More, please...

 Just seven!
Yellow Knophofias

I love mass plantings - lots of one thing in one place. That's why I cram seven pansy plants into one pot - to get that flowering pansy 'afro' hairdo look. And that's why I get cross - only four Alliums flowered in the perennials Garden last month. This month - only seven yellow Kniphofia flowers. I want many, many more. Much, much more! More! More of more! Please...

Saturday 9th January

It's greediness, I guess. OK, so I'm the grabbing gardener at the nursery sale who scoops up all the pots of striped Canna lilies, when surely just one or three would do.

My garden does its own mass plantings, too. Look at all the happy little seedling Calendulas - I love them all! My garden should be completely orange in a few months time. And the perennial blue Agastache, which always produces more and more seedlings.

 The bees love these flowers.
Blue Agastache

On the less desirable side, it's a wonderful summer for sticky willy, AKA Cleavers. Thanks to the birds, plus my own compost, this creepy weed is popping up everywhere. Oh well. It's annual, and easy to pull out. Nature (specifically the wind) is also providing me with truckloads of gum bark off the huge Eucalyptus trees - the fattest of strips, which I'm collecting and piling in a heap by the fence. Enough!

Sally Holmes :
Meet Sally Holmes, one of my favourite country roses.

When I was given seven Sally Holmes roses I planted them all together in one squashed row - I'm so glad I did that, rather than dot them here and there in garden gaps. Their first flowering is in summer-proper, so they need dead-heading all at once, and today I've done just that. I've also trimmed the spent flowers off the lavenders (again planted close in little rows) by the dog kennels. My fingers smell gorgeous!

 Me and my friend.
Happy Hikers at Ryde Falls

Thinking back to my less than generous yellow-hot-pokers, there's the most gorgeous photograph of a mass planting of the ho-hum common orange ones (which I'd expect to bulk out and spread) in my library book on Irish Gardens. I hope the species clump I've planted in the Welcome Garden can do this for me. By the way, I am now the lucky 'owner' of this book, thanks to Winnie who chewed through its spine and cover, bored, while I was having a Christmas afternoon snooze. Hmm... Naturally she picked the biggest, glossiest, most obviously library-bookish book to munch. Bored young dogs are expensive. I'm sure Rusty never did anything so rude...

A Hiking Day...

Yesterday my friend and I went hiking in the Mount Oxford Forest Park with Non-Gardening Partner. Nature was at her brilliant best on one of the slopes, mass-covered with ferns. In another sunnier spot there was a large grove of New Zealand Pepper trees (Horopito).


More often than not the New Zealand bush is a mixture of shrub-singles, so one gets layers of different textures and shades of green. When one type of shrub repeats itself, so to speak, the look is rich and very calming - good for the soul as well as the eyes.

Memo to self - I know this! I've planted lots of Astelias side by side, and they look wonderful. Yet having just one in a border, thus giving it 'accent', even 'architectural' status, is also a good look. In gardening, you see, there are always choices...

 Ferns in the foreground, Pepper trees up high behind the path.
Hiking in Mount Oxford Forest

Already today I've potted up some Lettuce and Lobelia seedlings (lots) for the patio. I've 'done the dogs' and I'm about to trim the remaining Lavenders around the dog kennels. Overnight a whole new batch of gum bark fell down on the Frisbee Lawn, just in case I can't think what to do after that. Hmm...

Fat-Hens and Mrs Oakley Fishers...

There are also some lush mass-plantings of the weed called fat-hen, bit we won't go on about that. Certainly no photographs are allowed. But just for balance, let me record the following : in a moment of severe restraint, knowing that these shrubs could get large, I only planted two Mrs Oakley Fisher roses in the Allotment Garden. Just two!

 The shrubs are still quite small.
Mrs Oakley Fisher Roses