Knowledge of how plants grow both in the wild and cultivation is an important part of planting design. Viewing plants within nature helps not only to gain an understanding of the conditions that have shaped them, but also to observe aesthetics of natural plant communities.
The plant profiles that we have written over many years serve as a repository for this research, and play a continuing role in our design process. They are also intended to provide a resource for engendering greater interest in worthwhile species – especially rare and threatened members of New Zealand’s flora.
In addition to expanding the range of native plants used within landscape architecture, we also have a strong focus on exploring the sensitive integration of selected exotics (including flowering trees & shrubs, perennials and bulbs) within plantings.
Amongst the vast range of species that have been trialled within New Zealand, flowering bulbs (and other geophytes) are of particular interest to us. We have therefore extended the plant profiles to include a section on exotic geophytes, such as the rare species of Fritillaria from southern Greece pictured below (F. conica).
These plant profiles are separated into distinct categories (such as ‘ferns’ or ‘climbers’), based on the growth habits of certain horticulturally significant members of each genus. These divisions are not always ‘hard and fast’; for example, some genera contain both shrubs and climbers. They are simply intended to assist readers in finding information of particular interest to them.