Thursday, 13 February 2020


Talking with a seasoned gardener like Terri has me thinking I don't know if I can do what she does when I get to be her age. She's crazily gardening in this heat while I am kicking back and not even daring to put in any new plants in till at least April.

Somehow she's ordered plants by mail order and they had arrived and they all needed to be planted or die in their pots. I'm sure she knows the all the tricks though, soak the roots, plant under cloud cover and mulch, but the desire to have everything looking good and green while the sun is drying plants to a crisp seems to me counter intuitive. I suspect it's Terri's green fingers that make the difference.

While I welcome the sun and this lovely non-humid heat it means the plants are now ripening and drying out, ready to  chop and drop to use as mulch to build up beds for winter and to prepare the ground for spring. The dried out plant matter will return carbon to the soil and provide enough bulk and air so that water can be retained in the cracks appearing in our clay ground.

Watering seems to be a dry sum game, if theres no water, well sorry plants, your roots had better be well established to cope by now. I did drop into Kings to buy some seaweed booster to water in the soil as a tonic though as sometimes I forget as well as water, plants need food and they love eating seaweed. Surprisingly it cost only $3 since I had earned lots of points on my Kings card.
Karyn had sent the council workers in to our community garden to provide us with seagrass they had gathered off the shores of Saint Heliers. I was given some tips on taro (divide and conquer, they like it damp) and when I shared news about our garden calamity, it was suggested that one of our rival community gardeners may have sabotaged our garden. After all, we are having an open day in March for eco fest where we join with the other Massey community gardeners for a garden ramble. Could it be...they don't want our garden to out-green theirs?? I don't know but then I don't want to think gardeners would do such criminal underhand things. Mike seemed to think they acted rather suspiciously when we all won the bronze at the NZ Flower and Garden Show like they wanted to claim all the glory for the win for the joint prize. Hmm

Shall I put it past them?

Anyhow, enough blather, after considering a long list of plants that cope really well in the sun and heat I decided our plant of the week is going to be Gazania. Good old gazania, stalwart tried and true. Never needs extra water and if you want to see a particularly gorgeous specimen of it, go down Alderman Drive past the Falls hotel on way to Henderson on the corner near the crossing it just covers the berm with a riot of yellow flowers year after year. Great groundcover and cheerfully brightening up roadsides wherever it is planted.