Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bloggers Bloom Day August 2010

This is my first foray into the world of Bloggers Bloom Day and I'm looking forward to sharing what's happening in the garden in our southern hemisphere, cool temperate maritime climate. While I've been blogging generally, silently and sporadically for a while at Delphiniums Down-Under it was only after discovering BBD that I decided to break out and keep a dedicated garden blog. The Upside-Down Garden is that blog and knowing it may be read by members of the community around BBD is a great incentive to keep it up.

Why The Upside-Down Garden? As I explained in my first post here it is called "The Upside-Down Garden" because New Zealand is one of those places referred to by northern hemisphere folk as "Down Under" as in "At the Bottom of the World". It follows that any garden "Down Under" must therefore be upside-down. 

Before reading on I invite you to view the posts "Setting the Scene". They are not  "Lord of the Rings" type epics (This was of course Bilbo's Baggins' authoritative classic about ring culture in the undergardenworld) and will give you some idea about the site, situation, orientation, geography and the general mess I term a garden - a sort of let's get to know you before we dismiss you entirely opportunity.

Did you read "Setting the Scene" yet?

Ok, so what's happening then? Remember, it's very early spring here.


This hollyhock is flowering in mid August. That's the equivalent of mid February in the northern hemisphere!

The most noticeable evidence of flowering plants has to be this slough of pine pollen  on the concrete pad outside the front door. This of course comes from the pine trees surrounding our house and garden.

Dear Daphne odora is in full bloom and filling the air with her knockout fragrance of spring which drifts through our open folding doors and into the dining room. Unfortunately  our bush is  on her last legs and will need replacing once the flowers are gone. The plant to the right is a corokia.

Promiscuous hellebores are blooming of course. These are simple blooms from plants that have been allowed to "socialise" among themselves for a few years. Isn't gardening fun!

Just up from the daphne is the Puriri tree (Vitex lucens) go on, look it up! This gorgeous, slow growing, long lived tree is beginning to produce a flush of nectar producing, small, red flowers that will attract birds from near and far. The native New Zealand wood pidgeon (Kereru) will become drunk on the berries later.

Daffodils, gazanias (of all things) cowslips, the first tulip, stocks and paperwhites are also showing off. Janice and I look them over  while eating dinner, or breakfast, or lunch or just about any excuse for food at all. Please tell me, what is the difference between paperwhites and jonquils?

In the orchard the early plum is well budded up. There are the odd myosotis goodness knows whaticas (can anyone identify it)  that seem to bloom year round here and dissipates it'self via the most extraordinarily clingy seed -  they leave velcro for dead and ruin woolen socks.

My favourite of all however Anemone hupehensisis, commonly known as the Chinese or Japanese anemone, which has finished blooming and is now puffing up her beautiful seed heads.

Ok, finally we'll have the native New Zealand plant garden. The only plant flowering there is the tree lucerne  (Tagasaste), also beloved of the kereru.

Did you read "Setting the Scene" yet?

And I can't finish without showing an image of, well, what is this?

I hope you enjoyed our winter.




  1. This is my first time blogging on Bloom Day also. I did check out your post on Setting the Scene. The land reminds me of the beautiful scenery in the movie Avatar. It must be wonderful living in this type of landscape. You flower images were nice, but I am glad I read the other post.

  2. Thanks for taking time to read Setting the scene. There's not much to photograph here right now and general shots look blah in winter. I see you have a thumbergia. I used to have one too, till the frost got is a few weeks ago.



  3. It is so strange to think of your garden growing in winter. I do not travel much, so I do not get to experience other countries seasons. I love to travel, but not the husband.

    Here, we are under three feet of snow come December and January. But, I can not wait for the daffodils and tulips to bloom. Seeing your daffs makes me anxious for their arrival. I know, way ahead of myself, since the bulb order just went in, but no harm in dreaming. I love native plants. Good to see so many at your place. City living does not allow me to have natives. Too weedy for the neighbors.