1) The wonder of Magnolia Lanarth in flower.
2) Hints for tasks in the garden this week as we race headlong into spring.
3) Beware the bangalow palm – our deep reservations about the weed potential of Archontophoenix cunninghamiana (Abbie’s column).
4) Tried and True for autumn colour where space allows – tree dahlias.
5) Counting down to our annual Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival.
Magnolia time here is our absolutely favourite time of year. At this stage, the spectacular performers are M. campbellii and Magnolia Lanarth, with Vulcan just starting and some of Mark’s unnamed seedlings putting on an early show. With the dwarf narcissi also at their peak (the snowdrops are largely over), there is something particularly delightful about the big and small pictures running simultaneously. The big-leafed rhododendrons in our park are opening, the earliest michelias are flowering and our garden visitor season started this week with an early visit from a local garden club. The pressure is on to get the garden groomed up and the planting out up to date. The pressure of spring is upon us.