Flowering now

A quick photo survey of my garden …

Don’t you just love sweetpeas? I do, even though this is the first time in quite a few years that I’ve grown them. Photo: Sandra Simpson

An unnamed hydrangea from a ‘mega store’. The tag said ‘indoor plant’ so for the past couple of years I’ve been edging it outdoors. Still in a pot and now seemingly happy in a lot of sun. Photo: Sandra Simpson

My oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is looking good this year. The double-forms are worth considering too. One trick to these is that they flower on old wood. Otherwise, a very easy plant. The flowers tint to pink as they age and the autumn colour of the leaves is a welcome extra. Photo: Sandra Simpson

I bought a little Hoya serpens this year, probably at the Te Puke Orchid Show in April. It’s come into flower in the last week or so and is quite sweet. The leaves are small on this one and it has a string-like vine, rather than the tough, woody vines of, say, Hoya carnosa. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Several of my Hoyas have buds on and flower balls forming but the first out was Hoya compacta or the Indian rope hoya, named for the curling habit of its leaves. Photo: Sandra Simpson

I don’t know very much about growing Hoyas so am always thrilled when they come into flower. One lesson I learned was not to trim the vine canes and ‘tidy’ the plant as they flower in the same place on the vine every year – by cutting the cane I lost flowers. I give them a bit of organic fertiliser when I think about it, a sprinkle of blood and bone say, and try to remember to give them good moisture over the summer, even if it’s just a quick spray to damp the leaves and basket, rather than a proper water.

They have a long blooming season for me and are interesting-looking plants and flowers so are nice to have in hanging baskets and pots.


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