Monday, 6 May 2019

Going indoors

My new job is indoors but I've bought some plants in with me. I picked four spider plants for hanging baskets in the library, thanks to Rose the Ranui Primary School gardener and Mr O the caretaker who hung them up for me.

Rose loves her plants and has grown edibles everywhere at school, fruit trees, herbs, flowers, veges. They are in pots and beds and all around the school. Mr O looks after the sports fields and keeps the weeds at bay. It is lovely to see plants well taken care of and for picking not just for show.

I spoke with Brigita who is the Fabulous Garden Mama for Garden Planet which airs this Wednesday. I found out all sorts of things to do with indoor plants - the trick is, to select the ones that are low maintenance! That don't need heaps of water - and one could over water them. Which I am sure I must have done in my old job where I spent 3 days each week watering over 200 indoor plants. My boss would say water them till the water comes out the bottom. Drown them! So I did the peace lilies and then the next time he would growl at me for leaving them sitting in water.

I hope they are still alive. So if anyone who's reading this has that job (I didn't stick around to nominate a successor) my tip is don't listen to your boss. Listen to your plants. Chuck out the mealy bug ridden synogoniums while he isn't there and secretly replace them with tough spider plants. Honestly the oldies won't really mind because they'd rather have healthy plants than bug ridden ones. I sure wasn't going to spray them indoors while they were there.

Anyway Brigita has fabulous plants for sale on trademe . Tough ones that are so trendy right now such as monstera, birds nest fern, ficus elastica (rubber plant), purple wandering jew, peperomia, parlour palms, and boston ferns. For each plant she's got detailed instructions on how to care for them, how often to water and when to feed with worm juice. They also come in really cool woven baskets. I'm thinking of buying a few parlour palms for St Giles, surely they wont object since they seem to thrive on neglect. New comers also include begonias and streptocarpus.

Guess what I came third in the Begonia in a pot competition! Held by Karyn's mother. Karyn came second. I am sure that was a fluke because my pot was really a plastic disgrace (I had run out of nice pots)  and I didn't get many flowers.   I had it in a bicycle and it was a red flower. Our prize was a lunch with Karyn's mum up in Matakana. Our next contest is to grow freesias. I have chucked them in the ground and hoped for the best.

Next week I'm going to chat with Bev from the Floral Circle all about flowers. So Brigita if you tune in you'll find out all about how to best prune your hydrangeas. After all she's the expert. Bev admonished me for planting spanish shawl too early. Bev used to manage her own nursery so I am sure she knows pretty much everything there is to know about growing flowers.