December is a very busy time in the garden! Berry fruit are ripening, plants are growing fast and the first of the stone fruit are ready. Regular weeding and watering are most important at this stage if we expect to get the best from our flowers and vegetables. Once the tops of the spring bulbs … Read More
Edible Flowers With spring blooms starting to colour our gardens after winter, and many of us planting seeds for the coming season, I am excited to propagate a very special set of edibles in my garden – flowers. Edible flowers have seen a revival in interest in recent years as celebrity chefs and home cooks … Read More
It is that time when overwintering pests are starting to venture out. One pest that is not affected by seasons is the common indoor plant annoyance, the sciarid fly or more commonly known as, a fungus gnat.
At our July 2021 meeting, we had a very informative talk by local Naturopath, Rachael Stott. Rachael was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her mid-30’s. As a means to better her health she studied Naturopathy and became a Naturopath and medical herbalist . Rachael lives in Temuka and travels once a month to Christchurch and … Read More
One of the more interesting aspects of gardening is the identification of areas in the garden which have different climates. In these locations, we can grow plants that may be different from those of our neighbours and friends. Identifying microclimates also allows gardeners to plan their garden for the best results. To understand microclimates is to understand your garden, its orientation, soils, slope (if any), shelter, setting of the house, buildings, and anything else that directly effects the site. Gardeners also need to understand the microclimates of rainfall, sunshine hours, prevailing winds, wind types, temperature variation and the like. It is the combination of these factors which creates microclimates in the garden. Every garden has microclimates. Here is a description of some of the factors.
May heralds the end of autumn and the beginning of winter so many of the tasks this month involve cleaning up around the garden and doing repairs and maintenance on green houses, shade houses and any structures used for climbing plants. Autumn has been mild and dry so far, so many of the plants have not yet dried off (dahlias and begonias) or frosted back. This may delay lifting them for the winter but if you want to plant some of the winter /spring plants you can lift them and place them in trays to dry off. Spring bulbs will need to be planted before the end of the month as the colder wetter weather will make it more difficult once it arrives.
As I write this it has been raining overnight (18mm) which is the first real rain that we have had over the last month, the plants will really appreciate this and it will mean a few days without the need to water the garden.
I noticed that some plants are showing signs of significant frost damage which is causing the leaves to be rather distorted. This may appear as if the plants have been harmed by a herbicide, given time they should grow through the damage.
The frost may have also caused the fruit set on stone fruit plants to drop so it may be a light crop this year.
In late July fourteen Ramblers met at the city Bus Exchange on a bitterly cold morning to walk some of the central city laneways. For many, getting there was a novel journey travelling by bus into the city – a new
experience. Leaving the Bus Exchange we walked along Tuam St to Manchester St making our way to the walkway behind Environment Canterbury to Mata Lane and back out to Tuam St. Heading towards Colombo
St to re-join the walkway at what was known as Mollet St past Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School and onto Durham St. From here to Tuam St again, onto Lava Lane and Greenway Lane to Montreal St from there
to the Memorial Wall walk to the Riverside Market to weave through walk ways to emerge into Cashel Mall.
Spring has now arrived and in my garden plants are really moving into growth. The weather has been on the dry side with only 4mm of rain at the time of writing, for August we would expect 40mm so it is dry. The Spring bulbs will need to have some water if this dry spell continues so that they can grow well and be in good condition to produce flowers next year.
The apricot, peach and nectarine are in full flower now which is about 2 weeks earlier than usual so hopefully there will not be any hard frosts that can damage the flowers. The soil is now dry enough to dig over and work up to make a good friable soil ready for seed sowing or the transplanting of seedlings. read more…
Winter Rambles A misty day greeted ten Ramblers on the 23rd of June. Starting from The Kiosk in the Botanic Gardens where nature had created interesting sculptures in the shrubbery the group continued along Armagh St rambling along to Victoria Square. A bleak looking area on a not so nice day in Winter. A Weeping … Read More