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Friday 3rd August, 2018
Let the blooming begin
The Tuis dont have to wait any longer.
I said that spring would arrive soon and this week the campanulata cherry Felix Jury has just opened all its buds and are in full flower right now. Tubular blossom, the type of flowers that the Tui will just frolic around and sup the nectar from. This is just the beginning of the line up of flowering cherries due to flower. Superba will be next with its pretty pink flowers then Awanui will awaken with its clouds of pink blossom dotting the landscape around the Waikato..
Without hanging my hat on it Shimidsu Sakura will follow on from Awanui then usually Shirotae Mt Fuji is one of the last to flower.
Looking around the office garden I see the dark purple magnolia Vulcan is starting to flower and the buds on my favourite white one Denudata Alba is also pushing its tepals out of the fluffy skins that hide those blooms all winter. I have a preference for the white magnolias and have planted in my garden David Clulow and Lennei Alba but I have to say that I really love them all which is why there are so many planted here.
Iolanthe just out from the shop is just gorgeous when its out in flower and I can't wait for it to do its thing Its one of the Cup and saucer styles. Iolantheand Star Wars tend to grow into bigger trees than some of the small one and would benefit from a bit of space.
The Stellatas in the garden centre with their more shaggy star like flowers are also flowering. These ones really do suit the smaller gardens reaching only about three metres ... they can also tend to be shrubby but you can prune them to be a single leader tree. Roll on spring as this is just the beginning.
Chatham Island Forget Me Not...everyone falls in love with the amazing blue flowers that look like a luxurious version of the common forget me not and I personally just adore their huge fleshy leaves.
The Latin name is Myosotidium Hortensia and this little gem belongs to the Borage family or Boraginaceae and is endemic to the Chatham Islands.
The thing that fascinates me about this fleshy leaved plant is that it naturally grows on the coastal cliffs, rocky outcrops and sandy rock beaches above the strand zone. This would indicate that this herbaceous plant can cope with quite extreme conditions of sun wind and salt spray and we need to consider this when growing it in our gardens especially here in the Waikato.
Those large leaves don't like our humidity and I imagine they like moist soil but with perfect drainage. Armed with this knowledge for our home gardens, planting this beauty on the South and East side of your house where it gets heaps of light but some protection from the hot afternoon humidity. I have even heard of those that bring sea water home to wet the leaves. I have to say that I used to have this growing successfully in our garden but didn't go to those lengths. To that end I am thinking that I must plant this cool plant again as blue flowers and gorgeous dramatic leaves do it for me.
Tecomanthe Speciosa or Three kings vine has only ever been found on Three Kings island, 55 km of the northern tip of New Zealand, and goats reduced this endangered plant to just one that the goats couldn't reach. Some horticulturalist took cuttings to propagate and so this special climber is now in cultivation and available to home gardeners. I am picking that it also must be pretty hardy to be left growing in a spot that even a goat could not reach, however it will succumb to frosts. I imagine that this plant will suit most soils other than those that are too wet and could be tolerant of quite rocky, sandy spots. Remember that climbers climb to reach the sun and so do like light.
Quite a vigorous climber potentially growing to some metres with large gorgeous glossy green tropical looking leaves and the flowers are pretty cool to boot.
This native belongs to the bignoniaceae family which typically have trumpet like flowers but in my search for information about this vine google says that the flowers appear to be pollinated by bats not present on the three kings but may have been once... Thank goodness native and exotic birds can also help here in the pollination of these flowers.
It is just fascinating what one can learn about plants.
OMG more gorgeous Hellebores
Winter roseSophies Delight The Living Fashion range of Helleborus are new to us and Ang managed to find an in flower grade of Sophies Delight which, I have to say, look quite gorgeous. I particularly noted that they look quite stunning from above, appearing shaded pink and white on the reverse, or backside, of the flower. There are a few others in this range to check out. Molly's White, Cinderella, Ruby Daydream, White Tutu and Tutu.
White tutu conjures up all sorts of images but hopefully you visualise a white ballet Tutu underneath the petals of this gorgeous Winter rose.
Standards are pretty awesome and a good deal as well
These are a batch of standards at price that we probably wont get again and with good decent stem heights at 1.3 metres and then the ball or head starts. These could be so suited to create privacy from neighbours as a pleached hedge, or really a hedge on stilts, and with such a good start in life.
Photinia Red Robin has been tried and true over the years being a hardy plant that will suit a varieties of position though will prefer full sun. renown for those brilliant red foliage that will turn back to green as it ages. keep trimmed as either individual standards or let grow together as a hedge that starts high, pleach them if you will. These range from $79.99 though to $99.99 for the taller grades.
Syzygium Bronze Hedgemaster stds... these are really good too with decent calliper stems and not to mention the ball at the top of the 1.3 stem. bronzy colour new foliage too.. again suit the privacy issue and suit being a hedge on stilts or use them as tall topiary $99.99 down to $79.99
Rose standards... If you are after roses to be the feature in the garden, then we have the best range and choice that we have ever had including the ever popular David Austins, and of course there are plenty of floribundas and Hybrid Teas. These are all grafted on approx 80cm stems. We have a good patio standard range as well on 45cm stems and of course the bit 1.8m weepers and 1.5m pillars. Go Nuts, it's nearly rose season.
Michelia standards are a great evergreen option that deliver colour, fragrance and classic form, a total package you could say. We have Gracipes and Figo or Port Wine as you may know it.
Another Good Buy
Viburnum Burkwoodii Bit of a deal here on these Virburnums. Burkwoodii has classic viburnum snowball like flowers that open white from pink buds but this species is special in that it has a delightful fragrance,
grows into quite a decent sized shrub of approx 2 x 1.5 metres high and wide. Harry managed to grab a batch of these that would normally be $19.99 but these just $14.99
Asparagus crowns are in limited numbers this year. According to Ang and the grower these are a superior variety. We know them as European Male Asparagus, they are the chosen variety of our grower as they are reported to produce more spears per crown. Get your name on the bac korder list quickly if you are wanting these as we don't have many coming in. Remember that they need a dedicated bed to grow and will provide spears once they get going for some 20 to 30 years ... I'm wishing I had put a bed in when I started this nursery lol... though maybe I would need to be replacing them now... I just adore asparagus.
It is planting time for potatoes now and Ang has made sure we have a good large range for you to choose from. We have everything from early to late varieties and a good range of the Maori potatoes as well. From the look at the figures the Maori potatoes are running hot this season. If you aren't sure what varieties to choose, you can check out our selection guide on the How To Page, click the bold words for a link to more information.
Don't forget that its time to get those roses, fruit trees and so on pruned as bud burst won't be far away now. I am guessing that this weekend wont be the one to get this done unless the weather forecast changes to fine weather. Its also the time to be feeding the garden so get prepared with some fertilisers that will give some quick energy to push all of your garden into leaf and blossom.
Just on the subject of plant food we have a new product... Rooster Booster in pelletized form which is a good source of organic food and will release nutrients as it breaks down.
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.