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Friday 30th March, 2018
If only hindsight was foresight!
You are never too old to learn something and sometimes the old adage 'more haste makes waste' rang true as when saving our small dog from an imminent disaster meant that I had an unforeseen tangle between our ute and a self-closing garage door. The instinctive and reactive things I did would have turned out quite differently if I had less haste and thought more about what I was doing.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing and after spending 4 days in the wonderful care of our hospital system on an IV drip meant for a very hungry stomach and much time thinking about how lucky I was to be seeing in this particular Easter and how I could have played the whole scenario quite a lot differently.
Anyway I'm here and this Easter is all about Autumn.
Autumn is like spring to some plants
You know its Autumn when its still dark at 7 am in the morning, daylight savings is about to end and everyone is selling hot cross buns and Easter eggs because its the last long weekend before that slippery slide into the winter months. (Don't forget clocks back an hour this weekend )
You know that its Autumn when we seemingly turn the nursery around and upside down and big groups of plants get shifted. To put you in the picture all the Hostas have been moved to an outer area because their leaves are on the Autumn decline and soon there will be nothing to see in those pots and so big groups of new plants come forward like the evergreen Azaleas and our lovely new season Rhododendrons.
You know that its Autumn when the flowering cherries leaves have taken on an orange green hue because their leaf abscission layer has begun to form and you begin to plan the Autumn leaf clean up regime and telling clients that the leaves look tatty on the trees because they have done their job for this year...
You know that its Autumn because all the camellias that are in flower right now are more than likely Sasanquas and these flower brilliantly in the Autumn.
As some plants head for winter dormancy others are about to have their turn in the limelight so lets not forget that its not just about plants going to rest but rather some that are just starting to do their Autumn flush... just like a spring flush. Hellebores(Winter roses) are a good example and we have just finished cutting off all the old leaves leaving the new growth to come through and flower and a good feed to boot will kick start their Autumn flowering.
Know your Camellias
If you see a Camellia in flower right now then chances are that it will be one that belongs to the Sasanquas.
Now occasionally at this time of year you may find some that are in flower that are not sasanqua but rather a species. Species tend to have much smaller flowers and quite simple in form which I have to confess endears them to me. I took a wander through our Camellias and all of those currently flowering are Sasanquas and I was surprised to see so many different ones blooming away!
Sasanquas tend to have smaller leaves but in a similar green to their counterpart Japonicas and Reticulatas.
Sasanquas tend to have smaller flowers too and often these have a classic musky fragrance and of course are the first of the Camellia species to flower being now in the Autumn...
Sasanquas have a reputation of being hardier and cope better with a wider range of growing positions than other species and hence their suitability for hedging and other topiary work.
Planting these beauties
Know that their preference is for good soil type that has a good humus or compost layer to keep the soil cool and moist... so if you have hot sandy soil then you will need to add compost to the soil at planting time and the addition of mulch to the surface on a regular basis.
As with all plants Camellias need to be planted to the same depth that they are currently in the bag... you can't bury them up the stem as this will cause vascular problems.
With new plants cut the bag off rather than pulling the plant out of the bag so that you don't rip off all the new feeder roots. With all new root balls treat them gently so as to eliminate transplant shock. This is especially true of brand new season plants.
If the Camellia is quite tall then a temporary bamboo cane can be a good idea to keep them upright and not rocking in the soil which will break the new feeder roots as they try to root into the new soil surrounds.
Claret Ash 30% off awesome claret coloured autumn foliage... large grade plants
Medlar 50% off. For the tree buff, pretty single flowers in spring followed by guava shaped fruits - looks cool in fruit.
Poliothyrsis 50% off. Handsome tree with fragrant ivory white flowers in late summer
Some of these trees are too big to transport so come on out to the nursery with your trailer, if purchasing via our online site we may have to contact you if your trees need to be sent via truck.
We need the room, take 30% of these as well!
Cornus or dogwood are up there amongst my favourite trees. Dogwoods just smother themselves in masses of single white bract like flowers in the spring. These are followed by red strawberry like fruits and then in the Autumn a gorgeous display of red coloured leaves.
Crabapple are a fabulous ornamental tree with many bangs for their buck with spring blossom followed by ornamental coloured apples in the Autumn. These crabapples are popular with those that like to cook and make crabapple jellies and pastes. Whilst most of these will have the attractive fruits there are also those that are grown for the most amazing flowering cherry like bloom such Van Eseltine as or others that may have fewer crabs but amazing form of tree. Take 30% off Arrow gold, Ballerina, Echtemeyer, Van Eseltine, Barbara Ann and Coronet Peak.
Arrow gold Ballerina Echtemeyer Van Eseltine Coronet peak
Bigger trees, maybe for the driveway, consider these on special... again 30% off Acer Bowhall, or rubrum columnare as being a more upright larger growing maple with amazing Autumn colours
Plantanus ace of clubs makes a gorgeous speciman tree, I have seen some stunning examples of these lining farm boundries, these become gorgeous big trees and do look stunning in a line, also 30% off.
Last seasons rhododendrons have been put into the sale at 30% off but these are no longer available via web purchase so you will have to stop in to take advantage of this discount. New Season Rhododendrons are now arriving in stock and looking gorgeous with the same price of $32.99 each.
We wil be closed tomorrow being Good Friday but will be open every day after that for our normal hours from 8.30 am to 5 pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Daylight saving ends on Sunday which means that we can push the clocks back an hour and get an extra hour of light in the morning which I am looking foward to as I tend to be more of a morning person than evening.
Its still the perefct planting weather i.e warm and moist, try not to dead head your roses but rather let them finish flowering naturally hopefully you are lucky enough to get those gorgeous autumn hips.
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.