Landscaping NZ
Yates
Waimea Nurseries
Herb Herbert
Tui - A Friend In Your Garden
may gardening

May Gardening

Lily bulbs are arriving into our garden centres. Lilies in the garden would be magnificent even without any scent at all but combined with their delicious fragrance the effect is simply wonderful. The perfume is carried all through the garden and their strong shaped flowers add a touch of drama. Every one of the lily 

family is lovely, and every season even more beautiful lilies appear, unlike most other plant families who often produce some ugly ducklings. Imagine tall lily blooms with their enormous nodding trumpets, and curved petals up to 30cm across, further accented with crimson speckles and gold bands rising above azaleas and rhododendrons.

Lilies are very easy to grow so gardeners who have very little time can achieve spectacular blooms with very little effort. Simply plant a few clusters of lilies in rich well drained soil in full sun or part shade, add a sprinkling of Tui Bulb Food and you will have a spectacular display with wonderful perfume.  Because the fleshy lily bulbs don’t have a husky protection coat it is important to plant them immediately to avoid the risk of drying out.

Oriental lilies have beautiful large blooms, all deliciously fragrant in their different ways, some with spectacular stripes and spots.  

Asiatic hybrids have up-facing flowers of just about every colour except blue.

Trumpet lilies have sweetly scented blooms on long slender stems and Regale lilies with their strong scent are grown as our Christmas lilies.

Peonies with their exquisite flowers provide so much beauty because as each one opens it appears more perfect and luxurious than the one before. These aristocrats of the garden bloom with their open faces looking up at you, and the large varieties look so extravagant. Well cared for peonies usually out live their owners so choose a sunny position, dig a large hole, fill with plenty of compost, and plant with young buds or ‘eyes’ 5cm below the soil surface.  Peonies hate disturbance so make sure you choose their position carefully as they can take a couple of seasons to settle. Be patient because the first year they sleep, the next year they creep and then the next year they leap!

What can be nicer than a cyclamen to get you through the darkest days of winter? Cyclamen with exquisite blooms opening like a dancer bending backwards will thrive for months in a cool position with bright light and sufficient water to keep it moist - not wet. A few drops of liquid fertiliser every two weeks will keep your cyclamen fresh. Do not cut spent flowers and leaves with scissors but simply twist and pull away spent flower stems which will prevent decay of remaining stubs that could infect the tuber.

Hardy chrysanthemums bring a splash of colour into the rapidly fading colour of our gardens. When dahlias, blackened by frost are mush, chrysanthemums keep on giving sparkle to the garden with their yellow, mahogany, red, and rust coloured flowers. All they need is a sunny position and although they are not too fussy about soil conditions chrysanthemums enjoy some Nichol’s Organic Compost dug in at planting time.

This is your last chance to plant spring bulbs. Tulips can be enhanced with companion plants. Try yellow tulips under planted with a carpet of blue for-get-me-not or white tulips and red polyanthus even orange tulips and purple pansies. 

Flower plants to plant now for spring and early summer flowering are pansy, viola, polyanthus, primula, bellis daisy, for-get-me-not, poppy, antirrhinum, stock, sweet William and wallflower.

This is the time we appreciate having evergreen plants to cheer us through the coming dark winter days. Just when the coloured summer garden collapses around them these evergreen ‘friends’ have been sitting back smugly all through the summer, waiting to provide winter interest from May to October with hedges, shrubs and topiary. Pyracantha is a colourful evergreen shrub, often trained up walls, with white flowers in spring and red, orange or yellow berries in autumn that last all winter. Birds especially love the red berries.

Roses arrive in-store soon so if you intend to plant some new roses or just replace a ‘ho-hum’ rose this is the time to prepare the soil for these new arrivals. Roses like at least half a day of sunshine but absolutely detest wet feet, so the position selected should be well drained and sunny. Dig some Tui Rose & Shrub Mix and Norlake Sheep Pellets into the soil and leave to settle for a couple of weeks before planting your new roses.

Now that the hustle and bustle of summer is over it would be nice to sigh, sink into a comfy chair and relax after all your hard work. But, there is always a spoilsport like me, to remind you of ‘things to do’. The great autumn clean up is in full swing as autumn breezes flurry fallen leaves into little damp heaps and bedraggled plants need a good tidy up. If there are small spring bulbs such as snowdrop and crocus in the garden they will be much better off not covered in decaying foliage all winter because slugs and snails thrive under that cover of old vegetation.

Tidying the garden brings us to composting and good rotted down compost improves the soil by adding humus. Fallen leaves will give the compost a boost along with chopped up flower stems and unwanted skeleton heads from the perennial clean up.

Try to build your compost in 20cm layers with a sprinkle of Nature’s Way Compost Maker in between. Start with a layer of leaves; chopped stalks from the garden clean up, some light leafy hedge clippings and a layer of soil or potting mix from old containers. Vegetable peelings, tea bags and coffee grounds are good but avoid cooked food scraps that may attract vermin. Repeat these layers and when the heap reaches the required height, turn with a fork once a month until these organic materials rot into compost.

Plant garlic and shallots into well drained soil that receives all day sunshine.

This is a good time to plant strawberries while there is still autumn warmth in the soil. Good drainage is essential so if your soil is damp and heavy mound up the strawberry rows, sprinkle with Tui Strawberry Food, then plant the strawberries along the top.

Happy gardening everyone

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blo

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blossom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill

ssom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill