You can play exotic gardening games with this dramatic flowering shrub, or simply use it as a filler on a boundary where its large, dark, velvet green leaves and dense habit of growth will create privacy. The large, saucer shaped flowers are an amazing royal purple colour and they just keep on coming through summer and autumn. Despite its decidedly tropical look, Tibouchina ‘Grandiflora’ will tolerate light frosts. Even in frosty gardens, it will often thrive if planted against a sheltered, sunny house wall were it is sometimes seen in the company of a pink, winter flowering Luculia or the free-fruiting ‘Meyer Lemon’. both of which also benefit from the bit of extra warmth.
Dark green foliage, such as that of Pittosporum ‘Mountain Green’, makes an interesting accompaniment to the bright flowers of Tibouchina ‘Grandiflora’. It also looks good against the background of a hedge with green foliage and if something more lively is required it can be grown with a mixture of tamarillo, abutilons, sky blue and long flowering Dichroa ‘Blue Sapphires’, light blue and all summer flowering ‘Plumbago ‘Royal Cape’ and even a small deciduous tree such as Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’ which has deep burgundy coloured foliage from spring to summer. In frost free areas, add an ornamental, red foliage banana for even more dramatic effect.
Foreground plantings for this spectacular Tibouchina can be of all sorts of things, from small shrubs to ground covers, annuals and perennials. Some interesting possibilities are to use the low, fine foliaged, Geranium incanum, which has small flowers of a very similar colour to the Tibouchina, interplanted with the golden leafed, ground cover Sedum ‘Acapulco Gold’. In time the two plants intertwine, creating a most distinctive, as well as weed suppressing, pattern of foliage and flowers.
Low, dense, ground covering, labour saving shrubs which look intriguing planted around or in the front of Tibouchina ‘Grandiflora’ are Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’, with golden yellow foliage all year round, and Loropetalum ‘China Pink’, another twelve months of the year performer with beautiful, burgundy coloured foliage.