Saturday, August 25, 2012

Daffodils for Cheerfulness

I adore daffodils. Their season is so fleeting unless you have a huge variety of early season varieities etc on the go. At my mother-in-laws's garden - Dursley - the show goes on for several months. These are some of Judith's fancy-pants daffodils - mine are the all yellow ones. I am very lucky to have them planted densely all down our driveway under the deciduous trees. Just gorgeous. Lovely to have the luxury of picking great bunches to give to friends, and of course, support the Cancer Society's Daffodil Day. Makes it feel like spring even though it is still officially DAYS away. Have a happy day. R

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Favourite Crocus 'Pickwick'

Yes it is starting to happen! Tiny details bringing delight in the garden. These crocus flowers have come out while I was away over the weekend. The sun is shining on them and they are just pure amazement with the contrast of colours, and intricate patterns. (The fact the sun is shining is also an amazement after this horrible winter wet). Little gardens need intimate details like this. These would be lost in a big garden, or you would need a mass planting for them to show up. Rx

Sunday, August 5, 2012

NZ Native Revegetation Project

I often advocate to clients to plant areas in native bush. I think for many it is hard to envisage. So I'll show you! This is one project that we have created from bare paddock, down in Martinborough. Harsh, cold winters, then dry dry dry and windy summers. No irrigation, just good species choice, staking, bark mulch, fertliser, water gel, and ongoing weed control around each plant, annually. 5 years on, and there is very little to do other than form pruning some of the larger trees along the path, and thinking about underplanting with ferns and shade loving groundcovers.

Bare paddock. Spot spraying around each plant, up to twice a year. Long grass allowed to grow between plants for extra wind protection (and hare deterrent).

Just planted. Note the exposed seat further along the path.
Three year old trees. The pathway through the middle is still in full sun, but the trees each side have bulked up. Still requiring annual spot spray around each tree.

JULY 2012
Five years from planting, and the site is unrecognizable. The original seat is nestled into the tall cabbage trees behind it, and the pathway is obscured by planting which helps give a sense of exploration as you have to walk further to see what is around the corner. Much of the pathway is in shade by the taller trees.

Rach and Binds having a tea break during annual maintenance!
Notice how big the cabbage trees are now.

Cabbage Trees are self seeding - fantastic result.

The path now meanders through the bush, rather than being a path across
a paddock. Gives a sense of enclosure and anticipation about what is
around the corner.
The original objective was to create a shaded NZ bush experience for a section of a walking track around the rural lifestyle property, much of which is in open sun, or alongside a vineyard. Walking through trees, and shade, and enclosure contrasts perfectly with the other experiences. The only maintenance we do in there now is form pruning the larger trees and shrubs, plus a bit of weed spraying around the edges. Some of the trees are even setting seed around themselves, which of course is exactly how it happens in nature - we have just given them a place to do it.