About 10–15% of the total land area of New Zealand is covered with native flora, from tall kauri and kohekohe forests to rainforest dominated by rimu, beech, tawa, matai and rata; ferns and flax; dunelands with their spinifex and pingao; alpine and subalpine herb fields; and scrub and tussock. Mainland pōhutukawa (M. excelsa) occurs naturally in the upper half of the North Island (north of … The trees grow 3-4m tall and wide, making them ideal for suburban gardens and courtyards. Plant in sun or semi shade. Viburnums Viburnums have been popular in New Zealand for decades as a screening plant. Great autumn foliage colour too," says NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll. Magnolia grandiflora: Plant collector Ernest Wilson called magnolias "aristocrats of ancient lineage" and this label certainly fits this grand evergreen species. One of the reasons why hawthorns are popular as flowering trees is that they are very hardy. The Southern magnolia tree is widely planted for its beautifully fragrant, creamy-to-white spring flowers; large, shiny, ev… "Amongst our own cultivars, the one Mark named for his father Felix makes my heart sing every year as it opens its enormous flowers. Early spring flowers are breathtaking, opening from a reddish purple in bud to a rosy-pink. Other dramatic daisies are all great choices for wildlife and pizazz – just take your pick from zinnias, rudbeckias and echinacea. And, whenever I'm asked to recommend a 'statement' tree for an urban garden, it's my first suggestion. Spotting them is easy because they're the plants that shout to you, honking their horns in form or flower even across a generous lawn or deck. "Turns out they don't like our heavy clay," she sighs. In the battle of the bulge, dahlias will win out over neighbouring border phlox hands down. Magnolia trees just get better with age and they hold centrestage here for up to three months in early spring. ", READ MORE: * Fast -growing trees to plant for privacy * How to pick the perfect tree: 3 things to consider * Compact trees for small gardens * Best trees for homegrown firewood, For a ray of autumn sunshine, the ancient maidenhair tree is unrivalled, especially planted on a lawn so its leaves can fall in a halo of gold on green. Whether it's a towering sunflower or a row of gladioli, with a prima donna, it's quantity and not quality, because your flowers have to stand out from the crowd. True prima donnas, they have exacting requirements: a particular blend of humus and drainage, and plentiful moisture, just the right shade on their ankles and their heads in the sun. Why you might even get to be president. The silk tassel shrub (Garrya elliptica) has glorious racemes up to 15cm long. Native to Lord Howe Island off Australia's east coast, it's closely related to our nīkau but everything about this palm is more dramatic, including – eventually – its spectacular scarlet seeds. Small gardens. Place stakes in at planting time, rather than later, so there is minimal root disturbance. Their challenge, however, is to bring a bit of softness and subtlety to the party. No flower is sculpted as intensely as a dahlia. In New Zealand, this genus is represented by two pōhutukawa (mainland and Kermadec), six species of rātā vine, a related shrub, and three tree rātā. A small deciduous tree with bold foliage, Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy', seen here in Lynda Hallinan's garden, even has heart-shaped leaves. It was a real thrill to encounter several ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba) in New Zealand towns, as pictured here and below. Fall color is sometimes an attractive yellow. The Coral Tree or Erythrina family represent over 100 species of bright and showy trees. Clip, prop and wrap: caring for trees in Japan is an art form with a practical purpose. And good drainage need to bring a bit of softness and subtlety to the dazzling swimming blues. 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