Author: karinsgarden

Senna corymbosa “John Ball” – Buttercup Bush

This plant forms a rounded bush up to 4M tall with a relatively open habit. Racemes of bright yellow flowers, the colour and texture of buttercup petals, from autumn through winter. S. corymbosa is included in this section as, though it can grow to 4M, it is really a bush and not a tree under a normal pruning regime.

This is a spectacular plant in autumn in Karin’s Garden, and it could usefully be planted more widely. It is hardy in our climate, relative pest and disease free, easy to propagate (semi-ripe cuttings). What’s not to like?


Click here to view the Senna corymbosa “John Ball” – Buttercup Bush page in Karin’s Garden.

Nerine “Cranfield” – Guernsey Lily

Bulbous member of the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) with a flower stem that rises about 30cm above strap-like leaves. Improbably pink lily-like flowers with wavy edged petals and purple anthers on pink stamens.

Nerines play something of a second fiddle to Amaryllis in Karin’s Garden. They offer a more delicate delight than their bigger cousins. However, they are a so striking when you see them and they are a special feature in our personal garden. Many of the Nerines in Karin’s Garden are either the standard Nerine bowdenii or the red-flowered Nerine sarniensis, so it is a little special when you come across choice cultivars such as “Cranfield”.


Click here to view the Nerine “Cranfield” page in Karin’s Garden.

Nerine filifolia – Grass-Leaved Nerine

Flowers about 3cm across, half the size of standard Nerine flowers, with the traditional Nerine structure, rise 25cm above grass-like foliage. Long lasting, dainty, brilliant pink flowers with wavy edged petals rise above thread-like evergreen leaves.

This is a much smaller plant than the standard Nerines and is an absolute treasure. It is much tougher than it looks and its size makes it suitable for even the smallest garden.

Click here to view the Nerine filifolia page in Karin’s Garden.

Lagerstroemia indica – Crape Myrtle

This is a vigorous small tree, growing to 6M. Frothy pannicles of pink flowers cover the new growth for many weeks in summer.

This is a lovely, reliable tree that deserves to be more common around coastal Tasman than it is. The dense foliage also provides good nesting sites for song birds.

Click here to view the Lagerstroemia indica page in Karin’s Garden.

Haemanthus coccineus – Blood Lily

A bulbous perennial to 30cm, with the the very striking blooms coming out before the large, broad leaves. Scarlet/orange petals surround a mass of stamens on a spotted flower stalk, resembling a shaving brush to some.

This is a plant that will stop you in your tracks when you first see it. Not easy to come by and easy to lose if it is in the wrong place, it rewards you with a display in shade like no other. At a time when Amaryllis and Nerine are blazing away in the sun this slightly coy plant asks you to go and look it out in whatever corner it has become established in. Those who grow it, highly recommend it.


Click here to view the Haemanthus coccineus page in Karin’s Garden.

Hibiscus syriacus “Coelestris” – Rose of Sharon

An upright, hardy, deciduous shrub growing to about 3M. Large mauve flowers with a crimson blotch that radiates in to the petals, born over a long period through mid- to late-summer.

Hibiscus are an indispensible part of many hot, dry gardens. The are robust plants that provide a long-lasting display of showy blooms through ,id- to late-summer. Each bloom is eye-catching on its own, making the bush as a whole a striking addition to many Karin’s Garden


Click here to view the Hibiscus syriacus “Coelestris” page in Karin’s Garden.

Indigofera decora – Chinese Indigo

Indigofera decora – Chinese Indigo

This is a small spreading bush to about 60cm tall. Racemes of pink, pea-like flowers in late spring / early summer.

This plant never fails to attract admiring comments from visitors, and it deserves to be grown much more widely than it is.

Click here to go to the Indigofera decora page in Karin’s Garden.

Dahlia “Figurine”

Tuberous perennial growing to 1.3M. Each plant will start flowering before it reaches its full height and continue flowering into late autumn. Pink “waterlily” style blooms with whiter centres and darker backs rise above luxuriant foliage.

With the warm spring temperatures Dahlias start flowering early in Karin’s Garden. They have been flowering for months now and and seem not to mind the current extended dry spell. Dahlia “Figurine” fits with the colour palette in our personal garden, but they come in a wide variety of colours and forms. It is hard to imagine that they would not be a welcome addition to any garden.

Click here to view the Dahlia “Figurine” page in Karin’s Garden.

Amaryllis belladonna – Naked Lady Lily

This plant grows from a large bulb that sits on, or close to, the surface of the soil. Extravagant pink flowers rise on bare stems in mid-summer.

Named hybrids are hard to come by as Amaryllis set seed relatively easily. In our garden, as well as the species, we also have the plant pictured below – which I take to be the result of back-crossing an Amaryllis / Brunsvigia hybrid with the A. belladonna species. That would make it A. belladonna x “Multiflora Rosea” though it may be a similar wild hybrid clone. Extraordinary either way.

Click here to view the Amaryllis belladonna page in Karin’s Garden.

Hosta plantaginea – August Lily


This forms a mound of leaves about 60cm tall and the flower spikes rise above that to about 100cm. Spikes of fragrant, large, white flowers rise above broad, pale-green, weed-supressing leaves in summer.

We generally grow hostas for their leaves. The flowers of this one give a welcome boost of interest to shady spots in mid/late summer. The fragrance is wonderful but not especially strong, so you have to get down with the plant to really appreciate it.

Click here to view the Hosta plantaginea page in Karin’s Garden.