Mud and more mud….

Rockvale Stone & Garden
Rockvale Stone & Garden

plus soggy leaves. After the rain last week, lawns are holding a lot of moisture, needing as much sun and airing as possible to firm them up again – raking leaves off grass is a must. Miles of wet leaf cover will be blocking much needed light and in shady areas, grass may rot away. Soggy leaves are perfect for adding to compost.
Roses: I picked the last bunch of Summer Roses this week. The rain dealt to most still in bud which I remove from bushes and the ground. The fungus Botrytis Cinerea requires cool wet weather to thrive and can wreak havoc among plants susceptible -like Roses, Azaleas and bedding plants. We need hard frosts to take care of fungus and bugs. I spray Lime Sulphur first, which defoliates bushes, then wait several weeks before spraying Champion Copper and Conqueror Oil – usually leaving this second spray until after I have pruned in July. New seasons, bare rooted Roses have arrived in Garden Centres – prepare ground by digging in old stable manure or bagged Rose mix. If planting a Rose in the same place a Rose has been growing, you will need to remove most of the soil and replace with soil from another part of the garden – disease is transferred very quickly from one Rose to another. Roses planted at this time of the year are less likely to suffer from planting stress.
Last week I mentioned a few new seasons trees available locally and worth selecting – I continue with more below.
For large gardens: Fraxinus (Ash) deciduous fast growing attractive shade trees 5m high in 5 years,( est )height 30 m. Golden Ash / Claret Ash and pendula weeping Ash.
Fagus (English Beech): beautiful deciduous shade trees or hedging, 4m in 5 years (est) 30m, fagus sylvatica purpurea attractive wine leaves, Fagus sylvatica, fresh green.
Crataegus (hawthorne) Paul’s scarlet, deciduous 3m in 5years,est 6m, very hardy displaying full clusters of dark pink flowers in November.
Ginkgo biloba: Deciduous, colourful, unique foliage foliage, Pest and drought resistant mature height 13-20 m / mature width 12m, one for a shelter belt.
Smaller gardens: Gingo jade butterflies: unusual deciduous, dwarf – slow growing vase shaped tree, jade leaves. 3m high 2m wide.
Gleditsia emerald cascade: A very attractive weeping form, smaller growing making an ideal garden focal point. 2m high by 3m wide.
Cotinus Goggygria / Grace (smoke bush) large spreading Shrub – stunning plum coloured leaves, plumes of smoky pink flowers in Summer. Height 2m after 5 years / 3m when mature.
Michelia starbright: Very pretty, fragrant, evergreen large shrub with creamy-white blooms.Can be used for hedging or screening. Height 4m width 2m in 7/10 years.
Vegetable garden: Muddy conditions keep me off soil, so trenching manure/compost in will have to wait… well done if you dealt with this before all the rain. When the soil drys out a little here on the coast, plant Garlic, Shallots, Buttercrunch Lettuce plants, Broad Beans, and topweight Carrot seeds.
Fruit: Tamarillos, if lucky enough to have these in your garden, they will be hanging like jewels from almost bare branches – such a treat at this time of the year. Because the plants do not make hardwood ,they are frost tender – but here on the coast in a sunny location, they ripen and are ready to pick now. Tamarillos will grow from tip cuttings – a bush will last for a decade if protected during Winter and prefer to be outside – not in a glass house.
Lemon “Meyer” are cold hardy and will fruit all year. If planting a new plant, remove all flowers and small fruit for the first 3 years to get branch work established, then it will produce for years… Plant where they get afternoon sun, feed with citrus food in early Spring and early Autumn.
NZ Cranberry(Myrtus ugni) has a taste combination of Strawberry, Pineapple and Apple – my Grandchildren pick and eat them when ever here. A small evergreen bush very fragrant when fruiting – can be hedged.
Cheers, Linda.

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