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Friday 20th July, 2018
Don't overlook the small ones as little is often the best.
I was out there in the rain yesterday, helping the team get all the trees, that we have just recently potted, away and into the garden centre. It's all about getting them into some sort of logical order, like all the fruit trees grouped by species and then alphabetically, so that they are easy to find for us and of course you.
I am pretty impressed at how quickly we have started to get all the stock organised and I thank the guys who have done it so smartly. I am sure its because the same team have done it for a couple of years now, they really know the ropes and make it happen.
Guillermo and I started on the ornamental trees, its the same deal here, firstly we try to get all the same genus that is in the nursery together in one place. On the next re blocking it will be put in alphabetical order if there are quite a few cultivars like the magnolias. Its when doing the job of re blocking the stock that you see how many gorgeous and different plants we actually carry in the nursery.
I started with the Cornus (dogwoods) and blocked them all tightly together pulling them from all over the place, happy to say that I mostly got all the new stock also in A to Z order with a couple of exceptions, then it was the Ginkgo's turn. As you block the nursery it makes spaces for other plants like the Acers (maples) to fit in and I managed to get most of the Cercis (Judas trees) all together as well. I noticed there is a nice grade of Cercis Merlot and the new weeping form called Ruby falls.
Eddies White Wonder Satomi Cherokee Sunset Moonbeam Purple Glory
As I was beavering away and looking for inspiration for this weeks email it occurred to me that there are many genus that have beautiful small plants that remain diminutive in size and would suit those smaller gardens.
Ginkgos are on the whole are large speciman trees that have beautiful bilobed bluish green leaves and are known for their Autumn butter yellow tones but there is a very cool and petite form called Ming princess which by relative standards would be the dwarf of the genus. I have this planted in the garden but its still very small after a couple of years but is reputed to get to a couple of metres high. perfect if you are looking for a miniature tree.
Then I had to move the small Maples and Mikawa yatsuba is an absolute fav of mine.. I just love its palmate leaf that appears to layer along the stems but again is just a small growing maple. The leaves are a particularly attractive shade of green and it has a very cool branching habit. while I was moving these into their new spot there were also some of the cultivar high worked on a approx 50cm standard and these were of very good quality.
Beni Komachi was another relatively small growing maple but this one with finely dissected leaves red leaves in the spring that age to green and finally giving good Autumn colours.. if you are keen on smaller maples then check out Chishio as well as its another goodie.
Now the Malus crabapple Ioensis plena could be regarded as small relative to the other crabapples, renown for its amazingly pretty blossoms so like those of the flowering cherries being double in pretty pink shades. I like Ioensis plena because it has quite attractive greyish wood that is quite angular in habit and this small tree will reach some 2 to 3 metres.
While on apples, consider the small growing Blush Babe apple that has full sized, crisp and juicy, sweet tasting, red skinned apples that grow on a naturally dwarf tree. These are grafted on to a standard to make a natural topiary. Self fertile with good disease resistance. Then there are all the ballerina series that grow in a very columnar form and again suit those that are space compromised. The Ballerinas include the crabapple Samba and maypole and the dessert apples of Waltz, Bolero and Polka.
Then there are the sweet little peaches and nectarines on the small standards. There overall size of these dwarfs will end up being approx 100 cm head, covered with delicious fruit come the summer. Check out Nectarine Flavourzee and Garden Delight or the Peaches Bonanza Honey Babe and Rose Chiffon. Be quick as these never last in stock.
I can't write a piece on dwarf plants with out touching on my favourite small growing Camellia and Baby bear is the cutest smallest growing one that I know. I have a couple of these in the garden at the office and after some 25 years they are only approximately 100 cm high and about 70 cm wide. They have quite a pretty single drop like flower in pale pink and quite attractive leaves to complete the picture. I guess that they will also make for quite a handsome hedge on the south side of the house or in a semi shade position, in a pot or just as a small shrub in the garden.
Little Gem is a new dwarf Camellia that came out approx 3 years ago and this one is quite formal in form making quite the round little ball that smothers itself with charming little white flowers. I know that Anthony from Garden Graphix has used these as a mass planting which when grown would look really cool. Again suitable as a hedge, in a pot of just as a small garden plant.
If you are looking for small Camellias then check out Moonlight Magic, Sweet Emily Kate and quintessence as well!
Everyone's fav at this time of year with those delicious sweetly scented flowers... we pick plenty of pieces of these flowers to bring inside at this time of the year as the fragrance will fill a room.
Daphne odora leucanthe is the classic pink but tack alba onto the end of its name and you get the pure white version. Daphne likes a position that gets the morning sun or any position that would have similar lighting. Get to know the quirks of this plant, it doesn't like somewhere that may be to dry or on the other hand too wet... LOL moist is just right.
An acid soil type is best and so feed with slow release Camellia food and of course any organic fertilisers like Sheep pellets or Bioboost.
Magnolia Grandiflora and what a magnificent grade these are. They have been supplied to us as just Grandiflora because the grower is not sure what cultivar they are, they are thinking the Grandiflora form called Ferruginea, and I concur, as the foliage is quite light in colour. In a sense this doesn't matter as the species is the large growing form of the evergreen Magnolia and will make for quite an instant grade to be planted out as feature trees.
Kowhai...., Not often do we get large grades of these and it will save a few years of growing to get them this size.... Typical yellow Kowhai flowers that the Tuis will love... choose from Sophora Longicarinataand Sophora Godleyihas an attractive weeping habit and these are an excellent size at 130-170 cm $74.99
Helleborus new season release series Ice N Roses are just gorgeous with really large outward facing flowers. they flower abundantly and over a long period, I can just imagine them looking amazing mass planted, they are big colour for the winter beds. IceN Roses Whiteand IceN Roses Rose.
Lomandra Dalliance hardy sun loving tussock grasses from the Australia quarter got these on special from $17.99 down to $11.99
Dianella Emperors Pearl Seasonal soft pinks decorate the basal sheaths as the leaves give way to bold flowering displays that later produce purple blue berries. Great in the garden for borders or mass planting, looks great as container plant bring with it a strong structural upright element. Low maintenance, hardy, drought tolerant and tolerates shady aspects or full sun. Evergreen. On special from $17.99 down to 14.99
Emperors Pearl Ice N Roses Rose Sophora Godleyi Ice N Roses White Lomandra Dalliance
Harry has washed all the windows and hosed of the driveway and Anthony is doing a few finishing touches in the garden as we want the place looking sharp for a special luncheon that we are having this weekend.
I have made my usual lasagne, along with ham and salads and fresh buns are also on the menu for the event. The weather man has guaranteed fine weather for the day LOL and so we are all set for a fine old time in the garden.
The neatest thing about having a nice garden is being able to enjoy it with friends and family!
Hope all have had a great school holidays and its back to school on Monday so I guess some are breathing a sigh of relief while the smaller members of the family will be sighing for the end of their time off.
Have a fabulous weekend and a productive week.
Lloyd, Harry and the Wairere Team
Make it a Wairere weekend where even GNOMES know that gardening's not a drag.