Take your pick – New Zealand natives for picking

Picking bunches of flowers and foliage for indoor display is one of the greatest pleasures in owning a garden, so don’t forget easy-care New Zealand native trees and shrubs when you’re planting with picking in mind.

Pittosporums are long-standing favourites, mixing especially well with bright summer flowers and spring bulbs. The huge range of cultivars provides a myriad of textures and colours, from bright lime-greens to pinks and golds – and even black. Similarly, the New Zealand Coprosmas come in an exciting range of colours and textures. orytus ‘Kathryn’, with its fine burgundy foliage is useful in large and small arrangements.

Corokia varieties offer fine, wiry foliage in shades of bronze, green and silver, with winter berries as a bonus. Weinmannia ‘Kiwi Red’ has rich burgundy foliage, which lasts extremely well in a vase.

Long-stemmed flowers are easiest to arrange in a vase if you start with a base of bushy foliage. A special favourite with florists these days is New Zealand puriri. Its high-gloss, leathery leaves are rich forest-green and the perfect foil for bright-coloured flowers such as gerberas, lilies and roses.

The flower heads of grasses and sedges also make wonderful additions to the vase. The grass-like ‘Dianella’ has brilliant blue berries.

For sculptural effects, we have Astelia Silver Spear and the colourful native flaxes. For a taste of the tropics, add the bold leaves of the New Zealand puka.

of course, natives are not just about foliage. Some of our flowers also make wonderful vase subjects.

Pretty hebes are perfect for posies (above), whether you use them by themselves, or mix them with other flowers and herbs. oarlborough rock daises produce stunning white daisy flowers and handsome leathery foliage. The branches of the manuka cultivars are laden with richly coloured blooms from earliest spring.

All of which goes to show that the native plants in your garden can take on a whole new dimension indoors.

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