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Friday 6th October, 2017
Always look back
Anthony has this saying that he uses often when we are out walking " always turn around and look back " and in this case his reference is that the view is not always in front of you, don't miss what is behind you. You can imagine that when we are doing that beautiful walk from Waihi beach to Orokawa that he is always turning around to admire the view .... LOL which we do get to see the on our return!
Taking Anthony's point a bit further, it's always a good thing in life to look back and see ones own achievements and it has been great to share ours over the past few weeks from that first bungalow to Pete's cottage through to the villa which then became our home.
There have also been a few business achievements along the way and the first that comes to mind was in conjunction with Anthony when creating an exhibit for the Waikato Home and Garden show. Anthony designed a courtyard garden display for a space that was 5 x 5 metres and together with Wairere (of course the plants) and my brother David who built the set.
We were ecstatic to take first equal with another designer at the Waikato H & G show and then had to find our own way to take the same display to, in those days, the Ellerslie Flower Show.
The design and set was recreated in Auckland and no amount of effort was spared to get it up to a very high standard. The classic courtyard design and attention to detail enabled Anthony to take home a gold award for his design and execution. An English judge commented to Anthony at the time that if it was displayed at Chelsea flower show that it would have done very well!!!
The following year Anthony and Wairere again collaborated to create a newly designed courtyard but this time something considerably more contemporary as he felt that it was important to showcase that as a garden designer you can create many styles. Again David built the set and the plants were sourced and provided by Wairere and the same attention to detail was carried out in the creation of the design. Anthony was awarded silver for his contemporary Courtyard.
Harry, Anthony and myself have always had a philosophy that we must always try to exceed expectation in all that we carry out as two small business and this must attribute to our continued development as an independent Garden Centre and Design Studio.
Over the years we have also periodically entered the Waikato business awards. We have found that this can stimulate your thinking when looking into your business and what you have already achieved but also provides a platform on which to move forward. The process allows for refreshing old ideas and creating new idea and new goals to aim for. In the early days as a small business we achieved the award for Best small business under one $1 million turnover, In another year an award for retail excellence and more lately runner up in best small business.
Our accountant always had a saying for me that if you don't make a plan then you will achieve zero..
We may not have had a formally written business plan over the years but there has always certainly been that plan in our heads which has taken us forward. In creating that perfect outdoor space I have always said that you don't build a house with out a plan so why would you create a garden and outdoor living without one.
Climbers... Cheeky Clematis belong to the buttercup family !!!
Climbers are fascinating plants in that they have adapted their leaves or leaf stems in order to climb and find the light. In my view they are not really shade lovers at all but rather clever plants that have evolved to find a niche, way up there in the sun. Mostly climbers like to have their roots in the cool or shaded area which all stands to reason if you think about it.
This suits us in the garden as we have fences and walls not to mention trees or other shrubs through which we can grow a climber. An interesting point about the genus of Clematis is that they belong to the same family (Ranunculaceae) as Helleborus /winter roses and that pesky weed in the garden the common buttercup. Now who would have thought that; but when you look at the flowers.... well you can see the same sort of structures going on here!
The hybrid clematis are pretty stunning with their huge flowers and these look pretty amazing growing through a rose being used to support them in there bid to get to the top and those xtra large flowers, bursting out all the way up, look fabulous. I know that often in the English books you will see hybrid clematis growing through tripods made of birch or in very well designed obelisks with a combination of a large shrub rose and these queens of the clematis world.
Then there are the montanaspecies and their many cultivars and these are in a whole different league from the fancy hybrids in that they are way more vigorous but what they lack in size they sure make up for in performance. A large vine of a montana cultivar in full flower is a sight to behold. I seem to recall the montana ruebens and spoonerii beinng the white form but now there seems to be quite a few cool ones.
some of these newbies that we have in currently are
There are quite a few native clematis but the one that you will see around at the moment will be Paniculata which has a pretty white flowers and an evergreen leaf. I planted one years ago beside an old lawson tree and its now right up in the very top flowering away which shows that they will grow to be at the top of plants and in the sun. Driving fown the road towards Hamilton you can see its show white flowers just at the very top and I llook out for it every spring.
There is another native clematis which is a hybrid between paniculata and forsterii called Purity and of course, has pretty white flowers on ane evergreen climber. The flower is quite typical of clematis to me but has the prettiest pointed ends which does make it a tad different.
Another favourite Clematis of mine is one called Armandii and it has similar flowers to Paniculata but I just adore its foliage. Large chunky finger like leaves and when grown on a fence or wall, just covers it with all this dramtic foliage and of course trhe flowers are a bonus!
Latest new lavender just being released... Just stunning
Lavender The Princess is one of the new pretty pink lavenders that was released last year and is resplendent in an attractive shade of dark pink almost a plum pink and this year we see the release of Ghostly Princess.
Ghostly Princess takes pink to the next level with pretty pink ears with plum red flowers completing the picture but the real claim to fame for this stunning lavender is the silver foliage which is unusual for this species. Now all Lavenders need those full or all days sun position in the garden and sharp drainage. None of those murky wet spots for this genus. These Rabbit ear types also like a hair cut after their main flowering to keep them bushy and compact. Don't trim back though into brown wood as that is just too hard and never late going into the Autumn as the plant doesnt have time to regenerate prior to winter.
Its all go now with more fluff aka perennials hitting the nursery
Just arrived yesterday... more of those federationdaisies that flower all summer long giving such great value. Felicia with those gorgeous blue flowers and the begining of the Salvias which tend to flower the late summer going into the Autumn.
A new batch of Delphiniums arrived and are great for the picking garden but dont forget to bait around them. There is nothing like the blue of Delphiniums though there are some pretty cool white ones too.
BeardedIriseswe have many in stock right now but there are more on their way. Beautiful additions to flowering garden with the amazing array of colours that the come in. Sun plants that compliment perennial borders, rose gardens or just a dedicated garden all to themselves. Don't skimp on the compost or food as these do like lots of tucker but that rhizome likes to be baking in the sun.
Siberian Irises. The biggest range that we have had this year and these look amazing as they come up a clumps in the garden in mostly blue purple and white shades. Siberian Irises prefer moist soils but are equally at home in the perennial border or flower garden.
Hostas. Its all about the foliage with these beauties. Those spears that unfurl into the most amazing arrays of creams, yellows and greens and many combinations of these are just looking amzing at the moment. Hostas are just adored by slugs and snails so make sure that you puit out the bait as one taste of those spears will make holes in all of the leaves..
Hostasare a semi shade planand so like being under trees though they do vary in how much shade they like. the gold ones tend to have more sensitive leaves and so perhaps like more shade than others.
Some of the blues and greys can tolerate much higher light and so experiment with where they do best. Hostas also like more moist soils so dont plant where its too dry and mulch the area with good compost which will generally keep them happy.
There is a huge range of varieties from $7.99 and of course a large grade too with some pretty cool cultivars. Empress Wuand Big Daddy and Big Mamaall spring to mind as those large huge leaved varieties that are quite popular. Purple Heart is quite different with its purple stem and base of the leaf. Check them all out on our website but know that there are still more coming.
Potatoesthe staple of our diet and its time to be planting those main crops now and if you do you may be able to tickle some out for Christmas dinner. There are still some of the short maturing varieties available like Swift and Rocket which should be ready in time for Christmas.
Main crop and popular potatoes like Agria and Rua... JerseyBennes are also pretty good spuds to have on hand and harvest these small just like those supermarket boxes or let them grow larger Heather is a pink skinned variety that I just love to eat... then ther are still some of those older varieties like CliffsKidneyand Marris Anchorwhich are great eating. Dont forget the potato food!!!
Bleeding hearts, we sold out of these last week but have some more so if you missed out or are just keen to get this old fashioned perennial into the garden. Such a cool flower that looks just like its namesake of many bleeding hearts all along an arching stem. Likes moist humus soils that is damp and not wet.. perfect for that woodland garden.
Calibrachoasare lovers of the sun, they like a hot corner nice range of bright colours.
Geraniums are also full of colour and will reward you throughout the summer with lovely displays. Sisyrnchiumsare blue or white, sun lovers, great in bulk or as a border, look great in pots with their sword like foliage.
Helipterum Paper Cascade is a delightful little plant with blue green foliage and masses of papery white flowers. Again loves a sunny well drained spot.
Not long now till Labour weekend so if you want your plants delivered by Labour Weekend (21-23 October) please ensure you place your orders before Sunday 17th (courier delivery) or for large orders, or large trees by Sunday 10th (Truck delivery)
Hard to believe that after all the rain we have had that these past three dry days and sun is making us sort the irrigation and get it going as the plants with all the spring growth going on are running out of water. Of course it is because they are all in pots and the plants in the ground wont have this need for some time yet. On that note though it may be worth checking your pots and tubs!
Hope that the fiest week of the school holidays has gone well and the weather has been reasonably kind. Dont forget to check those pots for water and put slug bait out for those slippery pests that rasp away with their long tongues.
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.