April 2018

Hello Everyone

April 2018

I was given a plant by Marilyn, who writes nearly all of the recipes for the newsletters. It is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Candlelight.’ With dark red stems, it has a very attractive form and I am watching it with keen interest. This plant was bought from Blueskin Nurseries. And I see that it is available from the Wairere Nursery which is just outside of Hamilton.

Photo 1: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Candlelight.’ M. Long
Photo 2: Outside the dining area. M. Long

This planting has settled in very nicely. Previously a very hot area, there is now shade relief from the nearby lime trees which were planted after this area was done. On the left is Clematis jouiniana x ‘Praecox’ which was one of the first plants to go in the garden about 25 years ago, box domes, Trachelospermum jasminoides, the star jasmine, and the silvery trunk of the lime tree, Tilia ‘europaea’. Many years ago in one of his earlier books, the late Christopher Lloyd described Clematis jouiniana x ‘Praecox’ as “a first rate ground cover” and “is quite adept at hoisting itself through and over neighbouring shrubs that happen to cross its path.” Ours has done just that as it drapes itself over the nearby shrub Viburnum propinquum.

Photo 3: Amsonia ciliata. M Long

I used to grow Amsonia tabernaemontana which has a broader leaf, but I lost it along the way. Amsonia ciliata is doing very well in our pink/mauve/blue border, called the Variegated Elm garden, as the variegated elm tree sits at the end of the border. Whilst books will say that amsonias grow in a damp spot with full sun, ours grow in a fairly dry spot. The very pale blue flower is a very similar colour to the light blue plumbago. It now has soft lemon leaves; its autumn colour.Photo 4: The variegated elm tree garden. M Long

Here is a pleasing combination of Clematis ‘Kiri Te Kanawa’ which is left to weave herself through the garden, along with two shades of the Dowdeswell delphiniums, introduced to me by Marilyn. They have done very well and provide a good vertical form in an area in which they are not subject to wind.

A young woman visited recently to discuss her new business. I hope that some of our readers will support her; this is your chance to be treated.

“Based in Canterbury, Taste of Life Tours showcases Canterbury and beyond, offering outings and experiences that truly reflect the unique beauty of our region. They have four excellent garden/ art packages, showing the best gardens in Canterbury. A customised tour to suit individual requirements is possible. Tours include door to door service and a picnic lunch made with local produce.
www.tolt.co.nz or Contact Kristin on 027 222 1796.
Taste of Life Tours Is your one-stop destination to create memorable experiences for individuals, groups, businesses and anyone else who just wants to have a fantastic day out – take home memories to cherish forever.”

As the autumn colours appear over the next two months, our garden will be taking on a different appearance. I do encourage you to visit in April and May if you haven’t done this before.

Chocolate Cranberry Slice: M Long

  • 350g good quality dark chocolate, chopped roughly
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts

I also had a few shelled hazelnuts.

Melt gradually in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. When nearly melted add condensed milk until evenly combined. Stir in the rest. Press into 16 x 5cm baking tin. And chill until set.
This recipe is one of Annabel Langbein’s. I usually add extra nuts.



About Frensham

Our relaxed country garden started twenty nine years ago. In the early days I had very little gardening experience and no vision for the site, but an interest in plants was quickly developing. Over the years, with much trial and error, a garden has emerged which we and our visitors do enjoy.

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139 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
+64 3 3228 061

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