Paul Bangay inspired plant list for sub-tropical Queensland

April 24, 2024

Paul Bangay inspired plant list for sub tropical Queensland

As gardeners, seeking inspiration over a beautiful gardening book and a cup of tea is one of the most pleasurable non-gardening activities we can do.

Making plans to refresh a corner that’s been neglected or dreaming of a complete overhaul, gardening books are a wonderful resource and escape. In these moments many of us reach for our favourites like those by Australia's top landscape designer Paul Bangay.  

So many of Paul Bangay’s incredible books give us ideas for our projects but the plants are sometimes a struggle to keep alive or are only happy in cooler climates of our southern counterparts. 


Brookfield Gardens hosted a morning with Paul, launching his new book ‘A life in Garden Design’ we were enriched to hear his stories and thank him so much for the time spent signing books and sharing his gardening design wisdom.



Plants can be nostalgic, evoking memory of times past, of childhoods living in southern parts of Australia or cooler places around the globe. 

One of the most common questions or narratives we hear from our gardening community is can I grow that here in Brisbane? What is an alternative? The biggest take away for us is that there is a long list of formal style plants that do thrive in our sub-tropical climate.


Here are some of our favourite Paul Bangay inspired plants for a Brisbane or South East Queensland climate.


Star Jasmine
Gardenia, florida, magnifica or radicans also one called 'True Love'
Buxus Japonica, hedged, balls, spheres
Murraya ‘Min a min’ low hedges
Camellias, especially white
French Lavender 
Grasses like Purple Fountain, Pennisetum nafray
Nepeta ‘Cat Mint'
Tabernaemontana 'Little Emerald’
Michelia Coco
Nodding clerodendrum
Viburnum ‘Lustre'
Crepe Myrtle
Laurus Nobilli ‘Bay Tree’
Magnolia ‘Teddy Bear’ or ‘Little Gem’
Waterhousia ‘Weeping Lilly Pilly'
Tropical Birch
Paul also is a great believer in scale, this could be in the form of structures to grow wisteria over or pots and features. Here's our current range of feature pots.



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