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Friday 5th April, 2019
We were outside the other night (while we still have that spare hour of light) harvesting, planting and generally having fun in the garden. Tony was down the hill, under the hazelnuts, collecting all the nuts that he could find... we didn't want them going to waste, after all, they cost a fortune in the supermarket.
While Tony was collecting the nuts, I was planting more Brassicas. Kohl rabi, cauli and cabbage to name drop, and I am hoping that I have enough growing time for us to enjoy them all winter. The brussels and others that I planted the other week are growing like triffids since I appear every other morning with my puffer of Derris Dust to catch the morning dew to fight off the white butterfly caterpillar.
Tony appeared with a bucket of nuts and spied the figs that were still ripening on the tree and starts to pick them so I then got in on the act too and we ended up with quite a few... Had to do a touch more bottling that night.
Now the thing about horticulture is no matter how much you get taught its not until you do the hands on stuff that you actually learn. I have said it before but the greatest skill that I can share is that of observation. Its where you learn so much and apply the other stuff.
I think that a week or so ago I wrote about figs ... and a fig is a fig, but hey, I have learnt so much more... Brown Turkey is bigger and the skin is thinner... Brunoro Black has a much coarser skin but when I went to pick them and gently squeezed them to see if they were ripe, well I noticed a pattern that they hung .... well like... I'll leave that to your imagination, but if they weren't quite ready they stood more out... once I had that sorted, it was easy to grab the ones that were totally ready without a squeeze, that is if a bird hadn't pecked a hole in the top first.
Now the thing about this feed yourself from the garden is that time moves on and my next crop I want to get in is broad beans. Its a cool climate, or time, crop and I just love broad beans. As a kid, dad grew them and mum picked and cooked them as young beans with their skins on but I like them mature too as just the bean. You know all those trendy mags have recipe pics featuring broad beans... To that end I have asked Ange to get in Broad beanseeds for me as I guess there will be others out there that will want to plant these too.
I have never grown peas so thought that I might give these a go too and of course garlic is a staple of mine so all of these will arrive next week.. There will be Elephant garlicas well as that main crop staple pf Printanor
Peonies are cool and we still have a selection of the different shades of pink, crimson and that gorgeous creamy white! These fully double flowers with the gorgeous ruffled centres almost look like those old fashioned David Austin roses and have fragrance too. I imagine that if you are a fan of the English, or old, roses then you are just going to love Peonies too. Just know that you need to plant them in the coolest part of the garden if you live in a warm area, those in cooler regions should find them a doddle to grow. Our friend in Rotorua has a beautiful clump of a very attractive creamy white one. I have to say that she amazes me with what she grows from the very frost tender to those that need the very cold. Its all about micro climates.
Fresh in... gorgeous evergreen Azaleas or Aza lee aa as some here say!
Azaleas belong to the Rhododendron family and they are really such amazing plants. There are a few different species but the main one that we sell are the Kurumes as these tend to be more hardy than say the indicas.
Kurumes were bred in Kurume which is an inland town of the island Kyushu. Kyushu is the southern most island of the four of Japan. Now I have always understood that the Kurumes are amongst the hardiest and the Kirins are also really tough and great doers.
I was reading an article on line written by Abbie Jury( from Jury's in the naki and famed for their contributions to many thing including Magnolias) who wrote that they are unsung garden heroes and I quote
'Evergreen azaleas are a bit of an unsung garden hero, really. There can’t be many more obliging, hard working plants. Generally regarded as playing second fiddle to their more aristocratic rhododendron family members, they seem to have followed their slide down towards oblivion in recent times. Yet they are such a forgiving plant, tolerant of a wide range of conditions from full sun to almost full shade – as long as it is high shade. They also grow well even where there is a lot of root competition. They can be featured in their own right or they can be a backdrop. And if you have enough different types, the flowering extends for much of the year, though the majority peak for us in September to early October. I tracked the blooms and found the latest varieties still with blooms near Christmas and the first ones showing colour in early March this year. That is a pretty impressive record.
Not only are azaleas forgiving, they are also remarkably versatile. This is a plant family that is particularly revered in their homelands of China and Japan and I could not help but marvel at the bonsai specimen we recently saw in Foshan with a price tag of RMB9800 – which equates to about $2000 in our money! I admired the clipped azalea hedge kept to about knee height that I saw in the garden at Wairere Nursery near Gordonton a few years ago. Last time I visited Hollard’s Garden near Kaponga, it appeared that every last azalea (and they must have a similar number to us) had been clipped to a tidy, tight mound after flowering. This is a style decision and may appeal to folk who prefer their plants to conform to a prescribed standard.'
Hopefully I have whet you appetite to indulge in this great shrub and mass plants some areas or create a cool hedge with a difference.
March 2019 Release. Bred in the Waikato as part of the Regal series of Hebe. Louis is a low growing variety, white flowering, easy to grow and will be a real charmer! The glossy green foliage stays clean and compact all year round. A hardy New Zealand native plant.Trim back after flowering to keep tidy. PVR eligible Evergreen
March 2019 Release. Named for The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and bred for NZ conditions, this is a new, easy to grow Hebe to add to the Regal range. Upright growth with small deep burgundy foliage. Through the summer months masses of flowers that start light pink and age to white will smoother the plant. Trim back after flowering to keep tidy. PVR eligible. Evergreen
Pieris have arrived en mass in a wonderful selection from small growing to those that could become small trees. The flowers, as a rule, are white but many will have shades of pink and red in bud form as well as when open and of course the combination of white flowers green leaf and red young growth all on the tree together at the same time makes a gorgeous display no matter what size the plant.
We had become quite low in our pots range but not any more. Just arrived is another couple pallets of seconds and end of lines that are all half price from the small and quirky to large and stylish. Not just them, but another 12 pallets of other pots to appeal to all from glazed to that trendy concrete finish and anything else that looks cool.
I have to say there is a few days of work in just unpacking them and getting them priced but all done now and all that remains is to display them and try and get them to occupy a smaller space. Pots are great for decks and paved areas and look amazing as features where there is no garden space.
Virginia has sorted out some assorted maple, beech and elm trees to go out at 50% off so look for these if you are wanting some nice trees in your landscape, they are in the specials area now so you won't find them on the web page but bring your trailer and check them out.
April is a bit of a tricky month with its long weekend of Easter followed very quickly by Anzac day.
First up though, is daylight saving and we lose that hour this weekend and so the evenings are going to be a bit shorter... Easter Friday is looming on the 19th of April and we will be closed but if you are planning ahead to visit we will be open 8.30 to 5pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday... following that will be Anzac day and we will be shut for the morning but open from 1pm to 5 pm.
The week of Easter Monday and Anzac day, we wont be sending any mail orders out as the week is too disjointed by public holidays and my guess would be that plants won't arrive in a timely manner.
Closed all day Easter Friday 19 Apr and closed all morning ANZAC Day 25 Apr
Open ANZAC Day 1pm to 5pm Open all other days for normal hours through the month of April
No mail orders will be dispatched through the week of 22 to 26 April
It's a glorious Friday, though a tad cool this morning... made me think of keeping the house warm lol must be getting soft. My day to finish some plantings in the garden and it's in the garden centre for the weekend. Just know that this is the best planting time of the year made better by that 25 ml of rain the other night.