Tag Archives: red magnolias

Tikorangi Diary: Thursday August 18

The lovely blue Lachenalia glaucina

The lovely blue Lachenalia glaucina

The coldest spell of winter weather we can remember still continues. While Mark was entranced by the unbelievable event of snow falling here on Monday, there is no doubt that the unusual experience of a major hailstorm followed by an exceptionally heavy frost, culminating in snow and a second frost this week has knocked the early magnolia display. Magnolia Lanarth has been particularly badly hit and we may just have to look back to previous years to remind ourselves of how fantastic it usually is. (Check out the Magnolia Diary I kept two years ago). Usually we are peaking with the first flush of magnolias in bloom around now and we have an unsurpassed display of red flowered types at this time. Not yet. Many of the new cultivars set flower buds down the stem so will open fresh blooms but it appears that we will be particularly grateful for the second peak we get in early September with the mid season varieties, including the magnificent Iolanthe.

With the threat of frost, I have upon a couple of occasions rushed out with sheets of newspaper to cover the planting of Lachenalia glaucina that we have in the open. Sheets of newspaper work because if they blow off in the night, it means we have sufficient wind to disperse the frost. We grow a wide range of lachenalia in the garden to give us flowers over many months and only a few are vulnerable to cold temperatures in our conditions – glaucina is one. It is a lovely thing and for the first time in years, we have pots of it for sale ($10). They are only just starting to put up their flower spikes so I had to resort to a photo from previous years. Lachenalias come in blues, lilac, pink, red, yellow, orange, green, white and various colour mixes – we have available for purchase the red bulbifera, white contaminata, blue glaucina, yellow reflexa hybrid and an odd, predominantly green form of aloides.

We are open for plant sales every Friday and Saturday (other days by appointment) and we have Eftpos here but we only sell to personal customers. Sorry, no mailorder. If you want to check what else we have available, check our Plant Sales

Winter? Who says it is still winter? Tikorangi Notes: August 4, 2011

The first flowers opening on Magnolia Felix Jury this morning

The first flowers opening on Magnolia Felix Jury this morning

After a bitter cold couple of days last week and a frost which has done a relatively alarming amount of damage, this week it seems as if spring has arrived with the start of August. The sky is blue, there is enough warmth in the sun to see our Lloyd make his appearance in shorts (neither Mark nor I are that hardy) and the magnolias are opening.

We advertise that the garden is open from the start of August, but if you want to see the magnolias at their best, keep watching here (or follow us on facebook.com/thejurygarden). We are picking that the first flush of magnolias will peak in about a fortnight. We usually get two peak flowerings here – the early ones which are heavily dominated by the best reds and then a few weeks later, the mid season varieties in early September. Vulcan is currently flowering, Black Tulip is just opening and we have the first few flowers on Felix Jury which just keeps on getting better every year.

In plant sales this week, we look at Black Tulip and at camellia hedging options. We were both amused and quietly chuffed to learn from a garden article in The Telegraph that Mark’s Magnolia Black Tulip had been presented to the Queen last year. Henceforth, we shall refer to it as a magnolia fit for a queen. It was quite a gratifying Telegraph article really, with high praise for Mark’s new Fairy Magnolia Blush which is just becoming available in the UK.

Late winter equals magnolias here

Magnolia Black Tulip is opening its flowers here now

Magnolia Black Tulip is opening its flowers here now

We were greatly amused to discover that Mark’s Magnolia Black Tulip was presented to the Queen last year. Yes, as in Queen Elizabeth of England. Apparently she likes magnolias. Sadly, we were not invited to the ceremony. It is coming into flower here now and you too can buy a magnolia fit for a queen. What is more, you get to meet Mark or me in person at the same time. Our trees on a sunny slope are coming into flower now, though it is still early in the magnolia season for us and peak display won’t be for another fortnight or so. Many of magnolia plants have flower buds so you can get the benefit of flowers immediately – the days when you had to wait a decade are long gone. Black Tulip is a splendid option for a feature tree to be viewed close up, so is ideal for smaller gardens. Because the flowers are so dark, it can meld in the bigger landscape where some of the larger, bolder flowered types will have more impact, but its perfect form certainly seems to appeal to people when they view it close up.

Camellia Apple Blossom Sun - one of the field grown hedging options we have available here at the moment

Camellia Apple Blossom Sun - one of the field grown hedging options we have available here at the moment

If you are after hedging, we have various options in camellias from small plants for small, low hedges to small plants for people with small budgets and patience, to instant hedges for those with larger budgets (they will still be cheaper than building a fence!). We have crops in the field (in other words we will dig to order) which are around five to six years old and ready for instant impact. Options include Mimosa Jury, Dreamboat, Apple Blossom Sun, Moon Moth, Roma Red and transnokoensis. These field grown plants are not listed under plant sales on the website – you will need to talk to us about them.

We are open for plant sales every Friday and Saturday (other days by appointment) and we have Eftpos here but we only sell to personal customers. Sorry, no mailorder. If you want to check what else we have available, check our Plant Sales

Tikorangi Notes: Thursday July 29, 2011

New Zealand Woman's Weekly on magnolias - Burgundy Star, Black Tulip and Fairy Magnolia Blush in the photos

New Zealand Woman's Weekly on magnolias - Burgundy Star, Black Tulip and Fairy Magnolia Blush in the photos

I think I have only bought the NZ Woman’s Weekly twice in my life – both times because I knew gardening stories of interest to us were included. It bills itself as “NZ’s No.1 Royal Mag” and I just think I am not amongst their target demographic. But it is very popular so the colourful double page spread on magnolias this week, written by Denise Cleverley, was gratifying to see, given that it focuses quite heavily on our Jury magnolias.

Schefflera septulosa - distinctly worse for the frost

Schefflera septulosa - distinctly worse for the frost

An abnormally heavy frost this week has left us ruefully contemplating the damage. In colder climates, plants are better acclimatised to lower temperatures but here it tends to be so mild that they are not hardened off and extreme events can cause a lot of damage. How much is damage which the plants will outgrow and how much is loss by death will become clearer soon. It is not so bad in the garden where there is a lot of protection afforded by the trees but under the shade cloth in the nursery and out in the open, it is a bit of a sorry sight. Schefflera septulosa does not normally sport the brown velvet look. I think Mark ranks it as the second worst frost he has ever seen here – a ground frost of around -5.5 degrees.

Mark has been experimenting in his glasshouse with passive heating. He hopes to apply this on a larger scale in the near future (I think this means a much larger glasshouse in a new location) partly because he is determined to grow more tropical fruit including his beloved pineapples. He has moved in some largish containers of water and has built a compost heap from dung and straw in the glasshouse. Fortunately it no longer smells and it does appear it is working to raise the temperature and to prevent it losing all the heat overnight. I am just looking forward optimistically to future harvests.

The white sapote - now a winter fruit staple here

The white sapote - now a winter fruit staple here

However, we don’t need a glasshouse for the white sapote or casimiroa edulis which we can grow in a protected position outdoors and which rewards us with a very good crop of ripe fruit in mid winter. They have the texture of a ripe rock melon and taste a little like vanilla custard – delicious.

The weekly blurb on plant sales highlights Hippeastrum aulicum this week (I felt the need of something bright and cheerful on the coldest day of the year) and one of my most favourite camellias – dainty little C. minutiflora.

And on a very cheerful note, yesterday I was offered a new garden writing contract. Not with our local paper, the Taranaki Daily News, which is determined to press on without me but that is fine because the new contract offers a much better platform. Until it is signed and sealed, I won’t say with whom but it feels good to be back in the mode of thinking about regular contributions and deadlines. It will be three pieces a week which will then appear as a regular feature on our website.

Tikorangi Notes: July 18, 2010

Magnolia Black Tulip is just starting to open

Magnolia Black Tulip is just starting to open

Latest posts:

1) Clean and green in New Zealand? Not as much as we claim and, alas, not at all if you look at the common treatment of our rural road verges.

2) Digging and dividing clivias – one in the Outdoor Classroom series of step by step guides.

3) Mid winter photos – on our new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thejurygarden I have to admit, however, that I have not been out with the camera on the rain sodden days when we threaten to wash away and there have been rather a lot of those lately. We had a massive 237ml in June alone (or about 9½ inches for those still on imperial measurements) and we won’t be far off that in the first half of this month. Our winters can be wet. But the snowdrops don’t mind and it has only been the two hailstorms that have damaged the early magnolia blooms.

4) Nothing whatever to do with gardening (but I am guessing some readers also have other interests), I have just launched a separate website devoted to book reviews of a non gardening nature: www.runningfurs.com For some years, I have reviewed books, firstly for the Taranaki Daily News but these days for the Waikato Times. I have always had a particular interest in children’s books and in New Zealand fiction. I went back to the children’s books a few years ago because I thought we might be lucky enough to receive the gift of a grandchild at some time in our lives and our book collection could do with updating. There is no sign of any grandchildren any time soon, but I keep the best books and pass on the others. These reviews, along with a few on books for adults, did not sit with the gardening websites so I have not done anything with them before. But the advent of The Naughty Corner by Colin Thompson made me want to table these reviews for others – it is quite the funniest picture book I have read in a long time.

Tikorangi Notes: June 19, 2011

Spring Festival is one of the prettiest in flower this week  though spring is still a way off here

Spring Festival is one of the prettiest in flower this week though spring is still a way off here

Tikorangi Notes: Sunday June 19, 2011

Our mild autumn continues though technically we are now well into winter. It may be wet but it is not generally cold. The ski fields inland and south seem to be getting nervous (and I am wondering whether the Christmas gift of a season lift pass to our snowboarding son was badly timed for the one season in a decade when the snows will be patchy and unpredictable) but it does mean that we are enjoying great gardening conditions. Except for last Friday which was cold (calm but cloudy and cold), daytime temperatures remain in the late teens and night temperatures are not dropping much below 10 degrees Celsius.

Lachenalia bulbifera, naturalised beneath a large pine tree

Lachenalia bulbifera, naturalised beneath a large pine tree

Magnolia Vulcan is opening its first blooms on the various plants we have around the property. Mid June is early. We usually expect peak flowering later in July. A hail storm last night damaged those early buds and blooms but there are plenty more to come which will be undamaged. The early lachenalias are open – red L. bulbifera, the yellow of Mark’s L. reflexa hybrids and the common L. aloides. The first of the snowdrops are in flower. We never get snow here but Galanthus S Arnott is wonderfully successful on our climate and there are few plants as pretty as the simple snowdrops. The sasanqua camellias are passing over and the japonicas and hybrids are taking over. Spring Festival is particularly pretty this week. With petal blight already hitting before many varieties have even opened, it is probably time to be a little more meticulous in recording which varieties show less damage and still put on a good show. Petal blight is probably here to stay. It will take breeding and selection to find a way past the ravages.

Just one new post this week – our Tikorangi Diary which records Mark’s unsuccessful efforts so far to extract olive oil with a zero carbon footprint and plans for our designated Citrus Grove.

We have been discussing our citrus trees here – somewhere around 20 different specimens which are very well established (as in some are probably around 50 years old now) and I have plans for a series of posts on growing fruit trees and the aim for self sufficiency and variety and how realistic this is in our climate.

The first blooms on Magnolia Vulcan were hit by hailstones last night

The first blooms on Magnolia Vulcan were hit by hailstones last night

Tikorangi Notes – a blue sky day in Taranaki

Magnolias Black Tulip and Felix Jury on a blue sky spring morning in Taranaki, Monday August 23, 2010

Magnolias Black Tulip and Felix Jury on a blue sky spring morning in Taranaki, Monday August 23, 2010

We tend to take our blue as blue skies for granted here, especially in mid winter or early spring as it is now. New Zealanders also tend to take red magnolias for granted, not realising that the sheer intensity of colour we can get here is unsurpassed elsewhere and that most of the breeding of red magnolias has taken place in this country – in fact much of the work was done in this very garden here – Jury Magnolias charts the journey.