New garden bed

We’ve been having some rather blustery winter weather. For the last two weeks, almost day and night have been continuously blowing a gale at 80kmph/50mph. The highest gusts have been about 130kmph/80 mph and have brought down a number of trees across the upper mountains.

And it’s been chilly.

The mornings have been windy and between -3°C and -7°C (26°F – 19°F) with black ice forming on the odd days of patchy rain/sleet or snow flurries. Black ice is not photogenic like the pretty white stuff; it just makes for very slippery driving!

Despite that, I’ve made some progress on the little garden bed in front of the house.


You can see the two roses (one patio and one climbing) from my earlier post and I’ve added three Choisya ternata shrubs which will grow and form a bushy evergreen – and in summer – fragrant hedgerow.

You can also see I’ve put the infernal rocks that I dig up by the thousands to use: they form a small raised bed. As there will always be lawn in the front yard, I’ve created a straight edge from some old timber fence palings. This should keep the couch and kikuyu at bay.

Additionally, I’ve planted some Achillea millefolium “summer pastels” crowns which will give some ferny summer colour. It’s also very frost tolerant (but as this wall faces due North, frost won’t be too much of a problem)

Lastly, a couple of salvia and campanula complete the front of the bed for now.

It doesn’t look like much, but I’m sure it will take off in spring.

Despite the cold, the garden is still blooming:


The Osteospermum ‘lemon yellow’ seems unbothered by the chill, and provides a nice contrast to the oakleaf hydrangea still carrying its purple foliage.

The foxgloves grow bigger each day and I hope to get some flowers by late spring.

Oddly enough, the wallflower that I planted from tubestock in March (Erysimum ‘bowles mauve’) has been hardest hit by the frosts and freezing winds. None-the-less, it is still in flower…..


I must confess that I’m using it as a bit of a nurse plant while the variegated Hebe and the Arizona Cypress in between the two establishes themselves in a couple of years, but I’m quite chuffed with how compact both of these are, and hope that the frost hasn’t cut them back too hard.


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