Echium fastuosum is big, bold and beautiful. It likes well drained soils and lots of sun and is quite happy where soils are dry and poor. By nature a coastal plant, the sandy, windy conditions of beach gardens are very much to its liking. It’s an excellent foliage plant as well as having gorgeous big purple-blue flower heads in spring. Great on banks surrounded by groundcovering, sun loving daisy flowers such as arctotis, gazanias and osteospermums. Use it against a cream wall for a Mediterranean effect. Or with the huge green leaves of Puka, Meryta sinclairii, a native tree which despite its lush good looks grows happily near the sea and in poor, dry soils.
Mingling a group of Echium fastuosum with lavenders and golden or orange leucospermums is another bright idea for sunny borders in coastal gardens. Try Echium fastuosum rising out of a groundcover of low growing rosemary varieties or next to Ceanothus ‘Joyce Coulter’ for a dramatic contrast in form, or if knock-your-socks-off colour contrasts are your thing, use this Echium among the shiny yellow, drought tolerant, groundcovering shrub Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’. It looks good among clipped shrubs too - a low hedge of the grey leafed, drought and wind tolerant coastal shrub Teucrium fruticans makes a classy foreground to Echium fastuosum.