NZ House & Garden - - GARDENS - Colleen Fo­ley-Smith

Cli­mate: Win­ter brings frosts and some rain but it’s gen­er­ally a low rain­fall area with dry sum­mers.

Hours spent in gar­den: Very few, just cut­ting back peren­ni­als and an au­tumn clean-up. It’s not a high­main­te­nance gar­den. There is no lawn, and bark chips sup­press weeds in the rare places where soil is vis­i­ble. Favourite plants: Achil­lea, laven­ders… or is it the Ver­bena bonar­ien­sis that throws it­self around the gar­den and waves? I am in good com­pany: the bees, monarch but­ter­flies, wax­eyes and finches love it too. Favourite plant com­bi­na­tion: Smoke bush and ma­roon tulips with white hy­drangeas, Japanese anemones and white berries.

Most use­ful tool: Long-han­dled leaf tongs.

Most boun­ti­ful ed­i­bles: Rhubarb and toma­toes. Gar­den­ing, for me: Is the ex­pres­sion of my cre­ativ­ity and es­sen­tial to my well-be­ing.

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