Wednesday, 29 November 2017

St Giles Church Garden round 2

I found dianthus 'Passion' at Mitre 10 yesterday, for $2 each so bought 21 of them for St Giles. They have a scented red flower like a small carnation.  I wanted to plant them yesterday but had something else on, so did it after work today, am hoping it rains because when I got there the island bed was covered in weedmat and the council had planted it with hebes, and on the other side whipcord hebes. This despite Graham saying he would like anything but bushy plants that people can throw cigarette butts in, maybe some grasses. Well hebe is your classic bushy cigarette butt hider plant. Plus you have to cut it back, and it develops little bald patches if you don't trim it.

I was also horrified with the weedmat. How am I supposed to plant flowers in weedmat? Cut 21 holes? So I tore it off. Sorry PD/council workers - you mean well, but..I claim that patch in Jesus' name.  Then Kara from Second Nature dropped by as she was picking up her daughter from Kimberley Daycare, I hadn't seen her since I temped for her, she said she had been frantically busy with six designer gardens for Auckland Design Fest (held on the same weekend as APW presentations). She said yes get rid of the weedmat.

I did leave the hebes in there though. Not sure what colour they will be, but generally if they are little and compact they can stay in good shape its only when they grow and get straggly that they become monsters like the mexican orange blossom did, and hide all manner of drug user paraphenalia, coke cans and plastic bags.

Another horror was I got there to find Bob the lawnmower man had ridden straight over the hydrangeas I planted in the lawn so there was nothing there. Oh good one Bob. (I don't know if his real name is Bob,  Pat just said 'it's a little man that does the lawns' - a church member would not have been so cruel, so I just call him Bob. Or it might be Jim). Speaking of hydrangeas, I have come across some residents complaining they don't like big beautiful hydrangeas next to there apartment and they had been there 17 years. Well, if they'd been there 17 years and never lifted a finger to prune them then tough..they are staying! Hydrangeas aren't that hard to prune either. Just cut the flowers for your vase, they are the plant that keeps on giving.

I'm on the side of hydrangeas and have become a fan. But they do need shade and water, which is hard to come by in our food desert church. I forgot the afternoon sun would fry them. I'm not so big a fan of camellias. If only I could remove the camellia someone had planted next to the church, note to self, don't plant big bushy plants next to buildings, especially camellias. Because people either really like them or hate them. I'm still trying to get rid of mine that my brother thoughtfully planted in the wrong place by the front/back door.  Why hydrangeas and not camellias? Well hydrangeas are deciduous and let the light in come winter, and there flowers are big, gorgeous and last forever, whereas camellia is the darker cousin, has evergreen tough leaves and small flowers that don't last, and turn brown and  mushy when they die and fall off, leaving what looks like dirty tissues all over the ground. I'm letting the camellia live though because I'm trying to espalier, aside from the fact she's as tough as old boots.

So anyway now those grassy dianthus are in, I cut them back and now let them flush again, prayed for rain, so that come Sunday we might have some flowers to pick for church. Its not full yet I will be adding more plants as they are sent to me and mulching with compost but at least I have made a start. Next plan of attack is church shady corner weed. If you'd like to be a secret Good Samaritan gardener you are welcome to do this one so the Sunday following I will find it weeded and passers by will marvel what a miracle it was. It wasn't me...all glory to God!

In other secular news our West Auckland Community gardens won a bronze medal in the Garden Olympics I mean NZ Flower and Garden show so congrats team -- can't wait to see it! It's held at the Trust Arena just up the road from me. Was given a free pass unfortunately if you have not got one of these you might have to pay $42 to get in the door.
Well, it's less than paying to see a live rock concert lets put it that way. I'm hoping they might have free giveaway plants or flowers for each visitor, cos that would make it worthwhile. I will wear my new floral dress and put the flowers in my hair.