There are so many good reasons to plant a New Zealand native as gardeners all over the world have discovered. During a recent trip to Europe I swear I saw a Cabbage Tree (Corydline) in every back yard I peeked into! Here at home, planting a NZ Native is really an act of conservation as it ensures the continuation of native plant species. Along with that there is the added bonus of attracting native birds to your garden and beneficial native insects. However before we get too "Green" and serious lets just apreciate the wonderful layers of colour, texture and distinctive form that NZ Natives offer the gardener.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
What could be more architectural than a Cabbage Tree? Perhaps the only competitor would be our NZ Flaxes (Phormiums) which are available in small, medium and large with a wide colour palette. These cannot be beaten for toughness and adaptability and are simply fabulous planted en masse. Can you imagine New Zealand without Kowhai trees (Sophora) driping with bright yellow bells in summer and being squabbled over by noisy Tui's? Did you know that some Kowhai plants only reach 1m and are therefore ideal for smaller gardens or container growing? And what about our own unique Christmas Tree, the Pohutakawa (Metrosideros) which is so easy and rewarding to grow in frost free areas.
You won't get a better ground cover for difficult sites than our native Coprosma varieties. Then there are native "grasses" for mass planting and Hebes for adding year round colour. Corokias and Pittosporums for hedging, windbreaks, or no nonsense background foliage fillers. Did you know that the shy Pittosporum flowers have an exquisite perfume? Pseudopanax offer unique foliage form and colour and are ideal for adding height. In garden design our native plants can stand alone or combine superbly with exotic imports to provide a rich tapestry.
For best results plant Native plants in early spring in a well considered position as, just like us, they resent being moved unnecessarily. Other than that most natives are extremely easy and rewarding to grow.
Attractive NZ native grass that forms a clump of tussock-like foliage. The leaves are a dark bronze purple. Upright and graceful, looks fabulous planted in large drifts. Hardy to just about any conditions but happiest in a sunny position that does not dry out completely in summer. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 80cm x 50cm
Native. A lovely soft bronze- red grass with fine tufts of arching foliage. Grows in a wide range of conditions including coastal. Comans means "like a luxuriant head of hair" hence the common name of 'Hair Sedge'. Looks its best in large drifts. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 20cm
This native 'grass' is really tough and hardy tolerating cold winds and almost any soil. The brick-orange foliage looks very graceful as it waves and dances in the wind. Ideal for planting in large drifts. If the clumps become a little untidy just chop back hard for renewed vigour. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 50cm
Native. The ubiquitous green Cabbage Tree has earned its place as a NZ icon both in the natural and cultivated landscape. Rich green sword-like foliage that forms a broad head on top of a strong trunk. Panicles of fragrant cream flowers in summer. Grow in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Cordylines look best planted in groups of 3 or more. They will also do well as a container plant.
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 2m
Native Flax. Little 'Jack Spratt' will not get fat as it is a delightful dwarf flax with narrow upright bronze-red leaves. Looks particularly good group planted. Tough and hardy and quite well groomed. Plant in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 0.3m x 0.3m