulch layer that should be placed on top can help the soil reduce a loss of moisture.
Once done with the soil, it is time to choose the plants. Keep in mind that they need to be low-maintenance and able to withstand the tricky coastal conditions. Plants with waxy and leathery leaves are the types of plants you should take into account, out of which the non-native architectural plants like Aloe, Agave attenuata, Aptenia cordifolia and Crassula species have proven to thrive greatly in the Australian harsh coastline.
But let’s not forget about the groundcovers and grasses like Lomandra. Grasses like this play an important role in binding the soil and reducing erosion while providing a great view, especially in windy sites. This beauty is also known as Mat Rushes and it is a part of a hardy native grass-like plants group – plants that thrive perfectly in coastline gardens. This type of grass thrives in dense, mass plantings and can grow in full sun or full shade. Besides that, it is pretty easy to grow from seed which in fact is the most cost-effective way to grow one. In case you already have it in your garden, you can propagate it by digging up and splitting its clumps which are known as root ball divisions. To promote better establishment, it is recommended to trim back the leaves about 1/3 of their original length before planting.
Another important thing to take into account is that there are several varieties of this type of grass available in Australia like Lomandra hystrix River Mat Rush, L.longifolia Long leaved Mat Rush, L.spicata, Lomandra longifolia, etc.