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Friday 15th February, 2019
I wrote a quick email to my dear Aunt over in Calgary, Canada as my sister had planned a holiday in Vancouver and then visited Calgary... why winter time, I have no idea, but hey!, so I wrote an email to my Aunt Ngaere to see how they were getting along and mentioned that it was a rather warm 30+ degrees here in the Tron, to which she replied that Jane and herself were enjoying a rather chilly -31 degrees. its hard to comprehend the extremes or even living in a climate that gets so cold. I imagine that not much gardening gets done in the Winter... lol the ground will be too frozen and I guess that's if you can see the ground.
It did make me stop and think as I looked around the nursery that it was very green in its surrounding countryside that is browning off by the day looking very much like a little oasis. Thank goodness for our good water supply that lets us water and keep everything looking so fresh, comparatively speaking.
Plants for the dry include Echeverias
Plants for those pots or dry places in the garden include the perceived succulent range which seem to survive on the most minimal amounts of water, all of these below will suit being in the garden, particularly rockeries or those that have stone mulches. Pots look cool filled with Echeveria or the jellybean succulent and I think that those dish shapes are particularly suitable.
Aeonium Arboreum Schwarzkopf.. these are quite cool, beautiful black brown rosettes that seem to end up as rosettes on the end of rather quite tall stems.
Echeveria Black Prince Like a fat slice of dark chocolate cake for your garden, this near-black succulent produces dense clumps of rosettes with leaves emerging green before darkening to a sumptuous chocolatey brown. Easy to grow in soil with good drainage. Extra showy, bright red flowers appear in Autumn or Winter. Tolerates some shade, but chocolate colour is best in full sun. Evergreen
Echeveria secunda very similar to the succulent that I would call house leek but this Echerveria has a more pointed leaf. This succulent quickly forms lots of tidy rosettes of fleshy blue/grey leaves edged with pink. Plant in full sun and well drained soil. Hardy and fast growing. Great for planting in a container. Evergreen.
Sedum Rubrotinctum or jellybean plant is a classic most would know, looking very much like green jelly beans which take on a reddish hue at times. Easily grown and looks just fab in a pot.
Senecio serpens Blue chalk sticks... I have had this one in the garden before and I just love the blue chalk shaped stems that it has..... awesome for a rockery or over a small wall and the like. Looks stunning in a mixed planting of succulents, especially yellow ones.
Senecio Black Prince Sedum Aeonium Schwarzkopf Echiveria secunda
Plants of interest
Eucomis Zambesiaca Pineapple lily, we have had this before though, of the comosa species and in particular one called Sparkling burgundy. I think that this species zambesiaca is perhaps a tad cuter with its more petite form and those particularly attractive creamy white flowers in of course a pineapple flower form from which its attributes its common name, so worth a spot in the garden and just imagine it being mass planted, remember it will be winter dormant so mass plant beside some evergreen like pachysandra or Ligularia renisformis(tractor seat plant)
Miscanthus sinensis Zabrina Zebra grass looks like a grass with zebra stripes, has quite a broad leaf for a large growing tussock with yellow strips carefully marked all the way up the leaf blade so no prizes for guessing its common name. Prefers full sun and will enjoy a bit of space suiting the back of a border or similar.
Crepe myrtles for summer colour You can rely on crepe lagerstroemias for flowering right now in the heat of summer. Choose from St Emillion,D'Hubert Puard, Bergerac, Soire d'ete and Petite Snow. The other neat thing about crepe myrtles is that they have amazing bark that is so silky smooth you just can't help yourself touching it and really good autumn colours to boot.
Chinese beauty berry Callicarpa dichotoma... you could be excused for wondering what all the fuss is if you happen to see this shrub without berries but OMG when its smothered in masses of its tiny bright purple berries, then you'll know why its called the beauty bush. Just a star in the garden and those into floral art will just love to pick stems of this. We currently have these in both bush and standard form.
Tibouchina Blue Moon, aka Glory Bush, is looking stunning at the moment with lots of soft mauve flowers and the promise of many more buds to open. These are pretty easy to grow but will like some protection from heavy frosts.
Anemone'sare also about to explode into flower, these are great for woodland plantings, they enjoy the shade and will brighten the darkest area but will also grow in full sun for a soft cottage garden look.
Anemone Tibouchina Callicarpa Eucomis Miscanthus
The Sales page
Roses Roses Roses 20% off and this includes every rose still in stock ... bushes, climbers, and all standards including weepers and pillars. We have been spraying, watering and deadheading so they all look pretty good considering the heat. There is an amazing range of standard roses still left so if you have a hankering to get some of these in then now is definitely the time to get them at a reduced price.
Cherries 30% off all remaining stock, both ornamental and fruiting. I'm wanting the space for re blocking of the other trees and to make way for the new seasons cherries, both ornamental and fruiting varieties, so if you are planning a cherry blossom avenue or an orchard then come with a trailer and check these out.
Peach trees 30% of all remaining stock... there is nothing like the taste of picking and eating a peach fresh from the tree. I have just bottled a great crop of peaches that I beat the possum too. I picked them a tad early to ensure that pesky possum couldn't pinch my crop.
Plums 30% off all remaining stock time for them to go. Plums are so easy to grow and remember they look gorgeous in bloom and will fruit in abundance. Check our pollination guide for suitable partners.
Pears 30% off all single graft varieties. Check out our pollination guide on the how to section to see what works together.
Euoynmushedging $9.99 or buy 10 or more for $9.00 each and there are bulk buy options on the $14.99 grade as well. Euonymus is a very good buxus replacement option if you are looking for a small evergreen hedge that looks great clipped.
Dinner for eight happened the other week and I said that I would give appropriate feed back and I think that our dish was a winner, but then... they all were!
I will be getting nervous that we will all be trying to out do each other as the standard of food was very high and there was some pretty good food served like Salmon pie or Korean style spicy, sliced, pork fillet- on an Asian slaw with a side of chilli sauce topped with chopped cashews.
I was cruising through my collection of that fab magazine - Dish looking for a recipe using chicken for our course. I duly spied this one, Zucchini tacos with spiced Mustard chicken, not only did it look pretty easy to make but hey it used Zucchini of which I am picking what seems to be armfuls every day.
Now I usually make zucchini fritters using a cup of self rise flour, and egg and milk to make a batter and then throw a myriad of herbs corn, capers and of course wrung out grated zucchini, even chunks of feta.This taco recipe was a bit different for me and I imagine that I would make again with the mustard chicken but also make up my own toppings. I doubled the below recipe to make 8 servings. i was a bit dubious about the sauerkraut Greek yoghurt and pesto but it all worked really well together.
3 medium zucchini 1/4 cup of ground almonds, 2 tablespoons cornflour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup grated cheddar, finely grated zest of 1 large lemon, 1 large egg, salt and pepper
Grate the zucchini into muslin or tea towel and wring all the water out... put into a large mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients and mix well... divide into 4 portions and place on a lined baking tray patting the mixture out into approx 15 cm circle/pancakes. Bake on fan bake at 180 degrees for 20 mins and then flip over for a further 10 mins approx or until you have golden brown edges.
Slice the chicken thighs into 1cm strips, combine all ingredients, season and then add the chicken strips and set aside.
Heat a cast iron frying pan or use a saute pan and cook the chicken until golden and full cooked.
Spread the tacos with Basil pesto and thick plain yoghurt, then layer with chicken and the sauerkraut.... really easy, can be made in advance and tastes really good. I just bought the pesto and sauerkraut from the supermarket. I'm going to put this one in our What's Cooking page on the web site.
Other than all the watering we have to do at this time we have been really getting up and on top of the maintenance around the place and its all looking really sharp. tables and fences have all had a spruce up with a coat of paint thanks to Guillermo and Matthew.
All the sign puddings have now been fixed and replaced with nice smart painted ones to match the tables and the like and the nursery is slowly being condensed inwards in an effort to conserve water.
Another fine weekend on the cards. Lawns don't need mowing as its too dry for them to grow and so its out to play and enjoy the weekend though funnily enough all of our hedges have suddenly grown. I think due to the rain that we had in December. i guess once we cut them again that will be it until after the Autumn.
If you can give some of the garden some deep waterings just so that the plants all hang in there particularly anything that is newly planted even from the winter. Other than that enjoy summer as we will soon officially be into Autumn and I notice that the days are truly drawing in.