Plant Of The Moment

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.

Corymbia ficifolia – Red Flowering Gum

This is a substantial tree, growing up to 15M tall and 20M across. Profusion of orange flowers made up of stamens, can completely obscure the foliage.

Seeing a massive tree covered in bright orange flowers is an astonishing sight. There are three in the southern section of Motueka High Street. However, the space required and the problem of having to wait so long to discover if you have a good, true version of this plant, will always limit the number of specimens that are grown. All the more reason to treasure the ones that we have.

Click here to visit the Corymbia ficifolia page in Karin’s Garden.

Epilobium canum “Solidarity Pink” – Californian Fuschia


This is a spreading herbaceous perennial, that dies down over winter. Masses of tubular pink flowers over drought resistant foliage for many weeks in late summer.

Epilobium have long been known as Zauschneria and they provide a fabulous splash of colour in later summer, through into autumn. They take a year or two to get established but then perform heroically. We may not have hummingbirds to feed on them, but the bees certainly appreciate the nectar.

Click here to view the Epilobium canum “Solidarity Pink” page in Karin’s Garden.

Jacaranda mimosifolia – Blue Jacaranda

Medium-sized tree growing up to 20M. Long-lasting clusters of vibrant purple-blue flowers in early summer.

This tree is said to not like salt winds. The city most famous for its Jacaranda’s is Pretoria, also known as Jacaranda City, which is some 400km from the sea. It is not a particularly common plant in Karin’s Garden, though it stops you in your tracks when you see it. In Motueka it does not seem to mind where it is planted, with a healthy specimen on the seaward side of Trewavas street. Maybe we just don’t get the salt-laden winds that some coasts do?

Click here to go to the Jacaranda mimisifolia page in Karin’s Garden.

Tigridia pavonia “Liliacea” – Jockey’s Cap Lily

This is an Iris, not a lily as the English name suggests, growing to about 60cm. Outlandish pink flowers rise from pleated iris foliage making an eye-catching tropical statement.

Tigridia deserve to be much more common in Karin’s garden than they are. “Liliacea” seems to come true from seed, and self-seeds reliably once established. The garden that let me have my plants routinely mows them in the lawn.

Click here to go to the  Tigridia pavonia “Liliacea” page in Karin’s Garden.

Alternatively the white variety, which I take to be T. pavonia “Alba Grandiflora” is also striking.

Yucca filamentosa – Adam’s Needle and Thread

Yucca filamentosa – Adam’s Needle and Thread

The flower spike is up to 2.0m tall raising above leaves that lend to fold, so they never rise above about 60cm. Spikes of bell-shaped, green-white flowers rise from a basal rosette of sword-like leaves with filaments along their margins.

This stemless Yucca (it does not develop a trunk) deserves to be much more common in Karin’s Garden than it is. A highly reliable and trouble free plant that comes in non-variegated forms as well as the variegated form shown below. The eye-catching flower spikes provide interest for at least a couple of months. Normally I would expect these to flower in Autumn, so maybe these young plants in our personal garden are unusual in flowering this early.

Click here to go to the Yucca filamentosa page in Karin’s Garden.

 

Agapanthus “Brilliant Blue”

Vigorous herbaceous plant with flowers rising to about 1m above leaves to about 50cm. Violet-blue flower heads 6” across, above deep green, strap-like leaves.

Widely grown in Karin’s Garden, this is a fabulous plant, providing masses of colour year after year with little or no maintenance. This is one plant that even non-gardeners in New Zealand will recognise and enjoy.

Click here to go to the Agapanthus “Brilliant Blue” page in Karin’s Garden.