September 2017

Hello Everyone

September 2017

Another month has gone by so quickly. At the end of my last newsletter I mentioned the three trees on the front lawn which were displaying their graceful shrimp pink tassles; Acer negundo ‘Violaceum’. The flowering has nearly finished and so the season moves on. Talking of trees, I get huge enjoyment from the wide variety of trees that we grow. Many were planted in the first year, twenty five years ago, and over the years I have been adding to this collection. Of course we have lost the odd tree, and one that I have never had any success with is Decaisnea fargesii. I suspect that I did not give it enough water. Being quite an unattractive shrub in its form, it was always planted towards the back of things in the woodland area. It is described as a shrub in “The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs” and it is a shrub. However, some of the shrubs in our garden have been limbed up to form tree shapes, such as the decaisnea. So in my  mind, it is a tree. It has distinctive large silvery blue seed pods and greenish white flowers flowers in summer. It was named after  Father Paul Guillaume Farges (1844 -1912) who was a French catholic missionar, botanist and plant collector. He was based for much of his life in China. He collected over 4,000 plant species which were sent back to Paris.I would be interested to hear from anyone who is growing Decaisnea fargesii.  

As plant names are of interest to me, another name caught my eye recently. In the latest newsletter from the Blue Mountain Nursery in Tapanui I read about Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’. This witch hazel originated at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusets, from where it gets its cultivar name.

Writing about trees reminds me to talk about tree pruning. This is a very important part of the year’s work, and is mostly done in February. In the very early days I used to do the tree pruning myself, but as trees got larger and I got older, I have employed professional arborists. For years the arborists from Arbor Master have done all of the large tree pruning in our garden, including the overwhelmingly (at times) difficult work on the large macrocarpas that shelter our garden on two sides. Simon and his team are knowledgeable, professional, and it is a pleasure to see them each year.

If you are wanting professional work from highly knowledgeable arborists, I recommend that you contact:

Simon Street
Arbor Master Ltd
P (03) 3379 776
M 027 489 5586

Photo 1: Simon and his team.

Photos 2, 3, 4, and 5: Spring flowers in a friend’s garden in Normandy, France.

The garden visiting season is warming up in Christchurch, and as we have done for the past 22 years, we are holding a Charity Fundraising event at Frensham, along with other gardens in our part of the city. I strongly urge you to support this year’s tour, which the Wigram Lions Club is planning to hold annually, visiting different parts of the city each year. I hold brochures at our garden and they can be collected when visiting our garden. Care has been taken to ensure that a variety of types of gardens is provided.

Charity Garden Tour of Christchurch.
A Wigram Lions Club Project

Raising funds for The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Child Cancer Foundation
A Charity Garden Tour of Christchurch Including 11 gardens will be held on 25th and 26th  Nov 10am to 4pm. Tickets at $35 pp may be purchased at any Oderings, Tera Viva, or Portstone Nursery outlet, or on line at at $37pp plus free information brochure. One ticket gives access on both days.

I have become interested in vertical gardens which are becoming more prevalent in various parts of the world. Patrick Blanc, who is based in Paris, has become well known for his masterly creations. An unattractive wall makes a very good starting point for one of these gardens. We have an unattractive  wall adjacent to our house in Normandy, so I am thinking…
As I am not able to provide photos again (I have yet to learn how to download photos onto my new device) I am recommending two film clips which you might enjoy on you tube. Go to Google and then type in the words as written if you aren’t familiar with you tube.

“The Vertical Gardens of Patrick Blanc  you tube” and “Patrick Blanc, Vertical Garden Interview in Paris you tube.”

Our recipe this month was sent to me by a friend who was staying in Sweden; her hostess made this for her one evening.

“A recipe for you from Sweden … lovely with salad … a twist on rosti.

  • Beat two eggs, add 2 grated carrots,
  • 3 grated potatoes and half a grated onion.

Season. Mix and spread out on baking paper a little more than sponge roll tin in size. Cook until firm, about 25 mins @ 160 C.
Remove, cool a little and spread with cream cheese and thinly sliced ham. Roll from the short end (like a sponge roll) cover with grated cheese, bake til golden.
DELICIOUS. Lovely sliced with salad.”

I am going to Tasmania this week and will be attending the Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival, so will write about that next month.



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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