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Saturday 8th May, 2021
Boys and their toys
One order, two trucks and a couple thousand plants later, all needing grades labels and a new home in the nursery...so many plants to get away... and I have to tell you those laden trollies are a tad heavy to push and pull... and we are not getting any younger. These days it's a two person task on the flat but if that trolley is headed down hill then we need more of the team to anchor it so it doesn't run away on us.
So when Cathie spied this special horticultural trailer, I was all over it. It arrived here the other morning and OMG its going to be amazing. Now most would know that the garden centre has evolved and continued to grow and is now has quite sizeable dimensions. We had never planed to have a mechanised system to get plants away so managing to get a bike and trailer around in a circuit is going to involve some adaptation to the pathways around here. The trailers design allows us to connect multiple trailers which you can pull like a train. Maybe slightly ambitious for our garden centre paths but who knows, never thought we would be driving the bikes or using trailers for plant movement along them either.
I have suggested to Ang that we may need to keep the displays back a bit so that we can squeak the bike and trailer between the shop and the tables. My plan is to create the ideal circuits around the nursery with key stops for dropping off plants and this may include a figure eight as well as just around in a clock or anti clock wise circle. Hind sight is an amazing thing and it goes to show that one should always plan for the biggest model.
Those truck loads were full of plants that we haven't seen in the nursery for a while like Wisteria, Smoke bush, Beauty bush and Gooseberries to name but a few. To see all the new arrivals just check the link.
Wisteria has many cultivars and two types are particularly well known here in NZ although there are others. We know these two popular types as sinensis (Chinese) and floribunda (Japanese) but how do you know what you have, what are the differences? Firstly the obvious difference is that sinensis flowers before the leaves appear so all you can see is their stunning flowers however they also have the shorter racemes while the longest racemes will be found on the floribunda which flowers while in leaf.
Another obvious difference is the direction the vine twists. Floribunda turns clockwise while floribunda twists the opposite. So to summarise you likely have a Japanese variety if they have long racemes that flower in leaf and twine clockwise.
There are other types of wisteria such as Venusta which White Silk falls into and brachyboyrys which Rose Chiffon is a great example of.
Now I know that many were pre-ordered but heaps have arrived in. Wisteria in my book is a pretty cool climber and just amazing in spring when in flower but like many things in life needs to be kept in check. If it's trained along a chain or like a tree then it will display the flowers to best advantage. Once a structure is achieved then I prune off the runners that grow, usually just prior to Christmas, and then do a follow up in the Autumn when they have lost their leaves. Wisteria also has quite attractive yellow autumnal tones.
See if these descriptions help you know which type of Wisteria they are?
Wisteria Eds Blue Dragonintense dark-blue buds opening to cornflower blue blossom on long racemes. The blooms emerge at the same time as the spring foliage and carry a soft perfume.
Wisteria Blue SapphireOne of the best selected forms that produces a pendulous profusion of highly fragrant racemes of deep lavender blue in early spring prior to leaf.
WisteriaLavender LaceLavender Lace is a form of Japanese Wisteria that has beautiful mauve/purple flowers that appear with the new leaves in spring
Wisteria White SilkA beautiful climber with silky new foliage that emerges with the creamy white blooms in spring. The blooms are large and very fragrant and hang delicately along short racemes. Plant in a sunny spot and provide support as this plant is a vigorous grower. AKA Shiro Kapitan. Deciduous.
Wisteria Rose Chiffon An early flowering cultivar in a cold climate and blooms with racemes of true pink buds that open to blush pink flowers. It is noted for its foliage and lovely scent. Produces masses of hanging sprays up to 15cm long and the flowers are about two times larger than those of other wisteria varieties .
Beauty bush. I know that every year that we get this old fashioned shrub in and I rave about it. I was always reasonably cool about it until we inherited it in the garden at home, and honestly, it is just stunning in full flower. Weigela or apple blossom like flowers, in pretty soft pink, and absolutely smothered when it's going for it doing it's thing.. no wonder it has the common name Beauty bush but you will also know it as Kolkwitzia.
Smoke bush. I have a lot of favs but, after all, that is why I do what I do. Cotinus or smoke bushes are pretty cool, named for the fact that their flowers which appear when the conditions are right, look like plums of smoke. A large shrub in the usual scheme of things, though I reckon it could make for a pretty handsome small tree with a little training. This shrub is not just about the flowers as some do pretty awesome autumn colours while other cultivars have fancy spring foliage.
GraceA beautiful foliage shrub with new spring leaves emerging with crimson purple tones aging to green with a purple tinge as summer progresses and once again deepening in tone prior to leaf fall. The frothy cloud of pink flowers appears in summer.
Red Spiritand Royal Purpleto name drop a couple of others and as you will guess are known for their red spring and summer leaves.
Gooseberries of the kind famous for pie. Yep those from the cooler climes will know this prickly bush sought after for its berries. I haven't had a gooseberry pie for many years, and if I recollect, lashings of cream go well with it for dessert. Two kinds to choose from being Invictaand Pax. This is one for cold spots in the garden and will be happily at home in the cold frosty parts of NZ.
Autumn / Winter plantings .its time to be getting these in
Strawberrieswere written about last week and if you want them bare root then now is the time to say so by pre ordering otherwise this year we will pot the remainder for the spring... they don't keep overlong bare root and we do want you to have the best that we can offer.
Garlic, Shallotsand Elephant Garlic, yep it's time to get these in as well. Elephant garlic is a must for me as one big clove does the whole job in the kitchen but then Printanor garlic packs a wallop when it comes to flavour, LOL best get both sorts into that potager. I am quite keen on shallots too so maybe this weekend I will get all these planted but will have to dig some good compost in first.
Peonies a classic perennial with exceptional flowers. awesome in the garden and gorgeous in the the house as a cut flower. We still have prepacks of these and can easily courier them to your place, in fact freight on 2 packs is only $8, a great choice for the perennial border.
It has been a rather, kind, Autumn so far with the daily temps still hitting the 20s, well here in the Tron at least anyway... still shorts and shirts weather and just perfect for being out there in the garden. In the nursery we are busy as, making the most of our window before we start the big pot beginning with roses early June. That means as much planting as we can manage so that all our projects get completed since we don't have another window until potting is finished. Then there's that last trim on all the external hedges so that they look immaculate all winter.
Now remember... DO NOT deadhead your roses, just let them go to seed, or rather, produce hips... don't be tempted to tidy them up and rather save them now for the winter prune in late July or early August. The Waikato Rose Society are keen for pruning and advice sessions here at the nursery this coming June and July so we will post the dates as soon as we have them finalized and have get them up on our events page.
You may be wondering about the outcome of our persimmon story, well we are too lol, still looking into it, it's hard to find good, reliable, information!
Take a little time to spend with mum this weekend if you can, make a dinner, go out for lunch or just a drive out and about, it's the little things that matter and just spend time as families.