Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Natural Beauty .. .

On my early morning walk through the Hamilton Gardens this morning, all the plants looked bright with water ( earlier irrigation!) and morning light. No one else around, not even the gardeners, just the birds and me . . . . really soul restoring for this woman. In the Te Parapara Maori garden, the gourd vines are flowering, with tiny gourds (above) starting to develop. The flower (below) is elegant and defined, the tendrils light green, clinging to the wooden palisades - I do hope the public leaves them alone to mature. 
Snow white papery petals with a lime green centre, gourd flowers are simply stunning, I had never taken much notice of them before, against the light green foliage and wood background, these flowers really stand out - nature so beautifully designed. 
A small fence surrounds different stones placed in certain positions at one corner of the Maori garden, with gourd vines trailing over and through the kanuka fence.    
The American Modernist garden has plants from the western area of the USA, including the stunning Romneya coulteri or Californian Tree Poppy, a tall stunning perennial which once established, can spread quickly. Above is the bud, below the brilliant white crepe like flower with a strong yellow centre. While checking out the flora I spied a baby hedgehog trying desperately to get out of the empty pond, it instantly curled into a ball while I picked it up gingerly, by one prickle, and put it into the bushes. The gardeners often find them drowned in the water features that abound through-out the gardens, hedgehogs are not native to NZ, brought in by early settlers in the 1800`s to eat the snails and slugs that were also imported !! Afew hedgies probably hitched a ride on sailing ships also. 
There were quite afew bumblebees on these great looking flowers this morning, it was to early for honeybees to be out, but the dear old bumbles were busy working the flowers, bright yellow pollen bags full and fuzzy pollen dusted bodies. I tried to get some decent pics, but I wasn`t quick enough.
Looking through to the Romulus and Reamus statue with the female wolf feeding the twins and her cave in behind. This area is attach to the Italian garden entered via the garden or through a beech covered tunnel effect, the high pagoda covered in a non-fruiting grape vine, beautiful autumn colour.Click on the pics to see detail, the lawns here have almond, fig and olive trees planted in them.It is always interesting speaking to people visiting the gardens, at how many don`t know the story behind the lost babies brought up by wolves, I must be getting old cause I learn`t it at school !


Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you for sharing your morning walk in nature, Marcia. We are in deep winter and it is very brightening for me to visit New Zealand, via the web this morning:)I am off to work on my herbal lesson, and then explore more about your bees on the break I give myself:) xx

Matron said...

What a lovely post! We are mid Winter here but you've given me hope! - I visited another statue of Romulus and Remus recently.. in Rome! fancy you having one there too!

Dee Carlson said...

Absolutely beautiful and so uplifting on this cold, snowy winter night in Iowa! Thank you for sharing.