Time to go na­tive

Plant these blooms now and in a few months you'll have a colour­ful dis­play of na­tives in the gar­den, with glo­ri­ous flow­ers for cut­ting.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CLIPPINGS - AWW

When we think about a bunch of flow­ers, few of us think na­tive – even to florists, “na­tive” posies are usu­ally bulked out with South African or Aus­tralian blooms like eu­ca­lyp­tus, banksias, proteas and leu­ca­den­drons.

Yet in a month or two, New Zealand plants are go­ing to pro­duce the most stun­ning flow­ers for cut­ting.

Here are seven of the best na­tive flow­ers for bright­en­ing up your home and gar­den.

1 Hebe One of our most beau­ti­ful na­tives, which comes in so many shades of colour from deep pur­ple through to light pink and even deeper reds. Plus there are var­ie­gated white ver­sions like Hebe “snow­drop”, which can give a com­pletely dif­fer­ent di­men­sion to your bou­quet. Give full sun to dap­pled shade, moist but per­fectly drained soil, and ask for the best cul­ti­var for your cli­mate.

2 Lep­tosper­mums Of­ten un­fairly named as be­ing sim­i­lar to scrub, the pe­tite flow­ers on these herba­ceous shrubs have the most bril­liant of colours, from the blood red of “Wiri Joan” to the mot­ley pink of “Rosy Morn”. They will grow in most con­di­tions, but thrive in full sun.

3 Kaka beak – Clianthus puniceus These larger trees can be so adorned with yel­low or red flow­ers hang­ing in large bunches that the tree looks like it is bear­ing fruit. A beau­ti­ful way to add tex­ture, shape and colour to a patch of na­tives.

4 Poor Knights lily The fiery red flow­ers of the Xeronema cal­lis­temo are of­ten called red hot pok­ers. These na­tives are highly sought af­ter for their clump­ing be­hav­iour in sub-trop­i­cal gar­dens. The flow­ers are bee mag­nets and give great height in a flo­ral dis­play.

5 Olearia spp A low-ly­ing shrub with daisy like flow­ers in many dif­fer­ent forms. The flow­ers are del­i­cate but the plant is hardy and can with­stand sandy soils and high winds. Plant in rocky bor­ders to fill blank space with colour.

6 Cassinia amoena Small star-like flow­ers on a trig of spiked green leaves. This com­pact shrub grows in drier, rocky ter­rain and coastal ar­eas. If the flow­ers are left to sprout in sum­mer, they make for a beau­ti­ful dis­play.

7 Chatham Is­land for­get-menot For stand­out flow­ers in any bunch, these white or pur­ple blooms are ex­tra­or­di­nary. A very frost ten­der species, the or­na­men­tal clump­ing plants are not easy to grow, but give plenty of colour in the spring and sum­mer.

Na­tive flow­ers such as kaka beak of­fer a riot of colour.

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