Lovely woodland gardens, with a stream and a fairy forest. Te Popo Gardens website
An absolutely stunning garden, awarded the status of Garden of International Significance. Read more on Te Kainga Marire's website.
I spent three days in Taranaki last weekend, exploring the gorgeous gardens at the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular. What a feast for the senses! I'll share some photos of the gardens in this blog, starting with Magnolia Grove.
Here's how I whip up some compost - it's the simplest recipe.
Find a spot in the garden to build your compost pile. It needs to get some rain and some sun.
Lay some cardboard on the area. It doesn’t need to cover the whole area. Earthworms like cardboard, and we want earthworms.
Then, add any of these things over the next few months:
Every month or so, visit the beach (not a marine reserve) and fill a wool bag or two with any types of seaweed. Chuck it on the heap.
Continue building the pile.
After a few months, or when it gets high (as in tall - not stinky), turn it over. I move the pile to a space next to it (remember it’s lazy compost), using the biggest garden fork.
As you do this, you will see all the critters hard at work turning your waste into beautiful soil: black beetles, centipedes, hoppers, slaters, many red worms, and more.
Where the heap was, you now have a weed-free patch ready to plant. And, you can use the healthy soil from the bottom of the compost pile. Win-win!
That’s lazy compost. Easy peasy! When you've used it you can plant where it was.
Pink and silver are a stunning combination, and a pleasant surprise at this time of year.
Amaryllis belladonna aka naked lady aka belladonna lily is only very distantly related to Lilium. It flowers after the foliage has died off, hence the name.
It's one of those plants you forget about until they suddenly appear in all their splendor.
The silver Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust' doesn't need its yellow flowers to draw attention. It shows the ladies off rather nicely, don't you think?
A recent visit to Berhampore Plant Nursery where I learnt about everything from eco-sourced seeds, to raising plants, to freeing them in the wild again.
See my photo story here.
Colour is soul food, especially when the weather's dreary and cold.
Look at these deep purple cornflowers that appeared in my garden. The calendulas are a standard at mine. The beneficial insects enjoy them, they flower non-stop, and look after themselves.
NZ cranberries are hardy, prefer full sun and can handle wind and hot temperatures. Mulch with sawdust or bark to keep the soil acidic and prevent drying out. Give them a bit of prune so the sun can ripen the fruit (March to May) but note fruit grows on previous year's growth.
Here's a job I did a month or so back.The pergola was covered in 3 types of vigorous pest vines (old man's beard, honeysuckle and jasmine). They'd run rampant and created a huge dense canopy from the fence to over the pergola.Putting my hedge trimmer to work I cleared all the pergola. The bank is ready to plant and the plants will now get the light they need to grow. You can see the dense matting by the fence - a project for another day. The resulting compost heap was taller and fatter than me.
Keep vines at bay
It definitely pays to keep on top of those pest plants.
Weedbusters can help you id pest plants at your place.