Monday, November 29, 2010

That Time of Year

Janice has had a very significant birthday this week (tomorrow actually) and you're not getting to know how significant either. Last Sunday we had a great  seven course degustation dinner in our house cooked by a leading New Zealand Chef and enjoyed by our immediate family and two good friends. It was wonderful. I hope to blog about it this week. Below are the hors d'oeuvre:

On garden matters -  the only downside of being involved with growing plants for a business is that when summer comes, it comes and ordinary busy becomes frantic. Gardening gets left behind.

This year summer has arrived a month early. November, normally a cool, windy month has been decidedly hot and dry. The soil, initially still moist with the left over excess rainfall from September is now beginning to dry out, but not before fueling a massive growth spurt from all the plants in the garden. I have no intention of listing them all but this is "Diamonds Forever" flowering again

In the delphinium business we've been busy planting the last of the flower trials and viewing older ones

but in the home garden I've been sowing more vege seeds and harvesting a whole raft of mature crops.The image below is not a vege, it's a Yucca, a campanula and a sedum (I think) growing happily together

 It's wonderful to have a large range of salad plants and herbs once again; the fresh, sweet, new season peas are particularly nice. But I must get more salad veges!

The flower garden has been left to its own devices but doing well none the less. The horizontal elm is enjoying shading the house.

 I have been very lax in reading and commenting on blogs I like to loosely follow so if any of you are reading this please excuse this lapse.

I love our rustic fence



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 15th November 2010

Sunny days and warm weather have brought the first of the summer flowers out so our "Down-Under" garden is filling with colour. For the purpose of the Bloggers Bloom Day I've decided to include some flowers from the nursery too and the first of these is the Wisteria, now in its full glory:

Meanwhile, back in the house garden some late apple blossom hangs on. You can just make out the  young apples, set from the main flowering, behind these flowers:

Up at the nursery again one of out cream delphiniums known only as Y0102 is showing off:

The nursery is separated from the house by about 200 metres of medium incline so I think we'll stay for one more delphinium before going back to the house again. This one is part of trials to produce delphiniums compact enough for sale as pot plants. It is a little too tall at 55cm but that makes it ideal for a low border plant:

On the way back to the house I notice the first sunflower opening up. The seeds were planted under cover in early August:

The first day-lily is flowering. Our day-lilies are raised from seed we bought from Nan Riply of the American Hemerocallis Society

And now, looking towards the house the Cecil Brunner rose is putting on a show too. This rose blooms for most of the summer:

You probably all know this common papaver specie. I don't.:

Nor do I recall the name of the white flowering plants behind the campanula glomerata:

Still not to the bottom of the hill pansies are happy among the forget-me-nots:

And the pink hollyhock that has been flowering all winter is still on the go:

And a geranium specie:

And a white campanula percicifolia:

And so to the house garden where Westerland is all over the garage:

Wedding Day is about to dawn. This is my favourite rose, prickly and flowering only once a year its something to really look forward too. She is early this year.A bit of a shot gun affair no doubt.

Something you may not see too often in the northers hemisphere, a Manuka hybrid. This is one of our native, endemic I believe, New Zealand plants. We have many, many plants endemic to this country.

This carpet rose has also flowered right through the winter but is doing so a little more enthusiastically now.

Ok, I'll walk back up the hill, past a nasturtium that does a great job of covering the ground later in the season

And back to the delphiniums. This one is Double Innocence, which we bred and sell from seed

These are more trials for short, border type delphiniums

Well, that's 20 images. There are many more but the above should give you a taste of "What's Happening - Down Under"

If you want to know more about our delphiniums please check out our web site, here:

If you'd like to be part of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day visit Carol's blog here:



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Match Stick

This is going to be more of a matchstick than a post but I missed putting something up on Monday so must make amends.

It's amazing what a difference 10 days can make. I've never closely watched the progression of the sycamore tree from flower to fruit before and am astounded at the pace and beauty of it. The elm is fairly nippy about producing seed pods and it's true, they mature and fall more quickly, but as you see from the image below, the sycamore has almost mature pods while flowers on the same panacle are still blooming.

And just for fun:

I told you it was just a match-stick