The Evolution of The Oxalis Bed

I am ready to let the Oxalis Bed go. I took it on from a neglected, weed-infested, weedmat-smothered thing, sprayed the armies of oxalis, watched as long-forgotten bulbs arose and transformed it into a nicely planted garden bed, which still has a lot of growing to do. Unfortunately, I never could eradicate all of the oxalis. Ah well, here’s hoping the next tenant is a gardener.

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In the beginning…
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The rise of the bulbs
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Things are a-changin’
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My work here is done

Everything I’ve planted in here is a New Zealand native, except for the silver and purple-leaved ground cover, Ajuga ‘Port Wine’. The native grasses (sedges) are Carex dissita (Forest Sedge), the larger green sedge; Isolepis cernua (Fiberoptic Grass), the small green sedge/reed; and Carex tenuiculmis, the red-brown sedge. The two shrubs are, well, I’m not entirely sure. When I bought them I knew they were one of the native coprosmas and was told they were Coprosma rigida, but I’m not entirely sure about that. Especially since the assistant got the species of flax I was also buying wrong, and I had to correct him. It pays to have plant knowledge! I think they may be Coprosma tenuicaulis, but they haven’t produced any berries yet and I’m not skilled enough with my small-leaved coprosmas to be sure. In any case, I like them. There are also a few dwarf flaxes in there, Phormium ‘Bronze Surfer’, and the pre-existing, exotic but seasonal bluebell and snowflake bulbs, which will rise from the ground in late winter and spring.

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I have grown quite fond of the Port Wine; not to be confused with an alcoholic beverage. It is a quick grower, a good weed suppressor, low-maintenance and it is a beautiful colour. It works equally well with bright green plants and red-brown toned plants. Naturally, I have potted some up to take to the new garden, all ready for a new project, or two, or ten…

Ajuga 'Port Wine'
Ajuga ‘Port Wine’

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