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Thursday 15th August, 2019
The bees know that spring is in the air!
There is a camellia in the courtyard which is looking absolutely stunning at the moment with masses of pretty pink flowers... as I was standing underneath admiring the blossoms there was this hum of activity and on closer inspection realised that the Camellia was alive with bees.
On that note, out the back we also have an amazing Camellia hedge of the species Transnokoensis and the bees are going hard out doing their thing there as well.
I haven't always thought of the bees being attracted to camellias and I imagine that a prerequisite is for the flower to have prominent stamens, the males bits of the flower, showing as opposed to those double Camellias that are a bit more coy.
I will own up to the fact that there is this chap who has more than a few beehives out the back of the nursery and yesterday when it was nice, sunny and warm, well there were 1000's of bees flying in all directions... Its is amazing to watch and to think that they don't hit each other... It did cause a bit of a frenzy when the 30 local yearling happened to walk past on their way to another paddock.
Clients in the garden centre often notice that we have a lot of bees visible and that is because of all those hives out the back and of course the newly arrived stock is a fresh source of pollen for them.
Ghostly Princess Sensation White Transnokoensis The Princess Major
Now I know that Ang got some Lavenders in this week and they do have flowers so I bet the bees find them pretty quickly. It's early for us to have Lavender in stock but these plants have all been grown outside and are hardened off. They will like a full sun position in well drained soil.
Lavender Major A classic of the dark purples and the rabbit ear tops and perfect for the bees.
Lavender 'Major' is one of the most popular Lavenders sold in NZ and there's a good reason for that. The plump purple flower heads appear in abundance from early spring through to late summer. It performs well, looks good and clips well.
Lavender Sensation WhiteA beautiful upright, bushy lavender. The fragrant flowers are soft grey blue with clear white wings that are held above silver grey aromatic foliage in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Tolerant of light frosts and humid conditions. Stunning, low maintenance Lavender.
Lavender The PrincessWhat a pretty little Princess this Australian bred lavender is with dark pink tufted blooms that appear from spring through to summer. Aromatic grey-green foliage combines well with the flowers. Loves the sun and good drainage and a coiffure after flowering.
Lavender GhostlyPrincessBred to be a compact plant with masses of flowers through the spring and summer. Striking silver foliage complimented with aromatic, pink flower heads. A neat, compact habit and should require low maintenance. Dry tolerant, easy to grow. Prune back by a third in late summer to maintain shape.
What you learn when you look stuff up
Rice flower, white dogwood, pill flower, sago bush... no wonder common names can be confusing. The Latin name is Ozothamnus diosmifolius which does sound rather exotic (if you can get your tongue round it) but then I googled the name and read that it's synonymous, or once named, Helichrysum diosmifolius, then of course I realised that this attractive plants belongs to the Daisy family or Asteraceae.
Helichrysums are renown for dry or papery blooms like everlasting or straw flowers and these are no different, other than being really tiny. I imagine that the common name comes from looking like grains of rice. Carrying right along with all my assumptions based on what I know about the Helichrysum family, that these Rice flowers could well be dried and used in dried floral arrangements. I'll quickly add that as a rule they'll like a full sun, well drained position in the garden.
These Ozothamnus form quite a large shrub of up to 2 metres but prune in the formative years to get a shrubby habit going and keep pruned after flowering to maintain size and shape.
Masses of papery upright flowers from late Winter through to Spring the flowers are beautifully offset by the bright mid green foliage and stems of the bush. Flowering in small flowers in tones of mauve pink this is an easy care, medium size shrub that is drought tolerant
Ozothamnus Royal Flush An excellent plant that is great for picking and flower arranging. Masses of papery upright flowers from late Winter through to Spring. Almost purple buds opening to rich pink flowers. Plant full sun. Prune hard after flowering.
Ozothamnus SpringtimeWhiteMasses of papery white clusters of pure white flowers are beautifully offset by the bright mid green foliage and stems of the bush. This is an easy care, medium size shrub that is drought tolerant. Tip prune when young to promote a compact habit and prune heavily after flowering once established.
Ozothamnus Hypocalymma Adenandra
Royal Flush Just Blush Springtime White Golden Veil Adenandra Uniflora
Some other different plants to check out
Adenandra Uniflora, Porcelain flower, China flower, An exquisitely beautiful little shrub with shiny white flowers, Adenandra uniflora is perfect for well drained soils and sunny spots in small gardens. It’s also ideal for growing on walls and in raised beds.Tidy compact growing shrub, which continuously blooms.
Hypocalymma C. Golden VeilHypocalymma cordifolia ‘Golden Veil’ is a small shrubby member of the myrtle (eucalypt) family growing to 1m x 1m with white and green foliage tipped with new pink growth. The brightly coloured foliage is excellent in a medium sized container as well as in well drained spots in the garden.
Daphne pink and white, doesn't really require any additional intro from me but we do have just in again a really good grade of these beautifully fragrant plants. They have had a really good growing season and are all looking robust and bushy. We have some standards in
Boronia megastigma lutea is a gorgeous yellow Boronia with a heavenly perfume, in fact it has the strongest fragrance of all Boronia. Usually only getting to about a meter tall, this compact, upright shrub prefers full sun in moist, well drained soil.
Delphiniums are here in abundance and looking perfect for planting now. We have a nice range of blues, whites and pinks, many with dark eyes for that little bit of contrast. Cathie has loaded a How to... page with lots of good info on it including hints and tips from Dowdeswell Delphiniums for growing lovely healthy Delphs. Check it out How To.
Seed potatoes and yams are still good to plant now. The yams look seriously appealing in their packaging but don't cook them yet, plant them first and get your crop growing. We have both red and yellow varieties available. Same with the potatoes, there are many to choose from that will cover early, main and late harvest crops. It is noted in the description of each variety which of these groups they fall in to make your selection easier. Click here for a full guide on potato selection.
Update on that date pudding.. when I was chatting to mum about the recipe I said that it didn't sound like a lot of dates in that pudding ... oh no she says I always add extra dates and sometime sultanas ... so there you go
Roses are really looking amazing in the garden centre if you are looking for a rose or two, we have roses in all their forms, bushes, standards, patio standards, weepersand pillars. Now is the time to get them in the ground so they can settle in before summer flowering. Remember to provide good support for all standards, pillars and weepers. When planting remember to position your stake in the hole before you put the plant in and add fertiliser on top after planting.