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Saturday 5th May, 2018
Go on ..... make a roast and trimmings , its the simple things
The advertising is all out there and I'm seeing it everywhere that Mothers days is imminent. In fact, Sunday week being Sunday the 13th of May. I'm not so big on a flashy present, though I would if that was relevant, but rather organise dinner here at home.... A good old fashioned roast or something that she wouldn't normally cook for herself... a couple glasses of wine and its all good!
I think that the important point is to take the time to spend with our mums... go out and do something together. I know we get many families with their mums in the garden centre on Mothers day as going out for lunch, followed by a browse in the nursery and around the garden is a fun casual way to spend the afternoon.
It's the little things that count and a meal is such a nice thing to do to enjoy together. I reflect on how over the years the contributions our mothers have made have helped make Wairere Nursery the success that it is today. Even though Harry's mother is no longer with us she certainly is in our thoughts and memories of those early garden centre years. My mum, Joy, still helps around the nursery with cleaning the offices and is currently, quietly, organising Cathie into getting the new seasons rose labels printed. She checks, collates and sorts some 14000 odd rose labels for us..... such a huge and important task. I think it is a change of scenery from home and of course all the gossip with the guys here at work.
Plan some time together soon .... It doesn't have to be on Mothers day!
I know that we mostly use the common name of Winter Rose but I see that that Wikipedia lists Lenten Rose as its common name due to the fact perhaps that these flower through Lent? Native to Greece and Turkey and belonging to the buttercup family, this robust perennial plants flowers bring colour through our winter.. There are quite a few species of Winter roses and they do cross breed freely across the species.
Helleborus mostly like dappled light or shaded positions that are free draining and they do love well composted soil.
At this time of year removal of the existing leaves will see these beauties flowering with out the clutter of the messy previous seasons foliage. If the flower stems or new foliage has started to grow then be careful not to damage these. The flowers will really stand out and then be followed by the new leaves which will last for another year.
Winter roses do need to be lifted and replaced after a period of time. I imagine this is because the clumps get bigger, there is more competition for good soil and food, so they get lazy and just throw up a few leaves and a flower spike or two. Lifting and division of all perennials is simply good garden maintenance as it refreshes and invigorates the plant. I did read that Hellebores should give a decade of pleasure before they may need replacing or at least lifting and dividing.
Winter roses are rather promiscuous and seed readily but these seedlings will unlikely be of any consequence and are best weeded out, particularly if you have good quality plants of named varieties. To stop them seeding everywhere, remove the flowers once they have finished. I have to add that I actually like the seed phase of their flowers so maybe remove these prior to the seed head becoming brown and dry and the capsules opening.
Helleborus orientalis tend to be the hardiest and cope with a wider range of growing conditions while other species like niger, some of the crossed hybrids, foetidusand sternii certainly like soil that drains well and most like partial shade. Planted under deciduous trees hellebores reap the benefit of shade through the summer, mulch from leaf fall in autumn and increased light and air flow through the winter but you can find many varieties now that will cope with much more direct sunlight.
Angel Glow's flowering period is early winter. Flowers open light pink but mature to a deep pink. Angel Glow also features very attractive glossy leaves beneath the flowers projecting above them. Angel Glow can tolerate both frosty temperatures and sun.
Annas Red is just stunning, with masses of deep burgundy red flowers on red stems from winter through to mid spring. This is the first red hellebore with dark green marbled leaves. Forms a compact clump. Plant in full to part shade. Prefers well drained soil.
Ice Queen is a very welcome addition to the winter garden providing a floral display when most of your other plants will be having a winter rest. Dark green foliage offset beautifully with pure white flowers.
Mollys White has marbled foliage all year round and in Late Winter, stems hold the white flowers above the foliage. It is free flowering producing a large collection of flowers on a single plant. Excellent for planting in the border or great for winter containers on the patio.
Pennys Pink produces masses of beautiful bright pink cup shaped flowers with yellow stamens from winter and into early spring. The foliage is dark green and marbled and the plant forms a tidy clump.
Tutu Ballet has fabulous dark rose pink, speckled blooms, that resemble little ballerina skirts, on upright stems. The centre of the flowers is bejewelled with yellow stamens.
White Tutu. Elegant semi-double white blooms with delicate ruffled centres. Thrives in shady nooks. The perfect solution for a dramatic and graceful facelift - bring style and panache to your garden. The unique semi-double, white, speckled pink flowers are borne high above lush dark green foliage.
Buttercup Tree. This evergreen shrub is a real stand out in the winter garden. The dark green foliage is covered by a mass of bright yellow 'buttercup' blooms from autumn through winter. Easy to grow in a sunny well drained spot preferably with some wind protection.
Star Blush is a compact evergreen bushy NZ selection of this African species. Similar to a heather in its growth habit, summertime finds Star Blush covered with attractive deep pink, star like flowers. The foliage has a lemon scent when touched. Good in containers or in the border garden Tolerant of coastal conditions and light frosts. Perennial
I see the team sneaked some tree in while I was away which I spied on my wander around the nursery this morning!
Chinese or Trident Maple, but to uses its proper name Acer Buergerianum aptly named for its attractive leaf shape and pretty autumn colours forms a rounded tree of modest proportions... also has attractive flakey bark, and if you know me, well I like looking at tree trunks (strange I know) A quick google added that this is a goodie for urban environments and even performs well on poor soils. That was too good a point not to tell.
Betula Jacquemontii or white himalayan birch is a quick growing tree with beautiful snow white bark once it matures. (It does take a couple of years to develop the colour) stunning in the winter with all those naked white trunks on show. Much more upright in form than your classic weeping birch but just as exciting when mass planted.
Lastly the Dawn Redwood or Metasequoia glyptostroboides a magnificent tree of pretty substantial proportions and a good choice for soggy or waterlogged soils. Very attractive fern like foliage that will disappear as we approach winter leaving them very stately, but devoid of clothes.
Camellia sasanqua varieties are all flowering now so if you aren't sure which variety you want for hedging come see for your self if you can or check them out on the facebook page or website. We have a lovely one called Mothers Day that is named due to it's flowering time being close to or on Mothers Day each year.
PrintanorGarlic...Elephant Garlic, whichever you prefer, its time to plant it now as we slide towards the longest night.
Autumn is such a beautiful time of year and today is just stunning, so much so that I can't wait to get outside and be in the sun. I am hoping that this weekend is going to be the same. it's certainly looking like it should be!
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.