The themes are:
- Fragrant Flowers and Foliage. Higlights are Daphne bholua, Rhododendron and lemon verbena (Aloysia).
- Winter and Spring Flowering Plants. Highlights are Helleborus, Hamamelis and spring flowering bulbs.
- Variegated and Coloured Foliage Plants. Highlights are Pittosporum, Berberis and Phormium
- Evergreen Hedges and Shelter. Highlights are Olearia, Chamaecyparis and Ilex.
- Deciduous Plants for Autumn Colour. Highlights are Cornus, Stewartia and Acer.
Significant plants in the Theme Borders
This slender well-branched NZ native shrub grows to about 1-2m high. The trumpet-shaped flowers, usually in clusters of 2-4, are produced off the young stems from spring to summer. They are a most delicate and sweet smelling plant. The flower colour varies from deep crimson to pale pink with lines of darker pink or sometimes pinkish cream or cream.
The leaves sometimes resemble the New Zealand native pepper tree, horopito, Pseudowintera colorata with variable green to reddish-blotched leaves.
This is the common spindle tree, used traditionally for making spindles. Through autumn and into winter it becomes really spectacular. Masses of bright pink-red fruits make a strong contrast against the green foliage. The fruit is a four-lobed capsule, 2cm across, which splits open upon ripening to reveal seeds covered in bright orange coats. In autumn, the foliage becomes tinged red at the edges first, eventually turning completely burgundy-red.