The Weather Is Better… at Larnach Castle!

While the weather here in the Pacific Northwest  is still frosty, I’ve been thinking fondly of the cool, wet fall I enjoyed in New Zealand. One of the more blustery days on the east coast of the south island was spent at Larnach Castle. Sitting just east of Dunedin, it serves as mostly a tourist attraction and B&B. It also boasts an impressive garden. When I visited, it was just to check out the gardens of course.

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Larnach Castle in the mist.
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There are so many paths around the castle, it’s easy to get lost!
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There were quite a few nice Abutilon growing around the castle.
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I’m not sure what kind of flowering maple this one was, as there were almost no labels on any of the plants. The agony!
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Is it Abutilon ‘Canary Bird’? I’ll never be sure, but that’s okay I guess.
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If I had to choose two colors that represented Larnach Castle, it would be green (of course!) and red. Green leaves and red flowers were obviously the gardener’s favorite.
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Fuchsias were everywhere. You couldn’t take more than a few steps without seeing one. Unfortunately, almost none had labels.
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Eccremocarpus scaber (Chilean Glory Flower) wasn’t a common sight in New Zealand. In fact, this one may have been the only one I saw during my entire stay.
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Another rich, deep green leaf around the castle.
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There’s no mistaking this iconic kiwi Cordyline indivisa. Massive!
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Melanoselinum decipiens (Black Parsley) looked incredible up close.
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They remind me of tree ferns.
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It’s almost creepy to see a group of Echium pininana looming off in the mist. It’s very possible that these four were weeds.
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If you were thinking you were looking at an English castle, look again. This lion will set you straight. All Blacks!
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It’s amazing, the difference that the aspect of exposure can have on plants. These Sempervivums spanned the spectrum in terms of sunlight.
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I never thought I’d see so many impressive Sonchus together at one time!
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Clianthus puniceus (Kaka Beak) looks great up close. It even keeps with the red and green theme.

I have a few packets of Clianthus puniceus seeds that I was able to bring back home with my luggage. I have yet to plant them, but I hope to start that soon. Supposedly they are quick to germinate and quick to grow. If I can manage even a meager germination rate, I should have several that make it in my care.

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The leaves of C puniceus seem so bright during a rainy day.
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No kiwi castle would be complete without a few Phormium tenax.
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More flax, this time in pots.
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Another common sight in this part of New Zealand; giant Furcraea. I’m fairly certain that this one is F bedinghausii.

There were a few areas around the castle grounds that I didn’t check out, simply because the weather was cold, wet and windy. It was a good day to spend indoors. I’m pretty certain that my navigator would have rebelled, had I venture out much further into the garden.

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