Plant Of The Moment

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.

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.

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.

Yucca flaccida – Adam’s Needle

The flower spike is up to 1.5m tall raising above leaves that lend to fold, so they never rise above about 60cm. Spikes of bell-shaped, creamy-white flowers rise from a basal rosette of sword-like leaves.

This is a wonderful plant to have, with a flower spike that lasts for several weeks. And it is a very robust and reliable plant. However, there are not many around, and I have been unable to find a source in New Zealand. My plants have been grown from seed brought in from overseas, with all that entails!

Click here to view the Yucca flaccida 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.

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.






Trachelospermum jasminioides – Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminioides – Star Jasmine

This is vigorous vine that can reach 5M tall. Covered in a mass of highly fragrant white flowers in late spring and early summer.

This can be casually mistaken for true Jasmine, which also flourishes in Tasman. T. jasminioides is most commonly seen covering a fence, as pictured here. The scent is astonishing. It is a vigorous plant. The one pictured here is one plant that has been pruned to keep it within its allotted space.

Click here to go to the Trachelospermum jasminioides 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.


Aloe polyphylla – Spiral Aloe

Indigofera decora – Chinese Indigo

This is a stemless succulent to 1.0m tall when in flower. Pannicles of bright orange flowers in early summer, over spiral leaf rosette.

The spiral leaf rosette is the main feature of this plant, which is a joy year round. They can be expensive, and a quick check on TradeMe found on being offered for $135!


Click here to go to the Aloe polyphylla page in Karin’s Garden.

Kalmia latifolia – Mountain Laurel

Kalmia Pink – Mountain Laurel
Clusters of pink buds like cake icing pipings, open to little lampshade-like bells.

This is a relatively unusual plant in Motueka, despite its beauty and suitability to the Tasman soil and climate. There are a few around Motueka, mostly “Pink Charm” pictured here, and also a darker pink and Minuet with a distinctive purple band around the inside of each bell..


Click here to go to the Kalmia latifolia page in Karin’s Garden.