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Saturday 19th March, 2022
Woah!!! What a summer its been, hottest that I seem to remember for a while and the best for the summer school holidays as well. Just when the ground and all of the Waikato was looking its crispiest, brown and dry we were all lucky enough to get a decent couple hundred mls of rain which greened everything up big time. I know that its been quite a while since we have had any more of that wet stuff but in looking around I think that the Waikato is still relatively green although I am hanging out for another 100 mls. After all I have just put fertiliser on the paddocks and I want to do some more serious planting. There is always a project happening here.
Looking around the leaves on all the trees have really started to take on that finished with look and some have even started to show the colours of Autumn. Its definitely one of my favorite times of year. I like the cooler mornings and evenings though I'm not sure about how dark it is in the morning these days. A quick google tells me that daylight saving ends April 3rd being just over a couple of weeks away. Then school Holidays are just around the corner with all the Easter weekend and Anzac days all thrown in there too.
If your roses are looking finished, there may be just time to get a last flowering before the end of Autumn but you need to get on to pruning them back now as it will be 7 weeks until the final flush, being the end of the April beginning of May. Make sure that you feed and keep the water on until it rains to push them along quickly. You will notice that the cooler mornings will be affecting those plants that have finished for the season and its time to clean up after them as they disappear into the ground for example Hostas and other deciduous perennials.
I see that we have hedges that will need re-trimming but will wait until the end of Autumn to do this so they look sharp for the winter. That rain in Feb encouraged a growth spurt in our hedges here but there are others like the deciduous Hornbean that look like they will become dormant and so will sort them now. I like to see the structure in the garden even in the Winter.
The smallest flowered of them all... new seasons Camellias
I hear it often enough and many have a perception about Camellias with their large glossy leaves and often large flowers to match. Nothing wrong with a large bloom and if you like really large then check out the Retics. They can be enormous but today we are writing about the smallest of the Camellias flowers.
I guess the classic Camellia image for many would be a Japonica followed very closely by the Sasanquas. But there are many Camellias out there that have the most gorgeous tiny blooms and just note that what they may lack in size they might make up for in quantity. While we are on the subject of size there are also many Camellias that have small leaves or leaves that don't look like that classic Camellia leaf that all would recognise.
Lets take a gander at Camellia Minutifloraand the species names says it all "Minute blooms'' and I have to say that it also has the tiniest of leaves most unlike the classic perception. Add to this that the new leaves are a bronze tone maturing to green, flower buds here are dark pink, almost red that open to a minute white fragrant bloom.
Camellia Lutchuensisis another species and again with a small bronze leaf that matures to green and tiny white flowers that are also fragrant.
Then there is a favourite of mine Microphylla, latin for small foliage and these leaves are the coolest shade of green and with a very delicate serrated edge. The flowers that bloom first thing in the Autumn are just gorgeous, very single and small with just six petals, yellow stamens and fragrance to boot. What more could you want!!!
Another species that I just adore is Transnokoensis. Again new foliage is a light bronze that ages to green, flower buds are pink that open to white. I have an awesome hedge of this at home and when the flowers are out the local bees are into it big time. Not only has it hedged well but it matures into quite a handsome narrow tree with a beautiful lacy delicate style.
Transnokoenensisis also responsible for some quite cool hybrids being Transtasmanwhich has small flowers but with a pink blush or hue and Transpinkwhose flowers are distinctly pink and of which would also make for a very handsome small leafed hedge dispelling that traditional green look.
I have picked here mostly the very small and single but there are a wide range of specie Hybrids that have distinctly different leaves and small semi double flowers so the Camelliapages on our website are definitely worth a browse or of course come on out and see for yourself.
Coastal Rosemary or Westringia, not so known but a great plant
Only in looks does the genus Westringia get its common name coastal or Australian rosemary. To most it really does look like the rosemary that we all know, well maybe not so green and the flowers are usually white to mauve rather than blue and it has no culinary use. Just like our Mediterranean herb rosemary this Aussie look alike also enjoys many of the same growing conditions. Full sun, poorer or harsher soils with good drainage but also has the bonus of being coastal tolerant. The similarities continue with our rosemary that we cook with as both also belong to the mint family Lamiaceae and both useful as hedging in sunny and hot positions.
Westringia Aussie Boxa semi dwarf coastal variety of rosemary that forms a natural "box" shape and is native to Australia. Greyish green foliage and small mauve flowers in spring and summer. Great for creating a low hedge in the garden or can be left to form it's natural ball shape. This one has a taller habit than Grey box which looks very similar growing around 70 to 90cm.
Westringia Fruticosais probably the main shrub species that has been around for years with classic greyish foliage and soft mauve to white flowers. Quite a tall grower managing to make a large shrub of around 1.5 metres high and wide.
Westringria Naringa another tall cultivar and has the reputation of being even taller at around 2 metres.
Westringria mundi this tough little Aussie shrub looks good even when neglected. Dark green rosemary like foliage that forms a spreading mound, masses of white flowers that appear mainly in spring.
Westringria Grey box another semi dwarf coastal variety of rosemary that forms a natural "box" shape and is also native to Australia. Westringia Grey box provides great colour contrast with grey foliage and white flowers. Great as a hedge or left unpruned in its compact natural ball shape of around 30 to 50cm. A great drought tolerant alternative to English Box.
All Roses discounted by 25%. These must all go.. be in while there is still a good range to choose from.
Apple, Pears, Plums... 25% off all remaining stock and again these must all make way for new seasons Camellias and Rhododendrons.
Assorted Camellias ether $15 or $25, last seasons remaining stock which must be sold!
Rhodos 30% off marked price.
There are heaps of other plants that are no longer showing in stock and so calling or coming in is the best way to get these bargains. They include perennials that have finished flowering and need planting like Armeria or Thrift, Siberian Irises, Cannas and Day lillies.
Raspberries, so easy to grow and a perfect time to plant these, were $12.99 now $9.99. Ake ake of the purple shade, $12.99 now just $7.99 and Pittosporum tenuifolium, $12.99 down to $7.99.