Rhodo vireya “Simbu Sunset”

Vireya “Simbu Sunset”

It may be “Tropic Glow”- they are very similar, being siblings. A very strong growing variety and repeat flowering it is a vibrant colour. This large plant was lifted from my old garden where there were plenty of others. I cut it back hard and set it down on top of the soil under a totara tree until I had a home for it here in the courtyard. It has taken a year but its first flowering is spectacular and it is growing away strongly.

Maple Glen

We have just been in the South Island on holiday. I managed to get to Maple Glen, an amazing garden between Invercargill and Gore. I had previously visited in autumn and summer so it was exciting to see it in late spring.

Maple Glen

The mollis azaleas were at their peak and spectacular. The maples were wonderful too. Always in this garden the collection of conifers provides structure, texture and colour throughout. There are some very superior specimens.

Maple Glen

Water is a dominant feature with flowing streams, ponds and the larger lakes which have been added in recent years. They were showing off their  wildlife of geese and swans with their young.

Maple Glen

The bluebells and daffodils were over and the wisteria climbing a huge poplar was on its last legs. You can never see everything in one visit in such a large, diverse garden as this. If you ever get the chance visit this garden go.

Maple Glen

Their website is worth visiting to get the background of this fascinating garden and the nursery catalogue. They deliver throughout NZ – mainly perennials.  

Maple Glen

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.