If clients don't mind, we leave weeds onsite to let them to rot down as compost, smother existing weeds, and to save labour and costs in removing them. Anything we can do to improve the soil’s structure and microbe population is a win.
Here’s how you can reuse organic matter (anything that once grew) and save yourself effort and money.
Learn to identify the pest, or invasive plants, (ideally when they are small) versus the less nasty weeds that will curl up and die without a fight.
It’s fine to leave the less nasty weeds on top of garden beds or around plants to rot down to improve the soil, which helps hold water and nutrients on your land.
A different approach is needed for the baddies, those that reproduce like crazy using a variety of cunning tricks. For these, you can:
To identify pest plants see Weedbusters.
Pests in Wellington region and more general info see, Greater Wellington Regional Council Pest Plants.
When I bought this house in April 2016, there was grass, grass and more grass (not even lush green grass), along with a few ornamental plants. Even the soil was lifeless - not a worm in sight.
The ornamentals had to go - they had no real purpose. I like plants to have at least two reasons for existing. Reasons such as': attractive, edible, attract native wildlife, scent, unusual seeds, attract beneficial insects, add nutrients to soil, NZ native - especially those that are local to the area and are now rare.
Since then, I've planted fast growing natives by the fences and areas of wild flowers or smaller native areas to create interest, give privacy and shelter.
These photos show how I'm working with nature to add interest and improve the environment for wildlife.
Hover over each photo for the story.
The back garden had a raised bed, a dead lawn, and some straggly pittosporums. Photos show how adding plants over time has added colour, life, diversity and more.
A very large house with a small garden area, embedded on a densely housed hill in CBD.
The first job was to see what was involved in refreshing the garden area. We took photos of the various areas, cleared the weeds, pruned the very old rose right back and created a large compost pile.
Hover over the photos for explanations.
This almost coastal property wants low maintenance plants that keep the weeds down. There are a surprising number of options. We chose small plants so they get established easily. Green akeake, red matipou, muhlenbeckia astonii, manuka, coprosma proquina, astelia banksii small silver spear.
Hover over the photos for captions.
We've done most of the weeding. Next step is to select plants and get them in.
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.
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.