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Wednesday 18th October, 2017
A Buxus hedge that tells a story of past times.
I learnt something the other day...
As long as I can remember there has always been Topiary work along the Paeroa-Tahuna road that spells the name of the quaint town Te Aroha.
It has always been a landmark that I look out for each time I drive along that road and it's been tended for years by the local farmer John Bebbington.
I never knew this, but clipped out of Buxus, the words 'Te Aroha' signalled to pilots flying in where the the landing field began for this local airfield as directly behind the topiary began the landing strip which was in the direction of the township. The old barn that you see to the left is actually an old hangar. John and Gayle's cool house was apparently another old hangar and club rooms and later an addition of a watch tower for the the landing planes but is now a secluded and private place with a beautiful garden for this keen plantsman.
The airfield was actively used up until 2006 when it was moved to Waihi after the Te Aroha Aero Club bought some land for the strip. For some 30 years previously it was owned by Malcolm and Joan Campbell who John Bebbington bought the property from.
Now for us to drive past over the years and be able to enjoy this local piece of history the Buxus has had to been tended by the family, regular trimming of the topiary, spraying of the weeds and weed eating of the drain bank so that 'TE AROHA' could be seen by all who fly or drive by.
Sadly the last couple of years have been exceptionally wet. A blocked culvert and a very high water table along that low lying road has taken its toll on the lower half of the Te Aroha letters. Fortunately we have been lucky enough to meet this family which facilitated the sourcing of enough large grade Buxus to repair this iconic planting. So if you are driving along this road toward the Coromandal, take the time to look out over Te Aroha and visualise where the planes once landed. Thanks to the Bebbington family for keeping this landmark for all to enjoy in the future.
On that note its been such a wet winter and I have seen water leaking out of the ground in places that I have never seen over the past 30 years. Even in my garden I have noticed that plants have died as a result of being too wet for too long as our water table is obviously high. The poor plant effectively drowns as it as it becomes deprived of the ability to breath.
Now I know that many make the practice of placing saucers under their pots and I also caution here too as water sitting in the pot can keep your pot plant too wet for too long as well and again the result is drowning. I am guilty of using this trick to my advantage though because when a plant is in active growth and has a high water requirement it will keep water available . Roses in pots in the summer have a high need for lots of water. However this all changes when we move to winter and the rose becomes dormant and does not have need for water. The moral is to make sure you take away the saucer when they are not needed.
New to us
An oldie but a goodie Monarda aka Bergamot
Monarda are commonly called Bergamot and are something that we haven't had for years. A perennial whose common name originated from those fragrant leaves that are reminiscent of the oil of Bergamot that is actually derived from the Bergamot orange. Interestingly the oil of Bergamot was used to scent black tea, being the posh tea Earl Grey.
Monardas are a true perennial that enjoy a full sun spot in the garden and good fertile soil. They are a classic for the perennial border but equally suit any garden. They will arise from a base leaf structure and grow up to around 50 to 60 cm with brightly coloured flowers as we move from spring into the summer.
Plantain lilies or Hostas must be one of those plants that dont fit neatly into a family as they were once classified in the lily family but now belong to the Asparagus family. Another difference is that they dont belong to dicotyledons (having two seed leaves) which most plants belong to but rather the monocotyledons (has a single seed leaf) and are descibed as lilioid monocot. These plants do have some rather handsome flowers which tend to come later in the season and look rather like some oversized asparagus stems in shades of lilac and whites. Dont forget that they do like rather moist soil with lots of compost and humus and dappled light. The gold leaved varieties needing more shade than the grey leaves. Apparently the leaves with blue in their colouring have less susceptibility to slug and snail damage.
More Hostas are in this week being the balance of our $7.99 range and there are a couple of new ones that we havent had before.
Check out the $7.99 ranges here and don't forget that if you buy 10 or more of the $7.99 range you get them for only $7.00 each.
Hosta KiwiSunshineforms a medium size mound of leaves that emerge yellow gold in colour and then turn green as the season
Hosta Wheaton Blue Wheaten Blue forms a large mound of moderately corrugated blue green foliage with good substance. Moderate growth rate, pale lavender tubular blooms, blooms mid summer, partial to full shade.
Yellow leaves have a dark green margin that accentuate the yellow centre. Prominent veins throughout the leaf give this hosta a stained glass window effect. Sun tolerant. Likes fertile soil and adequate moisture is needed if growing in full sun. Great for container or garden use. Attractive foliage and wonderfully scented pale lavender flowers appear in late summer.
Blue Veil Oval shaped blue-green upright foliage that is attractively 'puckered' and forms a bold clump. The pale Lavender bell shaped flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Plant in semi-shade in nice rich moist soil for best results.
Loyalist bold and striking Hosta with heart shaped leaves of good substance. The leaves have a white central zone with a strong broad green margin. Imagine a group of these lighting up a shady corner. Stems of lavender flowers in late spring-summer. Plant in nice rich moist soil. Perennial.
Summer Breeze A medium to large hosta with dark green leaves with wide irregular, chartreuse to yellow margins. Bell shaped lavender flowers in spring. This hosta is sure to brighten your shade garden. Best in a bit of sun to bring out the beautiful colouring.
Something for the hot gardens
Gazanias are the perfect choice for those hot and sunny gardens as they love the heat
Viburnum Macrocephalum is just a gorgeous viburnum .. it would have to be one of my favourites. It has the same snowball like flower as some of the others but perhaps is more of a creamy white. When in full flower the bush is a sight to behold.
While on viburnums we have quite a few of the cranbery orViburnum trilobumand this one has red berries after the flowers. Pretty in flower with its typically flat viburnum flowers but spectaular later as well, when it has those bright red berries that persist late in the season. $49.99 my deal this week $29.99 and great bushy plants as well.
With vodafone deciding to remove email access for it's account holders, now would be a good time to remind those of you who won't have email shortly that you should update your accounts with your new email addresses. Especially if you want to continue getting this newsletter. This applies to anyone with a new email address not just ex vodafone customers. You can update your information by logging into your account online. It's easy, just go to www.wairere.co.nz, (just click the link) then click 'log in' type in your old email and password. Click my account at the top of the page then overwrite your old address with your new one and click Update. All done!
If you have forgotten your password you will be happy to know we can send a new one to your email, we also have a new facility to send it to your mobile phone as well. Just follow the prompts.
We have now included an events page on our website so if you have an event and want it listed on our events page just send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org . Ensure you have all relevanta information in the email such as dates, times, venue, where to get tickets, price, cancellation information etc.
The roses in thae garden centre are on the cusp of being in flower, every day brings more blooms. I sprayed them last night for black spot and aphids and decided that they were looking amazing and will be on a flowering roll in the next few weeks. If you want to see flowers then its starting to happen but another week will really see them humming
Its the long weekend and I'm hoping for another fine one. Three days off and in the sun, what could be better. It's also the traditional time to plant that spring vege garden... again this year I think that it's still a bit cool for this time of year, a bit like the last spring but hopefullly it's just going to get warmer.
If you are going away for the long weekend then take care, drive carefully, if you have visitors coming then our show garden is looking amazing this spring so bring them out for a wander round.
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.