Tikorangi Notes: Sunday 12 June, 2011

Latest posts:

1) Introducing Roma Red, our first new camellia release for a decade.

2) Tikorangi Garden Diary – what we have been up to in the last week (including a few hints on timing for pruning of rhododendrons and camellias and why you should never try mulching your hydrangea prunings).

The first blooms on Magnolia campbellii - a new season starts

The first blooms on Magnolia campbellii - a new season starts

A little battered by the rains, but the first of the michelias has opened

A little battered by the rains, but the first of the michelias has opened

Tikorangi Notes: Sunday 12 June, 2011
We measure our years by the start of magnolia flowering heralding a new season. This week, just the second week of June and winter chill yet to bite, Magnolia campbellii has opened its first two flowers. The leaves are still falling but the promise of a new season is already upon us. So too with the earliest michelia – the first of the fragrant maudiae hybrid series has quite a few blooms open already. The heavy rains of the past week have not been great for the flowers but we know they will just go from strength to strength over the next months.

The rains hit (again) this week – already over 120mm since last weekend. As our rain falls in torrents over a short space of time rather than in prolonged showers, that adds up to some very heavy downpours. It is all right outside – we are well used to rain and have free draining soils. But Mark has to patrol the roof and ceiling when the rains get too heavy. We once went to a slide lecture by the current owner of Villandry in France. The style of gardening bears no resemblance at all to what we do here but we were particularly amused by the charming Frenchman who is the current owner saying that whenever it rains heavily, he has to frequent the attics in search of leaks. Admittedly, he has a chateau on a grand scale whereas we merely have a house with ageing concrete tiles but there is some remote bonding in a shared task.

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