Tikorangi Notes: Friday 17 February, 2011

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It rained heavily earlier in the week - very heavily

It rained heavily earlier in the week - very heavily

1) Lunacy or of horticultural merit? Planting by the moon – Abbie’s column. I expect some fallout from this one. Back in the days when I used to write for the local paper, we received many more phone calls from locals. One gentleman rang, urging me to write a piece on planting by the moon. He sponsored an African child and he was very confident that if he could just get the entire African village planting by the moon, it would solve all the problems of famine once and for all. When I demurred and suggested I wanted to see some independent, scientific proof, he felt sorry for me, that I was so duped by science. I quickly hung up on the nutter.

2) In for a penny, in for a pound: a review of “Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting” by Lyn Bagnall. A little too much smoke and mirrors for my taste.

3) The lovely tropical Tecomanthe venusta is featured in Plant Collector and is flowering here, even though we are far from tropical.

4) Growing oregano and marjoram, what the difference is and the most likely way of intensifying the flavour in GIY.

Bet mine are larger than yours - Cyclamen hederafolium tubers

Bet mine are larger than yours - Cyclamen hederafolium tubers


A mere taste of what is to come

A mere taste of what is to come

Tikorangi Notes: Friday 17 February, 2011

The cyclamen photo is because I finally finished rustling up the surplus Cyclamen hederafolium to carpet an area as ground cover. I needed quite a few to cover about 14 square metres but it helps when you find enormous tubers which measure over 20cm across. It takes many years for them to reach that size. They should be looking very pretty in a few weeks time with the first flowers showing already. This is my third attempt to find the perfect groundcover for that particular bed.

It was sad this week to hear that the Weekend Gardener magazine is now in the hands of liquidators – and I don’t say that just because I had a fortnightly writing contract. The gardening media market will be the poorer without it. Fundamentally, I think Weekend Gardener suffered from a split personality. While some aspects remained about as downmarket as they could be (particularly the DIY project using Resene products each fortnight where you too could replicate something astonishingly ghastly), there were an increasing number of interesting stories and features. The just retired editor, Susie Longdell, did much to lift the horticultural status of the magazine and steered clear of the cult of the personality. But in the end, it appears it was not enough to win sufficient subscribers to keep it viable. A pity.

The second most read article on my website is the piece I wrote about plagiarism – The Tui NZ Fruit Garden – dear oh dear. It still gets hits every single day, despite Penguin’s apparent attempt to pretend it never happened. Thanks to a reader, I am now hot on the case of another plagiarised book which may prove to be just as bad. Watch this space.

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