Rockvale Stone & Garden
Rockvale Stone & Garden

June already! With snow soon on the Kakanuis and the shortest day just around the corner, I am once again wearing thermals, gloves and woolly socks as leaves still fall and temperatures drop. Now that Winter has begun, many gardeners will get the mulch on, then walk away until Spring and there is nothing wrong with that – it allows time inside to slow down and catch up.
Dahlias: Frost has dealt to these… If gardens are inclined to stay wet, Dahlia tubers can be dug up and stored to save from rotting – mine are in well drained areas, so once top growth collapses, I cut back, divide if clumps are too big, planting divided tubers with 5-10cm soil above them and 30-60cm apart in a full sun location, then bed all with Pea straw for Winter.
Re-pot container grown Buxus every second year. Trim the outer roots and replace any loose soil with new potting mix. Buxus soon gobble up all the potting mix and become root bound. Plant Polyanthus for a bright patch of colour – a few polys in a pot is all that’s needed to brighten up any doorway.
Roses: I notice early Roses on offer – the sooner they are out of plastic bags into chilly air the better. Warmth of packaging will have encouraged new shoots, which will drop off as stems harden in cold air. Newly planted Rose stems need pruned to out facing buds.
Tree and Shrub season.. New stocks will be coming into outlets this month and if planting out a new garden, it is well worth asking the right advice from experienced nursery staff before planting – you do not want to make the mistake of planting a tree that out grows it’s space in the first 5 years. I will mention some each week this month, of what you should find locally to add bones to your garden.
Acer/Maple – so many to choose from, but keep in mind they all need shelter. It took me 12 years to have conditions right in my new garden to plant a Maple…
Acer Griseum: for a large garden. Green leafed deciduous tree 6–9 m (20–30 ft) tall and 5–6 m (16–20 ft) wide, nice shape and nice Autumn colour. Acer – Cream splash: Snake bark, white speckled foliage. Compact and bushy with orange Autumn foliage – protection and no afternoon sun.Est.10yr.growth 4m. Acer Burgandy lace – feature tree, lovely as it’s name 4m(H)x3m(W). Acer senkaki: small round headed tree, bright green leaf with burgundy edge, showing interest in every season. 3m-4m (H) 2-3m (W)
Betula (Silver Birch): for the larger garden. Straight white trunk, golden Autumn foliage. Great planted in small groups for effect – very cold hardy and fast growing, Est 5yr growth 15m (H) x 7m (W). Cereis( Forest Pansy): Popular small tree – pale pink Pea like flowers in Spring, purple heart shaped leaves turning orange in Autumn. 4m (H) 3-4m (W).
Corus (Dogwood): At least 4 varieties will be on offer and any would be a small feature tree to take pride of place.
Lawns; Growth should have slowed right down now. If you noticed your lawn was hard and cracked during Summer, spread Gypsum during rain, or allow the heavy dews water in to soften and turn clay content into soil.
Vegetables: Where green leafy vegetables and Onions will be growing next Summer, give a dressing of 250 grams per square metre of Dolomite Lime. If you follow a regular rotation, this will ensure that most of the garden receives Lime once in three years. Permanent crops like Rhubarb should be Limed every three years as well. In gardens fed with compost rather than chemical fertilisers, the PH tends to rise gradually – eventually making regular Liming unnecessary.
Weston School young gardeners got the Garlic in last week – we had such a worthwhile crop last year, that twice as many will be harvested and sold this year. On the coast Sow Broad Beans, Garlic, Shallots and Rhubarb. Colder areas – time to put the garden to bed…
Cheers, Linda

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