Plant Of The Moment

Anemone x hybrida “Whirlwind” – Japanese Windflower

This is perennial herbaceous plant with flower spike rising to around a metre, above a mass of grapevine-like leaves. Statuesque buds open to rose pink flowers with cupped petals around orange stamens in late summer.

Anemone x hyrida is a “must-have” plant in gardens around the world. “Whirlwind” has semi-double white flowers, and provides long lasting interest with its attractive buds, long lasting flowering period, into winter interest from the faded flower heads. They are particularly noted for flowering in late summer when many other flowers are fading.
Click here to view the Anemone x hrbrida “Whirlwind” 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.

Hylotelephium spectabile “Brilliant” – Showy Stonecrop

A vigorous herbaceous succulent that grows to 40cm in the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae). Individual star-shaped pink flowers are borne in flat cymes that make a wonderful show in early autumn.

Sedums have come to form an indispensible part of English garden design. When planted as shown here, against a house [for drainage], you do have other, less hardy, options in Karin’s Garden. However, they are so reliable and so trouble free that you would be looking a gift horse in the mouth not to include them here. The flowers of the variety “Brilliant” are much lighter and brighter than “Autumn Joy”.


Click here to view the Hylotelephium spectabile “Brilliant” page in Karin’s Garden.

Nerine sarniensis – Guernsey Lily

Nerine sarniensis – Guernsey Lily

Bulbous member of the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) with a flower stem that rises about 30cm above strap-like leaves. Up to 15 brilliant scarlet flowers with recurved petals and wavy margins in each inflorescence.

If it seems a little excessive to list three separate Nerine’s in the Karin’s Garden database, that is a fitting tribute to the captivating beauty of these flowers. We are in that sweet spot where it is not too dry in summer and not too cold in winter, and it seems only right to revel in that good fortune. The brilliant red of Nerine sarniensis stops you in your tracks.

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

Colchicum agrippinum – Autumn Crocus

Colchicum agrippinum – Autumn Crocus

This plant grows from corms and the leaves grow up to up to 25 cm; arising in spring. Star-shaped petals with distinctive pink and white tesselation arise in late summer, long before the foliage.

Other species and varieties of Colchicum are available. However, they tend to have longer stems and goblet shaped flowers that collect rain. C. agrippinum flowers almost directly from the soil and the star-shaped flowers shed rain, making them much more resilient to any wind and rain. If you are choosing your first autumn Crocus to grow, this is a good choice.

Click here to view the Colchicum agrippinum page in Karin’s Garden.

Hebe “Sapphire”

An evergreen shrub growing to 2M, whose foliage develops attractive purple colouration in winter.  Spikes of purple flowers with terracotta stamens  cover this bush in late summer.

Above all others, Hebe is the plant genus that New Zealand gave to gardens around the world. A variety of sizes and forms, combined with hardiness, vigour and colour have justly made these a range of plants that find their way into almost all ornamental gardens. Sapphire is a particular favourite, flowering a little later than most Hebes, and providing a two-tone effect as the flowers fade from purple when they open to white/pink before they fade. I do not particularly value their being evergreen, but the purple leaves in winter are definitely another reason to favour Sapphire.


Click here to view the Hebe “Sapphire” page in Karin’s Garden.

Pandorea jasminioides – Bower Vine

This is a vigorous, evergreen, climber that can reach 5M. Bunches of bright pink flowers cover the evergreen leaves in summer.

Various varieties of P jasminoides can be found around Motueka, often having outgrown their original space. It does seem that you have to be mindful of just how vigorous this plant can be, when choosing where to plant it. However, it is a real joy when you come across it bursting over a fence.

Click here to visit the Pandorea jasminioides 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.

A little watering has brought mine on a little early. Naked Lady lilies can be found all round Karin’s Garden over the next few weeks. They are reliable, colouful, and trouble free. We really are lucky that this beautiful plant is happy to naturalise here.

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

Nerium oleander – Oleander

Vigorous shrub that will grow into a small tree if not pruned. Clusters of pink, funnel-shaped flowers over lance-shaped grey-green leaves.

This is a relatively common plant in Karin’s Garden, often forming part of a screen or even a formal hedge. It is justly popular as reliably producing showy flowers over many weeks, with just the annual prune as maintenance.

Click here to go to the Nerium oleander page in Karin’s Garden.

Albizia julibrissin f. Rosea – Pink Silk Tree

This a small deciduous tree, usually growing to only 5-7M, with a noticeably broad crown. Profusion of bright pink flowers comprising many stamens that resemble silk filaments.

There are several of these around Motueka; in gardens, and municipal plantings as shown below. Many of these are too big to be the Rosea form, though they do look very similar otherwise. The spread means that this is just too big for normal section sizes in town, which is just fine in many ways, as we get to enjoy them anyway.

Click here to go to the Albizia julibrissin f. Rosea page in Karin’s Garden.