Tikorangi Notes: Friday 18 November, 2011

The fragrant nuttallii rhododendrons are late season bloomers here

The fragrant nuttallii rhododendrons are late season bloomers here

Latest Posts: Friday 18 November, 2011
1) Plant Collector – the showy Geranium madarense

2) Yet another NZ book best left on the booksellers’s shelves. I call it candyfloss gardening.

3) What’s in a name? Quite a bit, sometimes. Abbie’s column.

4) Grow Your Own – carrots this week

5) In the garden this fortnight

6) Future success predicted for Fairy Magnolia Blush – in Australia.

7) On the case with Grandma’s violets – a step by step guide on digging and dividing congested groundcover.

The area we refer to as "the park"

The area we refer to as "the park"

The two most admired areas of our garden are the rimu cathedral walk (“under the rimus” as we call it) and the informal park area in spring time. The park is somewhere over 4 acres in size with the upper waters of the Waiau Stream meandering through. We have deliberately kept the area quite open and informal, featuring specimen trees and an abundance of seasonal colour from magnolias, then prunus, rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowering shrubs. It is that very informality that seems to appeal to garden visitors. Only the very observant pick the detail which underpins such a casual appearance. Bulb meadows don’t just happen of their own accord, at least not in our climate. Nor do clear flowing streams stay that way without some intervention – our torrential rains see flood waters full of suspended silt on a regular basis. But it all seems worthwhile every spring when the park is in bloom and with our unseasonably cool season this year, that flowering has extended by weeks. The nuttallii rhododendrons are in full bloom now, as are the later season maddeniis.

Our garden remains open. If we are not around, we leave an honesty box out. However, plant sales have well and truly finished and we have taken to the end of retail like ducks to water. We would much rather be gardening.

I was, however, disconcerted by the garden visitors earlier this week – an older couple who came out of the garden, making the usual positive comments of how lovely it all was, when he came out with an extraordinary statement: “It must all be such a heavy burden for you.”

I think it said more about him than us!