The marshmallow hues of midwinter flowers

Following on from my post last week on the rainbow colours of midwinter,  I did indeed buy a packet of marshmallows. To focus my thoughts on the pretty pale pinks and whites, you understand.

Flowers listed in the footnote below

A bleak day on Thursday had me out picking flowers in marshmallow hues. I was going to aim for a comprehensive representation of all candidates but decided part way through that this was unnecessary. Suffice to say, there was plenty to choose from and that right on mid-winter.

The centrepiece, I decided should be three of Mark’s cultivars. Fairy Magnolia White is well into bloom and a delight to us. We are proud of this one. Daphne Perfume Princess is in its full glory and the scent as we walk along our driveway is a pleasure. Camellia Fairy Blush never fails to please us, even after many years. It was one of the earliest plants Mark selected, named and released, if not the very first.

Fairy Magnolia White

Daphne Perfume Princess

Camellia Fairy Blush

I separated the named camellias from the seedlings. We use many unnamed seedlings in the garden because we raise most of our own plant material here and always have done. It is how we can afford to garden on the scale we do.

The named ones from left to right are C. gauchowensis, C. transnokoensis, Fairy Blush, Silver Dollar, Tiny Star, C. yuhsienensis Sweet Jane, Superstar and Showgirl.

The bloom shown face down is from Silver Dollar – one of the best, compact white sasanquas we know. Sometimes, both Mark and I get assailed by memories of our years retailing plants from here. Anybody who knows camellias will also know that many of the excellent white camellias open from a pink bud. Back in the days when ‘ladies who lunch’ (better known these days as ‘Karens’) were all madly planting their clichéd white gardens, I met more than I care to remember who wanted white camellias. Pretty much any white camellia would do but woe betide a pink bud. In vain would I assure them that the display was totally white, there was not to be a hint of pink in their pristine white garden.

We do not miss retail. In hindsight, I am somewhat surprised at the courtesy and politeness we maintained in the face of severe provocation.

Magnolia campbellii

Thinking marshmallow hues, I photographed the Magnolia campbellii by St John the Baptist Anglican Church in Waitara. Is there anything more pink and white than this sight? Our plant here has yet to open its first bloom for the season.

That starter pack of marshmallows is going rather a long way. Mark and I are still eating our way through them a week later, even though they are sitting in glass jar on the bench tempting us each time we pass. I can report that marshmallows last longer than chocolate in this house.

Footnote: The plant list in paler pinks and whites shown above includes the following: luculia pink and white, Primula obconica, polyanthus, gordonia, Crassula ovata, daphnes, montanoa, ox-eye daisy, Cyclamen hederafolium, galanthus (snowdrop), leucojum (snowflake), rose, nicotiana, vireya rhododendrons, azaleas, hellebores, begonia, Japanese anemone, michelia and camellias.

13 thoughts on “The marshmallow hues of midwinter flowers

  1. Eileen O'Sullivan

    How gorgeously artistic your floral compositions are Abbie. I always walk quickly through the floral displays at the garden shows often feeling like I’m missing whatever attracts others to these. And I love flowers! But I realise now I was looking for the art. Eye of the beholder I guess..

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Thank you! I try for a balance between picked blooms on a plain background and photos of them in a garden situation. I struggle to have any interest in floral art but these picked blooms of mine are just fleeting arrangements that I enjoy making.

  2. Tim Dutton

    I had to laugh when I opened the post and saw the marshmallow photo! I also now feel the need to go and buy a packet.
    What a lot you have in flower. Many of those shown we don’t grow, but do have some marshmallow toned pelargoniums and argyranthemums still in flower in sheltered spots or under cover, plus Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ plus a few azaleas.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      The power of suggestion! Should I be doing some themed posts? Pineapple lumps this week with artful yellow blooms and interesting barks, maybe?

  3. robynkiltygardensnz

    You have nearly converted me from orange and cerise to pastels – so pretty and delicate – shy and feminine. And in winter!! Here in Sth Island, it’s all browns with some dull green. Not a sign of a pastel. We will have to wait till be spring

  4. tonytomeo

    Maybe the marshmallows are the hues of the flowers. Flowers are better with those pale pinks anyway.
    Are marshmallows generally white and pink? Mexican marshmallows are, which seems odd to me. The pink ones have a slight strawberry flavor.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      This is a nation dedicated to marshmallows, whether they be inside chocolate coated fish or Easter eggs, in logs, twists or as shown. And as a member of a team of five million that has some allegiance to marshmallow, I can attest that the only acceptable colours are white, pink or occasionally a pastel green. Brighter pink inside a chocolate fish, paler pink when unadorned. Maybe yellow inside an Easter egg as the central yolk but never yellow anywhere else. New Zealand will brook no argument on this matter.

      1. Abbie Jury Post author

        Chocolate fish are a tradition here. Merely shaped like a fish. Actually marshmallow coated in chocolate. Often served as an extra when one buys coffee. A marshmallow log is just a somewhat flaccid longer length of marshmallow. No cake involved.

      2. tonytomeo

        Marshmallow with chocolate sounds much better than trout with chocolate. I know it all must be good. Otherwise, it would not be so popular.

  5. Pingback: The summer gardens in midwinter, Boris Johnson and pineapple lumps. | Tikorangi The Jury Garden

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