Good performers in the May garden .. for you !!

 

Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea – Chartreuse Chinese Hat

Garden Lovers, did you know there’s another interesting near evergreen shrub to brighten the late garden that’s flowering now.. ? For an intriguing fresh chartreuse splash in the May garden, Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea or Gold Chinese Hat from the lower Himalaya & Myanmar is for you ! I’ve used it here in the ‘Sea-Changer’ garden in the Sun Trap plot that receives northern sun all year but it would also tolerate half day sun as a an upright to lax, 2m shrub with a cut after flowers to bring new canes for the following season. 

Gold Chinese Hat combines well with yellow variegated flashed bromeliad (alcantarea)

Just nearby and for combined ‘pop’ at the same time of year, you could use Barlaria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’   as a really useful sub-shrub to around 1.5m with a cloud of pretty, striped, mini trumpets. 

Barleria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’

Soooooo pretty, just as the worst of the heat has passed and we look into the garden for some fresh seasonal change.     

       

‘Planty Fierce ’18’ …. was a fun day

‘Sea-Changer’ mirror deck with Bruce Buddha

‘Planty Fierce ’18’ at the end of last month was a sparkling Autumn day, refreshed by an early shower and internet was high from all visitors, especially this young one having a closer look at the mirror Buddha on the long deck looking down to ‘Sea-Changer’s’ Shade Hut.

Talking to Ross & Chris Bolwell from ‘Bloom’n Greenery’ nursery

Nothing extinguishes interest and plenty of people arrived into brilliant sunshine in the Sun Trap plot where I spoke to many on questions around how to make their home gardens even better !

The unirrigated “L” shaped, west facing, wrap around garden surrounding ‘Sea-Changer’

The 2pm ‘Walk & Talk’ brought forward many interesting questions, like how to make a ‘green-fence’ alternative to fence palings using Solandra longiflora over black pvc coated mesh. Thanks to all PF ’18 Helpers and Peter & Ruth Donnelly’s fabulous Coachwood sales tables loaded with new and interesting ‘must haves..’.  

The Pig Garden

Restio festuciformis
Restio festuciformis

“Sea-Changer” Stage 2 – High Summer/Low Winter garden …

Moving onto a more challenging part of the new home garden this winter here at Forresters Beach, I’ll need to pay attention to a south, south western aspect where garden space receives harsh afternoon summer heat, contrasted with  shade at both ends of the day and only brief winter sun around midday for the June /July period. Add to this ocassional inundation (as have just endured during recent violent storms) over a sandy soil that usually takes a few days to recede and  this patch outside my new home office could be presenting a potential nightmare ….so I would call this The Pig Garden if it weren’t for a few good plants that won’t scorch or rot !!

A shorter Cape Reed Restio festuciformis seen here earlier this month in Auckland Botanic is  from Sth Africa’s Western Cape to around 40cm. It’s stolen my heart and will probably require replanting after the fourth year or so, sans its regenerating bush fires that burn the mother to make new growing space possible from seed stored in top soil. I’m willing to face this minor inconvenience, traded agianst a rusty shock of late winter awns that catch the eye like constantly moving flaxen hair in the slightest wind, (I’ve got it bad).

Might only be able to try with seed though, could be a deal breaker and most references say require year round sun … hmmm 

Watch this space.