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Saturday 20th November, 2021
Lockdown hair .. It's a real thing
It's been said that there are similarities between my hair and Otto the schnauzers, who just happens to be of the salt and pepper shades and has a better hair cut that me presently. I was even offered a free trim with Otto's trimmers to sort the last 6 or so weeks of my unchecked growth using their honed ability from practicing on the dog.
Then from others on the team, 'have you made that appointment yet?' 'what would it look like if you grew it some more' and 'perhaps you need some ties or something to tame that mop?' I know that it would take a ton of product but hey, I work outside and that is never practical in the heat or the rain so best I head off to the barber and luckily today is that day.
On that note we are back in Level two and that means haircut for me and that shoppers from all over NZ are able to come back into the nursery for a visit, though sadly Auckland is not quite at that stage until after the 15th of December. The garden centre is brim full of colour and gorgeous plants to help get that garden sorted and ready for Christmas. Its seems that right now we are back on track to get courier parcels into our big city within an acceptable time frame so things are looking up for us all.
What shade of Blue is that?
Blue is a colour and is used in many plants names and yet without getting too technical is actually a colour or gene that doesn't really exist in flowers except for perhaps just a very few, I mean how often have you seen actually fully blue flowers.
My inspiration for this piece is a customer who wrote saying that they were disappointed in the colour of Wisteria Eds blue dragon which was described as cornflower blue. I guess that in terms of wisterias the shade is probably as blue as the genes will allow as all wisteria are really shades of light purplish mauve and lilac. This is where it all becomes a tad subjective, I imagine that Eds Blue dragon claim to fame is actually for its double flowers which are cute and unusual.
Lavenders are another genus of plants that are guilty of blue names like blue Mountain and Pacific blue and most of us would probably know or agree that the predominant colour of Lavender is purple with a myriad of variations and shades from lilac and mauves that could inspire the word blue. Maybe a mass planting of Pacific blue conjures up a certain image but is it that true sky blue?
Blue roses have always be desired by breeders and the public for as long as I have known roses but the true blue doesn't exist even though some roses have blue in their name. Blue moon is one such example and again at best could only be described as lilac mauve blue. However its still a pretty cool shade and Heaven scent and Moody bluesare two more such roses in the said blue shade that we currently have in stock. Moody Blues as a standard and Heaven scent as a bush.
However some Hydrangeas will exhibit that true blue colour, I think any ways and Renate steiniger would be a good example as also Blue diamond. These plants rely on aluminium ions to enhance their natural blue shades and aluminium sulphate will turn the pinks into purplish shades of blue and really define the those that are blue.
Now being the self confessed plant nut that I am I spied some of the Himalayan poppies available and so just had to have some in the garden centre. Well if I'm being honest, I also really wanted some for my garden too. These are a woodland poppy and like a cooler climate so imagine that they could be a little tricky here but for true blue I just have to give it a go.
Meconopsis Betonicifola The Himalayan Blue Poppy - Meconopsis betonicifolia is one of those plants that captures the imagination. Chinese perennial having mauve-pink to bright sky blue flowers in drooping cymes. It is best grown in part shade as it requires shelter from summer heat and strong winds to ensure good flowering. I see that these are being snapped up online already and so just a few left
Meconopsis Alba is a white form of the Himalayan Blue Poppy certainly has the same sort of elegant beauty as its blue relatives and would look incredible mass planted. Chinese perennial having white flowers in drooping cymes. Like the rest of the Meconopsis family it likes well drained soil.
Meconopsis Lingholm Few plants capture the imagination and fire a lust to possess to the extent this fabled perennial does. Our 'Lingholm' strain is one of the best of the Blue Poppies and certainly one of the most reliably perennial.
Gentians are a plant that I don't know so much about but I do know that they are usually gorgeous blues and thought to have some in the garden centre for the other plant nuts that want to give something a go.. The plants are on the small side but hey they are special! Now these are so new we don't yet have any photos of their flowers, so if you want to see how stunning they are you may be best to look them up online.
Gentiana Blue DiamondDelightful perennial with blue flowers with a deeper blue stripe. Grow in full sun in a free draining soil. Great for rockeries, edge borders or as a feature in a container.
Gentiana Septemfida LagodechianaLow mound of deep green leaves with royal blue trumpet flowers in mid to late Summer. In hot climates they grow best in partial shade. Need a well drained soil that is irrigated during dry spells.
Agapanthus Streamliner is a dwarf Aggie and I would suggest that most of these are true blue as I know blue to be,
Salvias last but not leastcan be of the blue persuasion.. and just arrived Salvia Blue Angel
Lilium Snow Queen You know that Christmas is looming when these lilies are getting ready set to flower as they are always in bloom just in time for the big day. I just love the large white trumpet flowers on tall stems and they pick well for the vase. As the years go past you will end up with a large clump of these stunning lilies.
Lilium Black Outas its name suggests is a very dark almost black colour when first opening then it develops into a deep red.
Christmas trees of the Living kinds... if you are keen for a nice specimen for a pot then best to come and check these out for yourself.. Literally just off the truck today Cedrus deodara, Picea Abies, Picea Sitchensisand Pinus Patula. Pinus Patula is probably the most like our Pinus radiata with the longest needles of green shades. Cedrus Deodara has shorter needles of a blue green shades and Picea Abies and Sitchensis may be perceived as more European looking of the conifers or a Christmas tree. It appears that they have all been trimmed to make them bushy for the holiday season.
These all will make for pretty attractive pot plants but remember that they are outside plants and will only cope inside for a short time before their needles will start to drop.
Francoas we have never had before and I must confess I also had my garden in mind when I suggested to the team that we get some of these in stock. Francoa's are evergreen round textured leaved perennials that suit part sun to light shade. They have tall stems of starry and usually white flowers. There were 4 cultivars available and so I had to have them all. Francoa Starry Eyes, Francoa Lilac Bouquet, Francoa Dancing Flamingoand Francoa appendiculata pink. Once again these are so new we don't yet have pictures for them all, but once they all flower we will get work on getting some pictures up on our website.
Just a final note on the very subjective issue of colour it was interesting to note that Tony picked a bunch of his favourite rose Gertrude Jekyll about a week ago and its the most intense pink. He picked a bunch more last night and I'd swear to the fact that they are now a different shade of pink, perhaps its been the last few days more in the sun. Still the same buds and form but just a shade lighter, regardless of the change in colour they are sure are beautiful though
Its going to be a fab weekend and we are going to get all the jobs done around home like get the garden up to scratch, plantings all finished so that when we get nearer to the holiday season we can just have good old fashioned time off and do nothing. lol
Have an amazing weekend
cheers Lloyd Tony and the Wairere team
P.S. We have a large grade of Hydrangea Limelights for $49.99 each at the moment for those of you who may have missed out on earlier plants or are just looking to add one of these attractive plants to your garden.