Tag Archives: June

newsletter for june 2021

From Rhonda

We are experiencing a fairly mild winter so far and in the last week a much needed dousing from the heavens.

Your committee has been busy with the Arbor Day plantings in the schools. We have had seven schools teaming up this year so it is apparent that the historical Arbor plantings are being revived which is wonderful. Arbor Day has a long and interesting history and has appeared in different forms and spellings around the globe, the earliest records from Spain in the 1500’s.

Here and now my garden is again confused. My Kowhai  is in full bloom and my first daffodil is  opening  its petals in the middle of Winter.

The pride of my garden though is my beautiful impending crop of citrus…the mandarins are like orange lanterns lighting our backyard with a colorful glow.

Our next meeting will celebrate the solstice and we have invited Waikanae to join us. We will have our usual sales table and raffles and we are asking members to bring a small plate.  Note that our competition will not be individual blooms but we are asking for table decorations. There will also be a prize for the best dressed…hopefully Bob Cratchett will turn up.

Hope to see you all next month

Rhonda E

From Julian

Yet another garden makeover. It’s amazing how much you can    find to do in the smallest of gardens. Now I’m going for an ‘industrial’ look with rectangular paved areas instead of the curved lawn that we have had for the last 2 years.

It might look a bit stark but we have actually gained a little more space for planting. This year the runner beans will be moved out of the ornamentals and grown along the front fence, and a big sprawling elegia is now restrained by a hexagonal frame. Both of those changes are to make room for more picking flowers, and to allow spreading room for last year’s new shrubs – clethra, pieris, and cistus. That said, the runner bean wigwam looked quite splendid among the roses and red alstroemerias, but the challenge of getting everything into the same small space is leading to some interesting changes.

A request: if anyone has a patch of the gooseneck plant, Lysimachia clethroides, I would love a piece.

A reminder: winter is here and there is pruning and tidying to do; if your tools are getting rusty or blunt remember we have a cleaning and sharpening service, only $5 each.

From Marilyn

 We have the Waikanae Horticultural Society coming to us at the next meeting on July 2nd, which is our mid-winter Christmas celebration. Thanks to all of you at the meeting that indicated you would bring a small plate to go on the supper table. For those of you who were unable to make the last meeting but are coming to the July meeting, if you would like to contribute to the supper table, please feel free to bring a plate as well if you are able.  There will not be a guest speaker at the meeting as it will be a time to chat, although our resident experts will still give us the benefit of some tips for the garden at this time of year. The Pat Browne trophy this month will be for the ‘Best Table Decoration’.  Sales Table and Raffles will be there as usual. As the gardens are now a bit quiet, I am going to put the harvest to good use and create some chutney and jellies for the Sales Table. It also helps me get a bit more space in my freezer, which reached critical levels once all the Autumn fruit and veges were picked and processed.

As Rhonda said, this month we have been lucky enough to visit all the primary schools in Paraparaumu and help them plant a tree, which we have donated to celebrate Arbor Day. Gus Evans provided us with two of the trees and the rest were purchased by the club.

The schools were asked to nominate the type of tree and the majority wanted natives, with a couple of fruit trees going into the mix. It was great to see so much enthusiasm amongst the children and thank you letters and cards have been coming in from them.

newsletter 26 june 2020

From Rhonda

Still in level one and looking forward to our July solstice meeting. 

We experienced a small frost recently but no damage and even had a little group of Jonquils flowering under my Lily of the Valley tree. My Hibiscus is completely disregarding the seasons and continues to flower through the winter.

In fact walking around my garden it would be hard to notice it is winter. Fuchsia, butterfly bush and daisies in full bloom along with a rather large yellow wattle.  My new purchase  this week is a box of swan plants. I love the Monarchs fluttering around and hope to have these plants up and ready for Spring.

From Judi

Hi all. The weather has been really lovely this past week so I’ve found myself in the garden a lot more.. plus it’s a good time to get the broccoli and cauliflower plants in. The week before I prepared the bed with some blood & bone and 2 days ago planted the seedlings with seaweed juice to give them a good start. I also planted some beetroot as the vege punnets were 3 for $9 so an excellent bargain. Other things I’ve been doing is tidying up the many dahlias and loving the dry stalks to help layering the compost..with my other clippings.. lots of leaves, newspaper and vege peelings etc.. can’t wait to spread it all over the garden come spring.

The other pics show some winter colour around the garden.. and a quick trip to Watson’s to pick up some white primulas to edge the garden beds.. Happy gardening everyone. It seems like Spring already.

From Diana

For all the regulars to the Afternoon Floral Group and anyone else who would like to attend, we are finally getting back together on Friday 3rd July but a little earlier than usual. We will be having a Shared Lunch (finger food style) starting at 12.30pm. Lots to catch up on so time will fly and we still want to have time in hand for a workshop with Joy demonstrating some possibilities to prepare for the August Competition. The workshop will be “Beach Gatherings” so on your next trip to the beach, take a bag and collect up all those interesting things you see but can’t think of a use for and therefore have to leave them behind. The recommended container for this style of arrangement is a flat dish or similar. The Sales table and raffle will be up and running, and we will hold the usual Best Blooms and Most Unusual competition. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

From Marilyn

It’s getting close. Next Friday we will finally all get back together. It seems an age since the last gathering and there’s going to be a lot of stories to tell, especially how much gardening you did during lockdown (or not). The others have been bragging about the blooms that grace their gardens, I have to admit that apart from camellias and wild calendulas, there’s not a lot in bloom in my garden. However I now see all the other colours there are in the foliage of the shrubs. There are quite a few flaxes in the garden of various colours and the view I have captured here for you is one I see every morning when having breakfast.

The flax, Jester, seems to have deepened in colour and is looking great. If you look hard at the back on the left there is a little Japanese lantern and – see the concrete fence and ornamental top – these have all come from Yard Art at Levin, where I got the statue recently. The committee members have decided they would like to have a look at this place so we are going to get a minibus and head of up there, and include a visit to RJ’s licorice and the new Mitre 10 which Frank reckons will be a good lunch venue. If anyone is interested in joining us, we haven’t set a date but will discuss further at the meeting on Friday 3rd July.​            

Speaking of which, we will celebrate the Solstice at this meeting with a light supper provided by the Committee which will be served to you individually if you want to indulge, along with the tea and coffee. 

 We will also have the Sales Table and Raffle but will not have our four categories of competition. Instead bring along your exhibits and we will have a combined display.

From Julian

Remember to get your tools sharpened before tackling the winter pruning. Blunt cuts can lead to all sorts of problems. If your tools could do with a touch-up, let me know as all proceeds go to KHS and are producing a nice little stream of income for the club. Give me a ring on 9059578 if you want to take advantage of this.

newsletter 20 June 2020

From Julian

It is the shortest day tomorrow, mid-winter already, we even had a light frost on the grass last Sunday morning. Our benevolent climate allows for very little winter down-time in the garden; my very little front garden, all 10 square metres of it, is getting a quick make over. Where it was mainly full of summer annuals it is now going to be a few shrubs and perennials, meaning I can smother it in mulch and do less weeding. The challenge is going to be keeping up a supply of picking flowers. Here is a picture of last summer’s flowerheads on Hydrangea petiolaris ‘Limelight’, now a lovely soft brown, the colour my mother used to call fawn

From Marilyn

With the warmer autumn weather we had, I have managed to relocate 2 rhododendrons and 11 roses. Just today I discovered the last of the roses had new shoots to show a success. I now have a 100% take of all of them. To me, that’s amazing. But to prove it is not a flash in the pan, take a look at this camellia, Red Imperial. It has taken 3 years to recover from the sulks but it was a big tree (nearly 2m) when I shifted it so not really surprising. This year it is smothered in buds and with my white daphne starting to open up near-by, my red and white garden will definitely be colourful for the next few weeks.

From Rhonda

Hi everyone, it’s been a bit of a wet week so not so much gardening happening. I did however follow Julian’s advice about seedlings and had a perfect strike rate. Four sets of seedlings on my kitchen bench waiting to be planted. I am so pleased because I love sweet peas and have never had much luck with them before. We had a road trip to Te Horo and returned with huge avocados, two plants, large bunch daffodils, and more pears Doyenne du Comice…fabulous. Weather forecast looking good so back in the garden soon. Midwinter is also the time to get those garlic bulbs in, you don’t need a garden – remember Murrays demo when he planted garlic in a pot. Another good thing our Farmers Market is back. I bought a red Kaka beak five dollars and a beautiful pot plant in pot six dollars and Ollie and I filled the trolley with vegies. Ollie found a giant cabbage and insisted I buy it and a giant Daekon. We really do live in paradise. Stay safe and hope to see you all again soon.

newsletter 10 june 2020

From Rhonda

Another beautiful covid free day and now level one. Heaps to celebrate. The level gives us the excuse to get out and about to maximize living on the coast. Here even a visit to the beach is always a treat and the local coffee is as good as any.

The weather has been perfect for the garden and we have a selection of greens that we pick each day.

The organic farm at Te Horo (Kebbels farm..worth a visit)  taught us how to use either outside leaves or  cut across the top to get second harvests. My grandson replanted leek bases to create another plant just as we as children loved growing pineapple and carrot tops.

My lemons are readying for a bumper crop and my surprise this week is a purple anemone

Now that we are in level one, it is likely our July meeting will go ahead so we will keep you posted.

From Diana

I am quite limited here even though I’m Head Gardener!!!of the front and back gardens. My daughter-in-law prefers a white& green garden!!!!! hard when I’m used to lots of colour!!! If anyone has bits of WHITE anything, I’d be very grateful for any left overs!!! To keep everyone happy, I do as I’m told, (mostly!!!)

I forgot to mention earlier, that I am competing with a White!! 6 year old rabbit!!!!with a large appetite!! I’ll say no more!! And a very energetic Fox terrier/ Poodle cross – again,I’ll say no more!!!! I hope we meet next month,so much catching up to do!!!! I’m ready for the Winter!!! are you???

From Marilyn

I can sympathise with Diana. I had these two punnets of seedlings( (silverbeet and beetroot) on a shelf in my potting shelter which is open all the time, front and back. When I went to plant these, I found that my feathered friends had found them and pruned them down to stalks.

Not happy,  so went for a walk to regain my sense of humour, only to find that they also liked my lovely broad bean plants in the garden and had stripped half of those as well. I am now frantically netting up everything.

Happy gardening.

newsletter 3 june 2020

From Rhonda

Another beautiful day in level two with level one on the horizon – fingers crossed.

Autumn has truly arrived and my flowering cherry is covering the front lawn with brilliantly coloured leaves.

We went to Paekakariki School  plant sale. It was interesting adventure with social distancing and queuing and signing but well worth the effort. There was quite a walk across the grounds so we only bought what we could carry. They had a wonderful array of natives and exotics, as well as seedlings so make sure you look out for their next sale.


The flowers pictured are from the coffee shop in Te Horo and I would dearly love to see the garden where they come from. We also got Te Horo horse do and amazing pears – Doyenne du Comice. Excellent day out.

Ollie and the children helped me feed my soil with the horse do, cocoa husks and grass clippings.

  As you know there is no meeting this month but we are hoping for one next month. We will keep you posted.

Lucky voucher this week is for Joan Pitchforth. Congratulations, Joan.

  From Judi  


Did something a little different a few days ago. I went for a Bushwalk at Nikau Palms, up 120 high steps to the Ridge. The relief was the flat track bits and scenery. Birdsong was everywhere.  I was treated to 6 tuis in one tree but missed the photo opportunity (my son had my phone at that stage), but I still managed to get this waxeye though. Panoramic views that were awesome, a lovely sunny day, apple, snack and water as we reflected on what was happening down below (things getting back to normal) – what more would you want?

From Julian

Winter Veg Seeds

The cabbage and spinach seeds sown in pots are all up, five days after sowing.

Actually I cheated a bit by putting the pots on the kitchen window sill to keep them warm at night; but they have been outside since the little seedlings first appeared as otherwise they grow up too tall and pale (etiolated is the technical word) and then they don’t do at all well.

Probably in a week or two they will be ready to go into their final homes; and six or eight weeks later they will start appearing on dinner plates.

From Marilyn

Isn’t it amazing how innovative you can be when you can’t get out to buy things. During the lockdown, I overhauled a section of my garden out the back. By recycling pavers from my stash I created a little seating area. A concrete bench out in the front garden was repositioned in the space, then all the weeds in the adjoining gardens removed. It was then I discovered that in fact most of the greenery was only weeds (some hellebores getting ready to do their thing were the only plants of note) and I now had a lot of empty space but not allowed to go buy plants. A quick tour around the garden revealed that there were some plants that would divide up nicely. I now have a quantity of renga renga lilies and clivia to go with the hellebores that were in the garden. As a treat for my efforts, as soon as lockdown was over I visited my go-to place –  Yard Art in Levin – and acquired a lovely statue to finish it all off, (using the money I hadn’t spent on plants 😉).