Tikorangi Notes: Friday 28 January, 2010

LATEST POSTS: Friday 28 January

1) Agapanthus – love them or hate them, they are stars of our summer roadsides. Abbie’s column.

2) An exceptionally fierce summer storm last Sunday took out many flowers in the garden but the disa orchids came through unscathed. Plant Collector.

3) Garden tasks for the week from dealing with potato blight to why you may want to think twice before planning to become self sufficient in pine nuts.

Agapanthus blue and white, and montbretia on our roadside

Agapanthus blue and white, and montbretia on our roadside

TIKORANGI NOTES:
Agapanthus or Nile lilies are considerably more highly prized overseas than in New Zealand. Here we tend to see them as indestructible, utility roadside plants or fillers but come summertime, these large clumps of strappy foliage are adorned with a mass of blue or white blooms. They become a real feature of our countryside. But such is the antipathy to these plants, that they are frequently looked down on as garden plants. I think the only one we have in a garden situation (as opposed to our road verges bounding the property) is little variegated Tinkerbell.

Variegated agapanthus - doubly damned in NZ

Variegated agapanthus - doubly damned in NZ

I will have to find a spot for the yellow variegated form shown here, but am not sure yet where it will fit. We have never done anything with this seedling of ours. There is no point in building it up for sale in this country – it is damned on account of being an agapanthus, doubly damned because it is variegated in a country where we do not favour variegated foliage much at all, though it is a good plant with stable colour. The crocosmia (commonly referred to as montbretia) is similarly a borderline weed but it lights up the roadside outside with the agapanthus.

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