Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Forget Me Not

Yesterday I went for a stroll in the West Lynn Gardens. I was in the area and thought, I would like to see it again. I put in $3 donation at the gate, and wandered on through.
What impressed me was this kind of garden was one in which you are immersed in it. Paths lead off to various places, it's all naturalised, there's no straight or hard edges. There didn't seem to be any of the traditional kind of focal points or demarcated areas, every turn you took it was to admire some camellia or native fern, the garden was quiet, there were no borders brimming with flowers like at the Parnell Rose Gardens. Although there is a hibiscus hedge type area. Plants are grouped in clumps, and I see spider plants and many bromeliads enjoying the shade.

There is only one bit of sunny lawn, the rest is used as pathways. The butterfly house was open but I only saw one lone Monarch feasting on a rosemary bush. The plants I liked best was seeing the Chinese lanterns growing very tall through the bushes, so that the lanterns were arching overhead. I thought, what a wonderful effect, why do the gardening books say to prune it hard to keep it bushy?? It's meant to be 'leggy'!

I think I would like more ferns for my garden, the hen and chickens grow very big there, loving the shade. Also I saw a row of impatiens growing beside a brick wall corridor and thought that's so pretty, I would like to do that. Impatiens, or busy lizzies, do really well beside the house and I do like the hot pink ones the best, although brick red would complement our house the best.

Anyway  I had a nice stroll looking at all the plants, saw sparrows enjoying the birdbath (I think they ignore mine) and thought what an amazing garden all planted and cared for by volunteers. And butterflies.

I then went on my with my shopping. I was on the look out for the chatham Island forget me not. I had picked up a book at the library called 'Border Flowers' a green fingers guide. It was a UK publication but I noticed it recommended a very NZ flower! Why is this not in my garden? Had I forgotten? The more natives the I had a look in Kings...they had three left, growing quite giant in their pots for $20. I was not going to pay that. Mitre 10 and sure enough they had smaller ones for $10. I bought one and a sack of compost, and two French Lavenders as I don't have one anymore, to put in my sunny border. The book recommended only plant flowers that make you happy, and these make me very happy.

So chatham Island forget me not is now living in the shady side of the house in the gravel bed. I hope it will spread as ..the leaves are wonderfully glossy ground covers and I can't wait to see the cute little blue flowers come spring.

Next item on my whitelist is a blackcurrant plant. Since my blackberry succumbed to rust, I thought...well, I don't even like blackberries that much anyway, but I used to be addicted to Ribena when I was younger..wouldn't it be better to have fresh blackcurrants than have to buy Ribena? Also those berries are very good for you. I'm going to plant it by the fence on the southern side of my garden near the chicken's house. It is said to like the cooler, moist areas. Also, bonus, no thorns.