Home' Greymouth Star : July 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 7
n the midst of the somewhat grey
and miserable garden scene, your
spirits are always lifted by the
sight of a flowering plant or by
inhaling the wonderful perfume of
daphne bholua or the powerfully
scented flowers on the wintersweet shrub
(Chimonanthus praecox) that enhances the
atmosphere for some distance away.
There are also a number of hellebores
(winter roses) already in flower that are
dotted throughout the garden along with
the takanini camellia that is in full bloom
with her bright crimson flowers. Clematis
cirrhosa var. balearica is showing off her
pretty creamy-lemon flowers, while the
Cotoneaster has cheerful warm red berries
displayed. Even the roses are playing a
part as many of them have bright glowing
orange-red rosehips although unfortunately
they will have to be pruned off soon.
Garrya elliptica ‘James roof ’ has really
set the winter scene alight with its lovely
elegant, silvery green tassels that hang
gracefully from its branches. I adore these
lovely tassels which are wonderful for floral
art particularly so because there is little else
around at the moment but you do have to
be patient sometimes as I have been waiting
for many years for this shrub to flower.
No longer can I spend many pleasurable
hours during winter poring over a rose
catalogue as there just is not room for any
more but maybe I can next year simply
because some of my roses are getting old
and only producing one branch from the
In a desperate attempt to revive them
and try and force them to produce more
branches, I may really hack some of them
right back this year. If they don’t send up
some more growth, I really need to think
about replacing them.
I do not have the same complaint about
the climbing roses though as they are
growing up all over the place wherever
there is space.
Unfortunately I have allowed some
of them to have free reign for a few
years as time does not allow me to keep
everything under control, and they can be
very attractive when they romp around
and become like a large tree of flowers as
has Phyllis Bide during its freedom from
It has grown up into a beech tree and
along with a clematis it has really provided
a spectacular show with her very pretty
roses of mixed colouring in shades of
yellow, cream, pink and apricot, for several
months of the year. However, while it is
very attractive at the top it is the opposite
down below (from ground level to a height
of 1.5m) as a pile of dead branches and
debris is what you see when you look out
the bathroom window.
This no doubt caused by the shading from
So that was last weekend’s mammoth
task and it did not help having a clematis
(planted by the birds I might add) tangled
throughout it. Phyllis had numerous very
tall strong branches and by trimming some
of them down to various heights, hopefully
it will present a charming wall of roses and
foliage to see out the bathroom window in
hand again as it is hard labour trying to
bring it under control and I sometimes feel
quite battered by the end of the day with a
body of aches and pains along with several
wounds from the prickles.
I really do have a love-hate relationship
with the roses and this time of the year is
my hateful time.
The injuries do not disappear quickly
either as I am trying to type this without
using my middle finger due to having had
to dig a deeply embedded thorn out of the
tip off it this morning.
Just as well I have many lovely photos of
these roses that reminds me of how much
I love them because of
their beauty and the aura of
enchantment and fragrance
they bestow on the garden
for many months of the year.
The roses that are labelled
as climbing roses are
mostly those with very
straight, upright growing,
strong stems whereas the
ramblers are not so upright
and straight and are just
inclined to ramble their way
up walls etc.
My favourite of all climbers is the lovely
deep, velvety red birthday present which has
the most powerful and heavenly fragrance.
Breath of life is a lovely fragrant, apricot
orange shade that I believe was named by
the midwives of Leeds Maternity Hospital.
Two of the rambling roses that I think
very highly of are Mme Alice Garnier
which has scented, dainty and double
roses in shades of apricot-pink while Paul
Transon has medium-sized, fully double
rich salmon flowers with coppery overtones
that are moderately fragrant.
If all of the above roses are constantly
deadheaded throughout summer, they will
continue to flower throughout and present a
continuing picturesque scene.
lthough cold July is a
challenging month in the
garden. If you can find some
sheltered spots that are away
from the worst of the cold
and winter winds you can
still enjoy colour and produce.
Veggies to sow
Sow carrots in July but, if soil is very cold,
it is safest to sow carrot seed into pots filled
with good potting mix. The carrots will be
happier in this slightly warmer environment.
If your pot or garden bed is shallow, stick to
growing baby carrots or, better still, the ball
shaped Parisian round carrot. It is exotically
Flowers to sow
Dianthus is a carnation relative that
develops a succession of cheery, fragrant
blooms. O ur favourite is dianthus double
pinks. Like most dianthus, this one has a
slight clove perfume. Another charming, old
fashioned dianthus is sweet William. Bunches
of fragrant flowers in Persian carpet colours
sit on top of 20cm tall stems.
As bulb shoots develop, feed with one of the
new Thrive liquids such as roses and flowers.
It is high in potassium so will strengthen the
stems of floppy bulbs, as well as enhancing
Do the same for spring flowering annuals to
help them develop a strong framework before
they start to bloom.
July is rose pruning month, except in cold
climates where it is better to wait until before
the last frost is expected. It is also a good
month for pruning macrocarpa and other
conifer hedges. These should only be trimmed
lightly — never cut back into bare conifer
wood as it will not re-shoot.
Check camellias for signs of leafsuckers
such as thrips. Prune camellias (if required)
after flowering, feed and spray new growth
with a protective layer of Nature’s Way insect
Plant of the month —
When they are covered with sunny ripe
fruit, lemon trees create their own brand of
winter sunshine. It is handy, too, that they are
in fruit when winter coughs and colds are at
their peak — sipping a hot honey and lemon
juice blend is a soothing natural remedy.
Meyer lemon suits smaller gardens or pots.
Yen Ben and Villa Franca are larger growers
with sharp, lemony fruit. Fortunately
nowadays some of these bigger varieties are
available on dwarfing rootstocks.
The winter orchard
Winter’s a very busy season in the home
Citrus are at their peak in winter.
The har vest can extend over many months,
usually starting with mandarins in autumn
and carrying through until the last oranges
are picked in mid to late summer.
Other trees, like eureka lemons, seem to
bear fruit practically all year round.
Feed citrus in late July or August with a
good quality fertiliser.
Dynamic lifter plus fruit food is ideal as it
combines composted chicken manure with
Citrus leaves often turn yellow in winter.
This problem will usually correct itself as the
weather warms in spring, but a feed every
couple of weeks can help improve leaf colour.
Citrus can be pruned after har vest. Pruning
is not strictly necessary but it can help to
open up the plant and remove old citrus leaf
Liquid copper is a good solution for
verrucosis, the fungal disease that causes
warty lumps to develop on the fruit. This
is usually applied when flowering is almost
finished and the last of the petals are falling.
Plant bare-rooted fruit trees.
Dwarf fruit trees are suited to small gardens.
If you need more than one variety for cross
pollination (as with apples, pears, cherries
etc), try planting two trees together in the
same planting hole. It can be surprisingly
A July spray with oil will get rid of over-
wintering berries and climbers.
Prune currants, raspberries and other caney
berries by shortening shoots and taking out
old canes at the base.
Prune gooseberries by thinning out crowded
Plant passionfruit vines and, towards the
end of winter, feed established passionfruit.
Prune grape vines and use the cuttings to
grow new vines for friends.
Grapes grow very easily from bare,
hardwood shoots. Make sure you plant them
the right way up!
Spray grapes just before bud burst with lime
sulphur to control mites and other pests.
Stone fruit and pomes
(apples and pears)
Peaches and nectarines that were not
pruned after fruiting should be cut back now.
Have some liquid copper on hand to spray
the plants as the buds swell, before the leaves
and flowers start to open.
Remove ‘mummies’, the shriveled, dried
fruit that hang on the tree and can become a
source of fungal infection as the new leaves
Supplied by Yates
The Greymouth Star has five
copies each of the New Zealand
Gardener and NZ House and Garden
magazines to give away this month. House and Garden
has a feature on living aboard a luxury cruise liner, ideas
on how to decorate your front door, and winter
treats with honey.
New Zealand Gardener has some
great recipes for pumpkins
and an expert guide to
To enter the draw
your entries must
include your name,
address and phone
Send them to.—
C/- Greymouth Star
with garden in the subject line.
One entr y per household.
Entries close on July 15.
and its thorns
The lovely silver y green tassels elegantly hang from the branches of the Garrya Elliptica shrub.
Some of the very pretty double winter roses (hellebores)
that provide a picturesque scene in my present winter
July jobs to do
The rose Phyllis Bide took a lot of pruning recently because it had grown into a large mass by
supporting itself on the branches of a beech tree. A white flowering clematis had also tangled itself
in amidst this shambles.
The pretty roses of Paul Transon make an attractive picture hanging out of a tree. The flowering
shrub in the background is the beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) with some pretty crimson flowers
of the shrub, named Cestrum newellii.
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