Flower of the month
Christmas lilies The deliciously fragrant trumpetshaped blooms of either Lilium regale or L. longiflorum are a real favourite at this time of year, particularly with florists. To give your house a festive flavour in the weeks leading up to Christmas, buy potted blooms ready to flower and place them in containers outside. Don’t forget some lily flowers for the house too. Snipping the tops off stamens will ensure the bright yellow pollen doesn’t stain clothes and tablecloths. Leave some stem and leaves when cutting lily flowers – like all bulbs, they build energy for next season’s flowering through their foliage. Plant lilies where their tops will receive sun but bulbs won’t dry out.
There are plenty of gardens to see this month with festivals all around the country, including in Tauranga (gardenandartfestival. co.nz), Taranaki (gardenfestnz. co.nz) and Waiheke Island (waihekegardenfestival.org.nz). If you’re keen on garden art, don’t miss the fabulous NZ Sculpture OnShore on Auckland’s North Shore (nzsculptureonshore.co.nz).