Hedge your bets

Hedge your bets

Every garden needs good bound­ar­ies. And while any basic fence can provide shel­ter and pri­vacy, a well-planted bound­ary hedge has added bene­fits of beauty, fra­grance, fruit or flowers, and hab­it­at for birds, bees and bene­fi­cial bugs. When we began Te Rito com­munity gar­dens in 2010, the first thing we planted on the bare-grass Kene­puru site was […]

Self-sowers

Self-sowers

As the sea­sons turn, gar­dens can start look­ing a bit tired. Not that I’m ageist — there’s as much beauty in seed­pods as in spring flowers — but as nights become cool­er and dew­i­er, the baby seed­lings spring­ing up under the skirts of older plants are telling us it’s a nat­ur­al time for garden renewal. […]

Bring on the night

Bring on the night

On sum­mer nights, some plants come into their own. Day­time flowers are bold and brash, rely­ing on bright col­ours to attract pol­lin­at­ing insects; night-bloom­ing flowers are more subtle, white or cream-col­oured to glow in the dark. Often insig­ni­fic­ant in looks, they announce their pres­ence with blasts of power­ful per­fume. One such is brug­mansia, some­times mistakenly […]

Drink your garden for summer

Drink your garden for summer

Decem­ber for garden­ers is a month of lush­ness: plen­ti­ful rain, warm soil and still-length­en­ing days. Long twi­lights and early dawns pot­ter­ing out­doors are my favour­ite anti­dote to the stresses of the silly sea­son. Decem­ber is also the sea­son for cool­ing bever­ages. A few key plants can set you up for a sum­mer­time of drinks in […]