Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Awakenings . . .

The view from my front door yesterday morning, the sun shining into my wee house, flickering off the yellow kowhai tree (click on pic to make bigger) with dappled light.

Down in the Maori garden, Te Parapara, in the Hamilton Gardens, the stunning native clematis is flowering. Clematis paniculata or Puawhananga is covered in these delightful pure white slightly scented flowers - I remember as a child the hillsides covered snow white, once picked, it does not live long . .
`Tuhoe Maori considered that Puawhananga was one of the three firstborn children of the stars Rehua (Rigel) and Puanga (Antares). The duty of these three children is to indicate by means of their blossoms the coming of the warmth of spring` - Elsdon Best 1908
Another NZ native plant flowering with great gusto is Brachyglottis repanda Rangiora, also known as Bushmans friend (handy loo paper ), has large light green papery leaves with white hairy undersides. The creamy white aromatic flowers signalled the fourth month of the Maori calendar (Sept), there is also a beautiful purple leafed variety.

Tui in the yellow flowering kowhai tree, we have quite afew of these big native birds hanging out in the Gardens now, such a joyful sound - pure bell-like to a mixture of clunks, chortles and creaky door sounds - this brilliant bird is a very clever mimic and tends to dominate, chasing other birds away !

Very sweet little dark red to black, strongly scented flowers of the Pittosporum tenuifolium, Kohuhu spread their scent at night, hopefully to catch the pollinating services of native moths. Many of our native plants have small, scented flowers to attract pollinators, honey bees were not native to this land and were not needed until NZ was colonized by westerners. We do have about 28 species of native solitary bees which also helped with pollination, birds were probably the main pollinators and spreaders of seed !


Marilyn said...

Beautiful photos and the information you haveing. given here is so interest

Joan said...

A lovely post. I blogged the very same clematis from the Maori garden some time back. Happy spring!

megan hockly said...

I've just signed up and this blog site seems to be easier to use. hope your not missing your camera.....!!