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Saturday 25th November, 2017
It looks like the wet season may have ended Hip Hip Hooray!
OMG 3 weeks ago we were all moaning about the rain and now we have been having the most glorious weather... The temperatures here have almost been hitting the mid 20's and its unbelievable how fast the garden has started to dry out.
We have been doing some quite big plantings too and suddenly the rain has stopped and its been necessary to give our work some timely watering. Not to mention some timely maintenance on the water pumps!
I feel the need to pass on some tips here as I find that some people almost kill their plants with kindness by over watering them because they feel that its dry.. and just water for the sake of it. I have this theory that most plants go into, what I imagine, is a summer dormancy and can tolerate being dry, it is only when the dry becomes excessive that there is a problem.
Now this wet and dry thing is not all cut and dried ... pun intended, but rather a sense of using that classic horticultural skill of observation. For example an older plant in a container will use, and have a greater need for, water than say a new plant without such a developed root system.
Plants that are in containers can be planted into the earth at any time of year but as we approach the drier season we do need to be mindful of the plants need for water. For example, for a tree with a well established root system, I always recommend that the container is immersed into a bucket of water until the air bubbles stop and then removed and drained, this way you know that the root ball is thoroughly wet, then plant the tree and water well the soil around it.
New plants with under developed roots such as seedlings or the like may need more water, more often, because their ability to withstand drying out is considerably reduced.
Sometimes your new tree may use all the available water in its root ball and, because it hasn't grown into the surrounding soil, appear to dry out. Its important to quickly get water back into the root ball and you can manage this by creating a moat around the top of the plant that directs water to where it's needed or use an upside down bottle with the end cut out as a funnel.
Now most plants wont need water every day but rather somewhere from once to twice a week depending on the evapotranspiration rate i.e. if its overcast every day then it could well be less often and plants will vary in their needs... It really does all come back to that good ole skill of observation!
We have been mulching all the gardens with shredded bark for many reasons and the first, at this time of year, is conserving water loss from the garden on these hot days. Next, when we we use the sprinkler the mulch layer will absorb the water rather than it running off in rivulets down the bank. Thirdly is weed suppression. Lastly mulch will, eventually, break down and feed the garden.
Roses like a water retentive mulch at this time of the year to keep their roots cool and moist but don't forget to feed them, as the mulch can rob the soil of precious nitrogen, and remember not to put any mulch hard up against the plant, give it breathing room. Our standard roses are looking particularly gorgeous at present with a full selection of colour on display and many varieties available in patio standard size as well.
Hydrangeas are a plant that you see often as you are driving around the country side, often used at gateways and rural road boundaries to create hedges for privacy from road users. Many are of the macrophylla moptop or lacecap varieties that were the historically favoured selection, possibly more from lack of selection if truth be told. Luckily we now have an extensive selection of these large growing types available but also some with helpful modifications such as the latest varieties we have added to our diverse selection which have been bred to be compact, small and to produce copious flowers for the size of the bush. Hydrangea Saxon Red Dawn and Saxon Pink Maiden are only expected to grow 60-100cm. These compact dwarf varieties produce flowers in profusion on a compact bush. These will flower quickly on a young plant and will flower from late spring and right through summer. Ensure good soil fertility and adequate moisture while plants establish. Suitable for container growing. Feed with slow release for best results. Likes shade for the heat of the day and of course they are deciduous.
Pee Gee's is a name given to Paniculata Grandiflora types such as Limelight, Levana, Tardiva, Kyushu, to name a few, which are the white/green flowering varieties. The beauty of the paniculata varieties is that they can be cut back hard as they flower on new wood but they are also not affected by soil ph for their flower colour like the macrophylla varieties. The paniculata flowers in the past have been predominately greens to cream or white but there are now new varieties with flowers that age to pink or red such as Sundae Fraise, Diamond Rouge or Candlelight.
In reality there is probably now a hydrangea to fit every garden if you consider climbing Seemanii (evergreen) or Petiolaris (deciduous), dwarf hydrangeas such as Tosca or Pee Wee, ph determined colour such as the macrophylla varieties and the large pannacle flowered paniculatas. Lets not forget the smooth hydrangea Annabell which is the one planted around our homestead that so many people ask about. There is also a range with different leaf types. Quercifolia (Quercus is Oak so Quercifolia relates to oak leaf type) offer a different texture to the garden and dark autumn colour as well with some leaves almost turning black. Now is a great time to plant hydrangeas as they aren't in flower yet but will be very soon. Check out their diversity on our website.
With the weather warming up at last the time to plant your Kumara is now and we only have a few bundles left so if you are wanting these you will want to get your order in now. Just click the word Kumara to be magically transported to our online ordering for Kumara plants.
Long awaited Feijoa varieties Kaiteri and Kakariki have finally arrived and the bulk of the varieties are swelling with their copy cat Pohutukawa like flowers possibly in time for a great Christmas display and for Easter eating.
Blackberries and boysenberries are in full flower now with lots of bees visiting them and the blueberrieswont be far offflowering either. Hopefully they can produce some tasty berries ready for Christmas desert. These are a great edible garden gift for friends and family who have the urge.
Thinking of Christmas
Splish, splash I'm taking a bath, well no, actually it would be the birds having a spa in these gorgeous Bird baths.
Vouchers may be the gift to give when you are so spoiled for choice, as you are here at Wairere. They are now available as printed voucher or evoucher that you can email as a gift. Great option for overseas people with family here in NZ.
Gordonton Christmas Garden Ramble Sat 9th Dec 10am - 4pm $20 per person Ph 07 8243850 or email email@example.com
Manawatu Art and Garden Trail 20-21 Jan 2018 Details on Manawatu Art and Garden Trail Facebook page Entry $25.00
The NZ Flower and Garden Show currently has tickets on sale via ticketek, this is said to be the pinnacle event for everything inspiration, design and horticulture. This is on 29 Nov to 3 Dec so hopefully you have the opportunity to go see it. It is being held at The Trusts Arena grounds in Waitakere, Auckland. This is the first major flower and garden show in Auckland since the Ellerslie Garden show so hopefully this event will be well supported.
If you have an event you think is worthy a spot in our events page then please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online orders last dispatch dates for 2017
If you want your Wairere Order before Christmas then it is best to order now!
Large orders or tree orders needing truck delivery have last dispatch on Wednesday 15th December so we need your orders in by 8th December so we have time to organise the trucks.
Courier orders last dispatch is Monday 20th December
First courier dispatch date in 2018 will be Wednesday 10th January but trucks will be later, possibly the 3rd week of Januray, we will advise when we know.
I have to admit that I'm loving this fine weather, not too hot to work and not wet either yay! Getting so many jobs done. Whatever your time is taken up doing, hopefully you are in a place where you can enjoy this lovely weather too.