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Friday 22nd December, 2017
OMG ... The year has just raced past and Xmas day looms in just three days
It's that time of year and this year it would seem that we are going to have the summer holiday that we all just imagine. For us here at Wairere, it seems that when the incessant rain finally stopped that the sun shone and we haven't seen any rain since. I will be the first to put up my hand and say that I would love a day of solid rain, or three, just to refresh the garden and I'm sure that many a farmer would like the same to make the grass grow for a bit longer. (Although if it can wait till after Christmas, that would be just peachy!)
On that note the gardens have been weeded, clipped and lawns mowed so that they are all looking ship shape for the big day on Monday which is now dangerously close. Just the marquees and tables to set up to finish for the garden party.
I have been making a menu and shopping list so that I can send Harry off shopping for our traditional brekkie and champers with Saturday and Sunday evenings earmarked for prepping all the food.
I got asked this question the other day and its a tricky one and I m not sure that there is any easy answer other than using one plantsman's instinct and observation.
Apparently our gardens here at the nursery are on an old Waikato River course and consequently the villa and office both sit on an almost sand bank position. The villa garden dries out way quicker than the office but I confess I have been watering the office garden regularly to keep it nice for our clients to visit.
At the villa the last six weeks without rain and no watering at all has seen the lawn go totally brown and the winter roses there have collapsed to, almost, the point of no return. We haven't the water to do all the gardens and of course the nursery must come first, new planting second and established garden get emergency watering only! I did water the helleborus for a long deep watering yesterday and it will revive them for the next couple of weeks and hopefully save the grass from dying ... if we don't get any rain then I will have to do this again.
How much and how often to water will depend on the plant type, how long it has been established and to what level you expect the plant to perform. Old established plants like my Winter Roses did need that water yesterday as otherwise they may well have died. The fact they are on almost pure sand exacerbated the problem. In a clay, or more heavy soil that retains water, they may have lasted longer without rain.
We have done some major plantings in some of the gardens and these were all shrubs with an attached root ball (ie from a bag) and then the rain just ceased and we are tending to water these well for a few hours - just enough to get them by - say once a week to once a fortnight. If I see their foliage droop then I'm onto it and they get a good watering.
If you are wanting roses to flower again and perform to their best level then the more water that you can provide the better otherwise they will just, kind of, hang in there.
Vege gardens will need lots of water to grow lush crops and bedding annuals will have a similar need, once well established the watering may be twice a week to weekly depending on the evapotranspiration. New seedlings will need to be kept moist until their root systems get stronger and can buffer small periods of less water.
Its all about watching and responding to the needs of your plants and garden.
If planting a shrub or tree, immerse the plant, still in its container, in a bucket of water and wait until the air bubbles stop bubbling and then remove and drain. The plant will be properly wet.
Plant the plant to the same soil depth and water in, ie water the soil around.
New plant wilts ... it may have used up the immediate water in its root ball, solution is to get water directly back into rootball by using a mock up funnel.
Garden is really dry... water twice... first time and then let the water soak in and then redo... some time excessively dry soils can be difficult to rewet... perhaps consider a wetting agent.
Soak-hoses are awesome for direct targeting of water, conserve water not being wasteful and you can leave them going for hours... less disease with soak-hoses as they water under the foliage rather than on.
Yellow leaves that drop from in the centre of plants like roses... can indicate that the rose is suffering from being too dry.
We are only closed for Christmas Day.... otherwise open and about all days 8.30am to 5pm including all stat days and weekends... The watering still has to be done... The garden is open to wander in so if you have out of town visitors or are from out of town yourself, you can be certain that we will be open. Every year we look forward to meeting any online shoppers that are in the area calling in to check the actual nursery out.
For our online shoppers the Christmas and New Year weeks are too short to dispatch any plants as there are not enough days to get plants around NZ so there will be no mail order until the New Year commencing from 10th Jan... Anything that has to go by truck will be later, possibly the 3rd week of January, but we will advise once we know. LOL those horticultural truck companies are having a good long break!
This is our last email for 2017 and then we will be taking a break for the next couple of month and will look forward to getting back into a fun and action packed 2018!
Another year is all but done and dusted and I just wonder where they go to so fast. Mid-May to the end of December just goes in a massive blur from potting all the years roses and trees to spring which keeps us so busy it just rushes by so fast. (Note: if you are after trees, roses or specific plants and or larger than usual quantities then now is the time to let us know so that we can try and pre-order these in for you).
Sometimes I think that we can't run fast enough to keep up with that flush but thanks to our awesome team, who do a fabulous job, managing to keep the nursery looking pretty amazing all of the time.
With the years pressure off, a team dinner and evening was planned. When organising the invites Harry, tongue-in-cheek, found a pic of a bear (hirsute stocky man) in a pink tutu and set the theme for the evening. The guys all rolled with the theme and rocked up to our place in an array of coloured tutu's. Harry managed to get us pink tutus and tiaras teamed up with a bit of old leather from some mardi gras many years ago and set us all off for a fun night. You can have a good chuckle and check us out on facebook.
Yesterday was the last day that we are all together for at least 4 weeks and to that end Ang and the crew organised a bring along lunch for us all to share. A fab way to complete the year as a full team!
I thank all my team sincerely for their dedication and efforts in maintaining the standard that Harry and I want for the nursery and the next few weeks will see most of them having a well earned break with their families and friends.
To all our loyal clients new and old, thank you for being there and supporting us. Harry and I take the opportunity to wish you all a fabulous Christmas, an awesome New Year... Enjoy the holidays and this early summer weather.
Have a great weekend, Xmas and New years
Lloyd, Harry and the Wairere Team
PS If you are still struggling for that last minute gift don't forget the online e-vouchers that we now have available.