Tikorangi Notes: Friday 23 December, 2011

Red dahlias for Christmas (but not for Plant Collector profiling)

Red dahlias for Christmas (but not for Plant Collector profiling)

Latest posts:
1) Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree (Abbie’s column) and why it may be a misnomer to brand the iconic pohutukawa as the New Zealand Christmas tree.
2) While the reasons why philadelphus is often referred to as mock orange blossom may elude me, the pure, fragrant beauty of the flowers at Christmas is above reproach.
3) Was there even life before basil?

The dainty Hydrangea quercifolia "Snowflake"

The dainty Hydrangea quercifolia "Snowflake"

Tikorangi Notes: Friday December 23, 2011
Just two days before Christmas and the sun is shining brightly, temperatures are rising and there is no wind. After the torrential downpours of last week, it feels like a little Christmas blessing. In the garden we are busy with a grooming round. Well, two of us are. Mark is determinedly following his own path of draining the settling pond which stops our stream in the park from silting up and doing a weeding round. He takes the lion’s share of responsibility for weeding here. Lloyd and I are titivating in preparation for a wedding to be held here on New Year’s Eve.

Other gardens focus on the wedding venue market but not us. Mark prefers people to come because they want to see the garden rather than to see the place used as a venue. I did a handful of weddings a few years ago – singlehandedly because Mark resolutely stuck to his principles and made himself scarce. But then I met… Bridezilla. That was my last ever booking. If I had known how demanding she would be, I would have trebled the price I quoted and even then I do not think that would have compensated for treating me like the hired help in my own garden.

But, we have a wedding coming and we agreed to this one because it is our daughter’s best friend. And it is proving to be a Major Event. Pride says we have to have the top gardens in immaculate condition, even though we know that guests are here for the event and few will do anything more than cast their eyes around and say, “Oh, very nice…”. Given that the colour scheme for the wedding is the wonderfully retro orange and brown, it is perhaps just as well that the dominant garden colour at this time is lush green. We are in the gentle hiatus between late spring flowers and summer lilies, though the hydrangeas are coming into their own.

The garden remains open for visiting each day. There is an honesty box if we are not around. Best wishes for Christmas to all who read this page.

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