Friday, 19 June 2015

No wait, there's more!

Actually I eat my words. There ARE more plants to plant, and thankfully I had held off buying in bulk so far as yesterday went to Kings and they were having a 30% off everything sale!

So I bought some plants I'd been meaning to get - two platycodons, (balloon flower), another hen and chickens fern, another Chinese lantern, three violets to plant amidst the roses, three Iceland poppies to go in my poppy bed - those seeds are taking ages! I guess Kings want everything to go and having a stock take sale before winter sets in.

I checked out the magnolias and have yet to decide on a specimen. I would like a deciduous one. When they bud, you see just the flowers against the sky, and they look gorgeous. My 'Care-free plants' book said they make ideal street trees. Just hope another car doesn't crash into it, or it gets stolen, but..I don't know if anyone round here would be so savvy to steal a magnolia tree. I do have some stakes and half a bag of compost already.

Well, today is wet, which is great to water in the new plants. I moved the madonna lily to be near the passionfruit vine which is flowering, as when it grows tall, the flowers will pop through the foliage. Also as they are tall the vine can grab hold of the lily stems as well.

My garden seems to have more subtropical plants than romantic cottage garden ones. Auckland gardens tend  to go for the exotic, after all we are the largest polynesian city. I remember going to Tahiti and everywhere the ladies wore fresh flowers in their hair. I would like to grow enough flowers so that everyday I could pick one and put in my hair if I wanted to.

I watched a bit of Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets DVD last night. He showed how to make a parterre. I'm thinking it would be nice to have a thyme parterre underneath the washing line. After all it is just lawn there, and while it might be nice to have a plum tree its not really feasible with Dad's weather station taking up the lawn. But a parterre is a low garden meant to be looked at from above so you can see the interesting pattern and colour..

I also read a book called the Layered Garden by David Culpa which is stunning. Although a lot of work. He wrote that he hardly got time to sit on the garden benches, and also had to have a helper. He is a plantaholic and particularly loves hellebores (winter or christmas rose) and snowdrops. He has a hillside planted with them underneath his woodland trees, a huge border of flowers, and a ruin garden.
I also looked through Beth Chatto's Garden, as there was a book on that. She has a gravel garden that has never needed watering. I know I don't enjoy watering all the time in summer. She also has ponds and bits of woodland. She is more natural landscape inspired.
Both gardeners plant to the conditions rather than try to amend the soil and move it around. They don't have hedges...and of course, they have much larger sections than anyone living in the suburbs.