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Thursday 21st September, 2017
Memory lane has been looking pretty good
The milestone birthday done and dusted and in its wake we have been posting on the Wairere Facebook page some of the pics of those early days and the beginnings of the nursery over the past 20 to 30 years.
These have been fun as it returns us to the memories of when we purchased the first three acres of what was then mostly swamp and the only flat bit we had was where the house/office sits now. I remember thinking way back then OMG there isn't a big enough building platform for a house as we measured so many metres from the bank, neighbours boundary and road boundary.... But of course there was just enough!
Our original plan was to invest in a small piece of land and put a house on it then sell it as an investment and we were lucky enough to find a house from Insoll Ave that we relocated to what is now Wairere Nursery. I have always been in the horticultural industry and Harry has a family passion for gardening and so the first task we did after the house was positioned and put together was rotary hoe all the flat land around the house to create lawns and garden with the plan only in our heads.
The pond was dug to try and bring all the wetland water together into one place rather than just having a huge swamp on the lower levels so this brings together all the seepage water from the banks.
We finally found some common ground with our thoughts as to how the garden should be and the garden was shaped and planted. The potager is still the formal shape today that we created back at the beginning and of course the steps down to the pond that goes through the bank garden and takes one on a walk around the pond or around the house gardens and back to the main garden.
The opportunity arose to purchase some of the neighbours land and a good relationship with the bank saw our way to extending the nursery. This allowed us to create the now car parking area and a provide a little spot where Pete, my father, could build the little miners cottage that is such a neat feature at the nursery.
Once the house was built and that fabulous Camellia hedge Gay Baby planted in the front and Fairy Wand completed the back to give the old boy a space of his own. This time around the garden layout was done properly with Pete asking Anthony from Garden Graphix to design the small internal garden space that he had.
The resulting design was influenced by late Victorian era and is in keeping with the period of the cottage. The simple but clever design maximised the space to include a small scale parterre, a tiny vege garden which has grown an amazing amount of produce, and a paved courtyard area. On the sunny west side there was even space for a small orchard which includes citrus trees, a lemon and mandarin, a couple of Feijoas, a pear, a fig and a plum tree.
The garden we created at the office house really suits the place but these days I would do it all differently and create the garden layout on paper just as dad had Anthony do with his cottage garden. Using a garden designer solves all those tricky lay out problems of small and awkward spaces not to mention planting solutions. Then there is all the design of the hard landscaping like drive, paths and patio area and you see so often where people get it wrong. Paths too narrow or too small a space for the outdoor living. There is nothing more frustrating than a table and chair on the deck and then no room to walk around the outside of the space. Screening of other buildings, using the borrowed landscape for a view there are so many reason to get advice.
As the Nursery grew we needed office space so the next house, being the villa, was moved onto Wairere so that our original house could become the office and Studio for Garden Graphix and so that we had a more private place to live. This time around we sought the advice of Anthony prior to the arrival of the house. He created the layout concept prior to the house arriving in regard to house location, orientation and position, driveway access, hard paving areas, paths and garden layout all before the house arrived and of course we could start some planting and other work because we had a plan to follow. Will try to find some pics of this next week.
Just like clouds of pink marshmellows
If you have Flowering Cherry envy then nows the time to get even and get your own avenue of these stunning trees. I look around town and throughout the countryside and I see all these Awanui's in full bloom looking gorgeous like giant clouds in the most pretty of pink shades. This Yoshino cherry has the most amazing tree form with its branches that seem to layer themselves with all those pretty single blossoms. I find it amazing that these are single blossoms as there are so many blooms that you wouldn't know they aren't doubles.
Just so that you know your cherries, the ones that the tuis like are generally the capanulata species and these have now finished flowering. The Awanuis that are in full flower right now are a NZ cultivar of the Yoshino cherry being x yedoensis and I must add here that we have some pretty awesome specimens of these here high worked/grafted at 1.8m and with a really well developed head.
The other cherry that I see is about to pop is one called Accolade which has a pretty semi double flower in a brighter pink than Awanui and is a hybrid between sargentii x subhirtella. Just so that you are prepared and on the lookout, the next species of flowering cherry to bloom will be the serrulata's and these do tend to have those double full and fluffy flowers and include the likes of Shimidsu Sakura, Tai Haku and Shirotae Mt Fuji. Shimdsu sakura is just outstanding with big fat dark pink buds that openin to light pink and almost white blossoms with many many petals. Tai haku and Shirotae will apeal to those that like the white blossoms and again these are double flowers.
Generally flowering Cherries make for small to medium trees and tend to acheive approx 5m x 5m wide and high though this will vary between the different cultivars and often make for quite suitable shade trees as they have either a layered habit or more umbrella shaped form. Pretty Autumn colours of oranges and reds also add to the seasonal variety that flowering cherries offer to the annual calender.
Lets not forget about the flowering plums like Prunus Thundercloud which not only has pretty pink blossoms but rather handsome red leaves through the summer. Other red leaved forms include Pissardi Nigra, Blireana and Cerasifera nigra and these all tend to be easily grown medium trees that would contrast nicely against other foliage.
These are HOT HOT HOT!!! Pride of provance stds and cones/pillars..... it has been well worth the wait for these open ground plants as they are such well grown specimans and they are bound not to last in the nursery. Pride of Provence is a selected leaf form of the classic bay that we all know as Laurus nobilis and bays are tough and hardy. Plant these and keep them clipped and they will reward with many years of structure and form in the garden. I have standard bays in my garden and I just love them, and the look, and that timeless dark green leaf.
Slowly but surely its been getting warm enough for us to start getting in some of the fluffy stuff. We have no crop cover and so for us it is always better to have these pretties when the weather is a tad better and hopefully its going to be so from now on .... fingers crossed as Ange has been shopping.
Dianthus pinkscall them what you like. Nice grey foliage spreading habit like the sun but oh the smell of those flowers that subtle musky clove like frgrance.. I just love these
Daisiesas their proper name is a bit tricky to get off the tongue... Argyranthemum... have just started to trickle in and Ange has a selection which Im sure that she will get some more in as its that time! Endlessly in flower, once they get going, and a good cut back will keep these bushy and then back into flower. Great fillers in the garden esp for colour.
Dicentra spectabilis or Bleeding hearts and these are cool with their bleeding heart flowers that hang along their stems. A true perennial and one that will appeal to my generation of gardeners. These will tolerate full sun in a border garden provided the soil stays moist and also the woodland garden as this one like humusy soil that doesnt get soggy.
LithodoraCrystal Bluegets a mention because the blue flowers this one has are just so pretty, Lithodora are great ground covers that suit those more sunny gardens and blue is such a special colour in the flower world.
KowhaiDragons Gold are back in stock and this one suits those smaller sections being more shrubby reaching approx 2 metres. The Tuis have been going nuts in the Kowhai at home and so this one is good for conserving space and hopefully get the tuis into your garden.
Cathie has been working on offering plants that we may only get in for specific orders with her Online Only page. This means that we can offer a bigger range than what we would carry in the garden centre.... we will have some bearded Irises in stock but for the full range check out this page because if there is something here that you want then this may be the only place for you to order it from us.
I have to mention Chinese toons or Cedrella sinensis today because their claim to fame is happening right now. Those awesome pink leaves are being pink right now and if you are into tasting these leaves apparently they are best now while they are in the pink phase. According to my mate Mr Google they are used extensivley as a vegetable in China. Me, well I like the pretty leaves and so l will leave them on the ones in the garden centre for all to see.
My goodness ... We were lucky enough to have two really fine, gorgeous sunny days and doesn't seeing that sun make you feel good. I can say that the plants feel the same way and I reckon that I can almost see them growing on those awesome sunny days as I watch our roses seem to just double in size. If we can get a few more days like that to really get some growth cracking then we will be just humming.
Its going to be a busy weekend, what with the last day of voting tomorrow, daylight savings begins so clocks go forward on saturday night/sunday morn and hopefully another couple of sunny days so we can get out in the gardens to have fun in them.
Have a great weekend.
Lloyd, Harry and the Wairere Team
Make it a Wairere weekend where even GNOMES know that gardening's not a drag.