My very windy garden
This garden has amazing views but has to deal with strong winds gusting up the
valley from the sea. Blocking the view is not an option and care has to be taken with the roots of certain plants because of the septic tank.The constant winter winds can also cause major problems with the plants, so it is quite a problem. This year 2021 I have planted lots of Phormium tenax around the garden with more bamboos and Giant Echiums to create some wind free spots which will allow me to plant other species that cannot survive this outdoor wind tunnel. .
2021 The flowers are coming through the living room window. The Yellow false ginger flowers are highly scented in the evening in order to attract moths.
This is a late summer display with the small yellow perennial sun flowers in the background. The bees love these.
The blue tits and the newly arrived chiff chaffs like to use the Cannas and the flower stalks of the Phormiums as viewing spots or hunting perches as they both fly at the window afterwards and grab flies. The chiff chaff maybe a willow warbler as they are identical apart from their legs, one has brownish legs the other browny pink - I can't make my mind up. Whatever it is, it can hover like a humming bird just before it grabs the fly.
2021 late summer, many of the flowering Giant Echiums have finished and been removed. There are roughly about 25 that will be flowering next year. Planting fairly tightly in groups of three helps them
survive the strong winds. Many New Zealand flax have been planted all over the garden to give the other plants some protection but it will be a couple of years before they get big enough.Bamboos, Phormiums and Giant Echiums have also been planted together as an informal hedge, each giving the others some support from the east and west winds. At some point it will just bamboos and Phormiums, but Giant Echiums like to self seed and add something unplanned to the garden.
The beauty of this type of designing is that plants can be added or subtracted or just moved around. At the moment they are still in groups or rather long lines huddled behind some existing trees. The Cannas should be larger this year like the year old bamboos but the remaining large bamboos will be split into two. And the design will probably be completely different.
The flower of the False Ginger Plant almost 14" long. It is a shame that the flowers only last about two weeks, but sometimes they do not all open at the same time. I think that they are pollinated by moths as the scent first thing in the morning is at its strongest. The long red stamens certainly add to the flowers distinctive shape, Hedychium gardnerianum - The Kahili ginger lily or false ginger lily plus many other common names.
Spot the fly catcher, who has learnt to get nectar from the flowers of the New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), In return it usually gets an orange head which then pollinates the next flower.I have only ever seen blue tits do this as well, but lots of birds in the southern hemisphere pollinate these flowers The rain has washed the orange pollen off.
Spot the bee
I have estimated that there are 30,000 small individual flowers on all the Giant Echiums and the bees arrive at 6am and can still be found at 9.30pm. The clever ones have now biult a nest in the bottom corner of the garden in the ground. Large medium and small bees all seem to be living together. I now also have a pair of chiff chaffs in the garden