Articles

June 2012 - Europe's Great Gardens

My wife Val and I have just returned from visiting some of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom, Holland and France. I wanted to capture the European spring to give me some new inspiration and ideas for landscaping in the Waikato. WHAT INSPIRED ME MOST? The age of the properties, and the gardens in the U.K. is something quite amazing!  We visited gardens in England planted around 1750, that’s over 260 years ago.  It makes New Zealand gardens look ever so young. We went to the ‘Lost Gardens of Halligan’ and saw espaliered fruit trees planted over 200 years ago.  These ancient fruiting trees consisted of some very old pears, plums, apples, grape vines and even very old... Continue reading

May 2012 - Colour My Garden Green and White

Recently I have been asked by several of my landscape clients to design them a garden based around a colour scheme of using only green and white. Generally this means using shades of green foliaged plants and the white coming through in the flower colour. There are certain suburbs in Auckland, where these two colours in the garden are very strongly the favoured combination. Today I want to mention some plants that I recommend as good candidates, for such a colour-schemed garden. HEDGES Camellia Early Pearly — one of the very best hedges, because the foliage is of the darkest green colour, with crisp clear white formal flowers over the late autumn/winter months, a very tidy low mainten... Continue reading

April 2012 - April in the garden - a great garden time

Hello Waikato Gardeners, Still the great weather continues in the Waikato.  Plus we are now just starting to see many deciduous trees that have been unnoticeable all summer coming to the forefront with their bright autumn colours of foliage.  I personally think that autumn is one of the best of our seasons - apart from the glorious colourful foliage on trees (and even when falling on the ground they look great) there is less wind, the skies are very clear, the temperatures are just right during the day, it’s comfortable to be outside and not get baked by the sun, and the night time brings a very slight chill to the air.  Also, many plants start to come alive with the onset of  autum... Continue reading

March 2012 - Best Conditions for Planting in a while

Once again we have had a fantastic month of growth with the continued regular supply of rainfall and warm temperatures to the Waikato region. It's been quite a number of years since we've had such a wonderful growing season over the summer months.If you are thinking about getting into your garden to do some planting this autumn/winter, then I would definitely recommend that you get into it now!!!! If you want to get your plants off to a good start, then conditions just couldn't be better. I've recently had a very inspirational visit to one of New Zealand's best gardens - Ayrlies Garden in Whitford, Auckland.  Sculptured energetically from bare paddock by Bev McConnell since 1964, and cur... Continue reading

February 2012 – There’s a lot to do in February so here’s a few pointers on Hydrangeas, Groundcover, Summer Perennials, Weeding, Trimming

We have just got back from holiday and I can’t remember ever seeing so much growth in our garden for this time of year.  Every plant in our garden seems to have grown like jack in the bean stalk !!!! So we have just spent the weekend trying to get some order into much of the plants.  It’s in fact a good time to prune because we still have March and April which are good growing months, and most plants will have time to refurnish themselves before winter. HYDRANGEAS If you want an amazing display of blooms for next November/December (especially the two months leading up to Christmas), then at the end of February you need to prune all your bushes hard. This will give them March/April ... Continue reading

January 2012 - Great plants for the hot, dry summer months - Mexican Lily and Ray of Light

Happy New Year to you all, It's certainly been a fantastic summer for plants.  Your garden is probably like ours at the moment, with plenty of growth from the trees, shrubs and also the weeds and the lawns.  I think from the law of averages, the dry period will come, maybe just a bit later in the cycle than other years. Today I want to mention a couple of good plants that will cope exceptionally well for you over the hot dry summer months. BESCHORNARIA YUCCOIDES REALITY- (commonly called Mexican Lily) REALITY (see above) is a great plant for any garden that gets very dry, windy, and where the plants have to fight to survive the elements. REALITY is a new selection from the Beschornar... Continue reading

December 2011 - How is your summer garden looking?

We are now just about to hit the longest day of the year and how is your garden looking? And just as importantly- do you find it easy to keep it looking  good? This is a great time of the year in New Zealand to have your garden looking at its very best!!! We have been fortunate this November / December that we have had at least some rain arriving every week and with the longer sunny days plants generally find it very easy to grow and look healthy. Colorful flowering plants are certainly in fashion but we need to make sure we select options that will continually perform without too much maintenance and will keep up the blooms until the late autumn, if possible. In the photo attached wit... Continue reading

November 2011 - Garden rambles offer plenty of inspiration

Every keen gardener at this time of year should try and make the time to go on one of the many garden rambles being held around the Waikato.  I think it is very inspiring to visit other peoples gardens and see new and interesting plant combinations and landscape layouts.  This gets us all motivated to go home and try something new in our very own garden. I am very fortunate with my job as a landscaper because I get to see many different properties every day - from big farm sections through to tiny townhouses with only enough room for a small patio and garden area if you're lucky.   If you are not a very knowledgable gardener and are unsure of what sort of garden style or plants you wo... Continue reading

October 2011 - Stunning Spring Show from Hostas, Wistarias and Maples

If you are keen on gardening, then I am sure this month you will be out in your garden at every possible moment. During October with its longer days and continual increase in daily temperatures, we see plants rapidly appearing from out of the ground with great gusto. In the last week I have seen hostas literally leap from nowhere, and many other perennials that were previously just resting out winter have come forth with new leaves and flowers.  Maples are one of my spring favourites because their new foliage is just breathtaking - so lush and elegant- and the range you can now get are truly amazing. I have seen my hydrangeas just starting to form the tiniest of buds, and the wistaria sin... Continue reading

August 2011 - Do you have potential major hedging issues?

Today I want to talk about two popular hedging plants that are currently causing major problems for their owners around the Waikato and Auckland regions.  BUXUS HEDGING If you are planning on planting in your garden some of the ever popular BUXUS SEMEPERVIRENS hedge this coming spring, then, at the moment, I would strongly advise you not to use this variety and look for an alternative hedge.  Over the last 5 months I have seen dozens of properties in the Waikato that now have a major fungous disease problem (commonly called Box Blight - see in image above) in the foliage of the Buxus Sempervirens hedge. I was at a friends on Saturday and saw what used to be a beautiful mature Buxus Sem... Continue reading

Great Plants for Winter Gardens

The days are beginning to slowly get longer and we can already see our gardens starting to come to life with numerous plants now making a spectacular show.

The photo is of a floral arrangement that my wife Val has created from plants that are in flower or looking great in our garden at the moment.   CHIMONANTHUS PRAECOX Commonly called winter sweet.  Back 20 years ago this was one of those plants that every keen gardener found the room for in their garden.  They have the most beautiful fragrance that you could wish for and they flower at a time of the year when not much else is happening in the garden. They are tough and get to about 2.5metres.  They do respond w... Continue reading

Now is a great time for garden maintenance and planting

If there are areas in your garden that you are not happy with, then the months of June/July are regarded as a great time of the year to get in and make these changes. If you want to move a plant from A to B in the garden, then the plant will be happier if you can do it while it's cold, because its transpiration process slows down so it needs less moisture. Therefore, it won't be such a shock for it when half of its roots suddenly get chopped. With deciduous trees, you can just dig them straight out of the ground and move them. But with a lot of evergreens, it is advisable to cut the roots on two sides of the plant with a spade, then leave the plant for two weeks and cut the roots on the ... Continue reading

Great Planting Options for Screening and Sheltering - May 2011

Today I want to talk about some good performing plants, for screening and sheltering your garden. I have been visiting quite a few properties lately that are very exposed to the westerly winds that hit the Waikato region at certain times of the year and causes havoc to the garden, especially if its relatively new with not much shelter around to protect it. MICHELIA FAIRY BLUSH - this is a real beauty, for Waikato gardens. Bred by the famous Jury family of New Plymouth, this plant has so many good characteristics, that I thoroughly recommend it for the smaller city section, and deserved in the larger rural garden. It can be kept trimmed as a hedge at 1-2 meters tall, or take off its lower ... Continue reading

April Article

It's now autumn... and what a truly great time of the year to get into your garden - especially if you need to plant anything. It's widely regarded by the nursery industry that March and April are the best months to get your plants established because it is still warm and there is now moisture around both essential ingredients in helping new root growth. Remember it is the root system that feeds the top of the plant, so this is a very important time of the year for putting on new growth above and below the ground. I encourage all of my landscape clients to feed all of their gardens in April, with a slow release fertilizer. Do everything in your garden whether they are young or ol... Continue reading

Beautiful Large Trees - March 2011 article

Last month my article was on stunning trees for smaller urban  sections. Today I want to talk about trees that lend themselves to the bigger sized property. We are very fortunate in the Waikato that our climate lends itself to being able to grow a wide range of beautiful  large growing trees. We get a good overall yearly rainfall, and the winds are not too bad for most of the year . The trees I am talking about today are fine examples for shading stock in a paddock or lining a large driveway. Basically they all in time get to be large specimens and so when you plant any at your property, make sure that you don't plant them too close together and give them plenty of room to spr... Continue reading

Garden Articles Archive

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