1) July 30, 2010: Agapetes serpens – aptly described by somebody else as a vegetable octopus, we love the fact it feeds our native birds despite its origin in the Himalayas.
2) July 30, 2010: All Gardeners Dream – Abbie’s newspaper column.
3) July 30, 2010: In the garden this week – tasks and hints from pruning to making little slug bait stations to lichen.
4) July 30, 2010: Around the province, gardeners are counting down to our annual garden festival at the end of October – the latest update.
5) July 27, 2010: Camellia Diary 4. The sad story about camellia petal blight in NZ.
We enjoy our queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana), now of rather towering stature at about 20 metres high and half a century old. But their falling fronds can be a bit of a menace and there is certainly no way of getting up to groom those hanging about waiting to fall. You would not want to be underneath one because they weigh a surprising amount at the base and crash down with considerable force – taking out a large wodge of a camellia below recently. Mark has been moved to comment that there are rather a lot of vegetable time bombs planted very close to houses and apartments in Auckland, often by landscapers who all too frequently lack the
plant experience to know what their selections are capable of when mature. Palms, you see, take up little space, are easy-care and wonderfully evocative of the warmer temperatures of the tropics so have been all the rage in urban gardens for some time now. As they keep reaching for the sky and growing in stature, the potential for falling fronds to cause damage increases – you certainly wouldn’t want your house spouting to be caught by a falling frond, let alone your car. But the average life expectancy of a garden plant in this country is, I have been told, a mere 10 years (before being chopped out and replaced by the latest fashion) so the chances of many palms reaching sufficient maturity to cause problems are not great.