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Wednesday 15th November, 2017


Please accept our apologies, we had a mail out error which stopped this being sent at the usual time. Better late than never though, right?

There is a bit of history attached to carnations

We spied some of these the other day and thought that we haven't had these before and so purchased the whole range that was available in order to be able to offer them to you... and us.  I imagine that we will be adding some of the colours to our picking garden too.  Carnations are like the regal version of Pinks or Dianthus with much larger and fuller flowers on way longer stems. The plant itself is larger and coarser than the pinks that we all know. They both like the same position in the garden however, being, in the sun and in good rich, but free draining, soil. These haven't arrived yet but I would encourage you to pre-order to secure your choices as there isn't a large supply available.

It was interesting to do a little research on these distinguished flowers as while I know them well enough I didn't know they were so steeped in history and mythology.


Large singles: Green Ice, Irish Cream, Soft Touch, Show Piece, Glacier


Large singles: Fire Chief, Royal Lady, Deep Secret, Royal Command, True Love

Carnations are Dianthus, Dianthus Caryophyllus to be exact, and have been in extensive cultivation for some 2000 years. According to Greek literature the name Dianthus came from a Greek botanist, named Theoprastus, using the Greek words Dios, meaning Divine, and Anthos, being flower, hence dianthus. Some scholars believe the common name, Carnation, came from coronation or corone or flower garlands being one of the flowers used in the Greek ceremonial crowns, others have different ideas being the Latin word Caro meaning flesh the original colour of dianthus flower or incarnatio, (incarnation) refers to the incarnation of God made flesh and I'm sure that there are many more.           

The colour of Dianthus flowers have many traditional meanings  expressing love, fascination and distinction. According to Christian legend carnations first appeared on earth as Jesus carried the cross and the Virgin Mary was weeping tears at his plight. Where those tears fell, the first pink carnations appeared. Pink carnations symbolise a mothers undying love. 

Light red carnations symbolises admiration and dark red deep love and affection. White flowers symbolise pure love and good luck and striped blooms signify a regret that a love cannot be shared and the list goes on.

Sprays: New Dawn, Valentine, Can Can Girl, Blackberry Swirl, Green Magic
Sprays: Candy Floss, Bride's Bouquet, Volcano, Blushing Bride, Strawberry Parfait

We have a good selection covering most of the colour range including mainly standards and sprays on their way. Standards are a bit like the hybrid teas of the rose world being a single large bloom per flower stalk while the sprays are likened to the floribundas being lots of smaller flowers per flower stalk.

In the garden
Grapes. Know that you allow two bunches of grapes and then keep them cut or pinched back .... you don't want to end up with a giant pot mitt.  I started on mine the other day then the growth will go into the grapes and not all leaves and vine.

Its too early to start cutting your hedges back even though its probably damn tempting, wait for the spring flush to harden or change colour from the spring growth to their normal colour.  Otherwise you may have to do the job twice, wait 'till closer to Christmas and do all hedges and edges and the garden will look pretty fine. If we keep getting this rain then the spring flush may go longer and we will have a summer flush and you will have to do it twice anyway.

Hope that you all have that vege garden planted this year as there may be a shortage of commercial supply due to the wet spring.  I am always a bit late starting but do have in our usual zucchini pumpkins and even sowed my first row of beans the other day.  
We have plenty of Kumara plants here if you have a hankering to get these planted. 25 slips in a bundle should yield quite a few kumaras, store them well to last through the year.

Black spot and aphids on roses are the next fungal and pest problem of roses after that insiduous downy mildew issue. (If you are having ongoing problems with the downy mildew it has been mentioned by a rose expert that Buxus Blight Buster Spray has been effective against this problem.) Super Shield should clean up both black spot and aphid problems. I always recommend doing a couple of sprays close togather to get control and then spray before the rain and again after the rain.  You will find that once we get into some consistent fine weather that the fungal infections get much less and there may not be any need to spray.
Limb up ... crown... lift  the trees in the garden. I find that once the spring flush is finished that I need to remove the lower branches of all of our trees.  In reality I have organised the team to start now as I like keeping the layers in the garden which of course shows of all the lower plantings.
This is the season to plant all of the fluff, colour, pretties call it what you like, perennials are such good value at providing colour. We have planted many daisies just for colour at home and have cut all the flowers off and have my finger croseed that they will all be back in flower for our usual Xmas brunch.

Simone and Alex have been mulching the garden with shredded bark so that it looks so sharp and also has the benefit of supressing the weeds. Gardening is about working smart and doing the right tasks at the right time so as to minimise weeding and keep it looking grand for longer.

Thoughts for Xmas
I know that its early to be thinking Christmas pressies but I thought that I would drop in a few ideas for those gardening friends or family.
Now if you are planning to pot something up then now's the time to be doing it so that its looking good for the big day. Pots in wire baskets...  for example  Pot up these now for a friend, they look really cool with small Buxus in them or potted colour.
We have a new scissor that I have bought in , and these are just awesome for topiary work and edges. Simone who helps keep the gardens up to scratch just adores this tool. I will have to put another out there for Alex to have in his kit as well.  They are literally like a scissor and I use them in conjunction with our ARS shears for trimming our Box spirals in the garden. they are perfect for doing the detail work and especially good on buxus balls etc, in fact, for many garden tasks.

Christmas Tree Orders. These are not here yet but I have managed to secure a few for the nursery. If you are keen for a living christmas tree to keep in a pot then you will need to order them now.  Don't leave it too long because if our numbers go then I may still be able to get more but will need to secure them quickly. 
Picea Stitchensis, Pinus Patula, Pseudotsuga Menziesii (Douglas Fir) Picea Baby Blue

Here is something a bit different, couldn't resist these, they look pretty in flower which then give way to scarlet berries that last a long time on the bush. In standard form they look great.
Zantedeschia's (Calla Lilies) are about to arrive. A good selection from the rich almost black flowers of Black Jack, reds of Hot Cherry  through to the lovely white/pink of Crystal Blush and more.  These like rich soil with good moisture retention and good drainage. They look great in pots or massed in the garden.
On special this week are some lovely perennials that will help with the Xmas buying.  
Bergenia cordifolia, sumptuous big green heart shaped leaves adorned by pink flower spikes in late winter and spring. Happy in Sun or semi shade, hardy and reliable.
Convolvulus mauritanicus is a fabulous ground cover that delights with lovely morning glory type mauve blue flowers. It will flower throughout the year and looks great trailing down retaining walls, a bank or out of pots.
Eryngium Blue Hobbit has unusual blooms that are prickly in steel blue shades that look fab in the garden and are also sutiable for drying and flower arranging. Give it a sunny spot to thrive.
Ficus Pumila is a superb wall covering plant that will enhance any wall it grows up. It's early foliage is an attractive bronze which will mature into a glossy green.  
Gaura Siskyou Pink and Sparkle White will flutter in the breeze giving the impression of butterflies in flight.  Great plant for containers , edging or the rock garden, likes full sun.  This is a heat lover so use as an annual in colder regions.
Myosotidium Hortensia (Chatham Island forget me not) another evergreen perennial with large, luscious, deep green leaves and rich, bold, blue clusters of flowers in spring and summer.  Likes the shady spots.
Events to consider!
Now is the time for rose shows throughout the country and Waikato is proud to present the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival starting today and running through to 12th Nov. This event will bring you roses from around the world in the quest to being named NZ Rose of the Year. Public voting is a unique aspect of these trials so get along to this event and cast your vote as since 2004 it is the public who has decided the winners. 
The Daltons Waikato Spring Rose Show is part of the festival and will be held on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November. Venue:  Hamilton Gardens Pavillion, Hamilton.  Show open Sat 11th 12noon – 5pm and Sun 12th 10am – 4.30pm. Entry $5, Gold Card holders $2.50, under 16 free with adult. 
For more details on the festival and associatied events click here.

If seeing all the stunning roses at the festival gets you excited, then come on out and see the amazing display of roses that are here at the nursery, so many are in their spring flowering flush and looking divine.
Last week I mentioned the trees that are on special due to their size and the response has been great, there are still plenty available and with the weather improving you should be able to get these in the ground without too much hard digging. Size still applies so only good for pick up from the nursery, bring a trailer!
So much to do this weekend with the Rose festival on and our gardens looking so good but still needing work, here's hoping for a nice dry weekend for everyone.
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.

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Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm