Astelia chathamica – Silver Spear

When I’ve been away from Cliffe for more than a couple of days I feel a little bit disconnected, like I’ve got to learn it all again, that I’ve missed out on stuff that has been going on behind my back and I’ve got to catch up with the gossip.  Today was probably not the best day to reacquaint with my inner garden.  It was more like the kind of day that you have to hold on to the side of the cliff and pray for mercy.  Well this morning was anyway.  It did get marginally better this afternoon but the wind was still severe and all things were to be pegged, secured and weighted down to avoid embarrassing waddling/running in waterproof trousers to retrieve lost property.

My tour of the garden revealed a few changes.  The lawn is a quagmire.  The herbaceous plants that really should be resting now are just beginning to nap.  Lots more camellias are flowering, St Kew in particular is looking good.  Bulbs are coming up and the snowdrops are well on their way.  This Astelia chathamica caught my eye as I lumbered past earlier today.  It originates from the Chatham Islands, 800km off the coast of New Zealand, you couldn’t get much further away on this planet.  It is looking stunning with its sword like leaves that willingly turn their truly silver undersides upwards for our delight.


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