NZ House & Garden - - GARDENS -

Cli­mate: About -10°C in win­ter to 30°C in sum­mer. Strong winds, pre­dom­i­nantly nor’west. Regular snow­falls, in­clud­ing “big snows”, as in 1973 (5ft) and 1992 (3ft). We man­age to es­cape some of the worst frosts with the Wind­whis­tle breeze. We don’t wa­ter our gar­den: As we have a 50-inch rain­fall. Just as well, as we have ter­ri­ble wa­ter pres­sure that can’t even run a sprin­kler. A new plant might get an oc­ca­sional bucket of wa­ter. Plants that grow well are: Rhodo­den­drons, aza­leas, bulbs and alpine plants. The Mt Peel lily is now seed­ing ev­ery­where. What a lovely weed to have! To get rid of gar­den waste: We try to com­post but mostly pile weeds and prun­ings on sheets then use the mo­tor­bike trailer to cart them out un­der the trees (this is of­ten the chil­dren’s job). Best time of the year in the gar­den: There’s a riot of colour in spring. Au­tumn colours are also very in­tense, although the wind can re­move it all pretty quickly. Help in the gar­den: I’m the weeder; Steve the chain­sawer. Land­scap­ing can be a fam­ily af­fair. Ev­ery­one has an opin­ion. There’s of­ten a project planned when my par­ents are stay­ing.

Teena Richards

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