Garden notes // Hebes

I have sort of been half-heartedly working on filling the garden bed at the top of our terraces since we put it in last Easter... I found an established magnolia with no label on it (and got it wonderfully discounted as a result), and it bloomed beautifully and popped an incredible seedpod in its first year, so that has taken pride of place in the bed. 

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Other acidic soil lovers followed, including a few camellias and blueberries (mostly for their beautiful autumn foliage as we let the lorikeets enjoy the berries from these bushes). I also put in a couple of random teeny conifers (I'm not sold on them yet though), and a crab apple because, really, you can never have too many crab apples.

But the whole garden bed is still quite bare. This weekend we planted three roses along the fence (old Bourbon roses, the 1843 Souvenir de la malmaison, my favourite). Oh how I look forward to those flowering one day...

We also planted three hebes. I first noticed hebes (rhymes with "jeebies") when we were last down at the coast... actually, I had noticed this particular shrub the year before, but it had grown so much in the year since. I did a bit of research and stumbled down a wormhole of hundreds of varieties of beautiful flowering plants, some of which love alpine conditions (yay!).

Long story short, hebes have been acquired and are now happily flowering in our top terrace bed. The one that we have planted is Marie Antoinette. It is an evergreen shrub with purple flowers that fade to white as the weather warms up. It is considered quite drought resistant (always a plus), and "frost-hardy". That is a term I approach with caution because many a "frost-hardy" plant won't survive below around -1 or -2 degrees Celsius, and therefore hopeless where we live, particularly this winter... brrrrrrrrr! These shrubs survived a snowstorm in their pots before planting and still look happy and healthy, so I think we have a winner!

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