Monday, 12 December 2016

Pohutakawa trees in bloom

Feels like summer is here at last and time to get my bbq out.
Church flowers this week were yellow lilies, bird of paradise, gunnera, pohutakawa, bearded iris, lavender, wisteria and sweet pea.  Next week I am sure my lillies will be in bloom so it will be nice to have them. I did pop into Kings just to spy out what they offered in terms of christmas blooms but poinsettia was selling for $20 a pot! Or $40 for a large one. They also had tahiti metrosideros (or dwarf pohutakawa) for $20 as well. All nicely wrapped with a ribbon and basket but...I was thinking they just don't last. Both those plants were forced blooms and you can't plant them out in your garden as they just seem to rot and die.

Am not sure what the deal is with red blooms and bracts as I think bougainvillea is just as pretty in magenta. Anyway. I still see this obsession with pine trees indoors in summer and I really think it's got to be a joke. Pine trees belong in the forest not in your living room! And once they die well they don't make good bbq kindling and its too warm to light a fire in summer indoors. Please people have some common sense?!

If you want a tree for christmas plant a kowhai or a ponga!

Yesterday I planted astelia 'silver spear' in the rock garden kitchen side, and also bought another Breath of Heaven as was only $5 to go where rosemary seems to have died. Its just a bare patch underneath my bedroom window. As it has a lovely fragrance and says to plant near a path in  full sun maybe it will thrive there. If can fully get rid of the black plastic 'mulch' that was from the 70s as am pulling up screeds of it and the soil underneath is just clay. You could use it to make pots. I am thinking of just piling loads of compost, twigs and plant material on top and not digging at all. This is what you have to deal with when inheriting a garden someone else has made.

Disasters such as weedmat, plastic mulch, and camellias planted in limey soil. Well I think it might be limey as the hydrangea next to it is still pink.  Thorny flower carpet roses everywhere, grapes planted where there's nowhere for them to climb, a wisteria that actually needs a support stronger than a chain link fence - I'm going to have to find an arbour soon. Maple trees that mean in a landscaped bed thats supposed to be full of flowers (thorny flower carpet ones) but nothing much will grow under a thirsty maple tree. Coprosma that attracts flies. And ginger lily that gets scorched by the sun and we have to keep hacking it back, then it gets frosted and for months of the year it just looks a mess. I am still removing shoots but thankfully most of it is in a more suitable spot.

So yeah. Christmas trees and their fake decorations are the least of my worries. If you have one good for you but personally I wouldn't bother. Find a tree you actually like and will look after all year and grow that one is my advice.