Monday, 4 December 2017

Gaura and "that smelly plant"

Packed up the Flower show on Sunday and as a bonus bought ten plants for $10, they were $1 each from a display garden that were auctioning off their oasis water feature, which was surrounded by maples and meadow flowers, so I bought purple Verbena bonariensis, Salvia and a tall thin flower I am pretty sure is Gaura. Which is my boss' favourite plant.

I got home after work to plant them (except the gaura, not sure what to do with yet, perhaps plant them at church?), and have now created a little bird bath garden around the rose and olive with the salvias, added a lavender and mulched it with spent sweet peas.

All the plants from our Woodside display save Ben's fruit trees are going to go in our garden, so we have lots more herbs and flowers to add. Or...could plant the gaura at Woodside. Decisions decisions. Gaura is also known as wandflower or butterfly plant, because the flowers are on thin wands and look like whirling butterflies. I will need to plant them soon because they will dry out in their plastic bags.

Have moved my Chatham Island Forget-me-not to under the gardenia, hope it survives because I nearly killed it by over watering. I thought giving it some crayfish and mussel shells as mulch might help it, but then it started to turn black and yellow. I had read somewhere that seawater was good for it? Well apparently not. It was doing alright in it's pot, not flowering yet, but if that one dies it would be the second one I have killed. The other forget-me-nots are doing fine. Huh. Don't confuse forget-me-nots with Wet and Forget - a highly toxic cleaner that kills all plants it touches. We know because someone sprayed it on the paths round the village and all the edging plants turned crispy. When your plants leaves turn all crunchy it's a sign they may need some attention..especially if it's not autumn yet.

One thing I have found after graduation is I have free time on Saturdays and now I have run out of books to read, except for gardening ones. My bookcase is all gardening books now and just added another one called 'Classic Camellias for New Zealand Gardens' by James Young. I figured I might learn to appreciate camellias after my rant the other day.

Today a resident complained about "that smelly plant" she showed me growing near the apartments and it was star jasmine. "I can smell it down the street" she complained "people have lung problems and asthma you know". I said well it doesn't have any irritating pollen, and it does smell lovely. But she wouldn't have a bar of it. She kept up her whinge and moan saying it was too strong so I said if we remove it, something will have to go in it's place, what do you suggest? She says 'a plant that doesn't smell!' Sooo...gorse and moth plant it is then...?

Mum has shown some interest in plants, and has me taking cuttings of a succulent she saw on her Waitakere Garden visit, and keeps urging me to find Chinese Jasmine, which I think actually may be a weed according to Weedbusters Auckland. This is why it's being sold at the Avondale Black Markets and not the garden centres, who only sell Star Jasmine. Perhaps I shall tell the lady who doesn't like 'that smelly plant' that maybe we could replace it with Chinese Jasmine, that has a milder scent, but will climb all over the apartments that are four storeys high. She will have to complain to the Quest Apartments down the street as well because they've got Star Jasmine growing at their entrance. And then she should complain to Kings Plant Barn who are selling Star Jasmine 4 for $20 and also the Bakery across the road have got it planted in their garden too. And everywhere she goes that has it growing all over Auckland all summer long!