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Saturday 7th August, 2021
The potting is nearly done for the new season!
OMG the lawns were so long at home that the dogs, well... spoilt, pseudo children really... didn't like stepping out into the long wet grass. In fact the Scottie could hardly jump over the big tussock in her way. I even contemplated getting the cows in on the job. With some good luck and even better management, I got the lawns at home all mowed... and before it rained again. It's amazing how good it feels to have some sort of tidiness back when you look out to the garden. There is a lot to that saying "Mowed lawns, trimmed hedges and edges makes for a good overall impression".
We are on a roll in the garden centre again, (although not finished potting quite yet, we still have berries and those roses that we are still waiting for). There is plenty to clean up after that period of frost and those robust winds that damaged flowers and cleaned all the dead wood out of the trees.
So not only have the Camellias had a re-block and all their dead flowers removed, we even managed to get all the rubbish that blew out of the trees raked up on the long driveway where all the plants get delivered. It's amazing, but I didn't realize that there was so much dead material up there in the trees, especially the Tilias or European Limes. On that note, finally, there is a small lull in the potting and today's the day that we start to get some of the fruit trees into a semblance of order. This means that we will get quicker at finding everything, however there are so many trees that it will take a few weeks to sort them fully.
What makes for a handsome shade tree with largish oval leaves and of the prettiest lemon, limey, green colour? If you guessed at the golden elm then you are right on the money. Now there was a delivery of these stately trees that caught my eye the other day as the plants are fabulous.
Elm is the common name for Ulmus and these trees belong to their own family of Ulmaceae. Google tells me that there are some 30 to 40 species of these long lived trees. These cool plants that arrived the other day are of the cultivar Louis Van Houtte and it would seem that it's actual species is questionable. Believed to have been cultivated since 1863 and once thought to have been Ulmus minor Atinia. Apparently this seems unlikely and a chappie called Fontaine, in 1968, thought it to be more likely a crossed form of x hollandica.
To add to this confusion there is another form of golden Elm which is called lutescens... which I imagine means gold or similar in Latin... and the species is glabra commonly known as the Golden Wych Elm. (do you say it as witch or wish?)
Now if you ask me personally, I actually don't see any real difference between the two, other than they are both known as Golden Elms and to me they both look the same and all intents are the same though I guess that their DNA may be different. On the note of these Lutescens we have some stunning high worked specimen, which would be some of the best that I have seen, as well.
Golden Elms are quite rounded and and look kind of dense in form which I will attribute to a large leaf blade. There are some other pretty cool species and cultivars of Elms and the the species carpinifolia and parvifolia both make for quite a tall and more lacy looking tree. There are also some variegated forms of both of these. These tend to have a softer form in the landscape, than the golden elm, being tall growers with an arching branch structure and smaller leaves. There have creamy white and green speckled leaf, which is quite nice and fresh, and quite appealing to the eye. What's the diff I hear you ask and I had to ask one of great suppliers who suggested that parviflora would be a smaller tree than carpinfolia and also most likely have a smaller leaf blade as well. In the scheme of tree size though they both require space.
Arrived yesterday, were some grafted ones of these, being male and female wonder trees and the plants were superb, large and chunky. Wonder tree is the easiest name for most or Idesia polycarpa for the plant technos.. A stunning tree at this time of year with its bunches of grape like red berries. I am always fascinated that these in the usual scheme of trees actually come as separate males and female plants, no prizes for guessing that the female has the berries! Most trees are both male and female but there are others that, like wonder tree, have the separate sexes... but I guess that the Idesia is pretty exceptional.
Wonder trees make for fab specimen trees. Well I think so, being quite spreading and conical in shape. Put the female in the limelight and tuck the male away, somewhere around the back, LOL.
The St Andrews Church Garden and Art Trail 2021 offers a superb selection of 26 town and country gardens around Taupo for viewing. There will be a market place and on the Saturday in the church grounds and you will find music and possibly refreshments at some of the gardens. Mark the dates in your outlook or calendar for the 20th & 21st November and check out our Events page for more information and other events of interest.
My brussels didn't happen and I planted my leeks too late... note to self for next year... and we are still on a fennel diet, but suddenly I find myself having to buy veges for the evening dinner. Celery is pretty abundant at the moment and relatively cheap and it was a vege fed to us as kids, boiled and then served in a cheese sauce and I quite like it that way. These days my celery cheese sauce has mustard and cumin seeds added into the butter before the flour until they pop and then continue with the flour and milk and then I pop it into the oven just to finish off. Yum!
It's the end of an era here at Wairere as after today Cathie finishes and embraces her new chapter. Her proof reading and correction of my totally bad version of kiwi English, the links and pics for our weekly email will be greatly missed, not to mention, very tactfully, that it will be a much quieter place here... well maybe .. so I'm taking this opportunity to wish her all the best. Moving right along so that she can complete this weeks issue so it goes out before the weekend.
(Cathie here, I want to say I have been lucky to work at this amazing place, the staff are so dedicated to customer service and plant care and to just making Wairere Nursery the best it can be and I am proud to have been part of it for the 8 years I have been here. Thank you to Lloyd and Tony for being awesome bosses and to all my work mates who made it the best place to come to work. I shall miss you all.)