Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sue Lund's Incredible Murals on Multi-storied Buildings!!

Sue Lund has spent years and years painting the multi-storied buildings at The Learning Connexion in Taita, Wellington. I saw them when she was half way through the first one, many years ago. I went back recently to look, and was completely blown away by what I saw. Every single building on the polytech campus has been painted by Sue. Not just 'painted' in the normal sense of the word, but PAINTED - as if they were one of Sue's canvas's (or more like her mannequins she is well known for)!! Anyway - have a look for yourself. As far as I could make out there is no barrier to going and having a look, when the campus is open. Should be on the tourist circuit anyway. Amazing.

You can see more of Sue's art, or contact her, on her webpage - 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spring Colours In My Home Gardens

The fresh colours of spring are so welcome after a dreary old winter. My favourite visual impact would have to be the lime green spring growth on all the buxus (box) hedges. After the solid dark green of winter, the new growth is so refreshing, and it really sets off the reds in my front gardens. Red this month (Sept/Oct)has come from Tulips, Alstromeria, and now the Sparaxias. Daylilies are about to open, and lilies are building up height as we speak! I took all these photos last weekend.

Red Sparaxias spilling over the path to the front door. 
Red Sparaxias with purple Heuchera, Lime green Euphorbia and buxus on the right.  
That's the front garden. Elsewhere the blues and whites of bluebells and poor man's orchid (a type of iris) are great under the trees, and popping up in more wild areas of the garden.

Spanish Bluebells are much larger than the English, and very strong. They come back year
after year with not a thing being done to assist them. And they make babies. 
This time of year, the garden changes from week to week. I know I ramble on and on about this - but the joy of having four completely different seasons really is enhanced by having a few bulbs and perennials to herald those changes. I get so much pleasure from wandering around the garden each week and seeing what new things have emerged. None more so than the Orange and Purple Garden!! Each DAY the plants are bulging with buds, and putting height on. Love it, love it, love it.
The 2 year old Buxus balls are finally starting to show up individually, seen here amongst a backdrop of various irises.
Orange poppy. Fell for these after spotting them in Masterton's traffic island
displays this winter. They have been spectacular at the northern roundabout. 
Fothergilla as one of the background shrubs. I.LOVE.THIS.PLANT.
Bearded Iris bulging up ready to open in a couple of weeks. Yay. 
New for me - Omphaloides - evergreen plant, with bright blue flowers for months and months, and nice big leaves.
100% better than pain-in-the-butt forget-me-not that has to be pulled out, and gets so untidy. 

And the regular update photo seen across the sandpit, from our deck. Still not much colour other than layers of green, with pops of orange from tulips, poppies and my ever faithful Geum. Good old Tonka truck still going strong at age 14!!
So there you go - spring update. Good to get the photos taken before the hedges need trimming, and the lawns mown!!! I won't be doing much work in these gardens until I cut back in autumn, apart from a bit of dead heading, trimming hedges, and maybe putting on some more bark chip. Way less maintenance than you might think. Feel free to ask any questions, in the comments section below. 


This time of year tulips seem to be the most prominent of the seasonal 'highlight' plants. I adore watching the stages, from emergence right through to final petal fall, after months of entertainment!! The dying foliage is not so great - so make sure you combine it with herbaceous perennials that emerge from slumber just as the tulips fade, so they help hide the tulip foliage..

The green buds of this Rococo border on ugly,
but fascinating all the same!!

Then finally the big colour-up. 

This is a lot darker in real life. Amazing depth of colour - darkest burgundy
Nothing beats bright red tulips amongst the spring greenery. They are a real accent point.

Seen here in combination with Heuchera Palace Purple.
And if you can bear picking them, they last AGES in a vase.
The stalks contort to all sorts of shapes!