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 hebe was developed by a Waikato Nursery as part of the Regal Series of Hebes and named for the Duchess of Cambridge. New leaf shoots are burgundy red in colour, maturing to deep olive green. Masses of purple flowers develop through summer. Trim back after flowering to keep tidy. PVR eligible.
Colour: Purple Habit: Compact Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 75cm x 75cm
A top performing Hebe that is quite a show off in the height of summer. That's when the purple flower heads smother the bush, these flowers fade to white as they age. Nice fresh green foliage that trims well, this is best done after flowering. Plant in a sunny well drained position. Evergreen.
Colour: Mauve / White Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 75cm x 75cm
The Hebe Turkish Delight is a striking shrub which has deep purple-burgundy foliage. In the Spring and Summer it produces blue-mauve coloured flowers, these sit above the foliage on fine stems. Evergreen.
Colour: Mauve / Blue Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 50cm
Chilean Kowhai. A very close relation of our native Kowhai this gorgeous tree from Chile is a multi-award winner. The dark green glossy fern like foliage is decorated with fat waxy bells of golden yellow in spring. The flowers are full of nectar that birds love. Evergreen. PVR 2453.
Plant your 'Sun King' in a sunny well drained spot and if possible protect from really harsh frost. This lovely tree will bring a graceful look to any planting scheme. Perhaps proof that NZ was once part of Gondwanaland.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 3m