Herb of the Month – Jerusalem Artichoke

Herb of the Month

Have you got a sunny empty spot at the back of your garden? You may like to try this ancient tuberous sunflower species grown by native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans. It is an attractive tall growing perennial with sunflower heads up to about 10cm across. It grows from white underground tubers that are rich in inulin, can be eaten raw, or cooked. They also make a delicious soup which tastes a little like oyster soup. It was taken to Europe and became very popular there in the 1600s. Despite the name, the plant has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or with artichokes! Another old European name, Sunchoke is more appropriate!

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

Fruit & Vegetables, Lawns, Monthly Tips & Tasks, Spring Gardening, The Flower Garden, This Month in the Garden

September is the month in which Spring growth really gets going. The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and deciduous plants come into life.

The weather is still very changeable and there is always the danger of frosts that can damage new growth; this makes for a very busy time in the garden.

Ground preparation for sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings should be completed, old Winter crops removed to make way for Summer plantings and the last of Winter pruning completed.

Herb of the Month – Chickweed

Herb of the Month

A real nuisance once it gets into your garden, this plant does have its uses! Originally native to Europe and Asia it now grows wild throughout much of the world preferring cultivated moist soils but is not fussy, becoming variable in size and habit. Buried seeds are known to retain their viability for at least 25 years and the plant can even flower and ripen seeds under snow! Don’t let it flower or you will have it forever!

Winter Speaker Series 2019

Winter Speaker Series

OUR LIVING LANDSCAPE Developments in viticulture from Akaroa beginnings to Waipara today Four highly qualified and experienced speakers presented this series of stimulating talks culminating in the M J Barnett Memorial Lecture on Thursday 15 August 2019. [one_half] Venue The Winter Speaker Series 2019 venue was The KIOSK, Christchurch Botanic Gardens. There is plenty of … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August

Fruit & Vegetables, Lawns, Monthly Tips & Tasks, Winter Gardening

We have now had some good frosts that have cut back many plants in the garden so it is a good idea to lift some of them to overwinter. Plants that benefit are dahlias, begonias (tuberous and fibrous types) and some perennials.The pruning of fruit trees and roses may now be completed and they can also be given their Winter sprays. These tasks are best done on a fine sunny day.Green houses should be washed, disinfected and any repairs completed in readiness for the start of Spring.All crop residue should now be removed from the garden or green house and either composted or disposed of.Prunings from the garden I shred up and add to the compost heap. My heap is protected from the wet and cold and turned over two or three times to ensure good quality compost is available for digging in later.New season fruit trees are now arriving in the garden centres. Make sure you get in early for the best trees.Strawberries and cane fruits can be planted now. It’s a good idea to try and get cultivars that will fruit at different times to achieve a longer harvest time ( ie. early, mid season and late types).Spring bulbs will be starting to emerge through the ground so be careful when weeding not to damage the shoots.If you have a heat bench or pad you can start sowing some early seeds to be ready for early plantings. Do remember the days are still short though and even with additional heat plants will take longer to grow now than in the Springtime.Early potatoes can now be sprouted (chitted) ready to plant in a few weeks in a well protected part of the garden.New season roses are also becoming available, make sure you get in early as some of the new introductions sell out very fast.

Herb of the Month – Coriander

Herb of the Month

This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July

All About Gardening, Fruit & Vegetables, Monthly Tips & Tasks, Winter Gardening

We have now had some good frosts that have cut back many plants in the garden so it is a good idea to lift some of them to overwinter. Plants that benefit are dahlias, begonias (tuberous and fibrous types) and some perennials.The pruning of fruit trees and roses may now be completed and they can also be given their Winter sprays. These tasks are best done on a fine sunny day.Green houses should be washed, disinfected and any repairs completed in readiness for the start of Spring.All crop residue should now be removed from the garden or green house and either composted or disposed of.Prunings from the garden I shred up and add to the compost heap. My heap is protected from the wet and cold and turned over two or three times to ensure good quality compost is available for digging in later.New season fruit trees are now arriving in the garden centres. Make sure you get in early for the best trees.Strawberries and cane fruits can be planted now. It’s a good idea to try and get cultivars that will fruit at different times to achieve a longer harvest time ( ie. early, mid season and late types).Spring bulbs will be starting to emerge through the ground so be careful when weeding not to damage the shoots.If you have a heat bench or pad you can start sowing some early seeds to be ready for early plantings. Do remember the days are still short though and even with additional heat plants will take longer to grow now than in the Springtime.Early potatoes can now be sprouted (chitted) ready to plant in a few weeks in a well protected part of the garden.New season roses are also becoming available, make sure you get in early as some of the new introductions sell out very fast.

Spreydon-Cashmere Results 2019

Edible Garden Awards

Congratulations to everyone from Spreydon and Cashmere who participated in this years Edible Garden Awards for that CCC ward. Those who gained special recognition include: Elisabeth Bertolett and Francis Main Best Organic Garden – Use of Beneficials Alice Shanks Best Use of Rainwater – Innovative use of Space Louise Weller Best Sustainability – Outstanding Garden … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June

All About Gardening, Fruit & Vegetables, Monthly Tips & Tasks, Plant Forum, This Month in the Garden, Winter Gardening

June brings the end of the growing season with the shortest day about the 20th of the month. We know also that the coldest time of the year will be with us for the next two months.So there is not a lot of gardening to be done other than pruning and cleaning up plus maintenance of the hard landscape areas.We all find that in our seed storage there will be plenty of used seeds that have passed their use by date or have lost labels. Now is the time to go through the seeds and get rid of any unwanted ones, and make a list of those we will be needing in the Spring.

Herb of the Month – Ginkgo Biloba

Herb of the Month

This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.