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Friday 13th September, 2019
Everything is on the move... including the SNAILS!
If you are anything like us, your pruning will all be completed and plants re positioned if you are making changes.
We had a tree, a weeping Elm or Ulmus pendula to be precise, that was planted too close to the house and I have wanted it shifted but every year we have just run out of time. I took a look at the tree recently and thought lets just do it before bud burst otherwise I'm never going to get the chance. Think that I tad underestimated how little it looked as there was a fair amount of weight in that trunk, not to mention the span that the branching occupied when the tree was horizontal.... you had to see us in action as it took 4 of us plus a trailer to manoeuvre it to a new position. I have my fingers crossed that its going to make it as its looks damn fine in its new spot.
Warning here... don't move anything from now on, especially if its started to make spring growth, as this will usually end in your plants demise. If you can think of being a plant for a minute, that there is a huge rush of water and saps happening right now to push out the new seasons leaves. If you go and chop a plants roots to move it, while it's in this state they can no longer take up water to sustain that new growth flush, then will just end up collapsing, from which there is often no return.
Spring is a pretty amazing time and there is so much going on within the plants tissues right now... If you have ever cut a branch of a tree at this time of year you will see that the wound will leak water for days. The beauty of planting containerised plants however is that the plant comes with its own root mass and therefore root disturbance is pretty minimal.
On that note though, if you are planting new seasons trees that have just been potted this winter, as opposed to older stock, then do take care as these new plants will be making new feeder roots that take up water and food. Handle them by the bag, not the plant, perhaps cut them out of the bag and try to keep the developing root ball intact. Plant firmly but don't handle harshly as you don't want to break those delicate, new, forming roots. Always water a plant after planting as this settles all the soil fines back against the feeder roots and of course provides moisture for the plant to continue to grow. For new seasons trees I advocate that a stake will help prevent any movement by the wind as this movement breaks the feeder roots which are an all important part of success... In short new leaves breaking out looking gorgeous need the support of a growing roots system as well.
Of course the other side of spring is to support that lovely, new, lush growth with food. I know that we have fed with the appropriate rose, camellia and general ferts as Alex has been around the garden with organic ferts like sheep pellets and blood and bone, throwing it around with gay abandon LOL.
The two of us walked around and made a list of task still to be done and mulching all of the gardens is high on the agenda. Mulching suppresses weeds, especially if a coarser material, and also helps minimise water loss once we get to the hotter days of summer.
If you are onto it then you will have noticed that all your hostas are showing their spears and moving forward to unfurl all of those beautiful leaves, existing Delphinium clumps are on the move and Liriopes and Mondo grass will be putting out the new years foliage. I can assure you, with absolute positivity, that the Molluscs in the garden will be onto it too. The hordes will be sliding their way towards that beautiful fresh new seasons buffet, taking the best bite out of those new hosta spears which will result in holes through all the leaves as they unroll and the damaged foliage on Liriopes and Mondo will last for the entire year. If they get on to the Delphiuums there may well be nothing left as these are their fav delicacy.... we do have plenty of delphiniums if you are looking for a few replacements..... just saying!
Squashing slugs and snails with your slippered foot on wet nights while out with a torch, spreading egg shells or even beer bottles on their side with left over beer may not cut the mustard the way rainproof snail bait does. I have been baiting around our garden several times... keeping up with the problem now is best and as the plants leaves mature they don't have quite the same taste for our slippery raspers. Remember to bait in areas where they hide during the day rather than just around the plants that they like as they will always go for the delphiniums before they go for the bait.
Tis the season of the pretties and fluffies
It's a bit like a dress-up party of leather and lace (I've been to a few in the day LOL) or the tinsel on the Christmas tree but once the framework of the garden is sorted then you need to dress it up with the fun stuff or pretties as I like to call them. Perennials are what most of these pretties are classified as and we have had a large, varied assortment arrive recently which are now filling the front areas of the garden centre making it look very colourful and pretty. These will keep rolling in as the season progresses so keep an eye on the Just Arrived page of the website for any that you are specifically wanting.
Astilbes or false goats beard.. we sold out of these last year real quick... a perennial in the traditional sense in that it dies down completely each year but have re-emerged now with their fern like foliage and to come will be their classic plume like flowers. We have all the colours being pink, red and white being Diamante, Fanal and Gloria. These great plants are sun lovers to dappled light and will grow from most average garden positions to quite moist or even slightly wet.
Coral Bells or Heuchera and/or Heucherellas, which is a Tiarella - Heuchera cross, are making their debut with their beautiful foliage. I am planning to put a drift of these in the display garden and contrast them with other foliage and colours but heard that they are a bit prone to weevil so I'm going to give Neem granules a go with each one that I plant.
Federation Daisies give prolific, endless colour and there is a good colour range of these in right now.
Lavenders of the Spanish kind are looking awesome check these all out. Great for mass planting for bulk colour, in a line as a hedge, container grown or just dotted for colour throughout your garden, excellent in amongst the daisies too. They love the sun and will flower throughout spring and summer but remember to cut them back to keep them compact at the end of the first flower flush, sometimes you need to sacrifice some flowers to do this in a timely fashion or the plants may end up getting woody.
Arctotis are perfect for that sunny well drained position in the garden being a ground cover in habit with pretty daisy like flowers in some rich bold colours.
Brachyscome or Swan river daisy are always lovely with their mauve or purple daisy flowers usually with a yellow eye or centre.
Odontospermum Gold Coin with its lovely gold daisy flowers. Evergreen, free flowering shrub that will flower from spring through autumn with it's lovely bold colour. Does well in containers.
Dicentra, or Bleeding Heart as most will know it, are in again in both red and white (Alba) varieties. These disappeared rapidly last season and due to high demand on the grower we couldn't get more so Ang has put a good order in this year to hopefully keep up with demand. Give these guys a sheltered spot with filtered light with a nice leaf litter to hold some moisture in the dry spells.
The plums had to be moved yesterday to make space for the new seasons hydrangeas that arrived and I made a mental note to myself to mention that we still have good stocks of plums... especially Black Doris that is often in short supply. I better mention Santa Rosa too as it's a good pollinating plum as well as great eating and the popular Luisa plum which are self fertile and just absolutely delicious to eat.
Ang has wanted to give some Vireya Rhodos a go in the garden centre and whilst we have always had a few I think she has sorted a wider range than we have previously had. Belonging to the same group as the usual Rhododendrons these tend to be smaller and not so cold tolerant and so need to be planted in shelter from direct frost. Vireyas really are just gorgeous with stunning flowers in colours that are on the hot side of the Rhodo colour spectrum.
Hopefully you have been keeping track of all the activities you want to attend over the flower festival period. There is so much happening with lots of garden tours and festivals planned. Of course our home grown Waikato Cherry Tree Festival starts next Friday the 20th Sept, The Taranaki Fringe Garden Festival, Rotorua Garden tour, Pacific Rose Bowl Festival, Waikato Rose Society National Spring Rose Show and St Andrews Church Garden and Art Trail in Taupo are all in November and can be found on the Events page if you need to get them in your calendar.
Next Saturday Julie from the Taranaki Fringe Garden festival team will be here at Wairere handing out the festival brochures, come out and get the gos on when, what and who will be the gardens to visit.
If you have a hankering for a Magnolia or three of the deciduous kind then I have been sorting them out and have decided that some of the older stock must go to make room for other plants... These have now been taken out of stock so we no longer know what's there so you will have to come out with the trailer and have a good ferret through them but all reduced to thirty dollars each... some good sized plants too!!! Otherwise come out and see how gorgeous spring is in the nursery right now... the roses are growing before my eye and looking fab... Maples are just starting to throw out some leaves for which they are famous for and maybe you'll find yourself some fluff LOL
Have an absolutely stunning weekend and enjoy the sexiest season of the year!