Friday, February 24, 2012


First flower, second on it's way..

Check out this ugly duckling..... #3 flower
I have a question - how does something as odd-looking as a bulb produce something as beautiful as this??? I bought this Hippeastrum in flower a month ago. It is now having it's second flower, and I have just noticed a third developing amongst the leaves. That's another thing - how does somthing like the little green thing turn into such a huge big red flower head?? One of Mother Nature's glorious aspects. As opposed to earthquakes, tsunamis etc....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Upper Plain Garden revisited - literally!

Wow - went on a tour of inspection of the VERY best garden in Upper Plain yesterday. Certainly the VERY keenest gardener you ever did see! My lovely client has been transformed into a gardener extroadinaire. Soon I will have to employ HER to give ME planting advice. Fancy that!

Echinacea with daisies, Convolvulus (mauve) and
gazanias, amongst the citrus in the fire pit garden

The chequerboard paving links the grey concrete (around house), with the pale
crushed limestone paths. This is the view past Versailles, out to the potager.
By the way - we called it Versailles as a tongue-in-cheek joke, as the style is loosely
based on those we had both seen at the real Versailles, France!

Versailles, showing the path around the back edged with yellow irises

Versailles in full exhuberance, with purple Verbena bonariense a highlight.

Convolulus mauritanicus and C. cneorum silver foliage

Out the front, Pittosporum balls edge this garden, with mostly NZ native plants within.
 This is one of my designs, which I am very proud of. Check out the updated page over there on the right hand column labelled Stunning Upper Plain Garden. Go on. What are you waiting for??

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Echinacea 'White Swan'

Love almost everything about this plant. Certainly a stunner from mid-summer until early winter. Love love love the flowers, and the succession of different stages at any one time. The flower 'cones' last well into winter. Just a pity the entire plant dies down over winter. Otherwise it would be practically perfect in every way.

I am growing these in the centre of a circle of Pittosporum 'Elfin' balls, with 7 Sophora (Kowhai) 'Dragon's Gold' trees amongst them, which will one day be tall standards, but with wonky trunks, rather than straight. I like a bit of randomness! The cones of the Echinacea repeat the ball theme. I grew leeks in there last year. Yeeha!

Echinacea also comes in a great purpley pinkle, with orange cone. I love that one, too, but not the right colour for this garden. That one is a bit of a show pony, albeit stunning en masse in the right place......