A few of our previous blogs have highlighted texture as a concept which has value in the winter garden, rather than always harking on about structure. There must of course be balance in all things and at some point we will ourselves discuss structure.

Here, however, is our last blast at the subtler temptations of some winter browns and the textures within them.


Here, in front, Muehlenbeckia complexa is a deep chestnut note, studded with a few of its remaining leaves, which are now lime green. I was somewhat at a loss to know what to do with this Wire Vine  until I discovered that, although the stems are tough and strong in the sense of being difficult to snap in two as the name suggests, it is actually easy to clip. And now that is what I do. I could therefore make this hummock into any shape I wanted, although I think rectangles and squares might be a little impractical. Great for scrambling over banks and covering eyesores like manhole covers. I love its dense web like texture.

To the back the gingery, peeling bark of Fuchsia excorticata makes an open, twiggy and light contrast. Its summer flowers are not the eye smacking jezebels of most fuchsia cultivars, but curiously subtle, greeny, yellow and purple with extraordinary indigo blue pollen. I have been told that Maori girls used to annoint themselves with the pollen. But that could just be the fantasy of the person who told me. If so perhaps it does have jezebel potential after all!

The spindle of this little group is the trunk of Cordyline australis. While I like its ramrod strength, it is its veritically fissured bark here which interests.

I will,when time allows, expand this group. However, the one thing which I will do, is keep the linking geopraphical connection between the plants.  All these plants are from New Zealand. Yes even the one called australis!

There is something to be said for the subtle connections of orgin. They look right together because they came from the same place.


 PS For those bored with stems we promise this is the last, for this season -this is not going to become a Rocky series!