Subtitled 'Sowing seeds of awareness' this little book helps me connect with why I love gardening and why I do it. It encourages me to stop and look deeper and purposefully at nature.
Clea Danaan is a gardener and teacher on a mission to help people fall in love with the earth. (Paraphrased from back cover).
This property has some newly established native plants. We maintain and care for the garden. There are more photos in the Facebook gallery.
A lovely wee garden in Berhampore. Roses, camellias, grevillia, callistemon. More photos in the Facebook gallery.
Another garden we maintain. When we first took it over, it had a lot of pest plants but these are now under control.
What a delight to spend a weekend enjoying others' hard mahi. Not to mention the huge choice of gardens from the three garden-focussed festivals in the 'Naki at the time: the Powerco Taranaki Garden Fest, Sustainable Backyards and Fringe Gardens. There's something for everyone, from food forests to rhodos; from small and simple to grand and complex.
Here are some photos from one of my faves this year Waiongana Gardens, by the river.
Just back from the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular and assimilating all the gardens and beauty within. Looking through my photos, there are so many beautiful bearded irises I've shared some here with some from last year to show the colour variety. From subtle to bold and brilliant.
Remember irises like at least half a day full sun and leave the rhizomes exposed.
See photo albums of customers' gardens on our Facebook page.
Another Garden of National Significance and one of my favourites. Beautiful design and the view across the rural landscape gave it a lovely open feeling. Puketarata Garden website
Lockinge is a peaceful garden tucked away in a valley with a lake at its centre.
In the country 15 mins from Hawera, this garden borders a river. During the festival they catered food on the deck, from where we enjoyed a stunning view. You can rent the cottage too www.kingfishercottage.co.nz/
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.