Monday, December 16, 2013

Bringing birds into the Garden

I have been astounded by the variation in birds that have been attracted to the sweet nectar in the flax flowers at home this year. These photos are taken from inside the house, within a 5 minute time period, of just three of the species that came to use the flowers. The Tui is the most frequent caller, but he missed his photo opp this day!!
Showing my ignorance here - either a Starling or Thrush??? 

Our newest visitor - the Bellbird. Thrilled to have this one in our garden. 

The Bellbird even sat there while the ancient and decrepit farm dog, Buzz The Retiree,
wandered past. Admittedly, Buzz would not exactly be perceived as a threat these days!!

Bellbird, with it's head covered in yellow pollen from the flaxes.
Then this little charmer, see it right on the tip of the right flax?

Marlborough Rock Daisy

Been a hectic few weeks (make that year!) making sure all the properties we maintain are looking sparkling and fresh ready for Christmas. The Glenwood Masonic Hospital grounds had their turn last week. Fresh bark mulch (it makes SUCH  a difference to smarten any garden up - I get mine from Wairarapa Bark and Landscape Supplies, here in Masterton - great company to deal with). PLus a general trim, tidy and dead heading in all the gardens.
Marlborough Rock Daisy - Pachystegia insignis

Pachystegia, dietes, flax, hebe and rengarenga lilies at the front entrance
But the highlight for me was the amount of comments I got regarding these stunning Marlborough Rock Daisies at the main entrance doors. Pachystegia insignis. They are putting on a spectacular show at the moment, even though they are in the most harshly hot and dry environment of them all. Excellent drainage is essential, as is lots of sun. I can't believe how they are thriving. The best thing about them is that they will flower for months over summer.  Love plants like that. I actually put them in there for their grey fluffy foliage - so the flowers are a bonus. Aren't they gorgeous???  In wetter regions, plant them in pots to put in the full sun and do not overwater - seriously - hardly water them at all and they will love you for it!!
Inside Courtyard 1

Courtyard 1
Elsewhere, inside the internal courtyard gardens, the gardens are looking lush, colourful and healthy. The newly replaced lawns in each of the four courtyards has really made them all look so inviting. I am thrilled with how all the gardens are looking now, as they have filled out and the structural planting is enhanced by the perennials. Have loved being an ongoing part of this development. Has been really rewarding. Most importantly, I think the very special residents of this Elderly Care Facility appreciate the gardens, too. At the end of the day - that is all that matters, as that is who the gardens are there for in the first place.