Clay, Sand, Wind – I’ve lived in enough houses between Wellington and Auckland to have experienced them all and with garden designs begging for colour and structure, I’ve loved every minute of creating individual plots of paradise for clients to come home to.

With the weather warm and perhaps a little bit of time on your hands now the days are longer we have a damp enough Spring nation wide to keep planting in your garden. As with all garden planting, be sure to give your plants a best possible start by adding garden mix like Palmers X in generous quantities to each planting hole. I always dig the hole twice the root ball width and half the depth and then backfill with garden mix to allow the tender young roots of your newly planted investment to take hold and easily feed from the soil whilst getting established.

So lets jump straight into some wonderful options for your garden.


A taste of the tropics can be enjoyed in your own backyard (or side entrance garden if is more sheltered and protected from frost) in a Clay dominant soil. Height and texture is valuable in any garden and I always love scent to unwind to at the end of a long day. This is one of my favourite mixes for lush and scented space.


Puka – for large leaves and privacy. The Puka grows quickly and spreads to be a fun climbing tree for the kids

Hymenosporum favum ‘Australian Frangipani’ – Sparce and tall in height with arching branches that drip with masses of Frangipani like scented waxy yellow and cream flowers. Instant Tropicana.

Palms – Syagrus romanzoffiana ‘Queen Palm’ is striking when juvinille as well as when they tower tall and mature. Look for power lines or obstructing views when planting these as they grow up and up.

Cycad – From the dawn of the dinosaurs these feature trees are awesome and look fantastic with Ophiopogan japonicus ‘Mondo Grass’ in green or black are planted en masse beneath.

On a sheltered wall to reflect heat, pop in Plumeria ‘Frangipani’ which grows as a deciduous shrub and is blanketed in fragrant blooms in Summer.

To soften pockets of the garden Asplenium bulbiferum ‘Hen and Chicken fern’ will arch feathery limbs and thrive in Clay rich soil.

For fruit in the garden plant Guava and Feijoa as well as Apple, Peach, Nectarine, Chilian Guava, Blueberries and Plum. Be sure to give the garden a head start with a dressing of Gypsum available at your local Palmers and some good Garden compost mix.


River or Beach, your home will have a holiday feel but may be exposed to the elements. Sandy soil can be a struggle for maintaining nutrients and moisture in the soil. Be sure to improve the existing soil with garden mix. Palmers X is great for each planting hole to give the plants nutrition to settle in to. Here are some fruiting, flowering and foliage solutions:

Albizia julbrissin ‘Silktree’ is a graceful feature tree for dappled shade in summer and is small enough for the urban garden. Plum will feed the family along with Feijoa and Guava berries.

Griselinia littoralis for hedging and lush green pockets of bright apple green leaves. Echium with its towering blue summer spear flowers. The branches are sparse below when mature so to hide the naked limbs it is great to plant Lavender or Tropical impations to hide the ‘legs’.

Succulents like Schwarzkopf and Echerveria look smart when backed by green Carex and edged with Gazania.


Now it is just as windy in Auckland as Wellington… at times! With a beautiful vista often bears the brunt of wind. Even if your plants are wind tolerant, they still need the best chance to grow and providing wind break cloth secured with stakes will help your garden get established. Thankfully Palmers stock everything you will need for this task. Stone and pip fruit trees don’t like the wind but I still have options you may not have thought of.

Titoki – A popular urban Native tree that has berries for the birds and can withstand windy sites if protected while young.

Melia – Fragrant flowering feature tree and attractive yellow beads in winter.

Flax – the Purple Tenax gives height and width as a background plant that Tui’s love. Miniture varities give bold contrast to the garden and look fantastic in the wind when planted with Carex and Manuka.

Pockets of Hebes for mixed coloured flowering and swathes of Callistemon Little John provide texture and variety and for fruit Macadamia, Feijoa, Blueberry and Chilian Guava give a mix throughout the seasons.

Options abound! And don’t forget; pop in store your local Palmers. The team are happy to help with solutions for your piece of paradise at home.