Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Good echium, bad echium

Well it's a full moon or a harvest moon last night, and I heard rumours it was going to be the end of the world - but only for America.
That's alright then. I'm sure I don't know anybody that important in America.

Anyway...it was a a busy day in the garden as I had to decide what to do about the garlic the chickens kept digging up. The whole L shaped bed needed an overhaul. I placed the flower jonquil bulbs in the corners and removed the netting. Poor garlic, never stood a chance. Also it's not really sunny enough for them there.

I went to Kings and bought four bags of compost to do some heavy duty compost-mulching-layering.
So in that bed now are sugar peas, which I'd been growing as seedlings, and a bamboo obelisk I made with netting. Chickens can't scratch that up, as peas are inside. The garlic is still there but buried underneath more compost. I put lily bulbs in the far corner as chickens dug them up from Fluffy's bed. Then, put some more plants in next to what was already there - lavender, Queen Anne's lace, catmint, nicotania (flowering tobacco), pyrethrum, alyssum. They are all nice and close to each other so chickens can't get in them and dig them out.

Fluffy's bed, now devoid of lily bulbs, is now more secure with an extra post blocking the gap where the chickens might have snuck through. I put in creeping maidenhair in the corner as it will climb up the fence and is native, which will go with the kowhai and manuka. It is springy and unsual, and also, looks great covered with dew. Also it was half price at Kings.

Then the back has now an echium fastostum, which butterflies love. This is the plant Joanne so admired at Ayrlies. I put in the sunny spot. Also, I emailed Kings Seeds and told them their seed, echium plantagineum, 'Blue bedder' is a noxious, invasive and poisonous weed and why are they selling it? I told them I dumped that packet in the trash and not planting it. They got all huffy and replied it was not a problem in NZ and that my council (what council?) didn't know it was an excellent beneficial plant for insects. I wrote back and said Wikipedia does not think so. You can look on the wiki - it's poisonous to cattle and also known as Paterson's Curse. They then wrote back that's only in Australia where they graze scrub and cattle in NZ eat grass in paddocks. Friggin' Kings! I pointed out, that yes so shall I plant prickly pear then, since that's only bad in Australia. And what about gorse? Everyone thought that was great. NOT.

They have not deigned to reply. Nor offer a refund. So, I don't think I'll buy from Kings Seeds again.
What an attitude! They said that nobody had given them that feedback before, well, so hundreds of people have been sowing invasive, noxious weeds and thinking they are flowers. Good one Kings.

Other than that, I have planted three clumps of renga renga lily near the raspberry and hydrangeas border as they like dappled shade and are native and smell nice. Also they are not weeds. I suppose I COULD have planted agapanthus lily. But I was in a good environmental mood today and thought, nope. Only good plants can grow in MY garden.