Tikorangi Notes:

Decidedly rampant, extremely spiny but quite spectacular - the bougainvillea

The Battle of the Bougainvillea

Latest posts: Friday 8 April, 2011

1) One of the very best ornamental oxalis (or wood sorrel, if you prefer euphemisms) – purpurea alba in Plant Collector this week. And it is not in the least bit invasive so comes with our recommendation as garden safe.
2) Nostalgia rules, but it takes time. Relearning the old ways while getting to grips with new technology (aka freezing tomatoes and making grape jelly while learning about power points) – Abbie’s column.
3) Garden tasks for this week – from gathering swan plants and walnuts to sowing green crops.

Tikorangi Notes: Saturday 9 April, 2011

Dealing with the mountains of debris

Dealing with the mountains of debris

Ours is a typical large New Zealand garden in that we maintain a fair area with a minimum number of people. In our case it is about 25 acres or 10 hectares, although only 7 acres of that is intensively maintained garden but we do that with only three of us. Inevitably there are areas that we maintain but do not intensively garden. By that I mean we tidy, prune and groom, keep the area weed free, mulch it and refill large gaps but we do not spend large amounts of time actually beavering away gardening it in detail. But as we plan relatively large new gardens (these ideas can be slow in the gestation phase), I feel the need to make sure we can manage the area we already have. For the past sixteen months, this has meant a major reworking of well established areas. I am now well on the way in the Avenue Gardens which is a bit like the last major frontier. It never ceases to amaze me how much we can prune, saw, rake, trim and haul out from the borders to be cleared away without it being obvious at all what has gone. That, of course, is precisely the result we are aiming for. The gap between woodland garden and impenetrable forest is only a few years. Today has been the Battle of the Bougainvillea and those who have never grown one of these plants may not realise that they are armed with extremely sharp spikes all over. Allied to ambitions for world domination. The pruning is done. Now I am just deeply grateful that our Lloyd will be back at work on Monday. He is a whizz when it comes to dealing with garden rubbish – abracadabra and soon there is nothing remaining.