Hello from the not-so-sunny Golden Bay, where rain seems to be the number one theme this week.
The early hours of Monday morning brought a deluge from the skies – basically 1ml per minute for a couple of hours – which was not at all fun, for me or the plants. A total of 161ml that morning, plus more yesterday and overnight means everything is just wet and soggy. I did think it was supposed to fine up this morning but it’s pretty bleak out there so I’m in the office for a bit instead.
In between all the rain I have been attempting to pot up plants as fast as I can, because suddenly there is a shortage again and lots of new things coming on that need to go into larger pots ready for sale. So watch this space…
In the meantime, there are just a few new additions to the website this week, which are listed below, or you can find everything on my website here https://www.seaflowersnursery.co.nz/perennials.html#/
Dianthus barbatus ‘Kaleidoscope’
Helipterum roseum ‘Pierrot’ (punnets)
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’
Salvia ‘Costa Rica Blue’
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Queen’
Scabiosa caucasica ‘House Hybrids’
Solidago ptarmicoides (previously Aster ptarmicoides)
Symphyotrichum (Aster) ericoides
Verbena hastata ‘Pink Spires’
Out in the garden I have been busy weeding as time allows, and planting the odd thing in gaps. Really I need to wait for the soil to dry out a bit before I can develop any more of the gardens I have planned. I am very impressed with a bed I put in over winter, which has now filled out and is looking fantastic. Geranium ‘Victor Reiter Junior’ teams up nicely with Centaurea dealbata, then the foliage of the ever-expanding Campanula primulifolia which is slowly coming up to flower. I think there’s some Phlox and Achillea tucked in there too. The Peony foliage makes a great backdrop for my favourite Agastache cana ‘Bolero’ which forms bushy clumps of fabulous smokey purple foliage, and the spikes of small, dark magenta flowers are a nice colour pop too. I’ve blended it with Thalictrum aquilegifolium ‘Purpureum’ and Knautia arvensis, the field Scabious. The Knautia is seriously impressive – what a great plant! It is tough, hardy, and just keeps on sending up masses of lilac Scabiosa-like flowers on long stems which look lovely waving about in the breeze. Perfect for picking too, as the flowers are only small-medium sized so don’t hang their heads from being too heavy. It looks like it will just keep going all summer long but will wait and see. I also have an outstanding new Echinacea in this bed, which is an E. pallida var. simulata hybrid. Take your best, most vibrant deep pink Echinacea purpurea cultivar and add elegant drooping petals for drama and long narrow, soft grey-green foliage for effect and that is pretty much what this seedling has turned into. It also stands about 80cm tall at present, and looks stunning rising out of the luscious frothy foliage of Geranium ‘Joy’. The Echinacea is one of three seedlings I put in that spot and so far it is the biggest and best, with twice as many petals as a standard E. pallida…and very early flowering, but I’m waiting to see what the other two come up with. One is definitely going to be paler…so we shall see.
Anyway, it looks like the sun is trying to send some sort of weak glow of hope through the drizzly clouds, so I’m off to have lunch then head out to the nursery again.
Hello everyone, and a big hello to all the lovely people I met at last weekend’s Motueka Garden Trail. I had a fabulous time talking to the hundreds who had come to see Angela’s garden and buy plants, and I also put faces to names for quite a number of existing customers. Thank you for supporting the Toy library and my small business...I hope the brave souls that came out after the flood on Sunday morning dried out and warmed up when they got home.
That’s the thing with opening your garden for an event such as this...you really are at the mercy of the weather and there are never any guarantees what it will do. But the reactions from those that came to view the garden made up for the incredible deluge which arrived at 4am on Sunday morning. Many visitors walked around the corner and were stunned by the layout…there were plenty of oohs and aahs, lots of sighs and smiles of satisfaction and wonderful comments about the beauty and design of the garden. Overall, I think the feel of the garden was what people liked the most…it just feels so welcoming. It is a real credit to Angela’s hard work and dedication that she has transformed a slightly overgrown blank canvas into a work of art filled with sumptuous colour, form and fragrance, and all in not-quite ten years. The most asked about plants over the weekend were the roses ‘Lavender Pinocchio’ and ‘Chevy Chase’, the tractor seat plant which we all still incorrectly call Ligularia reniformis, but which is actually Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum, and the purple honeywort, Cerinthe major, which of course is an annual best grown from seed…so I will be adding this last one to my to-do list.
It is an exciting time in my garden right now...the weeds are in full force of course but there are also many new plants and old friends all growing madly, or just appearing, or even some in full flower already. I have been weeding in the shady garden up near the bush and loving all the different textures of foliage, variations of green and the calm feeling that the area has. I am adding plants in slowly, finding small treasures to pop in around the roots of the big titoki. The Corydalis ochroleuca and ‘Blackberry Wine’, Disporopsis omeiensis and Borago pygmaea are all starting to expand, along with various Tricyrtis, Epimedium, Arisaema and several Lilium species. The native Fuchsia procumbens is beginning to sprawl, while nearby the hybrid Fuchsia excorticata x procumbens 'Lincoln Bronze' is just coming into leaf. I am waiting for Isoplexis sceptrum to flower…it is getting bigger and bigger so can’t be far off. I have some ferns waiting to go in the shadiest areas, and am contemplating attaching my staghorn to the large roots on the bank below the titoki. It is an interesting, peaceful area, and so different from the hot border in full sun that I was creating a couple of weeks ago, so I want to keep the colours and textures fairly calm here, to retain that peaceful feeling.
In other news…I have adjusted the freight prices for both the upper and lower South Island now, most have gone down, or are a flat rate for more plants. I’ve also discovered that recently many emails from customers have been sent into confinement in the spam folder on the Spark server…so if you have sent me an email recently, or even an enquiry via the website, and haven’t yet had a response, then please get in touch again, as I’m hoping I have thwarted the spam gremlins…for now at least.
This week there are three varieties on sale at 30% off – Gaura ‘The Bride’, Centranthus ‘Snowcloud’ and the sumptuous Carnation, Dianthus ‘Raspberry Ripple’. Stock numbers have been updated and there are a few new plants this week…I sold an awful lot at the garden trail last weekend, but there are always some new treasures to add (see list below). You can find these latest offerings (and more) on my website here https://www.seaflowersnursery.co.nz/perennials.html#/ or email me direct with a list of what you would like.
Agastache rugosa ‘Arcado Pink’
Callistephus chinensis, China Aster, ‘Lilliput Blue Moon’
Erysimum cheirii ‘Blood Red Covent Garden’ (new stock)
Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Baron’ .....note I think these have already sold out overnight!
Salvia ‘Big Blue’
Salvia ‘Shangri-La’ (new stock, few only)
Salvia canariensis var. candidissima (2 only)