There are so many good reasons to plant a New Zealand native as gardeners all over the world have discovered. During a recent trip to Europe I swear I saw a Cabbage Tree (Corydline) in every back yard I peeked into! Here at home, planting a NZ Native is really an act of conservation as it ensures the continuation of native plant species. Along with that there is the added bonus of attracting native birds to your garden and beneficial native insects. However before we get too "Green" and serious lets just apreciate the wonderful layers of colour, texture and distinctive form that NZ Natives offer the gardener.
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What could be more architectural than a Cabbage Tree? Perhaps the only competitor would be our NZ Flaxes (Phormiums) which are available in small, medium and large with a wide colour palette. These cannot be beaten for toughness and adaptability and are simply fabulous planted en masse. Can you imagine New Zealand without Kowhai trees (Sophora) driping with bright yellow bells in summer and being squabbled over by noisy Tui's? Did you know that some Kowhai plants only reach 1m and are therefore ideal for smaller gardens or container growing? And what about our own unique Christmas Tree, the Pohutakawa (Metrosideros) which is so easy and rewarding to grow in frost free areas.
You won't get a better ground cover for difficult sites than our native Coprosma varieties. Then there are native "grasses" for mass planting and Hebes for adding year round colour. Corokias and Pittosporums for hedging, windbreaks, or no nonsense background foliage fillers. Did you know that the shy Pittosporum flowers have an exquisite perfume? Pseudopanax offer unique foliage form and colour and are ideal for adding height. In garden design our native plants can stand alone or combine superbly with exotic imports to provide a rich tapestry.
For best results plant Native plants in early spring in a well considered position as, just like us, they resent being moved unnecessarily. Other than that most natives are extremely easy and rewarding to grow.
This is a great little shrub that will grow just about anywhere, even dry, windy difficult sites. Narrow green leaves and a 'zig zag' branch pattern certainly add interest as do the bright yellow flowers that appear in spring. Red berries follow the flowers that will attract birds to your garden. Evergreen
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 1m
Native. A striking Flax with gracefully arching leaves that are mainly toned a nice rich red outlined with a margin of darker red. Hardy and easy to grow in sun or part shade. Very effective when planted in groups. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 75cm x 75cm
Native Arching sword like foliage in rich green outlined with yellow, forms a nice robust clump. Tolerant of sun or part shade and very hardy and easy to grow. Looks striking when mass planted. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown / Yellow Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m
This is just a fabulous flax that has won much admiration both in NZ and world wide. The bright pink arching leaves are edged attractively in green. Looks stunning group planted or make a simple statement by planting in colour co-ordinated container. Easy to grow. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
Native Flax. Strong upward swords of foliage that droop gracefully at the top in tones of rich salmon pink and coral red with bronze margins. Will grow in sun or part shade, hardy and easy to grow. Great for group planting. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown / Yellow Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Native Flax. Vigorous grower with gracefully drooping foliage heavily variegated yellow with increasing green zone as the leaves mature. Will grow in any reasonable soil. Looks its best in semi-shade. Excellent for accenting in the landscape. H1-2m
Colour: Assorted Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: cm x cm
Phormium Yellow Wave
Current Stock Height: 40/50cm ?
Container: 1.9l ?
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Native. Grey green leaves outlined in creamy white make this evergreen native shrub a welcome and useful contrast plant for the border or shrubbery.
Generally well behaved and easy to grow. Prefers a sunny spot.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
Native. An easy to grow and well behaved native tree with attractive, undulating, pale green foliage. The small dark purple flowers emit a heady fragrance in the spring evening air. Great for screening, hedges and for background foliage. Trims well. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3m
Native. Dainty deep green leaves that quickly form a low mat of tight foliage. In spring and summer myriads of starry shaped white flowers dance above the foliage, followed by fleshy red berries. Plant in sun or part shade in well drained soil that does not completely dry out in summer. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Ground-cover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: G/C
Native. Dainty deep green leaves that quickly form a low mat of tight foliage. In spring and summer myriads of starry shaped white flowers dance above the foliage, followed by fleshy purple berries. Plant in sun or part shade in well drained soil that does not completely dry out in summer. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Groundcover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5cm x spreads
NZ Native Lancewood. When juvenile this tree has a single stem and stiff sword-like narrow leaves that are a bronze green shade. Older plants form a rounded head of smaller leathery foliage. Striking landscape plant especially when planted in groups. Tolerant of sun or part shade and light frost. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 1m
Native. The floral emblem of NZ and loved by Tuis and gardeners alike. The native name Kowhai means yellow and represents the pendulous racemes of nectar filled yellow flowers that appear in spring. This species flowers at a younger age than others. Evergreen.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4.5m x 3m