May 242018 0 Responses

Growing Garlic in Hawke’s Bay

Garlic really is one of the most simple vegetables to grow – what can I tell you apart from it needs full sun to be successful.

I’ve grown garlic for many years now (and apart from last year when it got swamped by the invasive Horseradish) I have had fabulous results.  I usually grow two types of garlic around the edge of my large asparagus bed.    Sometimes I have to think “outside the square (or vege patch)” to find enough room! Read More…

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Jul 122017 0 Responses

Fragrance in my winter garden

I went around the garden quickly after work the other night – had guests coming for dinner…  What to grab for a couple of vases?   Well, I can honestly say there wasn’t much out there mid-July!   I wanted some fragrance as the little vases would be sitting opposite the dining table and in the living room.  It’s so nice to come into a home and be met with some fragrance wafting from a vase or two.

However I did find three different shrubs that were full of flower AND fragrance and I thought I’d share these with you:

Osmanthus “Pearly Gates” happily lives on a bank in my garden.  A neat little evergreen shrub with tightly packed foliage that can be trimmed to any shape – they can even be trimmed to balls.  For a long time over winter it is covered with small, extremely fragrant pure white flowers.  Ideal for the small vase.

Daphne “Perfume Princess” – a new comer to my garden, planted just last year.  This is a robust Daphne with flowers on the ends of it’s branches – unlike the old Daphne leucanthe.  This makes it brilliant for picking for middle sized vases – and a heavy perfume indeed.  My three year old plant is absolutely smothered in blooms this year and it’s only been planted one year.

Camellia “Transnokoensis” was my final find.  I love this willowy Camellia with it’s tiny, fragrant blooms.  So dainty.

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Jul 012017 Tagged with 2 Responses

Asparagus, easy to grow and SO easy to eat

There are a few foods that are really seasonal and are with us for just a brief period – my two favourites are Cherries and Asparagus.  I absolutely love both of them and neither of them are anywhere near as good eaten out of season.  So when the season is right we eat them most days and enjoy them while we can.  Asparagus is really easy to grow and even a small patch will provide you with some mouth-watering meals. Read More…

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May 292017 Tagged with , , , 0 Responses

Cotswold Gardens – Hidcote and Kiftsgate

Hidcote and Kiftsgate gardens have always been my big favourites.  I must have visited these wonderful garden at least ten times, but haven’t been for nearly TWENTY years.  In the interim they have been busy adding new gardens and vistas.  You can visit both in an afternoon with Kiftsgate opening at 11am and Hidcote not closing until 6pm.  They are virtually next door to each other.

I’ll never forget seeing the Hidcote red border (pictured above) for the first time in my mid-twenties.  The impact it made on me lives with me today.  Enclosed behind high hedges there is nothing to draw the eye away from the intensity of the colour schemes created.

Red is always the last colour to appear in quantity in the garden so it was no surprise that the red border was full of promise, but not full of colour.  All the rich golds and purples were still to show.  Lucky for us we could colour in most of the patches as we are familiar with the foliage on show!  Note the use of NZ red cabbage trees in the foreground.

What never fails to surprise me is the height they get in their borders.  And yet again I go home vowing to manure the garden to death with Tui sheep pellets and rich compost this winter.

I’ve told Phil he needs to retire real quick while he’s still strong enough to wheel a heavily laden wheelbarrow down to the bottom garden and back.  AND we need to get then digger in to deepen the pond!

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