It's not all bad, honest...

Before I go on about the flora, I must admit that I never went out of my way to notice the flowers that grew in the states, so it's all new to me.

I can't remember palm trees anywhere I lived, but there are several types here that are common. There is an actual, full palm tree [I have no idea which type] two doors down and we have 2 ponga trees [scrawny looking palms] in our garden. Also, there are lots of ferns all over the place that look like palm leaves. The silver fern--known by the silver underside of the fronds--is one of the unofficial symbols of New Zealand. [I believe there are NO official symbols for the country at all--just items associated with NZ.]

Across the street is a tributary of some sort and the area around it is wild. There are holly trees about 12 feet tall; some sort of conifer, I think, that reminds me of an asparagus fern; honeysuckle and wild jasmine that smell delicious in the summer; and many other plants, shrubs and trees that I don't recognize [except the pongas!].

Norfolk pines dot the horizon and coastline of the country at up to 30 feet tall. They look cool peeking over the tops of other trees.

In our garden, there's a bush that I have no inkling of it's name [ok, there are lots of them, since gardening is a new thing to all of us, but I have one in mind at the moment]. When you shake the colorful leaves, it sounds like paper rustling. I just call it the paper bush. : )

Then there are the daphnes bushes that smell wonderful when in bloom and the bottle-brush bushes that bees love. Hydrangeas, azaleas, pansies, dahlias, naked ladies, daffodils and begonias in a variety of colors are very abundant.

Rhododendrons and camillas grow vigorously in the spring in just about any color you can imagine. There are area festivals where gardens are listed and you can visit the ones you prefer. We have done some travelling to find a few of the gardens, but they were worth the effort. Some are just magnificent.

There is a type of jasmine in a stone planter on the back patio that is in bloom year round so far. It is absolutely huge and only dies down momentarily when a male adult of the household who shall remain nameless decides to give it a haircut.

Ericas are one of my favorite plants. They are full of tiny, delicate blooms around town in the summer. Some are white, some are pink, some are purple. All catch my eye.

I'm sure I have missed some of the great things here to pass on to you, so if you click the title to this post, you can see some of my favorite flowery stuff.

BTW, did I mention that it doesn't snow in Stratford? ; )

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