It's been awhile since I talked about my garden on Waiheke, I realise, nearly 18 months in fact. Such a lot of changes since then, some areas flourishing, some having to be replanted when I realised the species I carefully propagated from seed couldn't cut it growing in a very damp, wastewater field (I'm talking about you rengarenga lilies!). There have been some surprises too. South African plants like Dietes bicolor growing well in the same often boggy soil. Who knew? My favourite hedging plant Murraya paniculata and the scented climber Stephanotis both prefer hot, sunny conditions yet they are thriving (fingers crossed) in an area that is very shady in winter. That's one of the joys of gardening, pushing the boundaries with plants you simply have to try to grow despite what the books say.
I have to had to supplement the hundreds of plants I originally grew from cuttings and seed with a few from nurseries to fill gaps where other plants have failed. Oioi our wonderful native reed has been a winner as has the ground cover Coprosma Poor Knights. Another native , the lovely grass Carex viragata also seems to thrive in the frequently wet soil in my garden.
My garden is still a work in progress. Even though Waiheke Island is part of Auckland City it has a different climate, much warmer and sunnier in summer. And of course it is more exposed to salt laden winds which does affect some plants. As time goes by I'll gain a better picture of the local environmental conditions. Until then it's a matter of trial and error, with a bit of good luck too.