Colourful wedding bouquet


colourful-bouquet2colourful-wedding-bouquet1colourful-wedding-bouquet3

Isn’t this bouquet stunning? I love the multi-coloured flowers and the multi-coloured ribbons. I also love the two feathers protruding at the top. They just add another dimension to the bouquet.

Here, we have orange ranunculus, purple lisianthus (darn hard to grow), red leucospermum and gloriosa lily.

And then there’s good old eucalyptus. At the moment, eucalyptus is one of my favourite foliage fillers, though if you want to grow your own trees, you need a bit of space.

 

Plant Now: Physostegia


physostegia1
physostegia3physostegia2

Physostegia virginiana, or obedient plant, is grown for its tubular white or pink flowers. ‘Vivid’ is one of the best varieties for cutting, with its long-lasting bright pink blooms. The stiff stems are ideal for arranging.

These plants are called obedient because you can push the flowers in any direction and they’ll stay.

Physostegia prefers average, moist soil, though plants are drought tolerant. Plant in full sun. Pick when just a few flowers at the base of the flower stalk are open.

Look for this plant at garden centres or online nurseries.

Win a Daltons Premium Tomato Pack

daltons-tomato-prize-pack

Send in your gardening question and be in the draw to win! 

Each month Daltons will answer one of your questions – and if yours is pick, you win! Up for grabs this month? 2 x Daltons Premium Tomato packs. 

Each pack is valued at over $80 and contains 2 x Daltons incredible edibles® Tomato Mix, 1 x incredible edibles® grow bag, and 1 x Daltons incredible edibles® Tomato FertiliserPLUS a pair of comfortable, versatile Red Back gardening gloves from Omni Products.

Don’t post your question here. HEAD OVER TO my other site SWEET LIVING for your chance to win.

Plant Now: Hydrangeas


hydrangea-blue
hydrangea-redhydrangeas-ladys-mantlehydrangea-borderhydrangea-bucket

Hydrangeas are in shops now, so go grab yourself a couple, or take cuttings of your existing ones. I prefer these plants on their own in the vase, though occasionally I’ll see a nice mix of hydrangeas and foliage, like the display here (middle photo) by Olive & The Fox, with eucalyptus leaves and lady’s mantle (these are actually faux flowers – can you tell?). In the garden, though, I like my hydrangeas mixed, like this garden border (second image from the bottom) with white hydrangeas (‘Annabelle’), agapanthus, salvias and echinops, and some sort of ornamental grass at the back.

Hydrangeas like rich, moist but free-draining soil in partial shade. Dig in plenty of compost before planting and keep them well watered during the growing season.

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D


flight-of-the-butterflies-3d

I’m going to this film next week. Are you?

The Moths & Butterflies of New Zealand Trust has brought the 3D film Flight of the Butterflies to New Zealand for you, your family and your friends to see. It is a natural history epic, and a detective story. Join hundreds of millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway, and one scientist’s year search to unravel the mystery: where do they go each autumn?

Flight of the Butterflies is being played in five theatres across Auckland, Christchurch and Kerikeri on Tuesday 18th October. The film is a fundraiser for a MBNZT and a Givelittle project that’s underway to help save the endangered and endemic forest ringlet butterfly. The funds will go towards research carried out by a senior conservation officer from David Attenborough’s Butterfly Conservation in the UK.

Want to go? Learn more about it here.

And check out the Givealittle page here.

Try a trollius


trollius2
trollius3trollius1

Here’s something different to try: the globeflower, or trollius. This perennial plant likes moist conditions and part-shade, and shows its vibrant-coloured blooms in late spring and early summer. It’s a great cut flower – just look at these! – and it’s one of the few cut flowers that will grow in shade (they’ll grow in sun too). Pick the flowers when they are just starting to open.

Make sure you position your plants in soil that won’t dry out over summer. Add plenty of compost before planting to maintain moisture levels. Having said that, you don’t want them to be sitting in water over winter, or you might kill them, so choose your spot carefully.

Vertical gardening


vertical-garden1
vertical wall1vertigal-garden4

How cool are these vertical gardens? I’ve recently set up my own vertical garden using these felt-like pocket gardens. You can plant anything you like in them – herbs, strawberries, flowering annuals or leafy plants. I love them so much, I’m now selling them in my online shop (click through here). It’s a fantastic way to brighten up a dull wall, and the fabric is durable, corrosion resistant, breathable, and allows water to be absorbed. Find out more here.

Plant now: Selago densiflorus


selago-dSelago densiflorus

Selago densiflorus is a low-growing aromatic shrub to 1m high. It produces masses of soft purple flowers in late winter and spring. They look a little bit like lilacs (sort of, kind of, though not really), which I can’t grow here in Auckland, so I love them as an alternative. The stems are great for picking too. Plants will grow in sun or part shade, and they will tolerate dry soils.

You’ll find the plants in shops now, or buy them directly from 4Trees.

The top image was taken by Mike Lusk around the Taupo area; the second image is from 4Trees.

Gardening Q&A + your chance to win!

Daltons-Premium-Strawberry-Pack-460Send in your gardening question and be in the draw to win! 

Each month Daltons will answer one of your questions, which we’ll feature here. Up for grabs this month? 2 x Daltons Premium Strawberry packs. Each pack is valued at over $80 and contains 1 x Daltons Incredible Edibles Strawberry Mix, 1 x Daltons Incredible Edibles Strawberry Fertiliser, 1 x Daltons Organic Bio-Fungicide Powder, 1 x Besgrow Coir Briquette – PLUS you’ll receive a pair of comfortable, versatile Red Back garden gloves from Omni Products.

Don’t post your question here. HEAD OVER TO my other site SWEET LIVING for your chance to win.

Plant Now: Hollyhocks and Mallows


hollyhock-3hollyhocks-4
hollyhock-2hollyhock-mallow1hollyhock art

I haven’t planted hollyhocks for a couple of years but I am going to do so this year. I should really have sown the seeds in autumn, but I’m going to sow them now (mid-winter) anyway. Undercover, of course. In my new makeshift greenhouse on the deck. Needs must. I long for an enormous Victorian-style glasshouse, but I neither have the room nor the money to purchase one. So my makeshift plastic contraption will suffice for now.

Hollyhocks (Althaea) flower from late spring/early summer and, depending on what variety you get, can tower above all other plants in the garden. If you don’t want to sow seeds, wait till the seedlings hit the shops (possibly next month) then plant them straight in the garden about 45cm apart in full sun in well-drained soil. They need space for air circulation as rust is a common disease among hollyhocks, especially in humid areas.

Indian or French hollyhocks (second from bottom) do, as their name suggests, look like hollyhocks, but they are actually mallows. They can be sown at the same time as hollyhocks – or look out for the seedlings in garden centres a few weeks down the track.

Photo credits: Top photo from Dave on Flickr; Photo second from top is from Happy At Home; The pale pink hollyhock was found on Indulgy; the striped mallow was also from Indulgy; the beautiful hollyhock artwork is by Fran Stoval.