Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Raise the red lantern

Today I knew I just had to buy an abuliton. Also known as Chinese Lantern. It was one of the flowers on my list, and I had seen a picture in NZ gardener magazine and fallen in love with it. The last time I went to Kings to ask a few months ago they only had scraggly ones. But today, I was in luck, they had gorgeous ones that were growing big AND had flowers for only $12. I knew I had to plant it by the fence as it would be sheltered there and also in full sun. The flowers hang just like red lanterns you see at Chinese New Year. And after all, I am Chinese. (Somewhat). I have Chinese blood. So that's two Chinese plants I have, the other one a Chinese Toon.

My Chinese Toon is now surrounded by lisianthus. They are the picture perfect wedding flower. They are like roses but without the thorns. I have them in purple and pinky white. Chinese Toon has lost it's leaves, much like my frangipani will, but it will be a gorgeous pink come spring.

I still had some gaps to fill in my garden beds, for some tall plants to add a bit of height to the garden. I decided on another manuka tea tree for one corner. You can prune them and they flower and bees love them. Also they are cheap as chips.

Then I thought what about the other corner, I haven't decided yet. Virburnum, or Snowball tree was beckoning, which was a favourite of my friend but..I'm not sure. Even though it would be apt for Snowy's Bed, I don't know how tall it will get. But it looks very hardy.

I then decided on another hydrangea to plant by the hen house, behind the garage as that was a shady damp area. I found one called 'Strawberries and Cream' which was half price. It was the only one left amongst all the 'Limelight' hydrangeas. I have no idea if the one I already have is blue or white or pink. I can't remember clearly what it was. It had no label. Anyway, it doesn't have much leaves at the moment, and I bought it at the wrong time of year, but hopefully it will perk up over winter once it gets it's roots settled.

Next door's pink camellia flowers heavily and sheds its petals all over our driveway. Dad is forever sweeping them up before they turn into a brown mush. We do have one standard rose flowering, called 'Mr Lincoln'. The other roses are 'Iceberg' and 'Loving Memory'. All are fragrant.

I then tidied the back fence border pulling out the green manure mustard and lupin to lay over the top of the soil to protect it as mulch which will then rot down, and I can add more compost if need be - my lasagna gardening. The broad beans are coming up, another green manure crop over winter. The phacelia I am leaving so it will flower come spring. I have left a few lupins near the roses because I want to see what their flowers will look like.

I am a flower girl after all. Some ladies are destined to be brides, some are bridesmaids. It looks like I will always be a flower girl. And that's fine with me.