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Saturday 11th December, 2021
2020, 2021, 2022 ??
2020 was a year that we all thought we wouldn't forget but I think that 2021 will be lodged in our memories for quite some time as well, certainly in mine. Last Christmas and holiday season was life as usual in NZ until Delta arrived in August and then we went into level 4 lock down for nearly 4 weeks and had no instore customers. Then here in the Tron we yoyoed in and out of level two and three and various new grades or steps until finally in November just as the roses were peaking in full bloom we finally got to have customers properly in store again. That was good luck for us, as many like to shop on colour and visuals and we had missed out on two peak months on the whole. I can only add here that thank goodness lock down didn't happen in potting season!! Here are a few snippets of the colour we are currently enjoying in the roses nursery section.
In reflection it has been a hugely busy year in more ways than one and from a small business point of view we have been fortunate in so many ways. One of the main good fortunes was having such an established web site that let us transition so readily into click and collect. The team here did have to diversify quickly for us to cope with this shift in services, from learning packing skills to the often 20 km walks though the day picking plants for dispatch and orders. Not to mention that we faced running out of space for holding plant orders and incoming stock from 2020 indents.
Phone calls and emails came in unprecedented volumes, which at times were unmanageable as I am assuming that us in the older age brackets finally took to online shopping as there was no alternative to getting our fix. Following this, all couriers throughout NZ were overloaded with freight with huge time delays which became a big frustration for us as a businesses and to you the clients
Added to this we had all the orders that we were holding for our sister city Aucklands clients who kept hoping that they would one day be able to make that drive to the Waikato, who would of thought that this long of a delay was going to happen. A border within New Zealand!!! A massive and heartfelt thanks to those that have done the hard yards up in Auckland as we all know that we can't do without our largest city.
Finally though, the day we are all waiting for is coming next week with the border around Auckland being lifted. Fingers crossed this step will help all to have a more enjoyable and normal festive season.
In terms of what next year will bring, well who knows, but I bet that most SME directors and owners will still be thinking on their feet and not making any assumptions. From Wairere's point we will be sitting down and having some team conversations as its no longer business as I knew and created pre covid but a new generation of online and instore shopping.
Pohutakawas make Christmas
Its was only the other day that I was driving around in Waihi beach and admiring all of the stunning red Pohutakawas doing their Christmas display. I also spied many of the golden forms as well looking pretty special.
Metrosiderous is the genus name for our tree that we all know as New Zealand's Christmas tree, the Pohutakawa. This eye catching tree is mostly in flower right now with its iconic red typical myrtle like flowers. Excelsa is the main species that appears in the wild and in many of our coastal areas. Luckily Ang managed to grab a small grade of these to have in the garden centre for those interested in adding these to their gardens at home.
Its interesting to know that like many of NZ natives, the Pohutakawa has a juvenile leaf phase when young and if grown from seed which is frost tender, but it soon grows out of this into the classic hard blue grey green leaf that is so tolerant of coastal conditions. Because of the conditions of the areas where these handsome trees colonize, it makes them equally suitable for growing in pots and planters. They are reasonably tolerant of cramped and dry conditions when we may occasionally forget to water... though its best not to to forget if you can at this time of year especially with the 28 degrees days we have been having.
Ratas are quite closely related to the Pohutakawa and just yesterday I was working down the hill in the garden centre and reblocked all of the ratas.
Metrosiderous Excelsa Aurea is the golden form with beautiful yellow flowers, and again we have some smaller grade plants in stock. This variety tolerates some cold, though needs shelter from frost when young.
Metrosideros Robusta or Northen Rata has dense clusters of crimson-red flowers which appear from November to January. This makes a very handsome medium sized evergreen tree when mature
Metrosideros Alba, White Southern Rata is a small to medium slow-growing tree with small, dark-green leaves. Brilliant white flowers in summer, and when mature after many years, great for bees. Trims well and suits higher rainfall areas.
Metrosideros VibranceA selected form of our favourite summer tree that has flowers made up of clusters of red stamens that brighten up the green leathery foliage. Happy in a well drained sunny spot with protection from harsh frost especially when young. Excellent as a potted Xmas tree.
Some interesting plants for interesting gardens
Eucryphias are probably not so well known but they have delightful buttercup shaped flowers, usually in white which are attractive to the bees. Often grown into large shrubs or small trees, they are well suited to sunny and open positions with good drainage.
Eucryphia Gilt Edge A small upright evergreen tree commonly known as Leatherwood and native to western Tasmania. Has lovely white flowers in summer and is a good plant to attract the bees. Its small leaved foliage is edged in gold.
Eucryphia Milliganii An evergreen large shrub or small tree with beautiful free flowering cup-shaped white flowers. Neat shining dark green leaves. Very hardy and miniature growing at first. Evergreen.
Eucryphia Wilkei A shrub or small tree with leathery evergreen leaves that are glossy on top and pale underneath. Beautiful scented white cup flowers in Spring. Something a little bit different. A common plant found in Queensland, Australia.
Plants on sales as we need the space.
Mail order and courier service is about to finish next week, so the best way to get these deals is to call out to visit us and collect. As an added bonus you also get to see these plants and all the others for yourselves.
Rhododendrons all remaining stocks 30% off. All good current seasons plants, we just need the space. Camellias 30% off for the same reason, and these are the remaining plants from the current season as well. The only exceptions are the few standards that we have left.
Selected Lavenders of the Spanish varieties are 50% off and these are to clear out along with a selection of other plants that have finished flowering and need a new home. Check out Bay 10 to see the different kinds that are available.
House keeping festive season opening hours
Just a final reminder that we are only closed Christmas day. Otherwise we are open all days including the stats from 8.30 to 5pm, as I say, someone has to be here to water our stock through these hottest months. The garden is open as well if you want to have a wander around and enjoy this beautiful time of year.
The courier service finishes this week so we are down to the last couple of days and we are only sending to town addresses and main centres as freight is still slow on the rural deliveries. We want everything to arrive before Christmas and as such are erring on the cautious side.
Courier service will resume again Monday 10th of January
This will be the last email for this year as I intend to take some time out and recharge. I find that often a break and time spent in different environments can stimulate new ideas and thoughts for the coming year which should begin when I resume emails after the summer.
I want to thank my team for their huge effort and commitment in these trying times and to you our customers for your support and loyalty that keeps Wairere out there in front. As I tell my team we are an honest reputable business that always strives to do our very best in terms of plant, quality, variety, presentation and service.
Wishing you all the very best for an awesome Christmas and New Years, Fabulous summer hols, Take care and look after yourselves
Cheers Lloyd, Tony and the Wairere team
PS There is a couple of stunning grades of Nikaus in the garden centre which just happens to be one of my favourite plants some large plants at $299.99 and another very good grade at $119.99