narcissus geranium and anemone

In a Vase on Monday – Iris and Anemone

Dutch Iris are the most accomodating plant I have, I think. No matter how neglected and surrounded by weeds, they send up their waving silvery leaves in Spring, followed by tall clumps of flowers over a long time. But they don’t seem to seed down, so not a plant that wants to take over the world.
cut flowers iris anemone ixia freesia
I’ve photographed some tamarillos and an orange with them, both fruits which are coming to the end of their seasons. Tiny plums are on the plum trees now and the apples are starting to flower.

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – Iris and Anemone”

narcissus avalanche cut flowers macro with oranges

In a Vase on Monday, Citrus Colours

I have loved ‘citrus colours’ – lime green, orange, and lemon yellow since I was young, and as a student once went a whole year wearing lime green overalls with orange, red and pink underneath. For my vase today the first yellow daffodils contributed the lemon colour to the oranges, mandarins, and limes blown onto the ground after the storm on Friday.

daffodil and narcissus with oranges in trug

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday, Citrus Colours”

cut flowers iris unguicularis

In a Vase on Monday – a mixed batch

My Iris unguicularis is doing so brilliantly! I’m very excited about it – the nurseryman who sold me the baby plant said he grows his under a big Totara tree facing the sun. Mine is at the base of a tree at the edge of a path and it has spread to about 18″ wide after 3 years, and has been flowering since late Autumn. I’ve combined them in the vase with some native cultivars : leaves of the Cordyline ‘Magenta Rays’, and a pink flowered Tea Tree (Leptospermum).

cut flowers with cordyline Magenta Rays

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – a mixed batch”

iris autumn princess in the garden

In a Vase on Monday. – Spring Bulbs and Lambs

Arriving this week I was greeted by lambs on the lawn and the first of the ‘new’ Dutch Iris, “Autumn Princess”. I grabbed my camera to capture both before the lambs and mothers were ushered back into the driveway to make their way back through the fence.

sheep caught in the actsheep leaving reluctantly

The new Tulips are starting to bloom too, with Daydream opening a surprising lemon colour. It seems that the honey and apricot tones I was expecting only develop as the flowers age. Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday. – Spring Bulbs and Lambs”

Hokianga Red and gold corn for drying

Kumara, Corn, Zucchini seeds: too late, too late

It’s December and suddenly it’s almost too late. The lack of shelter makes it risky planting early, wet soil can’t be dug, and then suddenly it’s a race.

I’ve only just planted the zucchini seed – 2 types: Zephyr(F1) and an Italian – Costasta romanesco, in pots in the greenhouse . I’m not crazy about F1 seed because it can’t be saved, but Zephyr is very sweet, keeps producing over a long time, and is pretty: bright yellow with a green end, looking like they’ve been dipped in a pot of green paint. And zucchini crosses madly anyway, so saving seed leads to surprises and not always nice ones.

I found today that the mandarin we call ‘Richard the Ungrateful’ has died.

Continue reading “Kumara, Corn, Zucchini seeds: too late, too late”

Plum blossom and daffodils

This is one of the plum trees that grew from prunings used as pea sticks. It’s the earliest to flower and has early red round fruit so I think it’s a Billington. It’s underplanted with daffodils Nona, Annaliese, and Funky Monkey which is the one with the little orange cup. In the background is Narcissus Early Cheer and the evergreen miniature comfrey Hidcote. This creates a dense ground cover with pretty blue and pink flowers.

New Fruit Trees, and Dahlias

It’s been a very windy week here, and rainy in the city. Down here there has been almost no rain, and the wind has dried things up a bit. We got some bare root trees, which got lost on the courier so have been travelling for over a week, so they really need to go in the ground.
Today of course it is raining. We have been out in rain jackets and picked spots and dug 3 holes, which I have covered with coffee bags to keep the rain out. I need to carry more compost and good dirt up the hill, and dig 3 more holes. But we have come in, it’s raining too hard. I didn’t get wet thanks to my rain gear, but my gloves were wet through. These are the ones that have to go in asap:

1 apricot Fitzroy on peach rootstock
1 apple Freyburg on MM 106
1 apple Reinette du Canada
1 apple Granny Smith on Northern Spy
1 pear William Bon Cretien on Quince
1 pear Doyenne du Commice on Quince

I also got a grape, Niagra, and 11 Chilean guavas, a Persimmon, and a mini kiwifruit – a girl and a boy. I have just left these in the rain for today. The Chilean guavas look in good condition.
Lots of the other plants I put in last week got a bit battered by the wind and dryness. The lavenders which I brutally transplanted look OK so far which is a surprise.

12 Dahlias came, Ron Howard and a few others I ordered must be out of stock.
3x Nuit d’Etre
3x Amorangi Pearl
3x Cameo
3x Mary Evelyn
It says to plant these in flats in some nice potting mix – so I could take them out to the greenhouse. I need to get some compost and bring it into the greenhouse first though.