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Sunday, 11 December 2016

My first client

I had a client asking me for gardening advice, and may even have a planting project for autumn!
As she was from Egypt and recently moved into the area which came with a small garden I identified the plants and what she could do with them. The exciting thing is she has a small pond with waterlilies, in her sunny courtyard type garden which has a patio, flowers, ferns, trellis, even lighting built in. I envisage jasmine growing over the trellis, bromeliads in a shady corner by the silver fern, more herbs like parsley, lemon balm and mints, a lemon tree in a pot, and perhaps some reeds growing near the pond with goldfish. Her front yard is a pebble garden that was landscaped with weedmat, and there are several mix of plants randomly placed by her letterbox.

I recommended for a beginner to start with herbs, as they are easiest to grow, and using seaweed as fertiliser and mulch, a few basic tools like a trowel, gloves and watering can. Strawberries and lettuces in pots to start off with (no tomatoes, too much trouble for someone who works full time and only limited space) and of course, easy care natives. She had a flax bush growing near the pond which may end up too big for that space, and several antirhinums or snapdragons, pinks and begonias which, while doing well were not really her cup of tea. She loves white flowers. I think jasmine would give a wonderful display full of scent for a scented night garden (full time workers coming home at the end of the day) just like those Brits who wanted a garden makeover on their flat backyards. They always wanted a garden they could invite friends over for drinks (in her case, peppermint tea). Also one that would be safe for her toddler to play in.

So now feeling inspired perhaps she will get growing (armed with copies of Weekend Gardener and NZ Gardener magazines. So thanks to the previous homeowners who left this garden for the new owners to look after and not a bare plot with weeds (like next door!).