Hid­den plea­sures in the gar­den

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY GILLIAN THRUM Green Door Gar­den & Gifts

Spring is here with its see­saw­ing weather pat­tern — or should I say, lack of pat­tern.

How­ever, hot or cold my as­para­gus con­tin­ues to grow and it is this that takes me to the bot­tom of my gar­den ev­ery morn­ing or two to cut.

The de­tail of our gar­den is mostly out of sight so un­less I make the ef­fort to go down into the dell I can only see glimpses through the trees. Pick­ing the as­para­gus sends me down dur­ing spring and early sum­mer and a quick visit can of­ten lead to not only pick­ing as­para­gus but a load of flow­ers to bring up the slope.

And then one has the en­joy­able task of ar­rang­ing them. So the as­para­gus patch not only feeds the tummy but also the soul early each morn­ing.

It’s easy to fall in love with gar­den­ing over and over again in spring. Ev­ery­thing is so fresh, the buds on the roses are only just start­ing to open and the peren­ni­als are push­ing their way through the ground. It is a time full of prom­ise and to en­sure that the prom­ise of such de­lights turns into re­al­ity a lit­tle bit of timely ground­work needs to be done.

Those roses — they do tend to at­tract aphids which adore the new buds.

Keep a watch on these and zap them with a handy Ready-To-Use En­spray Oil. To­tally or­ganic but very ef­fec­tive. Try a glass of wine or what­ever in one hand and an RTU of En­spray in the other in the evening — I highly rec­om­mend it.

The hostas are now in full leaf and look­ing amaz­ing. Slugs and snails adore these — a fine sprin­kling of Quash around them will en­sure that they aren’t ho­ley by Christ­mas. I pre­fer Quash, a bit more ex­pen­sive than Slug Slam or Bl­itzem­be­cause it only kills cold blooded an­i­mals — noth­ing with fur or feath­ers.

Hav­ing had a dog die from slug pel­lets and an old cat badly con­vuls­ing was enough to well and truly put me off any other op­tion.

The cat knocked over a packet that was on the kitchen bench — drat­ted thing — so fussy with her food and then she goes and con­sumes Baysol pel­lets. Mad­ness. The dog was a sheep­dog that had got off its chain and found the slug bait on the back door step. So a note of cau­tion when us­ing any­thing but Quash. Quash is made of iron and also works even when it is dis­in­te­grat­ing.

My del­phini­ums are now up to 1m tall and still grow­ing of course. My net­work of birch twigs that keeps them up­right will have to be re­in­forced with some twiggy bam­boo stems very soon if I am to keep them from snap­ping. The ear­lier you get any plant sup­ports on the more nat­u­ral they look. It gives the plants time to spread their leaves around the sup­ports so that you hardly no­tice that they are there. If you leave it un­til late they look like they have out­grown their trousers and have had a belt tied too tightly — not a good look on any­one!

Soon it is time for the “Chelsea Chop”. Big clumps of peren­ni­als can be prompted to stag­ger flower if you cut the back half down now. Phlox, Sol­idago, Asters, Monarda etc — cut them back by a good half-third and the back half of your clumps will flower later than the front half en­sur­ing that you have a much longer dis­play. This also helps if your plant has be­come rather leggy.

My early flow­er­ing laven­ders are look­ing amaz­ing — es­pe­cially Laven­der Pink Princess. This is such a good laven­der. Such a gor­geous deep pink and it is great at re­bloom­ing right through till af­ter Christ­mas. To en­sure best colour plant her in ab­so­lute full sun. Here at Green Door our roof canopy cuts out 30 per cent of the sun and she tends to lose some of her in­ten­sity, but when placed out on the edge of the gar­den cen­tre her colour is amaz­ing. I’m so pleased with her I have bol­stered the plant­ing I have in the carpark with a few more and in­ter­spersed with a few Ruf­fles Laven­der.

One of the great things about hav­ing a big gar­den is that you don’t have to feel mean about pick­ing the flow­ers as there’s so many to choose from. At this time of the year the Iris sibir­ica va­ri­eties are in full swing along with the Bearded Iris and an arm full of these with some branches of Deutzia or Philadel­phus fills a huge vase in a trice. This morn­ing I treated my­self to pick­ing some Al­lium blooms as well — such a shame these aren’t avail­able to pur­chase any­more. Soon it will be roses but as the bot­tom of our gar­den is so cold I’m still a week away from roses to pick. For those who don’t have big gar­dens you can still make won­der­ful ar­range­ments by just us­ing fo­liage and a smat­ter­ing of blooms. Many shrubs have great fo­liage to use as the ba­sis of your dis­play. Even the old seed­ing For­get-me-Not picks beau­ti­fully and looks great in a lit­tle vase in the bath­room/bed­room or kitchen win­dowsill. I adore bring­ing the out­side in, even if its just a bunch of pars­ley or mint — which in­ci­den­tally looks great with For­get-me Not.

To en­sure your roses bloom, take care of them now as the new buds emerge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.