After me taking such a long break from blogging you probably all thought I’d never come back! Judging from the number of followers it looks like you’ve had the faith to stick around and I thank you so much for that. The WordPress community has been very, very good to me and I’ve missed you all so much.
I’m not going to catch you up on what’s been happening (that’ll come out as I write no doubt).
What I will tell you is that we’ve moved from the city of Dunedin (Otago region) to the town of Gore (Southland region). We arrived here on 05 Feb and have been settling in. This puts us close to Tapanui which is our favourite small town in New Zealand and so its appropriate that my first post for 2018 is about our visit there yesterday (Saturday).
Initially we called in at Top Nosh for refreshments, its a lovely cafe. Then we drove around the outskirts of the town, eventually coming to a fantastic display of massed colchicums in full bloom in a green grassy field with colourful dahlias lined up alongside the fence. We’re well acquainted with this display at this time of year, its right by Blue Mountain Nurseries which we’ve visited countless times.
We drove in and parked, and found Denis looking after the retail area. Denis Hughes’ enthusiasm for plants is legendary and he is such an inspiration, always brimming over with news about his latest projects. On this visit he introduced us to his latest treasure, a Christmas present from his son Chris. We were totally WOW-ed because its the largest specimen of a Wollemi Pine we’ve seen! This is one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants and dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, and was only discovered in the Blue Mountains (Australia) in 1994.
Here’s a photo Nigel took of me with Denis Hughes and the Wollemi Pine. Click twice to enlarge.
The Wollemi Pine is not in the Pinus family but is in the Araucariaceae family. Perhaps you remember the blog post I did on the Monkey Puzzle Tree last year? Its botanical name is Araucaria araucana and its a relative of the Wollemi Pine (as is the kauri tree).
I’ll give you a few links for further reading, if you look below the links you’ll find two photos of the colchicums that Nigel took years ago (2007). We didn’t take a photo yesterday but ten years on they’re still a stunning sight!
Text by Liz 2018; photos taken by Nigel.