Friday, December 16, 2016

Christchurch Botanic Garden

Myosotidium hortensia
It's November 3, 2016: our host, Hamish Brown, suggests a stroll through his local botanical garden. A beautiful spring day...why not? I have loaded most of the pictures I took that wonderful morning (our disastrous Election "results" were still a week away--so nary a cloud in the sky--except for some rainclouds that did fatidically close in eventually.)....I photographed labels and can name some plants--but many are just scenes from this wonderful urban garden I would love to revisit! (And perhaps might in another 13 months if an A.H.S. trip I'm scheduled to lead will come through)--click on the last sentence to see a bit more about it!)
Melanoselinum descipiens
I'm a sucker for Umbels--this one from the Canary Islands...

Melanoselinum descipiens

Tree ferns!

Pacifica irises LOVE New Zealand!

Another monster clump by the Alpine House

Syncarpha canescens
This wonderful sub-shrubby Asteraceae from South Africa loved the Alpine House treatment!

Growing alongside Roscoea cautleyoides from China...gardens make strange bedfellows!

A large Helichrysum--probably H. intermedium?

Poor caged cyclamen...I didn't think New Zealand would worry about theft, but perhaps there is a danger...

The traditional Conservatory was very well maintained...

A pleasure to seee lots of unusual plans, bur also an attempt to have them look good...

I'm a sucker for scarlet Passionflowers--but who isn't?

Bromeliads are always flashy

Nicely arrayed tropicals in great shape...

A neighboring greenhouse for remporary displays--he Cinerareas knocked your socks off!

And a fine Cactus greenhouse

The Leuchtenbergia was perfect!

As were all the cacri

Astrophytum is my favorite genus (today anyway)

A breathtaking display of Miltonia in one of the Orchid greenhouses

The obligate Nepenthes

Lovely tableaux on every side...

It looks as though headhunters may have captured some of the previous--hopefully underperforming--staff. Or supervisors?

I love Mimulus. Or whatever they're calling the genus now..."Eyryanthe" in the family "Phrymaceae": D.N.A. hath decreed...

Of course it began to rain!

The gift shop was terrific in a wonderful new greenhouse complex!

And Amorphophallus konjac was in prime form for our visit!

You look out of the greenhouse at enormous Cupressus macrocarpa--hard to believe this is rare in Monterrey.

A lot of these pictures don't really need commentary: just enjoy the Garden's sites if I don't drone one...

A small part of the grand perennial border

My friend, Victor Reiter's wonderful cultivar (Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter')

TB's starting to bloom....aaaah! I love this wonderful season when Nature shifts from Spring to Summer!

Convolvulus cneorum: looking a tad rain-bedraggled: a stand this big is proof that there's a touch of the Mediterranean in the local climate.

I love sweet Williams. Note to self--plant some this coming spring!

A huge canal wraps around most of the Garden (free entrance--but would be easy enough to secure for a bit of revenue...Alas! sometimes I think we only value what we pay for!
Jovellana violacea
A spectacular specimen of this amazing Calceolaria cousin from Chile (thanks for the clarification, Marcela!): I regret I've only labelled it now that almost 100 people have scanned this blog. You must revisit my blogs, and you'll find all sorts of significant changes (hee hee)...
A distinctive form Bergenia ciliata

Dksporiopsis omeiensis
This is a new taxon for me: will it be as tender as Bergenia emeiensis? And will I ever visit Emei Shan? Life is full of questions...

I was slightly amused to see Iris pseudacorus along the canal--a "noxious" weed just about everywhere.

Iris japonica

Iris japonica Closeup

Hostas love New Zealand: I never saw a single snail.

And Rhodies

Forgot to photograph the label, dang it!

And Iris confusa

And more rhodies...

And a red Horsechestnut--probably A.x  briotii

And azaleas

And more rhodies!

Arisaema sp. (japonicum?)

There were Podophyllums in every garden itr seemed...

I loved this one!

And Asphodelus

And I had to visit the rock garden, of course...

A splendid Siberian!

Lotsa pix of the rock garden--these are my specialty after all!

It was really glorious that day--rain notwithstanding.

Eryngium maritimum

Rhodies and rock gardens. What could be better? (and check out the lichens!)

Our trilliums seem to like New Zealand more than their home continent.

Hamish, contemplating the rock garden

Helleborus argurtifolius

Sine eoun

A fine clump of pogon (perhaps wild pallida?)
New Zealanders seem to have the same infatuation with iris that I have: they were extremely well represented in private gardens, nurseries botanic gardens and at plant shows. I love that island paradise!

An extremely beautiful little Viola.

I never get tired of rock gardens.

Iris gracilipes

Dodecatheon meadia

[Sorry for this white space: I can't get rid of it]

A serpent in paradise! Nothoscordum inodorum I believe.

Nothoscordum inodorum
Not a plant to grow in a garden, alas!

More rainy views...(it was lovely)

I'm having trouble tearing myself away, even in the rain!

Davidia involucrata
Whenever I've been lucky enough to find a Dove tree in bloom is always a red-letter day. I've had a few of those on my travels...aaah.

See the dove tree in the distanced?

A monumental Eucalypt

And a family of Paradise ducks--a native bird that has survived the onslaught of invasives...

Rose garden--we'll see that one in the distance soon...

Impeccably maintained and so healthy!

I told you we'd see it close up! Garden art is a dangerous thing in any Universe...
I dedicate this rose to Chris Woods, my favorite rose gardener of all!

And another mini tree

One last goodbye to the conservatory

A demonstration of native groundcovers--here a Leptinella (or Cotula)

And a terrific spread of Scleranthus

A felled cypress stump left for kids to plan on

Enchanting carpet scheme of Anemone coronaria cvs.

And eceryone's favorite Aloe polyphylla--loving New Zealand!

This bed designed to show off "Xeriscape" plants needing no supplemental irrigatrion

Aloe polyphylla budding to bloom (probably in full bloom as I type this)

A Hebe...for the "xeriscape"--(makes me chuckle to see those in the same sentence)

Cornjs cv. (Eddie's white wonder perhaps?)

On our way out!

Ending with a gigantic Forget-me-not: symbolic dontcha think?
And coming full circle, a fabulous planting of the island native Myotosidium of many native wonders in this amazing place!


  1. Good grief, so many amazing plants on the 'want to grow that at least once in my life" list. Rare indeed to find a climate that can accommodate such a diverse group of plants from so many different areas. And that Davidia looks huge, let alone those nice clumps of Podophyllums. Great photos of some great plants.

    1. In its own way, I think New Zealand would blow your mind as much as South Africa did both of us: these pics barely touch the surface of what they accomplish horticulturally. I wish I'd gone there decades ago, Ernie! Not too far from Taiwan--you should take it in next time you visit Donald's China!

  2. Even without taking New Zealand's strict rules against importing exotic species into consideration this garden has a lot of variety.

  3. Some day soon, perhaps, I shall do a little disquisition about that "White List" in New Zealand: it's a foretaste of the madness that we will soon experience in all phases of American society, James. But in New Zealand, they have concentrated all the Governmental stupidity in a single realm: Horticulture. It's an issue that every gardener there confronts every day. Enough said.


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