Sunday, 29 September 2019

Auckland Botanic Gardens

The tour.. yesterday dawned bright and rainbowy, after several ums and ahs Mum finally decided she would come with me as Bev invited us to head to the gardens to brush up on my flower ID. It turns out we knew the names of most things but the annoying thing is those we didn't know the name of, didn't have name tags and what labels there were, were always in latin, leaving us none the wiser.

I know it's a prunus whatever, but what do normal people call it?!

The cherry blossoms were still not quite there yet, we predict next week they will be out in full glory, when the Chinese have decided to put on their festival, but I did  manage to see some glorious specimen trees in frothy pink bloom. There's daffodils at their feet, but Bev, ever the artist, preferred that they be yellow and not the white and orangey ones for full effect. Even so carloads of Asian families were strolling through the grounds, all having the same idea - taking selfies.

Half the gardens were fenced off undergoing renovations, so we did not get to see the subtropicals, or the perennial beds, or the walled vege garden, but other parts that we did not see last time were open, like the herb garden and the new landscaped carpark, which was just a paddock/gravel last year.

I recommend you take picnic or snack foods with you and a thermos because you can't just buy a latte and expect to have it without waiting twenty minutes or more...Mum. The cafe staff were rushed off their feet.

This time of year, the standout blooms on display were Red Waratahs, Purple Babiana, Florescent Orange Ice plants, Purple Granny Bonnets, and Bright Pink Daisies.

Some ideas worth borrowing include - a roof garden (I'm eyeing the garage roof)
Hardenbergia tunnel (could I scrap my arch and have a tunnel instead??)
Bricked up herb garden (if we bust down this house could make a herb garden out of the bricks, but we would need to have somewhere else to live, possibly in a container)
Red waxy begonias for year round colour
Purple Kale border with parsley
Banksia rose arcs
Fields of purple babianas.

Bev agreed with me she was not really a fan of camellias, rhodos, hellebores and azaleas. I was going to add hydrangeas and thorny roses to that list of old fashioned plants I just don't like. (Sorry hydrangea and rose lovers, but half the time they look like sticks)  So maybe it's best I don't set foot in Taranaki, because those are the star plants there. I have planned to go down to Te Awamutu after all with the Floral Circle, and good news Cenny is going to come with me too. We are going to visit 7 gardens and it will all be full of floral surprises.

Mum made the comment that one garden the threatened natives garden was messy and it did look a bit neglected, and then of course she turned on me and said like my garden...however Bev valiantly defended my honor and said I didn't have the time and anyway did mum ever help out? No? Well then just let it be. And there is nothing really wrong with a wild garden.

I felt like giving her a hug but Bev wasn't that type of person so she was content to have a feijoa icecream instead. Thanks Bev for a grand day out.