Home' Greymouth Star : January 16th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
6 - Thursday, January 16, 2014
As usual my poor old
garden has been
totally neglected for
the past month and
even though the rain
has spoilt the appearance of many
flowers particularly the roses, it has
also kept it looking fresh and green.
A bit of dead heading and all will
look fine again plus with the amount
of rain we have had, no doubt this
will extend the beauty of the garden
for some time. Even though you can
hose when we have dry weather, it is
never as beneficial as mother nature s
I have just been looking back over
some old photographs and I find it
so surprising to see how much the
garden has changed over the years.
Naturally this is due to how all the
trees, shrubs and plants have grown.
When I first started the garden my
only plans were to produce flowers
for picking and plant shrubs and
trees around the border for both
privacy and some shade. ank
goodness at this stage, I had no
idea of where this was going to lead
and if I was shown a picture of my
future garden, I would never have
believed it was possible or that I was
capable of creating such a garden.
In fact I would have been totally
over whelmed by the mere thought
of trying to create it and it could
have put me off gardening before I
I do not believe that I actually
enjoyed gardening that much to start
with but I did love being outdoors
and could not sit and relax reading
a book when my view was that of
other houses, tin fences and a barren
I wanted to look outside and see a
sea of greenery everywhere and that
is exactly what I can see now from
every window in the house.
I never actually designed my
garden. It was simply a home for
all the plants that I loved and the
garden had to accommodate them.
Mind you many, many hours were
spent looking from inside the house
to plan the garden so I was presented
with a picturesque scene from each
window and many, many hours were
spent wandering around the garden
desperately seeking new and suitable
homes for plants.
Nowadays there are still new
plants purchased (just occasionally)
and I know it is totally pointless
wandering around the garden to
find a place in my overgrown jungle
so they sit in containers and wait,
and wait. Presently I have one rose
(Margaret Merrill) two camellias
(Zambo and Sir Victor Davies)
two rhododendrons (floral dance
and Princess Alice) two hydrangeas
(Preziosa and "you and me forever")
plus quite a few small roses and
Now before you think I ve lost
my mind, there are several sound
and logical reasons for buying these
plants. When I m absolutely sure
that I have got rid of the convolvulus
in my rock garden I will be removing
a lot of old things and planting some
e Margaret Merrill rose is a
replacement for one that died as I
believe that it was too shaded and I
would hate to be without her lovely
white fragrant roses. is may have
to go into the rock garden. Mind you
I must admit when I know that I will
have some space in the future, I m
inclined to overestimate the number
of plants needed for that area. Never
mind they make lovely patio plants
particularly when the highly fragrant
floral dance and Princess Alice were
One of the most beautiful gardens
that I have ever visited was named
Etheridge which belonged to Wynne
and the late Nan Raymond who
sadly passed away on Boxing Day.
Nan was the mayoress and
the president of the beautifying
society when I met her and
through this she instigated many
projects that helped beautify the
City of Timaru including the
rose garden on Caroline Bay.
Some of my West Coast readers
would have visited Etheridge as
it was opened on many occasions
to raise funds for charities and
different projects to beautify our
It was through Nan visiting the
famous Sissinghurst Castle and
Hidcote gardens in England that
inspired her to design and create
the Etheridge garden and what a
wonderful job this talented and
artistic great lady gardener did.
Because I thought Etheridge
was such a beautiful garden, I
asked Nan if I could write about
it so therefore in 2005 I was
given the opportunity to view it
privately and I could certainly
appreciate the quiet beauty and
the serenity it bestowed when it
was not full of other visitors.
I discovered how its design and
colour schemes created a variety
of moods and atmospheres. e
most important attribute of
the garden would have been its
overall design which skilfully
incorporated eight completely
different garden rooms that
gently flowed from one to the
With the use of brick walls
each garden was hidden from
one another but you were always
lured on by delightful vistas. is
garden provided a great learning
cur ve for any gardener as to view
such a variety of different gardens
all within the one garden would
certainly give any gardener an insight
on what type of garden they liked.
Time changes many things and this
lovely garden has been replaced with
a supermarket but I still have photos
of this beautiful garden that gave
untold pleasure to all who visited it.
I felt it certainly deserved to
be written about as I have seen
hundreds of gardens over the
years all over New Zealand and
many famous ones overseas but
Etheridge was undoubtedly the
most inspirational, attractive and
interesting garden that I have ever
Celebrating a new year in the
garden is a combination of
delight and challenge. Delight
in another year s growth, and
the challenge of coping with
the garden as plants mature and the garden
Veggies to sow
Broccoli.--- Broccoli is a great home garden
vegetable that is easy to grow and can be
harvested over a long period. Sow seeds into
pots of seed raising mix. Transplant into
individual pots or cells when the seedlings are
about 3cm tall and grow them on until they
can go out into the garden. Broccoli is a good
choice to follow a summer bean crop because
it appreciates the nitrogen the beans have
bequeathed to the soil.
Flowers to sow
Calendulas.--- Calendulas are the
traditional marigolds of European herbal lore.
When planted among vegetables they are
said to deter pests like aphids and white fly.
Where it is not too hot calendula seed can
be sown straight into a garden bed. In warm
areas, either wait until it is cooler or sow into
pots filled with premium potting mix. Move
these into more sun as the weather cools
Cut back summer flowers like petunias that
are starting to look a bit tired. Feed every two
weeks with rive and, before you know it,
they will be back in full flower.
One of the joys of the January garden is that
there is an abundance of flowers for picking.
Cutting flowers for vases is a therapeutic
form of pruning that keeps plants tidy and
promotes further blooming.
January s the month when roses start to
succumb to black spot. Keep up the spraying.
Water roses at the base in the morning, rather
than later in the day. Feed with a good quality
rose fertiliser. Apply lawn insect control to
lawns to prevent damage from porina grubs.
Cardboard toilet roll centres or plastic cups
with their bases removed make effective
barriers to keep slugs, snails and cutworms
from attacking young seedlings. Simply slide
a cylinder over each tiny plant. Sprinkling
a few snail pellets inside the cylinders will
add further snail protection. Keep on top of
summer weeds with weedkiller.
Plant of the month
Cannas.--- Bright summer flowers and
lush, coloured foliage make cannas garden
favourites at this time of year. Remove dead
flowers and tatty leaves on a regular basis so
that the plants stay tidy. Cut to ground level
in early spring to encourage fresh new shoots
to emerge from the thick storage roots.
Plant good companions in the garden
A new year provides a great opportunity for
remaking many parts of your life, including
your garden. One of the best ways to have
a healthy garden is to mix lots of plants
together so that there are not too many of any
one variety. You can take this a step further by
deliberately companion planting.
Companion planting can be loosely
described as putting plants together in such
a way that they enhance each other s growth.
Companion plants can work in a number of
ways. ey can stimulate root and general
growth in neighbouring plants, they can
disguise or mask the smell of another plant
to protect it from pests and they can act as
decoys. Nasturtiums, for example, attract pests
like aphids away from other plants. Because
nasturtiums are so tough, they can cope
with aphid infestations that would seriously
damage other, less vigorous plants.
Some plants are renowned for their ability
to attract beneficial insects. Phacelia, or
Californian bluebell, has been proven to
encourage hoverflies and their aphid-eating
lar vae. Phacelia also attracts those important
Radishes make great companions for many
of the most popular vegetables, including
peas, beans, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, parsnips
and carrots. Radishes can be best friends to
carrots in other ways, too, because they can
help with carrot seed germination. If you sow
radish seed with carrot seed the radishes will
emerge quickly, breaking the soil crust and
paving the way for the slower carrots.
ere are plenty of other plants that can be
grown as companions and many suggestions
are listed on Yates vegetable seed packets.
Here are some that could be useful:
Cabbage is a great companion for
beans, beets, celery, cucumbers, onions,
peas, potatoes, sage and rosemary. Tomatoes
growing near cabbage family members are
also said to help repel the cabbage butterfly.
Celery grows well with leeks, beans,
tomatoes and peas.
Lettuce is a friend to beans, peas, carrots,
cucumbers, onions, radish and strawberries.
Don t forget, too, that lettuce is basically a
domesticated thistle so anything that likes
thistles will grow well with lettuce.
Spinach, a lover of cool weather, enhances
the growth of broad beans.
Onions grow happily with beetroot,
carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. ey re best
planted at random amongst other veggies
where their strong smell will deter a range of
insect pests. Even chopped onion leaves can
be strewn onto the soil around other veggies
where they will act as a pest deterrent.
Supplied by Yates
A completely different scene at Etheridge where a sense of calm and serenity is
presented by the formal and structured design of the courtyard garden.
One of the enchanting vistas showing the terrace with its many pots of
e two beautiful herbaceous borders at Etheridge overflowing with old fashioned and colour co-ordinated flowers in the tones of pink, blue-mauve, purple and
January job file
To welcome the start of the New
year, the January issues of NZ
Gardener and NZ House and Garden
have summer ideas and the
Greymouth Star has five copies of
each to give away.
e NZ House and Garden has
stories on summer homes around
the country and avariety of fruit
drinks you can create yourself.
New Zealand Gardener
features a stunning
Christchurch rose garden,
tips to beat pesky flies, and
how to combat weeds.
Entries must include
your name, address and phone
Send them to.---
C/o Greymouth Star
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with garden in the subject
One entry per household. Entries close on January 23.
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