Home' Greymouth Star : March 13th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 7
e Greymouth Star has five copies of the
New Zealand Gardener and NZ House and
Garden magazines to give away to our
NZ House and Garden this month has food
ideas for a
inspired home on
Waiheke Island, while NZ Gardener has features
on growing and smoking your own garlic, and a
Blenheim couple s lush lavender garden.
To enter the draw your entries must include
your name, address and phone number.
Send them to.---
C/o Greymouth Star
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
with garden in the subject line.
One entry per household. Entries close
Ialways get enormous satisfaction
from one particular job at this time
of year and that is trimming back
any climbers, trees or shrubs that
are shading the house.
I do frequently curse all the pruning I
have to do, but I would never be without
the trees etc as they offer such a cool
atmosphere on hot summer days.
However, when it comes to this time of
year and the nights are already cooling
down, I need to cut back anything that is
preventing the house being heated by the
sun during the day. Also I find the house
becomes quite dark when you allow trees
to shade windows and it makes a world of
difference when you trim them back.
I took a half day of work on Tuesday as I
had not started this article (it s always left
to the last minute) and I did not want to
be up until the small hours doing it. I had
full intentions to get straight onto it when
I got home without going anywhere near
But it was quite chilly and sunless in the
sunroom (where the computer is) due to
an ornamental grapevine (Vitis amurensis)
sprawling all over the patio outside. So
naturally I had to go out and give it a
good prune back. It breaks my heart in
some ways to prune it back now, as I know
its large leaves will shortly turn into a
kaleidoscope of brilliant autumn tones soon
which is one of the reasons I grew it in the
I could not resist pruning all the rose
hips of the climbing Ash Wednesday rose
which was tangled in among it as although
I m running a bit late doing this, it will
probably present a few more blooms before
Of course there were a few other bits and
pieces that urgently needed doing so it was
almost tea time before I managed to drag
Nonetheless it is now evening and
because the sunroom had an afternoon of
full sunshine streaming into it, it is lovely
and warm in here now.
I really do have a love-hate relationship
with the ornamental grape vine as if I leave
it be, in no time at all it smothers the whole
patio which becomes a dark shaded cavern
and I have to trim it back three or four
times during the summer just to let some
I even cut it right back to ground level a
then kept trimming off any new shoots that
dared to appear.
I think it would be impossible to dig it
out as there are so many other plants close
by.I ended up being sorry I cut it back as on
hot days my poor fuchsias would wilt in the
heat and look a very sorry sight, so I had no
choice but to let it quickly grow again.
I originally had a wisteria that covered the
patio, but that died and I have since been
waiting for wisteria Snow Showers to grow
bigger and do its duty by shading the patio.
I could plant a lovely new honeysuckle
(Lonicera Caprifolium) near the patio. It
has been patiently waiting for a home for
some months after it enticed me to buy it
because of its lovely fragrant flowers even
though I had no room for it. e only
trouble with planting it near the patio is
that it flowers during early to late summer
and will undoubtedly attract the bees.
Naturally we use the patio a lot during
summer and I made the mistake some
years ago of planting a summer flowering
clematis and once it was in flower the patio
became a beehive of activity.
One of my treasures of the patio area is
lovely shrub called Yesterday, Today and
Tomorrow (Brunfelsia latifolia) which has
fragrant flowers that start off deep violet,
changing to lavender with a white eye on
the second day and fading to white on the
Although it is a frost tender plant, I have
managed to keep it alive for some years by
putting it in a sheltered corner of the glass
house during winter.
I guess I should remind new gardeners
that this is one time of year that we need
to look well ahead to spring and plant
spring bulbs if your garden is not colourful
I slowly purchased a few bulbs every year
until I now have quite a variety of lovely
daffodils along with many other spring
flowers so you would think that there is
no need to add any more. However, I did
notice there was some lovely salmon-
apricot coloured Tritonias in a catalogue
and I have been after some of these for
years. I guess I can find some little spot for
Now that summer is over,
the garden can gradually
settle into enjoying milder
Veggies to sow
Kale.--- Kale is a cool season
vegetable with curly leaves that are
so attractive the plants can be used as
ornamentals in the garden.
Kale leaves have a mild flavour that
blends with a wide range of winter
Keep removing dead flowers and
unwanted seed pods. Cannas, for
example, will look much better if the
seed pods and flower remains are cut
Unless they are required for
propagation, most seed heads, which
are just taking goodness out of the
plant, can come off.
Winter veggies --- such as spinach,
parsnips, turnips, broccoli, leeks and
more --- can all be planted out in
the next few weeks. Prepare soil
by digging in compost and some
Dynamic Lifter pellets.
Dynamic Lifter plus Veggie Food is
a perfect blend that will get them off
to a great start.
Flowers to sow
seed pods, too, are attractive and are
used in dried arrangements. Grow
nigella in semi shade in warm areas,
or in full sun where it is cooler.
Caterpillars are at their damaging
peak in March. Most can be
squashed but there are some
particularly damaging grubs that
need firmer control.
Be particularly on the lookout for
the grubs of cabbage moths and
butterflies. Yates Success is the best
Plant of the month
Plumbago: Plumbago is as
tough as old boots and will survive
just about anything except heavy
It flowers for months --- right
through until the end of the warm
weather --- and the pretty sky blue
or white-flowered versions are now
joined by Plumbago Royal Cape
with its masses of blooms.
Plumbago makes a great, quick-
growing hedge. Contain the
cut back hard
in late winter.
walk near the
plants --- the
flowers have an
annoying tendency of getting
caught up in hair, pet fur, clothing
and anything else that passes by.
Autumn s a favourite season in the
garden when there is a lot going on.
Job file --- buy
Spring bulbs are in the shops and
catalogues. It is probably a little
early to plant, but buy now to get the
e fact that so much beauty comes
out of those brown-skinned packages
called bulbs is one of Mother
Nature s miracles.
March job file
A shrub named yesterday, today and tomorrow (Brunfelsia latifolia) which has very pretty, fragrant flowers that change to
three different colours over three days.
is is one of my favourite fragrant daffodils that is called
A beautiful, crimson David Austin rose that is named Shakespeare 2000.
Another lovely rose that is in my garden called Liverpool Echo. It is quite fascinating to watch how its
colours change as it matures.
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