Gardens and more gardens

Felt like I might have been running out of steam today, but still managed the “just one more” approach. The Garden and Art Festival draws to a close at 3pm tomorrow – there are exhibitions at several sites (including Graham Crow’s marvellous paper hydrangea installation at Gallery 59 in Ninth Ave), the Hub and the garden trails. And that will be it for another 2 years …


Wood and gravel combine to make a transition between asphalt and lawn in this city garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Another version, this time linking the paths and the beds in the Spiers’ garden at Tauriko. Photo: Sandra Simpson


A striking colour combination – the sweet William was actually almost black, while the maple was a deep wine colour. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Visitors try out the bath seat in a new area at the Marsh garden in Te Puna. Photo: Sandra Simpson


The swimming pool and its rock surround in the Marsh garden attracts a lot of attention, one visitor today saying he’d never seen anything like it in a private home. (The penguins, by the way, aren’t real!) Photo: Sandra Simpson


There’s also water in the van Deventer garden – a water-lily pond (with flowering lilies) that’s tucked away from the main house. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Paulien van Deventer says there were three Cycas revoluta (sago palm) in the garden when she moved in, now there are about 2 dozen scattered through the large garden, all descended from those first plants. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Paulien van Deventer and husband Hans regularly remove yellowing fronds from their cycads and Paulien assures me they grow back. “It seems if they flower or cone they lose their fronds; they can’t do both at once,” she says.

Here’s an informative article of growing various kinds of cycads, including the sago palm.


The Suspended Forest installation of kokedama has been attracting plenty of interest at the Hub. Photo Sandra Simpson

The Suspended Forest has been made by Coraleigh Parker of Pickled Whimsy and looks spectacular. However, I suspect many of the plants she’s used wouldn’t be suitable for growing like this long term – most orchids, for instance, need to dry out between waterings and are epiphytes so having their roots enclosed in a peat ball which in turn is wrapped in sphagnum moss wouldn’t be conducive to their health. As for the trees … a whimsy indeed.

Here’s a how-to for kokedama and another.