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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Germination of seed

Germinating seed is sometimes daunting for garden beginners. Good basic guidelines to successful germination of seed depends on the following basic elements:

- Provide constant moisture for seed, whether using overhead sprinkler watering systems or irrigation mats, ensure constant available moisture to seed,
- Adequate drainage of pots / seedling trays,
- Warmth, preferably provide bottom heat using landscaping heat mats,
- Higher humidity in most cases helps germination,
- Adequate ventilation during hot periods.

Beware of:
- Damping off. This is where seeds that have germinated and have started to shoot leaves and are attacked by fungal disease. Usually due to excess humidity, lack of drainage and poor airflow
- Sunburn on fresh new growth, provide some shade for seedlings, try using 30-50% shade cloth,
- Damage from excessive wind and late frost can be fatal to seedlings. Provide protection from winds and late frost using cold frames, wind cloth/ frost cloth.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Landscape product introduction

Organic seaweed garden suppliments and pest control product.
Please follow link to website for further information on garden products, gift packs of organic soaps, skin products and nutrient enhanced natural body products.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bromeliad website and Bromeliad society of New Zealand links

The Society was formed on the 28th August 1962.The objects of the Society are to encourage the cultivation and study of bromeliads grown indoor or outdoors and in particular:

* To assist members to identify plants.

*To promote discussion and arrange instruction on cultivation,propagation,and control of diseases.

*To provide a library for members.

*To make Awards for outstanding new Bromeliads.

*To hold shows or public exhibitions of Bromeliads.

*To promote the distribution of Bromeliads amongst members by exchange,purchase and sale,and to encourage the importation of new plants.

*To affiliate with any society or other body,and to do such things as may be deemed necessary or desirable in the furtherance of these objects.

*To accept affiliation from other societies having similar objects.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - winter soil additives

As always with winter soils there are a few points to be aware of when it comes to; watering, mulching and weeding.

When watering - Take notice of the rain fall over winter, if there is very little rainfall in your area then you will be required to water your lawns and gardens during dry spells. Soils will not take water as readily as they would during summer months, take care not to water-log soils with over-watering.

When Mulching - Be sure to give the top layer of your soils a good covering of mulch, whatever you choose to use as a mulch ensure thickness/ depth is even on application, be aware the wind will blow areas of lighter mulch away during heavy storms, replace any lost mulch through winter.

Weeding during winter - Most annual weeds are dormant during winter, there will still be obvious weed growth during winter, when weeding remove roots while hoeing as the sun may not burn roots off during winter hoeing allowing roots to take a new hold. If necessary spray for weeds during winter to lower spring infestations.

Cordyline Species Website

A great Website containing interesting Cordyline sp.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Plant of the week.

Plant of the week.

Plant of the week cont.

Plant of the week cont.

Plant of the week. Orchids.

Plant of the week cont.

Plant of the week. ORCHID. NZLANDSCAPES.COM.

Plant of the week Orchids.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Birdlife in the garden photo series. Mallard Duck

Lined up feeding. Mallard ducklings and mother Duck.

Birdlife in the garden photo series. Mallard Duck

Ducklings mimicking mothers stance.


Healthy batch of Mallard ducklings. 13 ducklings in total for this proud mother. NZLANDSCAPES.COM.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Dividing Orchids

When dividing Orchids and similar types of plants it is quite basic to divide the main bulbs into more plants. (In cases where the bulbs are large the use of two garden forks may be required to pry main bulbs apart).

The main techniques to divide Orchid bulbs are as follows:

- Select plants that have smaller bulbs growing at base of main plant

- Remove the plant from its container or wire frame depending on the variety you are dividing

- Find the main bulbs and the surrounding smaller bulbs , gently ease the smaller bulbs away from the main bulb taking care to keep as much root as possible attached to the smaller bulb

- Plant into similar soil as original main bulb. Dependent on the variety your dividing, plant the bulb to a soil level similar to that of the original plant making sure to cover all plant roots

- Water in the new plants to their new soils. Orchid mix is available and designed specifically for Orchid growers, it is a lighter grade garden mix with plenty of drainage for the plants roots.

- Fertilise with Orchid food, also available at most leading garden centers

Monday, August 15, 2005

Female Mallard Duck. NZLANDSCAPES.COM.

Female Mallard Duck. NZLANDSCAPES.COM.

Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings.

Bird life in the garden - Mallard Duck

The Mallard Duck is New Zealand's most predominantly observed and culled duck. Introduced initially in 1867 from English game stock sadly failed to establish, then in the 1930's and 40's eggs from the states were introduced. From here Mallard duck were sucessfully and rapidly spread throughout the country as a game animal.
Along with the sport the ducks provided they also contribute their tallents to the garden. With an insatiable appetite for snails, snail eggs and various other garden pests, also provide lawn fertilizer through their droppings.
Seen frequently in suburban areas of New Zealand the Mallard can sometimes be classed as a pest.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Landscape products- Texture plants, water features

Quote from texture plants website
'where you can find interesting and unusual plants for all occasions - groovy grasses, sexy succulents and fat hostas! Not to mention an outstanding collection of Ligularias, Hellebores, Euphorbias, Echeverias, Natives, Alpines and much, much more... Our website features some of our favourite plants grown at our Prebbleton Nursery on the outskirts of Christchurch. You can now order plants ON-LINE and we will deliver them direct to your home'

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Plant of the week - Wallflower - Erysimum cheiri 'Ivory White'

Wallflower- Erysimum cheiri ' Ivory White'

Erysimum cheiri 'Ivory White'

An under rated evergreen Mediterranean perennial provides highly scented upright clusters of flowers in the mid- late winter through spring. An amazing array of colours available in the wallflower family. Easy to propagate, hardy in most soils. Grows well in a container as well as in the open ground.
To read an article on Wallflowers in the Royal horticulture society web pages please follow the link provided above.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gardens to visit in New Zealand

Another excellent gardening site with links to major gardens to visit while staying in New Zealand. Includes links to garden related sites, events and galleries.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Basic Garden preparation for the Spring season

As winter comes to an end there are several main points to consider when preparing your garden for the coming Spring season.

Remove all garden debris accumulated over the winter period, this includes any leaves that may have blown into the garden, smaller fallen branches, foliage that has completed growing on annuals and perennials and dried up foliage from bulbs. Compost any material that does not show signs of disease.

Beware of garden pests at this time as plant sap is flowing. Pests can not resist fresh food. With the warmer weather be aware also of fungal attack on new growth. Apply pesticides.

Incorporate broken down compost that was applied at the start of winter into the soil. Dig over the soil turning the compost into the soil, taking care to avoid root damage to established trees and shrubs.

Apply general garden fertiliser or super phosphate to prepared garden areas that you wish to plant with annuals or perennials. Generally an application of fertiliser a week or two before planting will give the fertilizer time to become readily available to new plant roots.

Apply a thick layer of compost or mulch ready to feed your new plants direct organic nutrients and help with soil water retention over the coming warmer months.

Harden off seedlings ready to be planted out into the garden.

Perform any last minute transplanting of plants within the garden, divide and plant Rhizomous plants such as Bearded Iris, as they start to show signs of new growth.

Tie and support any climbing plants such as roses. Stake Dahlia shoots and bulbs growing top growth that may require staking as the new growth shoots away in early spring.

Spray lawns for weeds. Apply pre emergent weed killer. Get the weeds while they are still young. Apply lawn fertiliser according to your lawns requirements.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Plant of the week - Pseudopanax lessonii 'Purpurea'

Pseudopanax lessonii 'Purpurea' is an outstanding New Zealand species. With lush evergreen, purple bronze glossy new foliage, hardy in coastal areas, tender to heavy frosts. Growing to 5 meters Pseudopanax lessonii 'Purpurea' is also an excellent bird attracting plant offering food.
Planted in combination with other 'Purpurea' plant varieties, will create an impressive show of garden colour at any time of the year.
Some suggested combination plants:
Phormium 'Jack Sprat'
Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea'
Hebe 'Purple Mist'
Cordyline australis 'Purpurea'
If you wish to know more about what plants to combine with Pseudopanax please email us here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Gardening *TIP OF THE WEEK* - Keeping gardens weed free

An excellent resource to help educate and increase awareness of weeds in our environment, identify, control or erradicate weeds in our native environment. The site has links to photos of weeds with an easy to use weedfinder search tool. Site visitors are able to find weed information along with information on local resources and community groups organised to tackle and clean up the New Zealand weed population.
Please visit the site:

Monday, August 01, 2005

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network website

'There are many threats to New Zealand 's indigenous plant life. These threats may be human induced or naturally occurring events. Some of the more obvious threats include competition from exotic plants and weeds and the damage caused by introduced browsing animals such as possums, goats, deer, rabbits and stock'.
Quoted from this informative website dedicated to the consevation of New Zealand natural flora.
Their mission is: 'To promote indigenous plant conservation in New Zealand and throughout Australasia. To collaborate to protect and restore New Zealand's indigenous plant life and their natural habitats and associated species. To disseminate information about the taxonomy, biology, ecology, and status of indigenous plant species and communities in New Zealand and to promote activities to protect them throughout their natural range'.

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