Tikorangi Notes: Sunday 26 June, 2011

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1) Growing citrus in the Taranaki garden – the first part of a random series drawing on our experience of growing fruit trees in the home garden here. With the abundance of tui in our garden, I did briefly ponder calling it the Tui Tikorangi Fruit Garden as a nod and a wink to the somewhat infamous publication from Penguin. Given that we also have a surprising and gratifying number of bellbirds or korimako in residence at the moment, Mark was of the opinion that I could instead draw on the common name for these songbirds – mockers. So, perhaps, The Mockers Tikorangi Fruit Garden. At least our advice is based on practical experience underpinned by some horticultural experience….

2) Meet Hedwhig the Morepork (our native owl, also called a ruru).

3) Tikorangi Diary – aka what we have been up to in the garden this week from pruning roses and wisteria to planting broad beans and peas with a bit more inbetween.

The lovely flowers of the early season michelias

The lovely flowers of the early season michelias

Tikorangi Diary: June 26, 2011

We New Zealanders have a love affair with white flowers. I was told that Rose Flower Carpet White is easily the biggest selling colour in this country but not internationally. My informant put this down to the fact that snow never settles here for long (except in alpine ski villages) and, indeed, most of the country never even sees snow. Winter white is a colour from a clothing catalogue, not the view from our windows. Which is by way of introducing two very different white flowered plants in bloom this week – the charming snowdrops (no snow, but growing here happily with cyclamen and lachenalias) and the white perfection of one of our early flowering michelias. One of the attributes of gardening in a soft climate such as ours is that we can have flowers for twelve months of the year in the garden. We tend to take it for granted until we see people gardening in much harsher climates. The corollary is that weeds and grass also keep growing all the time, but that is a small price to pay when mid-winter can still be brightened by the loveliest of blooms.

No snow, but we have plenty of snowdrops coming in to flower

No snow, but we have plenty of snowdrops coming in to flower

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