LATEST POSTS: Friday 7 January, 2011
1) Schimas are flowering trees from the subtropics and tropics of Asia but such is the confusion over classification that the name of the large one we have in full flower this week is a little uncertain but it is likely that it is Schima wallichii subsp. noronhae.
2) Time to see to autumn bulbs without delay (they will be coming into growth shortly) and to summer prune cherry trees along with other garden tasks for the first week of the year in a southern hemisphere summer.
3) I was a bit surprised to find that the common advice is to spray apple trees every 10 days to a fortnight with an insecticide and fungicide throughout summer. Fortunately apples can still survive and crop on benign neglect – ours are lucky to get one winter spray of copper or lime sulphur and a summer spray to combat codling moth. Our latest Outdoor Classroom gives a simple approach to summer care of apple trees.
4) Helleborus orientalis are tried and true plants, understated and undemanding but quiet stars in winter.
TIKORANGI NOTES: Friday 7 January, 2011
Lilies feature in our summer display here and fortunately in New Zealand, they are generally free from insect pests. The lily beetle which we saw infesting the blooms in the UK in 2009 was enough to make one give up growing them. That is one pest we can do without here. While our main display will come in the next week or two with the auratums, it is the trumpet hybrids which are looking winners this week. The climbing Schizophragma hydrangeoides is also looking very fetching – a fluff and festoon of flowers all but covering the foliage.