May 2022

Hello Everyone

May 2022

In Canterbury we have been enjoying a late ‘summer’ with days going to 20°C or more, making it ideal weather for raking autumn leaves, weeding, cutting back the perennials and planting out. Last week we completed a planting of Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’ which sits well with a group of Berberis ‘Helmond Pillar’, and red roses and dahlias. This heuchera is almost black in tone and is planted in shady areas which it prefers to full sun.

Photo 1: The three silver birch trunks in the foreground are more defined as leaves drop all around. Photo by Juliet Nicholas

Photo 2: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’. One of the witch hazels which was planted  a few years ago, the stunning colours of the autumn leaves are followed in spring by burnt coppery-orange flowers. Photo by Rosie Belton

Photo 3: The leaves of the ornamental grape have provided a glorious autumn archway. Photo by Margaret Long

Photo 4: Looking at the autumn archway from the front lawn. Photo by Margaret Long

Yesterday five more Zelkova trees were planted along the drive outside of the garden area, and four Liquid ambar ‘Worplesdon’ trees were planted where the old compost bins used to be. These Sweet Gum trees also have spectacular autumn colour.

Autumn is my favourite time of the year. It has a soft feel to it and the creativity of moving plants, planting out or pruning can be enjoyed without extremes of temperatures.

Workshop at Frensham

In conjunction with Jane Mahoney from the Secret Gardens I am holding the second of three workshops in our garden on Friday 10th June from 1.00pm until 3.30pm. The subject is Winter Work in our garden and it will cover all aspects of work which keeps us very busy during the winter months.

For further information about this workshop, please refer to and contact Jane for further information, and to make bookings.

Later in the year I will be running one other workshop at Frensham, in conjunction with Secret Gardens.

Friday 4 November: Plants for Dry and Shady Places

Best wishes to you all,


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.

© Frensham. All rights reserved.

Quick Contact

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

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