Thursday, 19 May 2022

Dark Days

 After a floriliferous birthday..we're back to rainy days where the garden has gone indoors.

Birthday Flowers...

Mother's Day flowers...

I paid a visit to Fab Garden Mama's boutique and bought an Elephants Ear philendron for the library.  Fab Garden Mama says she's getting married in December! 

Otherwise not much gardening being done, I'm trying to get the kids interested in making dried flower bookmarks but so far not much has been happening as I'd had to cancel a few days due to a bad head cold. But it seems Sis got the indoor gardening bug and has been updating me on the progress of her pilea like it's her first child...every time it grows a new leaf, I get pictures. When it got spots, she was a bit worried, but, I assured her that some plants do have spots on their leaves and it's not anything to worry's just natural variegation. 

Karyn and I have been trying to put together a wrap up show for Garden Planet but actually getting together to record has been eluding us. Not helping is the moving of Planet FM premises (the old house has been demolished!) . It has been so long that I have not been able to talk about much gardening at all. And Karyn says her own garden had to be taken apart thanks to her home's deck renovations. While at the community garden, our raised beds need new wood as half of them have fallen apart. We are going to use the bulb money for fresh wood. So if it seems like our gardens has gone into hibernation, well maybe its a Sabbath year for all of us. 


Thursday, 28 April 2022

Busy bees in the garden

 Since posted here last have been picking up feijoas everyday we have buckets and buckets. 

Bulbs have finally arrived, if you haven't got yours yet head down to Woodside they'll be in the shed in the basket. If you've got tulips, ranunculus, and anemone, best chill them in the fridge before planting out in May, since we don't get any of the white stuff in Aucks. 

Last Sunday Garden Club went for our  outing to Rose Lea in Riverhead.  Let me report lest you be mislead, it is not a rose garden. The garden is ten years old and Liz and her late husband were the head gardeners presiding over a sandy brick house that's seen many grandchildren. It is a subtropical garden as you can see the palms and bromeliads and succulents take pride of place, along with a lot of Aussie plants like bottlebrush, grevillias, lomandra. The flowers she does have are more shrubs like vireyas, carpet roses, impatiens, camellias. It is beautifully landscaped in what was once a paddock with only one tree. 

The house commands the top of the hill and is facing north, with a magnolia lined driveway leading towards the bromeliad and cycad decorated house from which a sunny lawn (it's dense couch grass)  leads down to a sea bank of grevillia, with mosaics steps, toward a lane of weeping pears to the pond below. There are sheep grazing some of the paddock that was left. To one side of the house is an orchard with many different fruit trees, and beehives at the back. The courtyard that used to be the raised vege garden now displays succulents even in the glasshouse. Some ideas of her I'd borrow would be growing a plumbago in an obelisk, the cute little glasshouse with tropical plants inside, large shallow bowls to display rosette shaped succulents, a gazebo/arbour retreat with paving and painted rocks, and a mosaic sundial in the ground. 

Liz says it's now very low maintenance, about the only thing she really needs to do is  mow the lawns with a ride on and trim the grevillia and rescue the odd hedgehog, and give the sheep treats every now and again. 

We enjoyed a muffin and cuppa in her sunny patio with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. She had hedges all around the property so was wonderfully peaceful and sheltered but it did not feel closed in at all because she had so much space (7 acres).  Could this be the good life? 

Afterward we convoyed on down to the Beekeeper's Wife bar and eatery which was buzzing with activity for a catch up lunch. I recommend the seafood chowder! 

Am hoping this year we'll get to go to Rotorua on our big garden trip, and still, fingers crossed, if the fates are kind (or the govt, whichever) maybe even get to Taranaki for the garden festival. Here's hoping. 

Monday, 18 April 2022

The Joy of Gardening

Brother Vincent's 'Titanic' gladioli

They don't look like they are sinking! I'd given him the bulbs for Christmas. 

 Dad took some more pics of my gazanias. They are so pretty and coveted that I caught my Uncle trying to dig them up on one visit. Mum had said he could have one but I was like noo! You can buy six at a time from Mitre 10 and they are cheap as chips. 

I'm gearing up for another Garden Club night, although there aren't much more flowers to be had at this time of year, though there are plenty of feijoas. Thankfully none have succumbed to dreaded myrtle rust. 

There is also going to be a visit to Roselea Gardens up in Riverhead which I am very much looking forward to. 

School has given me an Easter gift of Kings Plant Barn vouchers...and I am happy to report I made a tidy profit on the bulbs, even though they are not delivered yet! 

So I have got some money to spend although only enough for one sheep. Did I tell you how much I would like a lamb or two to graze our garden and provide us with sheep manure? Mum could also use the wool to knit a scarf or two..

I've been reading Lynda Hallinan's latest tome 'The Joy of Gardening'. What can I say it was very much a joy to read, and eye candy to look at as well. I suspect a lot of people aren't actually cut out for hard-copy journalism either and prefer to get the news on when to best put in your potatoes and what to do with the seasonal gluts rather than who is fighting who over who over which piece of land is theirs (Ukraine vs Russia - sort it out!) So lucky Lynda has found that she's very blessed to have any land at all. 

I know my eyes glaze over in boredom every time someone laments over property prices. How can you put a price on it really I never really got that.. The plants want to grow on it and we are going to be buried in it one day. Doesn't it belong to everyone? 

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Farewell Sid

 My garden club is so old that it's now not uncommon for members to pass away every couple of months. Last Thursday  it was Jane's husband, Sid who has now gone to the place prepared for him. I shall miss his kindness and patience and faithfulness as he would come with Jane to pick me up for garden club meetings every month in his big car as I was along the way.  He'd go to the gym in the meanwhile and then return to drop me home afterward. 

He was a quiet guy who kept a big rambly garden with chickens and bees. I spent a day gardening (or more pruning and weeding!)  with him, though he was never rude enough to say he didn't want me back he gave me a job when I needed it, and also, was one of the few who came and actually bought a book from the bookshop when I worked there. I remember it was Heart of the West The History of Henderson. He said he'd already read all the beekeeping books. 

Jane was always winning the prizes for the best produce on club night. But I think that was really under Sid's care though he never entered in our contests himself. 

As the garden club is mostly women, when he was there it made a difference, and he always came on the garden trips with us. What a faithful husband he was as he was always by Jane's side. He reminded me of Treebeard in Lord of the Rings. Quiet and venerable.  He was 84 years old.  Rest in Peace Sid.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Surviving Omicron!

 Yes Covid got me in the end. However thanks to triple vaccination, it was only mild. I had a cough and a sore throat and tiredness, but I didn't have to use heaps of toilet paper at all. I just went through one box of tissues. 

Bev very kindly dropped round a whole lot of bearded irises. So I have planted the rhizomes anywhere they can fit in the garden.  Some are by Mummy Cat's grave. They are of all different colours. Thanks Bev!

I pruned a non-fruiting branch off the old peach tree. Next thing I know, Dad totally destroyed my climbing rose, which was climbing up the other branch. For no reason. It wasn't hurting anyone - it was climbing up the branch, which it is meant to do. 

Otherwise, what can I say?! 😶

If you haven't ordered your spring bulbs yet...please do so soon as I am putting in the order this week.  

Friday, 25 February 2022

Woodside Community Garden Garden Bulbs Fundraiser

 Dear Rambling Gardeners

You can now buy spring bulbs from me! To grow in your own garden or to plant in the Woodside Community Garden orchard under the fruit trees. All profits go to our garden. 

Be in quick because this offer ends 15 March. Pick up the bulbs from our garden or I can arrange home delivery. All enquiries and orders to

Choose from...

7 Daffodils Mixed


7 Jonquils "Grand Monarch"


10 Tulips mixed 


10 Freesias Fragrant Single & Double Mixed


 10 Ranunculus Mixed


10 Dutch Iris

10 Anemone- St Brigid Mixed (Doubles)


Sweet Pea - Early Multiflora 20 seeds