By Tony Murrell
I’m in the North Island this week and I’ve been transplanting clumps of Clivia and looking at a garden bed with a group of Michelia figo’s that have grown into each other.
I reckon now is time to get out there with very sharp spades and lift and transplant. The new location was pre-dug so with lots of huffing and puffing and heaving I successfully transplanted the Michelias to a new location. I added powdered blood and bone and clay breaker gypsum to the soil and did not water the plants in. Let's cross our fingers that it works, I’ll keep you posted.
I reckon it's time to plant roses, well not if you have snow, but they are really easy to grow. The flowers make you feel like a million dollars when they are out and with new disease-resistant varieties available at your garden centre you can rest assured that they will flourish.
All-important I suppose is to choose a variety that suits your application, climber, bush, standard... know what you want. Don’t be scared of pruning them next year, we can cover that one off then and remember roses can be treated like a hedge, just take to them with the shears at this time of the year if you don’t want to be all "kumbaya" with your secateurs.
You will find that the black holding mix will fall away as you release them from the pot. Don’t panic. Mix rose planting compost with you gluggy soil, add rose food and a few sweets (sheep pellets) and that’s it.
Plant of the week
“Manuka” - ground cover, shrubs and trees.
How do you tell the difference between and Manuka and Kanuka in the field? Rub a Manuka and its prickly, “M for Mean” Kanuka is soft, so remember “K for Kind”.
Lovely for firewood, tool handles, smoking meats and good pioneer regeneration species, useful as a nurse crop and great erosion control. All soil types suit these plants.
Garden design tip of the week
Built-in garden furniture takes up a lot less room if you are a bit pushed for space. I like the idea of a plinth for beside the outdoor grill for your bits and pieces and day bed boxes for storage, seating and lounging.
Landscape designers or clever so-and-so builders can knock em up and get reticulated foam squabs covers with Solution dyed acrylic colourful fabric.