The Christmas Show

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" - because the Pohutakawa is bursting into bloom, right on target. It's known as New Zealand's Christmas tree for good reason with it's scarlet blossoms splashed along the coastlines, particularly in Northland. This favorite native Metrosiderous excelsa the absolute authority on New Zealand trees and shurbs, Audrey Eagle informs me "Specimens of Pohutakawa were first collected by Banks and Solander in 1769", thanks Audrey. 

In contrast a rare color form M. Aurea is blooming right now in my over grown garden.


10 years ago my clivia seeds, purchased from Margot McNeil in South Africa's Drakensberg muontains had grown to young plants about to flower. With my gardener Craig we cleared areas in this densely wooded section of my property, leaving nikau palms and a variety of tree ferns as part of the high canopy providing perfect growing conditions for these robust South African's.

Rather than grouping similar colors, I chose a crazy quilt of many different flowers which resulted in a continuing display from September through October.

Clivia can be grown from seed or by division of established plants. A neat trick in the germination department, is to place a small handful of the mature seed in a plastic pouch with a handful of pine needles and very little water. These you could pin up in a garden work area and be amazed to watch the roots and first leaves appear. I recommend you leave them in this pouch until a second leaf emerges when you can pot them up and keep damp. Plain easy but it works.

Tony talks with J Barry Ferguson about his latest book Flowers are my Passport.

Internationally Renowned Floral Designer J Barry Ferguson

Presenter of RadioLive's Home and Garden Show Tony Murrell was kind enough to come along to my Eden Gardens book launch, and my interview on his show was on Saturday 5 December. If you missed hearing it live, the link is below to hear the recording.

The team who made 'Flowers are my passport'

Celebrating the arrival of the books from Korea at a book launch party at Eden gardens in Auckland on Thanksgiving day November 26th. The folk who made this book (Left to right: Claudine Thompson- book design, Liz Light- my cool, efficient Editor, Tim Brown- of BookPrint my publisher and Belinda Cook- P.R and distribution,with the author).  

Spiced ginger

A foretaste of summer; the first bloom on another favorite rose the soil and situation in my garden does not really favor my roses but the indifferent soil allows this one beauty to thrive. Spotted in a garden center in Acacia Bay, Taupo a couple of years ago the flowers said "take me home". The subtle shading of color from deepest apricot to pastel pink is one thing, the fragrance is another. To me its a subtle mixture of fruit and spice, tough to define but an absolute winner in the perfume stakes.