Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January in the Orange and Purple Garden

Okay - so I said I'd show you the changes month by month to this garden - but I missed December. I'm sure you will cope. January has progressed from the yellows and blues to the dominance of orange, with blues and purples. Below is yesterday's snapshot of most of the flowering plants. So, these are all thriving under neglect, in the hot and dry summer. There are lots of things I will fine tune over autumn (moving some plants further back, dividing and adding more of some etc). This is a learning curve for me, too, you know!

Echinacea White Swan - I will add lots more of this. The creamy petals and size of the
flower are important to break up the mass of smaller flowers, and colour clashes!

Leonotis leonorus - great in behind

Penstemon - a really valuable addition to any perennial garden, for longevity
of flower season, and height. 

Unnamed dahlia, with some of the blues and purples behnid

Geranium Johnson's Blue - love this, but too bossy for front of house. Will move these
back next year.  


Hellenium - adore this, and loves the heat. Due for a chop back, to prolong the season.

Verbena bonariense - featured many many times on this blog - one of my all-time faves. 

Convoluvulus mauritanicus - fantastic groundcover. The best at laying low
and mingling without dominating. 

Geum something or other! Love it. 

Salvia gigantea maybe? This is so tall, and fabulous flowers just about to start. Want more.

Feels like I need more cream in here. 

Echinacea ..... - arghh - forgotten name - but this is GORGEOUS. Want more. 

Dahlias again. They add a real punch of size and colour into late autumn. 

Watch out, Dame Edna Everidge is in the house! Gladioli are great in amongst other plants. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Abel Tasman Coastal Walk

Wow the school holidays have gone fast! Will be sad to see the dear wee cherubs back in school uniform, and back into the daily routine ....... I can hardly complain, though, as I have had the most fabulous summer break, with lots of time with family and friends, and just getting 'stuff' done around home.

BUT - the best part of summer for me has been our tramp along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track in Nelson, NZ. Wow. Stunning part of the country - and even more stunning when seen from the water as well as the tracks. Every single part of this walk exceeded my expectations - from the FLUSH TOILETS at the huts, to the cleanliness on the tracks, and especially the turquoise water and golden sand beaches. There was what looked like actual gold glitter floating in the water, and in amongst the sand on the shore. Stunning.
Anchorage Bay - the busiest beach and bay by far, but still absolutely beautiful
The start of our four day walk - Totaranui. Turquoise water, golden sand. 
Sam and George en route to Awaroa Bay. Parts of the tracks take you along the sandy beaches, but mostly you are in the forest. The boys all swam here and caught the first fresh mussells of the trip, which we boiled up that evening. Yum.
There is a baby flounder hiding under the grains of golden sand - can you see
him?? He was gone from sight in the blink of an eye. Great disguise!
The last of our group crossing the estuary to Bark Bay Hut. All this water went away at low tide, for the afternoon, which made the perfect cricket oval. This is the view from the hut. My favourite bay. 

Cricket into the evening, at Bark Bay Hut. I adore how the hut is discreetly
tucked behind the trees, with the estuary out in front. 

One of the many bays we passed through on the walk. Some of our boys can
be seen snorkelling for mussells in the bottom of the picture. 
The forest is right down to the shore, right along the coast. Here at Bark Bay
the enormous rocks were stunning, with the water lapping up against them. 

Early morning view of Anchorage Bay, from our hut. Million dollar views. 
We travelled with two other families, and each day got to the DOC huts by lunch time. Basically it felt like a beach holiday with your best friends, with a bit of walking each morning. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Thoroughly recommend this trip.

We caught water taxi from Marahau to Totaranui, then walked to the Awaroa Hut. Next day to Bark Bay Hut (my favourite). Then the last night to Anchorage, with a quick pop over to Te Puketea Bay for a couple of hours. Te Puketea is incredibly beautiful and intimate after the busy beach at Anchorage. Walked out to Marahau (and our cars) for the last day's walk. The rest of our trip can wait for another time......