Good Landscaping Adds Value

Hello everyone, Today I want to talk about landscaping your property, and how to do it so that there are real benefits for the money and effort that you put in. If you ask anyone involved in real estate or property valuations, they will confirm that good effective plant landscaping can add a lot of value to a property in two ways: monetary and aesthetic value. Many times I have seen properties where home owners have spent a lot of time and money on their landscaping, and it has added no value at all - in fact, in some cases it has resulted in decreased value of the property. This can happen where some planting has been done, and the plants chosen were completely inappropriate for the sit... Continue reading

Topiary Plants Can Add Real Class to Your Garden

Hello again to all keen gardeners! I bet you are really enjoying getting stuck into your garden in October, with new flowers and lush foliage appearing daily. Today I want to write about TOPIARY PLANTS and how to use them effectively in your garden, and which varieties are the best for waikato conditions. Anyone that knows me or has used my landscaping services will know that I have a real passion about using topiary in a garden. I often use topiary plants, because if the right plant is chosen, it will certainly bring the wow factor to your garden! Whether you are creating a formal english garden, a zanny tropical garden, a seaside garden at your beach property, or a romantic french styl... Continue reading

Spring is a great time for gardens

Hello to all our local keen gardeners.  Hasn’t the weather suddenly changed over the last four weeks, and we are definitely in no doubt that spring has arrived!!! The daffodils and spring bulbs are in full bloom. The lawns are picking up pace and the deciduous magnolias are looking a real picture in full bloom. By now you should have your gardens in shape ready for the spring flush of flowers and new foliage. All weeds should be gone, pruning completed, and it’s now time to feed every plant around your home. Even old established gardens should get a good feed with a slow release fertiliser. I religiously feed all of our gardens at the Rukuhia Homestead every September and March. Bec... Continue reading

Winter Warmers in the Garden

Hello to all  keen gardeners. Today I want to talk about plants that will bring beauty to your garden in the middle of winter. Looking out the window today, it looks pretty bleak, no sunshine and it’s about eight degrees. Hardly the sort of day that will encourage you to get out and do some work in the garden. But there are some real plant gems that will brighten your day with their beauty and even fragrance   CHIMONANTHUS PRAECOX - (Winter Sweet) This is a deciduous shrub that flowers through July/August. With one of the most delightful fragrances you could ever wish to have in your garden. The pale yellow flowers appear on the bare stems at this time of year. Pick the stems and b... Continue reading

Making Your Garden "Easy Care"

The most frequently asked question I get from my landscape clients is: "Can you design me a low maintenance garden, that will look great all year round,and need minimal maintenance?". I say yes, its pretty easy in fact, if you follow a few basic principles. If you like flowering perennials, then select varieties that need minimal maintenance to keep them in flower. Select perennials that have a very long flowering season, as these types are better value than ones that only flower for a few weeks of the year. Choose shrubs that virtually need no spraying for pests and diseases to keep them looking great. You definitely don't want shrubs that are a continuous battle... Continue reading

Outstanding Autumn Favourites

Liquidambers (American Sweetgum) Last weekend we travelled from Ohaupo to Matamata via Cambridge and the deciduous trees scattered amongst the lush green paddocks of the Waikato region looked amazing, as it always is at this time of year. Every autumn certain trees put their hands up and say "look at me!" One of the best tree families at showing great autumn colour are the LIQUIDAMBERS. Today I want to talk about some of the  members of this plant family that are worth planting, and their special characteristics. LIQUIDAMBERS: commonly called Sweetgum - this name refers to the fragrant resin/sap that are produced by these trees. If you come into close proximity of a liquid amber tree ... Continue reading

Deciduous Trees For Beautifying Your Driveway

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year for colours in the garden. At the time of writing this article, I noticed the very first deciduous trees around the Waikato/Waipa regions are just starting to show off their vibrancy, with some truly amazing colours.. Today I want to talk about trees suitable for planting down driveways, and points to consider  before making your final selection. Trees lining either side of the driveway, can really add  an exciting dimension to a property. This is generally the first part of a property that any visitor sees as they arrive to your home. When deciding on  how big you would like your trees to eventually grow, this will be a littl... Continue reading

Cover-ups for the Garden

Groundcovers can be very low maintenance and aesthetically a very worthwhile addition to your garden, but they can be a lot of work and very unsightly if you choose or lay it out wrong. Today I want to give you a few tips on how to make groundcovers work in your favour, so that you dont make a lot of unecessary work for yourself. Before planting any groundcovers, make sure the soil is very weed free. If its the kind of soil that as soon as you turn your back weeds suddenly appear from nowhere, then I suggest that you put down a good layer of garden mulch first. This will help keep the weeds to a minimum while your groundcovers grow across the top of the soil. Don't think that your groun... Continue reading

The Key to Growing Amazing Tuberous Begonias

Hello to all our good keen gardeners! Nothing much has changed in the weather pattern since I wrote last month's article, except the daytime temperatures are even hotter and there hasn't been much moisture falling on our part of the country. As I mentioned in a previous article, if you can give your gardens one good water a week, this will help the plants to stay in the same condition and if you are able to give two good waters in the week, then you will see your plants grow and flourish. I was at a landscape clients home today and was just overwhelmed by the quality and sheer mass of colourful blooms hanging penduously from her tuberous begonia baskets. The plants were absolutely amazin... Continue reading

Colour in the garden for Summer

Hello to all our good keen gardeners, It's the week before Christmas; what's your garden looking like? Fantastic I hope! If not, then is it the plants or the style that you don't like? I have been very busy over the last six weeks. Educating garden groups about which plants, from my experience, I have found to be very reliable garden performers. Today I want to  mention some perennials that I personally think are outstanding performers and the conditions they like. SHADELOVING PERENNIALS 1. ATHYRIUM SILVER FALLS (Japanese painted fern): This shade-loving fern is absolutely amazing. Very striking foliage that looks like highly polished silver, fantastic for any shady garden. Wil... Continue reading

Features Add X Factor

Hello Gardeners, We are certainly having a challenging spring (weather wise) at the moment. I bet the plants in your garden will certainly be finding it challenging, with the continual wind and very little rainfall lately... I know our own garden has been needing extra irrigation to keep the plants looking healthy and actively growing. I often get asked by my clients, how much water should I give my plants? It depends on wind and how hot it is during the day, but in the heat of the summer over December to March, if you can give your gardens a thorough soaking 2 x over 7 days, then this should be enough moisture to keep everything looking in top condition and actively growing. Obviously m... Continue reading

Suspended Success

I hope all you keen gardeners out there are making the most of the few fine days we are having each week and getting out and enjoying your garden because you will find on a daily basis, some new flower or set of leaves that weren't there the day before. I often find that many keen gardeners seem to have little success with hanging baskets. There is a few basic principles that will help you to have better odds of success. Firstly make sure the plant that you choose is going to be very happy in a hanging container. In other words, having their roots contained and being subjected to drying out from time to time. That's why it's very important to know how vigorous the plant will be... Continue reading

Bringing birds back to your garden

I know its been very wet lately,and so the amount of time you can spend in the garden is very limited,but its really enjoyable seing the first signs of spring in the garden.So many plants and trees are  starting to wake up,after  their winter dormancy,and i find every day i notice something bursting into growth or buds opening,and ready to make their show.This in turn,is bringing alot of birdlife into our garden at this time of the year,so today i want to talk about some of these bird attracting trees and shrubs. The tui cherry-PRUNUS CAMPANULATA SUPERBA are looking fantastic around the waikato at the moment-it must be a great for the tui population,having so many of these  now around ... Continue reading

We all need some inspiration - and Floriade was mine

My wife Val and I were very fortunate to recently have the opportunity to visit the 2012 World Horticultural Expo in Holland. This show was called Floriade, put on by the Dutch every ten years and was certainly one of the horticultural highlights of my 35 years in the nursery industry. The show covered 22 ha with something for everyone's tastes and interests in gardening and landscaping. The show covered such a big area that they had a large cable car that could take you from one end of the show to the other in a very short space of time. Apparently the show needed six million visitors to break even - that gives you some sort of perspective as to the money outlayed by the Dutch in getting ... Continue reading

What to do in your garden in July

1. PRUNE YOUR ROSES and then spray the bare stems with copper oxychloride to clean off any over wintering fungous diseases on the stems.  This will help your roses to stay clean and healthier for longer in the spring. 2. SPRAY ANY WEEDS that are hanging around so that you go into spring with a clean soil area and then put a layer of good garden mulch or compost on the soil. 3. PUT DOWN SLUG BAIT now around hostas and any other perennials so that you eradicate these nasties before they get stuck into new emerging spring growth in early spring 4. WATCH YOUR LIRIOPES-these can be a great home for slugs and snails-I recommend cutting all the foliage off your liriopes in July to within a fe... Continue reading

Garden Articles Archive

Graeme Burton - Landscaper - Rukuhia Homestead, RD2, Ohaupo 3882
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