Lots of plants.
I do have a whole new section to fill, after all.
Because it’s a coastal section, on a slope, in the fairly frostless north, I will need to start by establishing plants that will cope with the conditions. Plants that love lots of humus and water will need to come later, when I’ve done the hard graft of landscaping and brought in tiered gardens and stormwater drainage and lots of compost. Anything that likes the cold… well I did buy some tulip bulbs but I’ll probably just have to over-winter them in the fridge.
So, following one of my two key rules for gardening, I figured it’s better to start with (mostly) local natives as well as a few foreigners that I can see prospering in other local gardens. Unfortunately I have a south-facing slope (in the southern hemisphere), but it’s gentle and most of it gets good, unbroken sunlight. It’s ex-farmland so there’s about 0.5 metres of top soil, and no shading or sheltering trees. I might just have to run a dense-but-not-too-tall windbreak across the top of the section. I was thinking of Toetoe, which is everywhere around here but apparently very hard to buy (probably because people can’t tell the difference between Toetoe and Pampas Grass). Once established it provides wonderful shelter though, should help prevent erosion, and will also make a lovely silhouette against the sky.
I was a savvy shopper, and did manage to get all of the following for a total of around $500:
- 20x Cabbage Trees (Cordyline Australis)
- 10x Pohutukawa trees (Metrosideros excelsa)
- 10x Black Matipo bushes (Pittosporum Tenuifolium)
- 4x Kanuka trees (Kunzea Ericoides)
- 20x Carex grasses (Carex Comans)
- 4x Puriri trees (Vitex Lucens)
- 15x Port Wine Magnolia bushes (Magnolia Figo)
- 1x Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)
- 1x Tulip Magnolia tree (Magnolia x Soulangeana)
- 3x cerise pink Canna lilies (Canna iridiflora)
- 10x Gardenia bushes (Gardenia Augusta)
- 1x black Bearded Iris ‘Anvil of Darkness’ (Iris Germanica)
- 4x Angels Fishing Rod bulbs (Dierama Pulcherrimum)
- 10x rare blue Ixia Elvira bulbs (Ixia Viridiflora)
- 100x purple Tulip bulbs (don’t know)
Not too shabby, considering that’s 213 plants by my count…
I’ll have to take lots of photos of my haul tomorrow when I go and pick most of them up.