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Friday 19th July, 2019
Absent Without Leave
I have been off the radar again and many thanks to those that emailed saying they had missed their weekly Wairere fix wondering if they had been dropped off our database.... As if!!!
Where would we be without our family
Family is pretty important and my family is not particularly large so when my cousin organised a trip to visit my Canadian Aunt, I jumped at the opportunity to go as said Aunt has a few years (aka decades) tucked under her belt. LOL I won't say any more here because she subscribes to this blog... and I'll hear about it! She passed comment, when we were in a taxi heading for downtown, that when she arrived in Calgary there were no high rise buildings while today the skyline is as impressive as any major city...... that might give a tiny clue to how long she has lived away from NZ.
It was quite a whirlwind trip, complete with my mother, cousin Christie and her 16 month old daughter Georgia and Christie's mum who happened to break a bone in her foot just before leaving so came complete with moon boot and crutches... smiling.... I probably don't need to add anything more other than I now know how important those midday naps are to the youngest of my travelling companions, oh, and feeding time.
It just so happened that it was also Stampede week in Calgary so the city was pretty busy, bars and restaurants were humming... The streets were lined with hanging baskets of the most gorgeous begonias you ever did see... I have to mention here the peonies were out in full force and just looking gorgeous. My aunt tells me that it can get to -20C so obviously peonies can cope with it being really really cold... I think that their flowering season of spring and summer must be quite short and so when it's time they go to a huge effort with all the colour in pots and the gardens.
In my absence the guys have completed potting the majority of this seasons roses, trees and shrubs. I think there are still another 1500 odd trees to arrive next week and then we should be finished potting. Next task on my agenda is to get the nursery in some sort of logical order, roses spaced and in strict alphabetical order... and then all the fruit and ornamental trees better organised than they are right now as it truly is a sea of sticks at the moment.
The admin team have been working hard and fast to notify everyone who have ordered new season plants and we have never had so many having to work in dispatch, boxing up plants to send away. It's been a pretty hectic time and although we have all been doing our very best please do get in touch with the office staff if you have an order and haven't heard then please get in touch with the office.
For us it's tidy up that we haven't had time to do because the nursery and potting must come first and we are right onto that task right now... my aim will be to get the garden tidy and then there are some renovation projects to achieve before we get busy with spring which is not far away now
The guys started pruning the hydrangeas of the paniculata kind which flower on new wood and later we will sort the macrophylla types which flower on old wood. While they are in each garden area, we will start pruning our roses just so that the task is done and I will confess to the fact that I really love the garden to be be tidy as I get over that messy stage very quickly. Courtyard swept, paths raked and its all starting to look like it should.
You still have plenty of time to get pruning done ... as long as your roses are pruned before bud burst then all will be sweet. The rules.... always prune in fine weather and in a fine period as those pruning cuts could be infection sites for silver leaf, a fungal infection of the rose family whose spores are carried in the rain and wind.... LOL probably as most fungal spore infections are!
If you haven't already then some spraying with Copper Oxychloride and conqueror oil would be good for the roses and fruit trees... actually do more than one spray, do several and see if you can time one for just before bud burst on all your fruit trees. Copper Oxychloride has been around forever and is a great fungicide that is safe to apply. Conqueror Oil is the insecticide component and smothers overwintering eggs and any lingering bugs too.
Mix copper and oil separately but you can add them to the same tank...so quarter fill your spray tank and add a slurry of the copper paste, fill the tank to three quarters and then add your diluted conqueror oil, continue to fill the spray tank and shake them all together.
Veltheimia Bracteata pink or yellow. I spied these on the van the other day, we have had them before and they raced out but we have never had the yellow one. The flowers are already forming on these plants which are very similar to Kniphofia (Red hot polka) flowers but the leaf is a glossy green which are long and wide, and slightly curved, adding a tropical feel. These like filtered light and really well drained soil. They are great in pots but will need summer watering.
Pseudopanax are prized for their landscaping versatility. These natives have strong attractive leaf form, texture and colour and the fact they are evergreen makes them wonderful for group planting or accent planting. This week we have nice bushy plants that have been in ground grown so are hessian wrapped.
Adiantifolius has glossy green three lobed leathery leaves. Looks fabulous a stand alone shrub or as a container specimen.
Black Knight has palmated rich dark purple leaves that will turn almost black through winter and Purpurea which has lobed leaves that are glossy and coloured an attractive bronze purple. Great contrast with other plants. These are all happy in full sun to part shade.
HelleborusWe have an amazing collection of Hellebours this season with some more gorgeous varieties having arrived this week.
Angel Glow are light pink upon opening but they mature to a deep pink often with both colours on the plant at the same time. The flowers are held above the attractive glossy foliage.
Mollys White is a free flowering variety that holds it's white flowers above it's beautifully marbled foliage. Great for boarder planting.
Sophies Delight has compact low foliage with it's lovely blushed pink flowers held high above with a more outward facing aspect.
Tutu is well known for it's speckled, rose pink blooms that resemble little ballerina skirts all complemented by the dark green foliage.
White Tutu has semi double white flowers that are speckled with pink and held high above the lush green foliage.
Hellebours like semi shade with humus rich soil that is well drained but keeps moist.
Chaenomeles are tough, hardy, winter flowering, deciduous shrubs. Their flowers arrive, before they leaf, on a network of bare, thorny branches. Flowers are followed by ornamental fruit that resemble small quince. Yokuku is looking gorgeous in full flower right now, check the pic on facebook.