The current project in our garden is the rock garden and I have enjoyed working with the well-respected landscape designer, Rob Watson, on this project. I posted a photo in the May newsletter showing the type of work we are doing. An area has been cleared where there are some existing rocks which can be found in our neighbourhood, and are therefore in keeping with the local environment. We’re not developing a rockery as such, but a rock garden. Larger pieces of rock are being added to the existing rock garden, existing rocks are being reshuffled, and to this we are adding new plants, many of them New Zealand natives. In researching New Zealand native plants, I came across an interesting fact.
Whilst selecting New Zealand native clematis, I discovered that the world’s leading clematis expert, Magnus Johnson, has ranked the New Zealand clematis species as a separate section of genus, as they are so distinctive. I am thinking of Clematis such as C. afoliata, C. foetida, C. marata and C. paniculata.
November is a hectic month for gardeners as we open our gardens for visitors (November being one of the most popular months for garden visiting in New Zealand), we visit other gardens, and many Garden Festivals are held at this time. Towards the end of November the thought of Christmas and its associated activities is much on most people’s minds. This gives me an opportunity to encourage you to visit gardens in March, April and May, and perhaps organise Garden Events in March, or May with its delicious autumn colours.
Many of you who visit our garden these days meet some of our part-time gardeners Marilyn, Sasha, Dale and Warren. Not mentioned in any particular order, these gardeners’ work is the equivalent to one full time gardener. My husband Ron, who has met many of our visitors looks after our lawns, compost and general fix-it things, of which there are many. We feel so privileged to have these four people working in our garden as they are all so passionate about Frensham, and there is a genial ambience amongst us all. I think that this play a huge part in a garden’s success; that it is loved and its gardeners are happy.
I have decided to put in some random plant photos which have been taken in the spring – summer months over recent years. Readers often ask me where they can get certain plants. I find it useful to Google the name of the plant, with New Zealand after the name, e.g. Ptelea trifoliata NZ.
Photo 1: An iris at Frensham. M. Long
Photo 2: Rose ‘Cornelia’ at Frensham. M. Long
Photo 3: Ptelea trifoliata, or common hop tree, a gorgeous shrub, at the Abbey Dore gardens in Herefordshire, England. M. Long
Photo 4: The giant Himalayan lily, Cardiocrinum giganteum at Frensham. J. Nicholas
Photo 5: Rosa ‘Narrow Water’ with Eupatorium maculatum at Frensham. M. Long
The recipe for this month is a refreshing cold drink, which also looks highly attractive and would complement any summer lunch table well, or could be served alone. It is also a healthy recipe.
I came across it somewhere, where it was described as a cordial, but I think Crush is a better name.
Strawberry Crush: M Long
- 2cups chopped strawberries
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup honey
- 4 cups water
Puree strawberries and honey in blender. Put in large jug, add rest, combine.
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