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.
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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.
Native. An easy to grow and well behaved native tree with attractive, undulating, pale green foliage. The small dark purple flowers emit a heady fragrance in the spring evening air. Great for screening, hedges and for background foliage. Trims well. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3m
Native. A selected form of our popular Pittosporum with a dense and compact habit. The foliage is a lovely dark green. Easy to grow in sun or part shade, reasonably tolerant of most conditions except really harsh frost. Clips well. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 1.5m
A very attractive form of our NZ Pittosporum that forms a neat, evergreen tree ideal for screening or hedging. Glossy, wavy leaves of mid grey-green on stems that have a bluish hue. Easy and quick growing, trims well. Evergreen.
Colour: Brown Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 3m
Ribbonwood. A native tree that is worth consideration for any planting scheme. When young the interlacing branches are covered in small dainty leaves. The leaves and whole tree become more graceful upon maturity. Quite easy to grow and remarkably wind tolerant. Deciduous.
Colour: Yellow / Green Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 4m
This is a very special tree that hails from South Africa and is in the same family as our much loved Totara. The dark evergreen foliage is quite unique in appearance and has an attractive drooping, curving habit. Very tolerant and easy to grow but matures slowly. Very handsome specimen tree.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 7m x 4m
A slow growing dense shrub to small tree with an upright habit. Almost vertical,tight branching habit with deep green strap like foliage. Prefers sun to part shade and requires good drainage. Beautiful as a specimen tree or planted to make an impressive hedge.
Will grow 2m in 5 years. Full mature height 4m.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 2m
Native. A trouble free, easy care shrub that will grow almost anywhere. The drooping, arching branches have rigid, leathery foliage in shades of yellow-green. The tips of the branches will often root where they touch the ground therefore spreading on and stabilizing difficult sites. Evergreen.
Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 100cm
A very attractive form of our native Totara with blue-grey needles of foliage and attractive bark. Good as a specimen in the landscape or can be trimmed to form a dense hedge. Worthy of planting and very hardy and easy to grow. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m
Whilst this evergreen native tree will eventually reach 30m it won't happen in your life time as it is very slow growing. A highly valued native with a special place in Maori history. Dense, bronze green, stiff narrow leaves adorn a handsome pyramidal tree. Estimated height after 10 years.
Native. A dainty ground-cover with fleshy green leaves and a myriad of white, star shaped blooms with a sweet honey fragrance. Flowers appear from spring to autumn and are followed by little berries. Plant in sun or shade in well drained soil that does not completely dry out in summer. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Ground cover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: G/C