Gardening

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 […]

Bring the birds and bees back to your garden

Bring the birds and bees back to your garden

Birds and insects will vis­it our gar­dens to eat, drink and be merry. The bet­ter the refresh­ment and hos­pit­al­ity we provide, the more likely they are to come and the longer they’ll stay. If we’re lucky, they might even choose to make a home close by. Choos­ing plants attract­ive to vis­it­ing fauna will also enhance […]

Bees Please

Bees Please

Bee­keep­ing is grow­ing in pop­ular­ity in Wel­ling­ton. You might want bees to pol­lin­ate your plants. You might yearn to pro­duce your own honey. Or you might just be curi­ous to learn about this indus­tri­ous insect. Whatever your reas­ons, you can keep bees suc­cess­fully even in an urb­an area if you pos­i­tion your hives care­fully. We’re […]

Bag yourself some potatoes

Bag yourself some potatoes

You love baby new pota­toes with but­ter and mint, or hanker after some wedges with gar­lic may­on­naise, or yearn for a big pile of mash to serve with your bangers. Whatever your potato fantasy, they’ll taste even bet­ter and fresh­er if they’re the res­ult of your own endeav­ours. If you thought you couldn’t grow your […]

Concentrated cultivation

Concentrated cultivation

Some of us are short of space for grow­ing things to eat. We might just have a bal­cony or a small court­yard garden. Per­haps there’s only a small part of our garden that is sheltered from the wind or gets enough sun to allow crops to grow well. Even if we’ve got a large section, […]

Ten tried and tested truths for edible gardeners

Ten tried and tested truths for edible gardeners

Wherever I am in the world, I love vis­it­ing edible gar­dens. Garden­ers are con­stantly doing inspir­ing, innov­at­ive and inter­est­ing things. If I dis­cov­er only one meth­od to adopt or a single vari­ety to grow, then it’s worth the trip. There are also sur­pris­ing sim­il­ar­it­ies between many gar­dens. Tech­niques and tra­di­tions that work are shared and […]

The seaweed solution

The seaweed solution

Sea­weed is the sea’s gift to our edible garden. After a big storm the beaches are laden with detrit­us — a won­der­ful mix of sea­weed, sand, sticks and the odd sand hop­per. A stroll by the sea on a blustery day col­lect­ing sea­weed in a sack might be just the ton­ic you and your garden […]