Macro Monday


Kakabeak; Clianthus maximus, or kōwhai ngutukākā in Māori. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I was given several seeds of this native plant, and this one is the first to germinate.

Although kakabeak is popular with gardeners in New Zealand, most plants are grown from a just few cultivars. In the wild, both Clianthus maximus and Clianthus puniceus are critically endangered.

Although it’s likely my seeds are from one of the common cultivars, it is still a wonderful plant to grow for its beauty and as a food source for native birds. Eventually.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  

― Chinese proverb


On the bright side …


Raindrop on manuka flower. Image: Su Leslie 2019

The first six months of 2019 were the driest on record in Auckland, and now August is looking like being the wettest — with rain on 19 of 23 days, and more to come.

I’ve stopped worrying about parched soil and the water level in our tank, but I think I might need some taller gumboots (wellies, rain boots, Regenstiefel, botas de lluvia; whatever they’re called in your part of the world).

And of course raindrops on flower petals are rather pretty.


Manuka flower. Image: Su Leslie 2019


Manuka flower. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Friday Flowers