The Bank

This narrow area on top of the stone wall is progressing well. The shelter and warmth of this site has allowed considerable growth over the winter.

The Bank

Boccania frutescens or Tree Poppy is quite rampant and has almost hidden the pretty blue of the prostrate Ceanothus “Blue Carpet”.

Ceanothus and Boccania

Heliotrope “Cherry Pie” has flourished, flowering almost immediately I planted it out, scenting all around.

Heliotrope

Lawn at Last

Our lawn has a good cover at last. It doesn’t pay to look at it too closely – there is a lot of weed. There are still piles of topsoil, mulch, stones and timber posts dotted around – all work in progress. That small dot in the distance is Roger on the ride-on Walker mower. He takes about 3 hours to mow it all.

Lawn October 2019
Lawn October 2019
Lawn October 2019

The pond is still leaking and will have to be lined – a job for the summer.

First Strawberry

I covered the strawberries with netting just in time as the first fruit reddened. It smelled delicious but the taste was disappointing—we haven’t had enough heat yet.

Strawberries

I’ve tried using coconut matting as a mulch this year. It should keep the berries clean – I’m not sure how much moisture it will let through.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

My pride and joy! The rhubarb has been hugely successful. Not an elegant garden, using surplus piles from the house site jammed up against the tanks and filled with top soil from the house site topped with a thick coating of compost from the Fonterra factory at Kauri and liberally dressed with a balanced fertiliser and blood and bone. The plants came from three sources (friends) and seem much the same. I have picked it at least 6 times in less than a year.

Whangarei Quarry Gardens

While my new gardens seemed to be going backwards in cold, windy September it was refreshing to visit the Quarry gardens where there is so much colour and interest.

Cymbidium Orchids

These cymbidium orchids came from our commercial cut flower business originally and are very happy here in bright shade.

Cymbidium Orchids

I like the way they have been set amongst rocks which enhance their beauty and protect them from the traffic.

Cymbidium Orchids

This spectacular Cycad is Macrozamia communis

Cycad Macrozamia communis

This Strelitzia reginae is typical of the sub-tropical nature of the plantings in this garden.

Strelitzia reginae

There are several dramatic Figus dameropsis plants in the garden. They were originally introduced to New Zealand from Papua New Guinea by local nurseryman Os Blumhardt.

Figus dameropsis
Figus dameropsis

Cold Winds

Kentia Palm

It is unfair to show you just the good things in the garden. September has been cold and very windy. We are getting much more wind from the west and south west than we had anticipated. It has given all the tender young plants a hard time this spring. These two Kentia palms have had a very hard time – the fronds have been completely shredded and I thought they would probably die. But closer inspection shows they both have new fronds emerging so I think these tough palms will survive. I have thickened up the plantings to the west with some tough plants—over planted I am sure but I guess we can cut some out later if it gets too crowded.

Kentia Palm