Home' Greymouth Star : May 16th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
The final month of autumn is here, with
cool season veggies in full swing, flowers
to nurture and admire and autumn foliage
to enjoy. Happy gardening everyone!
Apple pie time!
If you love making scrumptious apple
pies, crumble and strudel (of course ser ved
with a large dollop of cream or custard
— yum!) then tart green ‘Granny Smith’
is the best variety of apple to use. They ’re
still tasty after being cooked and when
eaten fresh they ’re crisp and full of flavour.
Granny Smith apples are late maturing,
which means they are fresh and in season
in mid to late autumn and also store well.
Granny Smith apple trees do best in
areas with cool winters and grow to
around 4m tall. D warf varieties, reaching
around 2m tall, can be grown very
successfully in large pots, making them
ideal for a sunny courtyard. Granny Smith
will need to be grown near a suitable
pollinator, like Gala or Fuji, to help
achieve the best possible har vest.
There are dwarf varieties available of
these pollinators as well, so you can have
your very own mini apple orchard.
Apples are often planted during winter
as bare rooted trees however can also be
available as potted trees at other times
of the year and so are great for planting
When planting a new apple tree, either
potted or bare rooted, mix some blood and
bone into the planting hole and keep the
soil moist while the tree establishes.
Year round lemons
If you find yourself regularly buying
lemons from the supermarket it might be
time to consider growing your own lemon
It will not take long to pay for itself
and you will have a supply of fresh tangy
lemons to use in the kitchen. One of the
most popular and hardy lemon varieties
is Meyer, which is a cold tolerant lemon
that produces lots of juicy fruit. Thankfully
it does not have many thorns and once
established will give you lemons for most
of the year.
Lemons make a very attractive addition
to a garden, with glossy green leaves and
beautifully perfumed white flowers in
spring, followed of course by sunshine
yellow fruit. Meyer lemons can be planted
into the ground, growing to around 4m
tall, or grown in pots in a sunny spot.
Look out for dwarf varieties, which are
ideal for containers.
When planting citrus into containers,
choose a well drained pot that is at least
50cm in diameter and use a good quality
potting mix. It is also beneficial to apply a
few centimetres of mulch over the surface,
which will help the potting mix stay moist.
Keep the mulch a few centimetres away
from the trunk to allow good air flow and
reduce the chance of collar rot disease.
While citrus trees are maturing their
fruit during late autumn and early winter,
continue to feed citrus each week with a
complete and balanced fertiliser that has
been specially designed to promote healthy
citrus trees and help create good quality
fruit. Citrus liquid plant food is an easy to
use liquid fertiliser that is ideal for feeding
citrus. Dilute 2 capfuls of liquid plant food
into a 9L watering can and apply over the
root zone each week.
Tough love tip
As harsh as this might sound (and
difficult to bring yourself to do), remove
any developing fruit from young citrus
trees for the first two years after planting.
This will direct the tree’s growth into
leaves, stems and branches (rather than
using energy to grow fruit), which will
help the tree attain a larger size quicker
and promote more fruit in the future.
The second part of the scientific name
for kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) gives you
a hint that this is one delectable fruit! They
are a quintessential pavlova topping as well
as being perfect for fruit salads, smoothies,
muffins and cakes.
Kiwifruit are hardy, deciduous, long
lived vines that produce fruit during
autumn. Traditionally they need warm
summers but also require a certain number
of ‘chilling hours’ during winter to be
productive. Another important point
to note with kiwifruit is that there are
separate male and female plants, so you
need to grow both to be able to produce
fruit. Male plant flowers have pollen
and the female plants develop the fruit.
Thankfully, kiwifruit plants in garden
centres are labelled as male or female!
If you would like to grow a kiwifruit
at your place, you will need a reasonable
amount of space, as each vine can grow
more than 5m wide. You will also need a
strong support for the vines to grow on. A
sturdy fence that you would like to hide
or a bare pergola is ideal for growing kiwi
Potted kiwifruit vines can be planted
year round (wait until frosts have passed in
cold areas). Enrich the soil first with some
blood and bone and then keep the soil
moist until the vines are well established.
It is important to keep kiwifruit well
pruned each year, to make sure they do not
get out of hand.
To encourage lots of flowers, in spring
start applying some flower and fruit
booster liquid potash every two to four
weeks. It can take several years for vines to
bear fruit, but it will be worth the wait.
In addition to being delicious, kiwifruit
contain an enzyme called ‘actinidin’ that
can help break down proteins. So the fruit
is a good digestive aid as well as making
a great meat tenderiser or marinade! Mix
pureed kiwifruit, garlic, soy sauce and
perhaps a splash of wine and marinate
meat for a minimum of 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Vibrant flowers, shrubs
Brighten your house and garden with
pretty poinsettias, vibrant pansies and
nemesias and a multi-coloured euphorbia.
Autumn is the perfect planting time for
many trees, shrubs and woody perennials.
Bring some cool season colour into the
garden and plant a charming Euphorbia
Ascot Rainbow, which is a reliable garden
performer with gorgeous variegated
leaves in shades of cream to blue-green
to rose pink. An added bonus is that
Ascot Rainbow will produce enchanting
cream and lime green flowers in late
winter. A fantastic and striking plant to
add structural interest to garden beds and
mixed border plantings.
Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow is a neat
and tidy plant and grows to 50cm tall
and wide. Perfect for growing in small
spaces and also in containers. Euphorbias
are hardy and drought tolerant during
the summer months and are suitable for
growing in coastal gardens. They prefer
growing in a full sun position with freely
If you need to prune Euphorbias, wear
gloves and avoid contacting the sap, which
can cause skin and eye irritation.
To help keep Euphorbias looking
fantastic, feed each spring with
ActicoteTM pots, planters and garden
beds. It contains a special combination
of advanced fertiliser technology that
provides plants with an instant release of
nutrients then continues feeding for up to
When sown in late autumn, pansy joker
mix will provide beautiful and long lasting
colour in early spring. They have masses of
cheerful flowers in multi-toned shades of
burgundy, yellow, orange and mauve, with
plants growing to a petite 10-15 cm tall.
You can sow the seeds throughout New
Zealand during May, starting them off in
trays of seed raising mix.
Seeds take up to 4 weeks to germinate
and the mix should be kept moist but not
wet while the seedlings establish. They
can be transplanted when large enough to
When transplanting seedlings out into a
sunny or partly shaded garden bed or pot,
water them in with some natural seaweed
tonic which helps reduce transplant shock
and stimulates new root growth.
Protect seedlings from damaging snails
and slugs with a light sprinkling of snail
and slug pellets and then feed the pansies
every week with roses and flowers liquid
plant food. It will encourage strong ealthy
plants and lots of colourful flowers. To
prolong the display remove spent flowers
Supplied by Yates
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 7
ast month Melbourne
was the place to be
for garden lovers as
the city hosted the
International Flower and Garden
In the show gardens, green and
white plantings predominated,
indigenous species set alongside
introduced varieties, while
designs were generally simple. If
there was none of the over-the-
top exuberance seen in recent
Singapore Garden Festival
exhibits, it did mean that almost
every garden had at least one idea
a showgoer could try at home.
The sole gold for a show garden
and the City of Melbourne Award
of Excellence for best in show
went to I See Wild, designed
by Phillip Withers Landscape
Design. It stood out for its
uncrowded elegance, excellent use
of native and exotic plants, and the
two little vegetable plots tucked
in without interfering with the
Four show gardens won silver
— including Metropolis, which
also took the award for best use of
plants — and two were awarded
bronze, including Emergence, my
favourite at this year’s MIGFS.
The Landscaping Victoria
Boutique Gardens Award went to
Wild at Heart, whose small space
was predominantly green to set off
the natural wood deck.
In places, the five-day show,
held each autumn since 1995, had
a European spring-like feel as
bulb retailers presented displays
of forced tulips and hyacinths.
Knowing I could not bring them
home, it was frustrating to see on
sale a white reticulata iris rarely
available here and a species match
head (Muscari) I have lusted after
for years, but such experiences are
inevitable at an overseas garden
Elsewhere, new releases caught
showgoers’ attention, with
the first double lavenders —
expected in New Zealand next
year — dark-leaved crepe myrtles
(lagerstroemia) with vivid pink
flowers and an intense blue salvia
among the eyecatchers.
Inside the Royal Exhibition
Building, the floral displays’
sometimes slightly dated designs
were offset by lashings of colour.
Full marks to the Melbourne
Flower School, whose designers
encouraged people to have their
photos taken under the three
giant “hats” in their gold-awarded
With the demise of the Ellerslie
Flower Show, MIGFS is our
nearest international flower show
and its central-city location in
Carlton Gardens makes it an
attractive autumn option for
f lower show
Simple elegance . . . Emergence won bronze in the show gardens category.
Best in show . . . the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for best in show went to I See Wild.
Spring in autumn . . . Forced tulips in a bulb-grower’s display.
Silver and white . . . Victoria Whitelaw won gold for this
silver and floral art display.
with Gillian Vine
Interested to know which are the best apples to
Or the best places to see wildflowers? Or how
to build a buffet for native birds, or prune grapes?
The Greymouth Star has five copies of
New Zealand Gardener magazine’s May issue
to give away.
To enter the draw send your name, address and
daytime phone number to.—
Garden Page Giveaway
C/- Greymouth Star
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries close on May 23.
Strictly one entry per household.
Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow
May gardening jobs to do
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