Home' Greymouth Star : August 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 7
with Gillian Vine
pring, the season when
a young man’s fancy
turns to love, is almost
here and what ’s more,
the Americans inform
us, August is national
For the tongue-tied gardener, making
his feelings known can be done with a
flower or two.
Try giving her an orchid (“you are
beautiful”), a four-leaf clover (“be
mine”) or even a pineapple (“you are
perfect ”), although the latter is tricky
to cultivate and could mean a dash to
On the other hand, if you have
gone off someone, yellow carnations
(“disdain”) and yellow roses (“decrease
of love”) should ser ve the purpose,
especially if you pop in a few lettuce
leaves (“cold-hearted”) to underline
The language of flowers reached its
heights in Victorian England when it
was popular for dashing blades to have
intimate “conversations” with heavily
chaperoned young women.
It never really caught on in this
country, except for Valentine’s
Day, when sales of red roses are
Chaps who arrive late and find the
red roses sold out should be cautious
about alternatives. Pink roses (“grace
and elegance”) are fine but yellow ones,
as already noted, say love is waning,
not the stuff a girl wants to hear.
White roses are a bit vainglorious,
since they mean “I am worthy of you”.
Any colour of tulip is safe. As with
roses, red is a declaration of love,
yellow indicates you feel your love is
a hopeless cause and the striped kind
tells the lady she has beautiful eyes.
Carnations are trickier. Red sends
the charming message “Alas for my
poor heart ” but the striped forms are a
refusal — of what is unclear.
In response, the girl could send a
daisy (“I will think about it”) or a
white rosebud (“too young to love”).
Orange blossom, long associated
with marriage and fertility, is still the
first choice at weddings but consider
the price: no oranges this season.
Mock orange (Philadelphus) makes an
excellent substitute in season, having
the same virtue — a beautiful scent
that masks that musty old hymn book
smell characteristic of many churches.
Ivy and rosemary (both representing
marital fidelity) can be used to
decorate the venue or included in the
bridal bouquet, where white flowers
are traditional, although the woman
marrying a farmer may want to track
down some yellow violets (“rural
Some texts suggest red and white
roses together stand for unity but
others say they mean war or death.
One can guess which the late Queen
Mother had in mind when she sent red
and white roses to Wallis, D uchess of
Windsor, whom she detested.
The Greymouth Star has five
copies each of the latest issue of
New Zealand Gardener and NZ
House and Garden magazines to
The NZ House and Garden
features a Wellington home with
a Roman style, chocolate treats,
renovation tips and using herbs in
New Zealand Gardener has a
features on growing your own fruit,
a school pool transformed into a
garden, winter vegetarian meals and
enter the draw
your entries must include your
name, address and phone number.
Send them to. —
C/o Greymouth Star
or e-mail competitions@greystar.
co.nz with garden in the subject
One entry per household.
Entries close on August 11.
t is still winter and in
many areas gardeners
will experience low
temperatures and frosty
conditions for a while yet.
But the good news is that
winter is almost over, so it
is time to get ready for a
delightfully productive spring. 2015 is
the International year of soils.
The Food and Agriculture
Organisation of the United Nations
has several key messages as part
of this special year, including that
healthy soils are the basis for healthy
food production, soils help combat
and adapt to climate change by
playing a key role in the carbon
cycle and that soils help support our
planet ’s biodiversity.
Home gardeners can play a part by
caring for their own soil by making
compost, incorporating organic
matter and using mulch.
Fruit and citrus
Citrus — in most areas productive
citrus trees have delivered their winter
crops, although some varieties like
Valencia oranges hold their fruit on
the tree well into spring and others
such as Eureka lemon will bear fruit
Now is an ideal time to boost
hungry citrus trees and all fruiting
plants with an application of fruit
food, a complete fertiliser combining
organics which benefit soil health
and additional nutrients to promote
growth and richer, juicer more
abundant fruit. Sprinkle the fertiliser
evenly around the drip zone (that
is the area directly below the outer
foliage) where lots of feeder roots are
active and water it all in thoroughly.
Citrus dislike root competition,
so control weeds or grass growing
within around 1m of the trunk with
an easy spot spray of weedkiller and
then apply a good thick mulch layer
once the weeds have died. Avoid
mulching too close to the trunk.
As the mulch breaks down it
adds valuable organics to the
soil, encourages worms and
beneficial soil organisms,
helps retain soil moisture
and keeps surface roots cooler
during hot weather.
Raspberries — Nothing tastes
sweeter than sun-kissed raspberries
picked straight from the vine.
Raspberry canes can be planted now
and its best to grow these in rows for
easy har vest and the arching canes
need support of stakes and wire. Their
thorny canes reach about 150cm high
and wide, so they do need some space
to grow, but these berries are very
productive, long-lived plants. Plant
a couple of varieties to extend your
har vest from summer to autumn.
Heritage is a heavy bearer and fruits
for up to four months and Autumn
Bliss has shorter canes which require
less staking, and as the name implies,
fruits in autumn. Prepare soil for
these long lived bearers by digging in
a few handfuls of plant food prior to
Over wintering scale — spray
deciduous fruit trees immediately
after pruning, or before new leaf or
flower buds open with lime sulfur to
clean up over wintering scale insects
before they have a chance to infest
new growth in spring. Leaf curl is
a disease that infects new
stone fruit foliage as it
before new buds open. Liquid copper
fungicide when buds are swelling, to
prevent this disfiguring disease.
Rhubarb — Rhubarb needs
plenty of organics and likes regular
fertiliser to keep it productive. So to
encourage plenty of those tasty red
stalks sprinkle on a few handfuls of
fruit food and replenish the mulch
around clumps. Old crowded clumps
of rhubarb can be lifted and divided
before the warm weather arrives and
there is still time to plant new bare
rooted crowns of rhubarb, asparagus
and artichokes — available in garden
centres and online from mail order
specialists. These long lived productive
perennials require a position in full
sun and well drained soil is essential.
Apple — Monty’s Surprise has
some of the highest flavenoids and
antioxidant levels in both the skin
and the flesh of any variety of apples
in the world. It also contains high
micronutrient levels. So not only
does it taste great — it is very good
for our health and for your immune
The fruit is extra large —
sometimes up the size of a small
It is both a good crisp eating apple
and excellent cooking apple. Monty’s
Surprise is grafted on to dwarfing
rootstock growing to 2m high and
also semi-dwarf rootstock growing to
3m tall, so they are the perfect sized
fruit tree for home gardens. There is
still time to plant apples.
A serious pest of apple and pear
trees is codling moth. Codling moth
caterpillars burrow into and destroy
the fruit. Developed from beneficial
soil bacteria, Yates Success Ultra is
a highly effective, low toxic spray to
control this pest so you can enjoy
undamaged apples and pears. Start
spraying for codling moth during
early flower bloom and fruit set and
continue spraying every 14 days to
control subsequent life cycles.
In cool and temperate zones, as the
danger of frost passes it is time to
prune roses and there is still time to
make hardwood cuttings from the
Many roses will grow well from
cuttings taken when the stems are
leafless. Discard the whippy growth
below the flower and aim for pencil
thick stems around 15-20cm long.
Use a slanted cut at the top and a
straight cut at the bottom (so you
know which way is up) and dip the
base of the cuttings into rooting
hormone gel (which encourages
better root formation), then insert
cuttings into a pot filled with moist
seed raising mix. Place the pot full
of cuttings in a warm protected spot
outdoors and keep soil moist.
It will be several months before
roots grow. Once the roots are
established it is time to move cuttings
into individual pots ready for a new
spot in the garden or to give away to
In late August in warm areas,
begin feeding roses planted earlier
in June and established roses, using
an organic based potassium fortified
fertiliser, which encourages plenty
of strong new growth and promotes
prolific spring flowers.
Mulch all roses with a 50mm layer
of Lucerne or pea straw which helps
retain soil moisture and suppress
Suplied by Yates
Say it with
August job file
a disease that infects new
stone fruit foliage as it
An orchid says, “You are beautiful.”
A yellow rose denotes a hopeless cause.
Sneer at someone by giving a yellow carnation.
Mock orange (Philadelphus) is a good wedding choice.
To be on the safe side, offer tulips.
Marrying a farmer? Pop yellow violets (“rural happiness”) into your bouquet.
New Zealand’s leading home
improvement and DIY company
Mitre 10 declared August 1, New
Zealand’s national strawberry day,
to remind strawberry lovers to plant
now if they want to enjoy the sweet
fruit next summer.
Strawberries signal the beginning
of summer, conjuring up thoughts
of delicious desserts, picnics and
being on summer holiday. But now is
the time to prepare your strawberry
patches if you want to have summer’s
best fruit on your Christmas pavlova,
warns Mitre 10, not spring or early
summer as many people think.
Each year as ripe red strawberries
make their way into the shops, Mitre
10 sees a spike in traffic on its website
from people searching for information
and products on strawberry plants.
However, late winter is the time to
plant strawberries and get patches
sorted for the next summer ahead.
Strawberr y time
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