A continuous flowering from autumn to spring makes any shrub desirable, but especially so when the flowers are a warm shade of pinkish red, and set off superbly by the fine, deep green foliage, as they are with Grevillea ‘Nancy Otzen’. This lover of sunshine and well drained soils is ideal for low maintenance borders and banks. It’s happiest when soils aren’t too rich, so you don’t need to spend time or money on giving it fertiliser, and all it needs is an occasional trimming to shape after flowering, but even that isn’t essential.
For loads of winter and spring colour, plant Grevillea ‘Nancy Otzen’ in a mixed group with bushy Leucadendrons such as ‘Inca Gold’, ‘Tokyo Gold’ and ‘Rising Sun’, other Grevilleas such as ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Robin Hood’, and to continue the colour up to Christmas, Leucospermum varieties such as orange flowered ‘Harry Chittick’ and yellow ‘Luteum’.
Carry on the cheerful colours through summer with ground cover plants. Some good ones which take the dry without needing any artificial watering are African daisies (Osteospermums), Gazanias and Arctotis. The new Gazania varieties ‘Montezuma’ and ‘Sunset Jane’ have bold daisy flowers in warm summer colours and there are some amazing new Arctotis too, such as honey coloured ‘Hayley’ and vibrant maroon ‘Cherry Velvet’.
For more of the flamboyant look, plant some kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos) in the foreground of Grevillea ‘Nancy Otzen’. Kangaroo paws provide a long season of colour with their unique, long stemmed, paw shaped flowers which come in orange, red and yellow shades or, in the case of the extraordinary ‘Bush Eclipse’, black and lime. Add some extra drama with drought tolerant, sun loving Echium fastuosum, which has huge, fat, sea blue flowers in early spring.