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Friday 30th August, 2019
Take the moment and do something with dad,..
Fathers days is upon us and I was out there yakking with my brother who is now living in the cottage, that Dad had built, at the nursery. I was ribbing him about his washing that was hanging strung up between the verandah poles, and how it was such a tacky look... to which he retorted "At least they are low so that the customers don't see my washing he retorted" .... which reminded me so much of dad.
We once hosted a customer evening event and Dad had accidentally left his thong on the line only to be observed and noted to me by one of the guests. Then the time someone inadvertently opened the gate to the cottage and sprung the old boy sunbathing au natural ... the funny events that you remember but I also feel so privileged to have had Pete live with us on the nursery for nearly 2 decades.
Both my brother David, or 'Pos' for those who know him well, and I were in fits remembering dad but in reality he was the cornerstone and support for the beginning and growth of the nursery. Pete did all the banking, ran messages and did all that town stuff we forgot about... but there was always dinner at our house not to mention a couple of gins to wash it all down.
It's not always about the presents but rather the dinners, sharing a bottle of wine, going for a hike together and the memories that you create are yours forever.
However if you do feel the need to add something to that dinner invite our ARS range are great quality gardening tools and we do have gift vouchers that may just hit the spot... but at the end of the day have some fun time together and enjoy the occasion for what it's meant to be. Have a fabulous fathers day.
Clematis.... Cle may tis.... clem atis How do you say this name?
There are clematis and there are clematis and the Montana versions spring to mind first as being tough and hardy and make for a breath taking show when in flower... These beauties do lose their leaves in the winter but they are sure beginning to make up for this now as the flowers buds are forming along with their new seasons leaves... The Montana series of clematis can cover quite an area of fence when they get going or ideal for climbing over a pergola or two or even three.
I remember a client who had a pergola structure that was used for a shade area underneath. It was very cool with a series of off set square pergolas that stepped backwards. A Clematis Montana and some old favourite climbing roses had been grown over these. Roses like New Dawn and Awakeningbut you could also use Phyllis Bide, Paul Transon or that old fav the dunny rose (Souvenir de Madam Leonie Vienot) and that way you get the early colour of the clematis followed by roses of which many will repeat.
Just on a roll here but the under planting was of good old fashioned violets which really suppressed the weed and provided gorgeous violets... Complete the picture with a classic urn or your favourite pot or even a seat to sit on in the cool on those coming hot summer days.
I never seem to get enough of these but this week I spied a batch of a soft pink one called Elizabeth and also classic white called Snowflake... and if I remember correctly they are all budding up nicely.
Elizabeth Pied Piper Snowflake Allanah Wadas Primrose
Hybrid clematis are a tad more tricky than the Montanas but the flowers are oh so worth the effort. Some of the flowers being as big as saucers in stunning shades of lilac, purple, burgundy reds or even just classic cream. You have probably seen some of the classic English books where you see hybrid clematis growing in obelisk like frames or poking their beautiful flowers out amongst the roses.
A classic view I have seen is off a deep purple hybrid like Gypsy Queen flowering amongst the bright yellow old fashioned flowers of Graham Thomas.. Now Graham Thomas is technically a bush or shrub rose that can be used as a small climber of some 3 metres. It could be said that the foliage of hybrid clematis is best tucked behind the foliage of other plants and they lack the huge vigor of the Montana and as such are so useful for climbing amongst other plants. I will add here that I have a Belle of Woking that some how got planted in my hornbeam hedge and every year manages to get some flowers out on the outside of the hedge and some 3 metres high too.
Now generally it could be said that the hybrid likes a cooler root run and often are planted on the cool side and then grown through to the light. A rock or paver can also help keep the spot cool.. good drainage and rich moist soil might see flowers the size of dinner plants, no I'm kidding, but really the size of saucers. The other thing that you need to know about Hybrid clematis is that they can be prone to wilt fungus so planting with a friendly fungus bio fungicide or trichoderma will help with success... The other trick is to plant your clematis deeper than they are in their container... note here but this is the only time I ever suggest this as usually its important to plant all plants to the same depth that they are in their container.... If I am ever unsure then I always follow this rule.. If by chance they do get wilt then don't despair, just apply the trichoderma or move to a new spot... they can remain in the soil alive for ages.
Cathie has been busy working on what is going to be available this year so book yours today, you can find them all for pre-booking on our Just Online section from the main menu of the website or just click the bold link.
New Dawn Awakening Paul Transom Phyllis Bide The Dunny rose
What's in this week?
Ange has been away so I've been doing the shopping and I've found some lovely plants for you.
Podocarpus Nivalis or mountain totara.. a little know NZ native that has fine brown green foliage... Year ago I created little standards out of this plant and while these don't suit being trained into a standard these are perfect for an instant miniature hedge, like you would use Buxus, or they would clip into amazing balls for pots or even that look in the garden... I got a few as well and they are a great price of just $14.99
Spider plant or more correctly named Chlorophytum comosum is probably a plant that we all know and often it works as an indoor house plant... I have to say that it can be quite vigorous or robust in the garden but as we are taught when studying hort that a weed is only a plant in the wrong spot.
I got some of these in because they are great in dry shady gardens where not much does well and the variegation looks quite smart against plants that are plain green like Clivias for example.
Federation daisys are in, well the first of them for us... they are so good for colour in the garden all spring, summer and Autumn... if they look a little off then a quick trim all over and they will be back in flower in six or so weeks.
Pride of Provence standards have arrived, we sell out of these every year and these standards are amazing. Well grown and awesome value at just 129.99... The first of these that have arrived in have an average stem height of approx 110cm and are overall around 1.4 metres high.
Amazing for features in the garden and or that standard hedge look.. bays are tough hardy and robust getting little wrong with them. We managed to find some bushes as well. I need one in my garden at home because I have to cycle down to the bay hedge in the nursery to grab leaves for my cooking.
Lavenders of the stoechus kind with the rabbit ears out the top keep sneaking in slowly, as we get further into spring the range will increase. Some to look for are Chilliswood Cream a chance seedling that was found in a Waikato garden from a natural cross that has produced a bush with lovely big cream coloured flowers.
Well known Lavender Major with it's rich purple flowers and The Princess which is a newer hybrid with lovely rich pink flowers.
Chilliswood Cream Major The Princess Spider Plant Pod. Nivalis
The Waikato Cherry Tree Festival will stat on the 20th Sept, Rotorua Garden tour and the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival are both in November- start planning and putting some dates in your calendar, we have added them all to our event page to help you get it sorted.
Julie will be here promoting the Taranaki Fringe Garden festival here at Wairere on 21st September from 10 till 2 but put the festival dates in your garden calendar as well. If it works for me I will try and get away even for a day.
I cant believe how good the roses in the nursery are looking, I think that the fine July we had has a lot to do with that but honestly I swear that I see them growing... if you are in the market for some roses then I imagine that we would have the best range around... come, check them out, but remember they are still a few weeks of flowering.
Don't forget that it's time to feed your garden... everything will love a sugar fix of instant type fertilsers, mulching the ground will suppress the spring weeds, conserve moisture over the summer and slowly improve soil structure, sheep pellets and anything organic based as well is all good, so complete any last minute pruning and get out there with the ferts
Enjoy quality time with dad or reminisce about all the good time had like David and I