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.
Native. This delightful little NZ Flax has a strong band of pink through each arching sword of foliage. Nice compact habit making 'Pixie' a good choice for a rockery or container. Easy to grow and tough as anything. Evergreen. PVR FLX029.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 75cm
Native. A beautiful Flax with luxuriant, unfading rich purple-black swords of foliage that form a neat clump. Equally fabulous in the garden or a container and so easy to grow. Sun to part shade and soil that does not completely dry out in summer will keep this Flax looking good. Evergreen.
Colour: Yellow / Red Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Native. A very attractive Flax with arching, broad, sword like leaves in tones of bronze-green with pink margins that gradually fade to cream. Overall has a pink tone so nice to combine with grey or burgundy foliage. Plant in sun or semi-shade. Hardy, vigorous and evergreen. RHS AGM.
Colour: Brown / Yellow Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Native. A well behaved little Flax with interesting, twisting, fine foliage in over tones of bronze with hints of green, red and yellow in the under tones. Great for mass planting and generally hardy and easy care. Plant in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
A dwarf compact clumping variety of flax that forms many fans. The bronze leaves are upright and become twisted. They have a darker bronze on a pronounced margin. Full sun. Frost hardy Coastal and wind tolerant. Evergreen
Colour: Yellow Habit: Clumping upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 40cm
A new must have for the garden. Its beautiful bronze colour makes it an excellent choice for colour contrast against green. Very tolerant of frost, wind and coastal conditions, Phormium 'Sweet Mist' will come up trumps. Grows to 35 to 40 cm tall.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 40cm
Native flax. A very handsome flax that will provide year round colour with it's brilliant gold, cream and green striped leaves. Looks great in semi-shaded areas. Tolerant and hardy, withstanding most conditions. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m x 1m
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
A NZ Native, mat forming ground cover with tiny, white starry, fragrant summer flowers and attractive blue foliage. Great in rockeries or for mass plantings to cover banks and retaining walls. Grows in full sun and part shade, coastal hardy and happy in dry soils.
Colour: White Habit: Groundcover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: cm x cm