Monday, November 22, 2010


The lilies are in full swing in my town garden at the moment - reds and whites. This red is actually much darker than the photo shows. I love everything about lilies. The anticipation from the moment they pop out of the ground in spring, to the flowers opening up to expose the gorgeous colours. They give great seasonal colour and height in any garden.


The tui has been doing the circuit of the flaxes at home - and this photo is taken through the window from my bedroom! The flax is Platts Black, grown for foliage, but isn't this a bonus???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My new friend 'Susan'

I love it when friends drop by! This one is called Susan. Susan is on loan to me from artist Sue Lund, as is the giraffe inside the office. Getting a few funny looks from passersby, but that just adds to the humour! Nothing like the unexpected in a mundane day!!!

Check out Sue's website -

Monday, October 18, 2010

Akaroa Weekend

I have just had a fantastic reunion weekend in Akaroa with four of my old university flatmates from Christchurch days (1992!!). Great company, great venue!!

As well as the usual shopping, wine, food and giggles, we were very lucky to be able to visit the gallery and garden of watercolour artist Nancy and Bryan Tichborne at French Farm. (They are open by appointment only). So completely inspirational to meet one of my favourite artists, and experience their beautiful, serene garden.

Then in complete contrast - 'The Giant's House' in Akaroa!! You must visit this garden if you ever get the chance. The photos (above) don't do it justice. Josie Martin is an artist that has spent many years developing the mosaic garden on a hill above Akaroa. Stunning, stunning stunning!!! (Hint - wear bright colours so you show up in photos..... Everything is larger than life and twice as bright!!).

Monday, September 13, 2010


My lovely sister, Vic, sent me this photo by email today, from her garden in Auckland. Has brightened my day. My tulips are only just colouring up down here. Can't wait!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mid-Winter Colour @ My Office

I think June is the very least interesting time of year. Leaves have mostly fallen, but it is still too early for shrubs to flower, or most bulbs to start poking their heads up. July sees more action, and by August it could almost feel like spring on the good days!

A spark of colour in the winter garden is easy to achieve with Polyanthus and early Camellias. I've also been thrilled with my Euphorbia Chameleon this year - I must have pruned it at just the right time for it to be flowering through autumn, and still hold it's colour into August. The lower leaves are bright pink. Once it starts shooting from the base, I will trim it again.

These photos are from the garden outside my office. I position something bright to catch my eye out the window from where I sit at my computer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reminders of autumn...

I had an area in the garden to develop this year, so I combined orange flowers of Ligularia, crocrosmia, helenium and gazanias with dark purple/bronze foliage of flaxes, ligularia, etc, plus russet grasses (and existing Magnolia garndiflora and Totara trees). Late summer and autumn had all this sizzling colour that was a great change from the rest of the garden. Great to do in gardens seen on their own, where it won't clash with other combinations. Also added strawberries (as groundcover) and hellebores. Chooks demolished the strawberries though! Best kept under cages - that's the chooks and strawberries!!

Inspiration from France 2008

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The team at work

Planting at Glenwood Masonic Hospital, March 2010. Fantastic job to work on. Note to self: must get photos of finished gardens for you to see.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sue Lund painting

Have just put up this gorgeous vibrant painting in my office by a very funky lady in Newtown called Sue Lund. Isn't she cool???

I want one of her crazy painted mannequins, too! She could wave at passersby, from my office window!! This lady is sitting in The Academy Gallery window to lure the punters in!!

Sue exhibits regularly at The Academy Gallery in Wellington. Check out her website:

Magnolia grandiflora

Here's one of my favourite photos to get us started! Magnolia grandiflora at my office. Isn't the detail amazing?