We bought an ex-rental house and frankly the garden looked like it belonged to a rental. I wanted a colourful, cheerful garden that would withstand a bit of neglect, but really needed some tips on where to start. I knew I wanted to bounce off the one existing plant, a gloriously out-sized Bird Of Paradise with big tropical leaves. I've mostly used native carex and cordyline flaxes with a few leafier softer plants for a bit of contrast. Sunset coprosma, euphorbia glauca and leucadendrin bushes.