Right Plant, Right Place: Wynnum Branch of Queensland Transport

I love seeing well grown plants used to maximum effect. Outside the Wynnum office of the Queensland Transport grows Callistemon ‘Little John’, a native bottlebrush.

It’s growing as a boundary hedge, and it’s the only living feature on the property.

This flowering, evergreen native is a perfect subject for a compact hedge. Importantly for this location, the hedge is trimmed low, around the height of a car window, allowing drivers unrestricted vision as they enter and leave the small car park.

Little John is a cheery flowering shrub, blooming recurrently for months. Nectar-rich, bottle brush-like flowers attract native stingless bees and birds.

The hedge thinned during the drought (2005 – 10), water-stress also reduced its flowering. For a while it struggled unaided through an attack by tip-boring caterpillars. Despite this, plus the ongoing burden of heat reflected from surrounding paving, the Little John hedge pulled through.

I’ll probably never know who chose the Little John, or if they also decided to create a hedge from it, but it was an excellent choice: robust, reliable, durable, low maintenance, thrifty and pretty. It demonstrates how effective and successful a simple planting can be.


Jerry Coleby-Williams

10th June 2014




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