Ewen's garden

A collection of columns, paintings and photographs about gardening on an offshore island in New Zealand.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Reluctantly I have just returned to the computer from resting on one of my recent additions to the garden, a seat. It was while I was planting in a new part of the garden, I realised the perfect position for a simple seat to catch the morning sun. It is close to the house and sheltered by a vigorous bamboo hedge, a perfect spot for a sunny morning repose with coffee.

The garden I am creating here is on a rather steep sunny slope facing almost directly north. I have chosen do use mostly Mediterranean plants in hues of silver and grey, with cream, yellow, mauve and deep blues. Amongst the plants I have received from my mother are many bearded iris, iris reticulata and sedums. Another new plant has come to me from a friend, Neomarica caerulea a plant similar to iris, and indeed from the same family. These beauties are not for cutting and bringing indoors, but carry sky blue flowers opening in daily succession. An added bonus is the striking strap like leaves, a feature of the plant all year. Other plants include; a white cistus, miniature forms of Sisyrinchium, one white the other mauve, Lychnis with its silvery leaves and white or purple flowers, Euphorbia sp. and pride of Madeira Echium sp. which will send up tall purple spires at the top end of this new garden. Bisecting all this is a small new path and series of steps terminating at my new seat.

This new seat is simply a treated piece of timber placed upon a couple of concrete blocks, something even I can make happen! I am always looking for places in the garden where I might like to perch and take in the scenes before me. So, another seat has gone in at the top side of this very same garden to take advantage of the setting sun. It is a spot I noticed after sitting in the top garden and having watched the sun vanish from up there to discover on my return to the house there was yet another place still flooded with sun, rude not to put a seat there. Like the sun at this time of the year, a garden should be to be enjoyed and to do this I think it is important to have places everywhere from which to sit and absorb it. Equally important is taking the time out to just sit.

Another spot waiting for a seat is beneath an Illawarra flame tree, Brachychiton acerifolium. Here I am planning my fragrant garden. Already flourishing is a Brugmansia cv. ’Noel’s Blush’ and recently shifted Luculia grandifolia, to this are to be added Gardenia and frangipani Plumeria sp. In my propagating unit I have also just germinated a couple of seeds of the moonflower Calonyction aculeatum one of these I hope to grow on the trunk of the Illawarra flame tree, it having a twining habit. The flowers will hopefully then unfurl in the dusk next to my seat and release thier intoxicating scent. The other I plan to grow in a pot on the table on the deck so we don’t entirely miss out on the wonderful performance of the opening buds. So there is plenty for me to do, and the sun is shining.


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At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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