By Karen Chapman, le jardinet Photo Credit: As seen in Country Gardens magazine, Spring 2017
Feature Plant: Platinum Beauty lomandra (Lomandra longifolia ‘Roma13’ PP25962)
This graceful perennial adds a billowy softness to both landscape and container designs. Despite its demure appearance, Platinum Beauty lomandra is extremely drought tolerant, deer resistant and low maintenance since it does not need pruning.
As versatile as it is beautiful, there are many ways to take advantage of its virtues. The shimmery grass-like foliage of Platinum Beauty lomandra adds movement and fine texture to waterwise, succulent-focused combinations which may otherwise appear somewhat rigid. Yet Platinum Beauty lomandra is equally at home within a border of more traditional perennials and shrubs, where the delicate blue-green and white variegated blades work with any color scheme from pastel to jewel tones.
Use Platinum Beauty lomandra wherever you might consider an ornamental grass. Being evergreen, this perennial provides year-round beauty and thrives in well-drained soil in either full sun or partial shade.
Even if Platinum Beauty lomandra is not hardy where you live, it is worth seeking out for summer containers. A solo planting in a simple vessel would be an easy care, year-round feature or try one of the two mixed designs suggested below that demonstrate how easy it is to work with no matter what your preferred design style may be.
Soft and Romantic
A framework of interesting foliage is key to the success of every landscape and container design, even when the aim is for a flower-rich display.
Use an embossed, rustic, container as the starting point for a romantic design in soft shades of creamy-white and pink. A variegated hibiscus echoes the foliage colors of the Platinum Beauty lomandra while the ruffled orchid-pink hibiscus blooms introduce a distinctly feminine touch. These pink hues are repeated by spider flowers and a fragrant, dwarf butterfly bush with several burgundy foliage plants tucked in to add depth to the color scheme. Softening the edge of the oval container are two edible, aromatic herbs: Chef’s Choice rosemary and lemon thyme.
This entire design is deer resistant and requires less water than traditional container plantings.
Platinum Beauty lomandra (Lomandra longifolia ‘Platinum Beauty’)
Summer Ruffle hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Summer Ruffle’)
Senorita Rosalita spider flower (Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’)
Lo & Behold Pink Micro Chip butterfly bush (Buddleia x ‘Pink Micro Chip’)
Chef’s Choice rosemary (Rosemary officinalis ‘Chef’s Choice’)
Purple Threadleaf Joseph’s coat (Alternanthera ficoidea ‘Purple Threadleaf’)
Hawaii Blue floss flower (Ageratum houstonianum ‘Hawaii Blue’)
Beefsteak plant (Perilla ‘Magilla’)
Pink Stripe wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida ‘Pink Stripe’)
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus)
Chic and Contemporary
Combine black and white foliage for a distinctive, contemporary look. The velvety-black foliage of Black Magic elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’) could be used to establish a bold focal point in a sleek black pot with Platinum Beauty lomandra adding additional height. The fine lomandra blades would mingle with and soften with the larger tropical leaves. Around these, both to fill out the container and to soften its edges, heart-shaped leaves of Jack Frost Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’) and the Beacon Silver dead nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’) would add silvery-white notes while the crinkled evergreen leaves of Black Scallop bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’) would be the perfect way to repeat the black of both the elephant ears and the container itself.
This chic, monochromatic design would work best in morning sun and afternoon shade, or all day dappled shade.
Although the elephant ears and bugleweed need regular water to look their best, this is easily achieved by careful hand watering or using a drip irrigation system.
Cultural Details for Platinum Beauty lomandra
Hardiness: USDA zones 8-10, Sunset zones 12-24
Light: Full sun to part shade
Water: Low once established
Mature size: 2-3 feet tall and wide