Malcolmia, the Virginia Stock, is a lovely, durable, fast growing annual that thrives in shallow, light soils with no maintenance. It is hardy, easy and colourful in the rockery, windowbox or container, and in the cottage garden as a groundcover. While summer heat may scorch it the first autumn rains will bring its' children back to flower again.
Matricaria, the Feverfew or Exhibition Border, includes a number of aromatic herbs suitable for the sunny, drier garden. These cottage garden classics include tall and short perenials with white daisy flowers that cut well and also can be dried.
Matthiola is the botanical name for Stock. This hardy classic thrives in drier locations. The dwarf ten week varieties are good for bedding while tall Brompton and Giant Imperial strains make excellent cut flowers over a long period. Good drainage, lime and an enriched soil give best results.
Melaleuca, the Honey Myrtle, includes are large number of hardy, evergreen, Australian native trees and shrubs with showy blossoms and peeling bark. Flowers somewhat resemble the bottle brush. M. linarifolia is better known as Snow in Summer as it creates a 10m white cloud of bloom. M. violacea is a 1.5m spreading shrub with fluffy purple flowers. M. lateritia the Robin Redbreast aptly in clothed in vivid scarlet blooms.
Melia, the Pride of India or the Bead Tree, thrives in warm, sunny, dryish locations but is hardy even in the wet. This makes it an exceptionally durable street tree. In spring clouds of delicate lilac blooms mix with ferny foliage. Later green beads adorn the tree. These hang on even once the leaves have fallen in late autumn. Excellent branch structure.
Mentzelia (ment-zeel'-ee-a) is a California desert plant that quickly flowers from seed when spring planted. The 60cm plants are crowned with large, bright yellow stars opening in the afternoon. Very striking, very durable and very hard to find.
Mesembryanthemum is a big name for a tiny plant better known as the Baby Sunrose. This perennial succulent from South Africa makes an attractive carpet in grey green or variegated forms ornamented with 1cm delicate daisies. Frost tender!
Metrosideros, is a shrubby family of plants including our own famous Pohutukawa and the Sydney Christmas Bush. Hardy, durable and able to thrive under coastal extremes, these trees and shrubs are essential to the larger dry garden.
Mirabilis, the Marvel of Peru, is certainly a marvel when it's fragrant, colourful trumpets open every summer afternoon around 4 o'clock. That's why it is know commonly as the "4 o'clock". Grow as a perennial or tender annual in the drier garden in almost any soil, sun to part shade.
Muscari, the Grape Hyacinth, needs a moist soil to flower well which it gets during it's winter and spring growing cycle. Just let the bulbs dry out and die back over the summer.
Myoporum includes M. floribundum (Snow in Summer) and Ngaio. Both are drought and coastal hardy. The former resembles a tree caught in a summer brizzard yet thrives in dry heat.