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Friday 6th September, 2019
Trade Day does not mean 'Tradies' or even 'Tradie Underwear' but rather it's all about plants!
Trade day certainly gets my imagination going... but before I get carried away its one of those horticultural events that occurs once a year and we are lucky enough to have it in Hamilton.
It's an event that all the growers, that want to, can show case their product range, display what's new and up and coming, take orders and so on. Not only do growers attend but those that have associated products like pots and ferts and so much more.
I have to say it's also a good catch up time and I did my fair share of having some good old fashioned chin wags with associations from my early years in the industry. I enjoyed catching up with Kevin, a mate that I started in retail with, that's going back some time... just trying to think how many years ago it was when I was Assistant Manager of Palmers, Papakura and he was running another Palmers down the road. I do know, since then, that he has started a couple of independent garden centres and also done his fair share of plant brokering over the years.
It took Ange and myself ages to get around all the site as we had to have a good natter with all the owners and reps that we see. We got off to a great start with one supplier who deals in larger grade trees from down the line. They had a specimen tree on the floor with a sign suggesting "guess the tree"... Liquidambar Little Richard I volunteered.. got it right first go, much to their surprise... I think that they were surprised that someone guessed so quickly and for my effort I claimed a prize of a couple of umbrellas. Thirty plus years of practice looking at stems and leaves I guess, the grade of these Little Richards was pretty impressive... I don't think I have ever seen such a large grade on the market.
I will digress a tad further, Little Richard is a dwarf or small growing Liquidambar that will suit those smaller gardens where you don't want a large tree. It has that typical cone shaped form and will colour in the autumn as all Liquidambar do. They had quite a few nice, larger grade specimens there and so we bought some larger Kaiks, Titokiand Rimu as often I can't find these as nice big plants.
Little Richard Titoki Kahikatea Viridis Shaina
Then there was a grower who does a superb job of producing maples... just such good quality and even though I had already bought my full years supply of maples the temptation was just too much. This particular producer grows high worked maple as opposed to those grafted low and trained up. He also trims more and so the heads of these maples are definitely nice and full. I couldn't resist grabbing all that he had left for sale this year of the maples Shaina and Viridis. For those who would like to know, Viridis means green and these are those beautiful weeping maples with the very finely dissected leaves. Full name is Acer palmatum dissectum Viridis, that's a mouthful so we keep it short as Viridis, then there is Shaina, again another palmatum and of the smaller statue and with leaves of a gorgeous red shade. The neat thing about Shaina is not only is it gorgeous in colour but upright and shrubby in habit and could even be kept clipped to form a ball like effect, otherwise will slowly grow to approx 2 to 3 metres. Maples also make awesome specimens for planters and pots and these two are definitely good choices.
Then there are the growers that I don't deal with often as the majority of the plants they grow suit warmer climates than us here, but I did spy something special amongst their normal range... as in standard blue Totaras... I looked at the work in the these and they certainly are great plants. Our native Totara is great for training and responds well to being clipped. These Matapouri Blue Totara are a very nice selected form with very attractive blue green foliage as opposed to the brown green that we see more often.
This could be the start of your orchid collection
If you think I am a total plant nut then you are totally correct and the latest craze, for me, that I am beginning to appreciate are orchids. Now not just any orchids... but Dendrobiums have really taken my fancy as plants for pots. So when I saw these Dendrobium orchids at Trade day I just had to have them, so I could acquire one for myself and to offer them here.
Now i am also a bit out of my depth but here goes any ways but I would imagine that many orchids live naturally on or associated with other plants (an epiphyte) gaining its moisture from rain and nutrients from accumulated detritus. I know that when I am walking through the bush Tony always points out the native Dendrobium orchid growing in the most unusual of positions, now you have to be sharp eyed to see them but he seems to have an uncanny knack of spotting them... because they grow on plants then you could almost assume that they are shade lovers and get protection from the frost so this give more clues on how to grow these fab easy care plants.
Now we don all have a tree handy to grow these on so they do also make for quite neat pot plants but dont use potting mix but rather proper orchid mix or make your own with shredded bark, minimal amount of potting mix and slow release ferts ... I can show you some sneak preview of Tony mainly dendrobium collection of which are mainly kept in the shade unless they are in flower as he regularly feeds them soaking the pots overnight in a liquid feed made up with soluble orchid food
Now its not just all about the flowers here but I really like the foliage of these beautiful plants and they grace the area under our pergola when they are not in flower. They also look really cool in their classic terracotta flower pots situation The Denrobiums I managed to get in all look of creamy colours though some look as if they are going to tend towards yellow or pinkish shade, we will have to wait and see as they are all knocking on the door of flowering.
Don't forget the Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla Striata) that we mentioned last week, whilst a different type of orchid still belongs to the orchid family and could equally be grown in a pot or even in the garden.
Ange's plants of interest list
Ange asked me to mention that this week she has received into stock a large range of the Spanish style lavenders which are all flowering away... the ones with the rabbit ears out of the top of the flower. These are great fillers for the sunny gardens, flowering away through the spring and summer. Keep these trimmed to keep them looking bushy and will refresh the plant for a new flush of flowers... sometime you just have to cut them back and sacrifice some flowers for a new flush (it's the only way to keep them shaped and lush).
Highland Blast Highland Pink Ghostly Princess Pat Leigh Sensation Rose
Daisies with that difficult name of Argyranthemum... of the Federation series... same rules as lavenders... sunny position, cut back to keep bushy and to refresh the flowers for a new flush. Great colour all summer long... too easy
Coreopis also belong to the daisy family and delight with their flowers for ages ... easily grown.
Brachyscome tend to have mauve...ish flowers all over a smallish bush that sometimes have ferny foliage and again great colour in the garden for long period.
Last week for pre ordering large hybrid clematis
Hybrid clematis are just stunners of the clematis world with their huge flowers so if you are hankering to get one or two of these then let as know asap as this is the last week we will have the list up online to order them in for you. We don't hold stocks of these as there are just too many varieties.
These darlings need very little care once established but they do have some different pruning requirements depending on what type of wood they flower on. We list their associated pruning group in the description and you can find out how to apply this info on our How To page for how to prune your particular hybrid Clematis.
There is lots happening with lots of garden tours and festivals coming up, especially in November. The Waikato Cherry Tree Festival starts on the 20th Sept, The Taranak 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 so start planning and putting some dates in your calendar, we have added them all to our Events page to help you get it sorted.
Come out and talk with Julie the Vice Chair of the Taranaki Fringe Garden festival who will be here at Wairere on 21st September from 10 till 2 but put the festival dates in your garden calendar as well.
Also check out the newly listed St. Andrews Church Garden and Art Trail where you can see some 30 town and country gardens in and around Taupo, this is also in November. So much to do so little time.
I would like to say a fond farewell to Sam McGredy who passed away recently leaving behind him a legacy of well known roses... Sexy Rexy, Aotearoa, My Girl, Paddy Stephens, Danny Boy, Fond Memories to name a few and of course the gorgeous Hybrid Tea named for the Hamilton Gardens. Some of these roses are on display in a dedicated bed at the Hamilton Gardens. Sam will be long remembered.
Sexy Rexy Hamilton Gardens Mme President Andrea Jane Danny Boy Clg
I can't believe how fast the weeks go and here it is Friday again... The forecast is still for showers but I never believe it until I look out the window and see for myself. One thing about the rain is that we get amazing growth here in the Waikato because there seems to be an abundance of moisture... I'm always telling my team they are not made of sugar! LOL
Hopefully it's a busy weekend for me as you come and check out all our beautiful, healthy plants.. roses, trees and shrubs. The garden is getting a bit of a make over and that ope for you to check out otherwise I wish every one the best weekend.