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Edible summer garden


The cold is (meant to be) behind us, which means in the garden, it’s time to look forward. Look forward to our homegrown fruit and vegetables, that is. From basil to beetroot, lettuce and zucchini – it’s all happening in the fruit and veggie patch this December.

 

 

 

SOW WHAT?
The end of the cold means it’s finally time to sow veges from seed. In particular, basil, beans, beetroot, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, parsnip, pumpkin, radish and zucchini can all be popped straight into the soil as seeds.

MULCH ADO
All summer gardeners know how important it is to conserve water during these hot months, as we all must do our part. So gardening becomes smarter. Enter mulch, it keeps the soil damp for no-water days.

FLOWER POWER
If you prefer petals over produce, or want to produce something ornamental alongside your edibles, sow seeds of ageratum, cosmos, cyclamen, rudbeckia, salpiglossis, and zinnia. Or, visit your local garden centre for some already-flowering options.
PASSION FOR FRUIT
If you are a Kiwi gardener in possession of a warm, sunny fence – you must consider planting it with passionfruit. It’s also a great time to plant subtropical fruit like natal plums and tamarillos – don’t forget compost and sheep pellets, or to keep well-watered.

CITRUS SEASON
Prepare now for citrus season by planting citrus trees throughout summer. Or, add instant tang to your summer menu by planting an already flowering, large-grade lemon or lime tree. Your 5pm G&T will thank you for it.

BUG OFF
Don’t sacrifice the fruits of your labour by letting the bugs, or poor care, compromise your crops. There’s plenty of organic options for keeping summer slimeys, like caterpillars, or fungus at bay – as well as nets to dissuade birds. Water – and mulch – will prevent fruit drop.


 

Landscape magic: Trellis Warehouse


The warm weather is here, so if you’re looking to improve your outdoor features – trellis is a multi-purpose style hero which can transform your al fresco areas. Here are Metropol’s ideas for using Trellis Warehouse’s premium grade treated pine at your place this summer.

 

PANELS AND GATES
A trellis fence, screen or panel adds a sense of privacy and seclusion while creating a beautiful backdrop for outdoor living. Zoning-off your space is not only practical for separating gardens and perimeters, but it can create a sense of intimacy and atmosphere for entertaining.

ARCHWAYS AND PERGOLAS
Create an elegant entrance way with an archway or pergola. The charm of a gazebo flanked with creeping flora is a celebrated garden feature and is perfect for marking the entrance to a special spot. Talk to the experts at Trellis Warehouse about different styles.

FURNITURE
For 30 years, Trellis Warehouse has been supplying Cantabrians with quality trellis products custom-made onsite at the Addington factory. The team produces everything from trellis panels, picket panels and gates, to archways, summer seats, picnic tables and gazebos.

Contact Trellis Warehouse for a free measure, quote and consultation. Laminated posts and hardware; delivery, painting, staining and installation is available for retail, trade and wholesale customers.

Mondays to Fridays 8am to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 8:30am to 11:30am.
Email info@trelliswarehouse.co.nz.


 

Growing a summer garden


Summer is so close you can taste it. The festive season is almost upon us with holidays and of course Christmas. As holiday mode takes hold, enjoy relaxing evenings in the garden with a hose in one hand and a drink in the other!

 

KITCHEN GARDEN

  1. This is a time of rapid growth so ensure you pay attention to watering, weeding, feeding and spraying.
  2. You can still sow seeds such as beans, beetroot, parsnip, radish, lettuce, spinach, and sweetcorn directly into the soil. Sow seeds every two weeks to ensure you have a continuous harvest.
  3. Plant seedlings of lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, tomato, pumpkin, courgette, capsicum, and cucumber.
  4. Protect plants from caterpillars with Derris Dust or an organic caterpillar control.
  5. Be aware of slugs and snails in both the kitchen and flower gardens and keep an eye on any nasty insects on plants as they will multiply in warm weather.
  6. Be vigilant in removing the laterals off your tomatoes once a week or you will end up with out of control plants. Ensure the plants are firmly staked and water regularly.

FLOWER GARDEN

  1. Plant seedlings such as chrysanthemum, dianthus, portulaca and salvia.
  2. Roses and perennials can still be planted. Just ensure the new plantings are well watered. Remove dead flowers from roses to encourage new blooms.
  3. Lift spring flowering bulbs once the leaves have died down completely and store in a cool dry place.
  4. A layer of mulch around the base of garden shrubs will conserve moisture and protect from the sun.

CONTAINER GARDENING

  1. Fill pots with flowering annuals such as petunias, marigolds, or impatiens for a bright Christmas and summer display.
  2. Keep up watering in warm weather.

LAWNS

  1. Don’t forget the lawn. Raise the lawn mower up a level for the summer season. If cut too short lawns will dry out more quickly.
  2. Water the lawn early in the morning so it can absorb the water during the day.
  3. Apply fast acting lawn food to keep lawns fresh and green.

 

Design all over: Inside-Out Design


Their clever name sums up their focus – on the inside and the outside of a home. Boutique company Inside-Out Design delivers a personalised design service across a range of design fields, but with an emphasis on landscape and interior design.

 

 

It’s a family business with brother and sister, Ben McMaster and Jane Rennie. Ben’s speciality is landscape design while Jane’s is in enhancing interiors.

Each of them leads a small team dedicated to creating sophisticated environments for the modern lifestyle.

Having several design fields under one roof makes for a very creative environment that enhances the design process between house and garden.

Homeowners all over the country have benefitted from the expertise of Inside-Out Design, including here in Christchurch.

A recent design and build project by Inside-Out Design of a large property in Bristol Street (above) entailed a total remodelling of an existing garden.

The contemporary house is now complemented by a modern, functional garden with a classical essence that Inside-Out Design is renowned for.

It caters for all seasonal interests throughout the year while maintaining structural elements which anchor the garden with the house.

Moving towards the coast Jane and Ben have loved working closely with the residents of an inspiring Godley Drive.

Balancing bolder hues and natural tones found within the coastal environment was all part of the design philosophy.

The stunning handmade wallpaper carefully hung by Apollo Painters in the entrance really set the stage.

The guest bathroom (right) gave the opportunity to play with contemporary forms and materials with the beautiful natural travertine stone laid by Terra Nova Tiling providing the perfect backdrop and compliment to the warmth of the bespoke timber cabinetry and stone basin. Statement pendants were carefully selected to add a unique design element.

Contact Inside Out Design on (03) 355 3120 or  info@iodesign.co.nz.


 

Sustainable Spaces


Creating food in your own backyard is a great way to minimise your environmental impact. And it’s not as time or labour intensive as you might think!

 

Raised vegetable gardens, homegrown herbs, low-maintenance fruit trees, backyard beehives and DIY compost – they are growing in popularity as we increasingly seek sustainability from our spaces.

Growing your own food is a great way to limit the contaminants, such as hormones and pesticides, you’re exposed to, and, with fewer resources required to reach your plate, they are less taxing on the environment.

SOWING THE SEEDS
When you’re starting out, seedlings can be a safer bet than seeds and those from a nursery even more so. Don’t go crazy on specialised supplies; start with the basics and learn as you go. You’ll find plenty of information online or you can head into your local nursery if you need to talk to the experts.

POWERFUL PRODUCE
Tomatoes, cucumbers and lemons are a mainstay of Kiwi gardens, but there are more exotic, high value plants that can also be grown easily, such as berries, avocados, limes and cauliflower. Fruit trees are a great addition to the backyard and can be grown up or along fences in smaller sections, or miniature varieties are available.

BLACK GOLD
There’s a reason compost has been called black gold; it’s the single most important supplement you can give your garden. Transforming your food scraps and other natural waste into this nutrient-rich, organic fertiliser is also free, easy to make and good for the environment. Just jump online and you’ll find plenty of easy to follow instructions.

THE BEES KNEES
Meanwhile beekeeping may require a little more research – and space – but is well worth the effort. Beekeeping supports community pollination, food supplies and fosters bee populations outside of the commercial beekeeping industry. Plus who doesn’t love honey? Need we say it’s the bees knees? You’ll find plenty of support at the Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeepers’ Club.

The garden doesn’t have to be just a place of peace; it can also be a place of purpose. So why not get out there and make the most of the warm days, after all, you reap what you sow!

 


 

Walking on the (re)wild side


As spring gives way to summer, green-fingered folk itch to get out there and start marshalling their gardens into a manicured precision. But wait! A new gardening trend, rewilding, is encouraging gardeners to let nature take its course on kept landscapes.

 

 

Technically a form of large-scale conservation dedicated to returning land to a degree of natural habitats, rewilding is taking on new meaning in home gardens.

Now, trendsetters are allowing plants to lose manicured neatness in favour of a more relaxed aesthetic.

Touted as the newest gardening trend by The Guardian, Living Etc, and The Telegraph, rewilding on a domestic scale is about embracing principals of stepping back and allowing natural processes to occur.

SIMPLE STEPS TO REWILDING:

Swap chemicals for organic methods – swap fertilisers for an organic seaweed feed.

Choose flowering plants that are ace pollinators – open shapes rather than densely petalled blooms.

If wilding grassy areas, choose plants that cope with competition – such as wild roses, meadow geraniums and poppies.

Plant native hedging rather than fencing to provide bird shelter – flower and berry hedges are even better.

Feed your soil – healthy soil creates a biodiverse garden from the ground up. Top borders and bare earth with a mulch of organic matter to increase soil health.


 

Growing a great team: Kiwiflora Nurseries


Teamwork maximises shared knowledge in the workplace. That’s definitely the case at Kiwiflora Nurseries. Nalin Gooneratne, managing director of the nurseries, has nothing but praise for his team of horticulturalists and salespeople.

 

 

Nalin Gooneratne – MANAGING DIRECTOR: “It’s the knowledge each member of our team brings that makes our business successful,” says Nalin. They may all have their own individual areas of specialisation, but when there’s work pressure in a particular section, everyone will pitch in to help.

Geoff McMillan – NURSERY MANAGER: Geoff has been working with plants since taking on an after-school job at a nursery. He enjoyed growing things, so it was simply a no-brainer as to what his life’s work would be. “The team dynamic here is great,” says Geoff. “It certainly makes my job of overseeing workflow so much easier.”

Craig Davel – LARGE GRADE SPECIMEN TREE SPECIALIST: Nurturing and taking care of plants brings joy to Craig as well. Originally from South Africa, at Kiwiflora he is hugely knowledgeable about the pruning and shaping of trees and about the use of herbicides and pesticides. “Everyone works really hard here and it’s very rewarding to be part of such a good core team of people,” says Craig.

Kylie Wilson – MEDIUM GRADE TREE SPECIALIST: Shapes are Kylie’s passion – the shapes of topiary and standardised plants that is. “Working here is the only job I have ever had. I come from a farming background and just love practical work. I am a bit of a dab hand with machines and tractors but making the very best of my standards is my true focus.”

Anne Lindsay – SALES CO-ORDINATOR: Anne spends a great deal of her time dealing with quotes and emails from clients, as well as advising customers on appropriate plants and procuring seedlings from all over New Zealand. “The team here do the work because they love it. There’s well over 100 years of combined experience.”

Callum Woolcock – RETAIL SALES / PRODUCTION: Callum enjoys advising customers too and keeping the garden centre well stocked. Once someone who dealt with numbers and finance, Callum joined Kiwiflora Nursery to follow his passion for horticulture, including bonsai and cloud pruning.

Shana Gooneratne – PART-TIME HELPER: They also start them young at Kiwiflora Nurseries. Nalin’s 12-year-old daughter Shana now sells in the local market plants she has potted and grown. “It’s really enjoyable being here – the team are so kind and friendly.”

 

 


 

Growing good health: Terra Viva


There’s plenty to love about growing your own fruit and vegetables. Terra Viva’s Peter Worsp tells Metropol about the holistic health benefits of this rewarding pastime.

 

MIND MATTERS
The mental health benefits of gardening in general have been well documented in studies; ranging from early-onset dementia to hyperactive children. The studies pinpoint the calming influence of the outdoors, the physical handling of the soil itself, and the satisfaction of growing your own food.

VERY VITAMIN-Y
The benefits of vitamins are well-known, especially the efficacy of vitamin C in citrus, so that old lemon tree that still produces so vigorously may well hold the key to dealing with next winter’s colds. For all age groups vegetables are high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals, and fibre to protect against cancer and heart disease. We’re all conscious of what goes into and onto our food these days so growing your own gives certainty about sprays etc.

CURIOUS KIDDIES
Persuading children to eat anything that’s remotely green and healthy is an uphill battle. However, in case we didn’t know it (!), children have mysterious thought processes and it’s been shown that they’ll happily eat something they’ve grown themselves. So start with simple easy plants like lettuce, radishes, and strawberries (the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

HEALTHY WALLET
Growing vegetables gives you a healthy body and mind, a great sense of satisfaction – and a healthy pocket! That convenient back garden vege patch can save you big bucks, especially at this ‘in between’ season of the year.

QUICK TIPS:

  1. Herbs are quick, easy, ultra-useful, and happy in pots if space is limited.
  2. Tomatoes are still the leading summer vegetable with great flavour, good health benefits, and such a multi-purpose kitchen staple. Heat, consistent watering, and feeding are the keys to success.
  3. Love fresh fruit but short of space? Any fruits or vegetables with good colour are classic health providers, including beetroot, blueberries, tomatoes, and red capsicums, and all can be grown in pots.
  4. Soil preparation is the key to growth so dig down to a spade’s depth and mix in blood and bone, a dusting of lime and sheep pellets to provide loose and fertile earthworm-attracting soil.

 

Raising the toddlers of the plant world


Also known as “vegetable confetti”, microgreens are the quickest food crop urban gardeners can grow – often as simply as in a container on your kitchen windowsill.

 

Not to be confused with sprouts – germinated seeds that are eaten root, seed and shoot – microgreens are the seedlings of leafy herbs and plants that are harvested less than a month after germination.

The stem, seed leaves and first set of true leaves are all edible.

Common microgreen varieties include amaranth, basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, chervil, coriander, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, parsley, peas, radish, rocket, spinach, and sorrel.

Growing microgreens only requires good light – a well-lit kitchen bench, sunny windowsill or balcony – a suitable shallow container, water and a growing medium.

MIGHTY MICROGREENS:

• Microgreens are a nutrient- dense food that contain digestible vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and are packed with flavour, colour, texture and living enzymes
• Some studies have shown microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts
• Many varieties will regrow and produce several harvests

HOW TO GROW:

  1. Line seed tray with moistened paper. Fill tray with moist growing medium, e.g soil or burlap, about 2 to 3cm deep
  2. Sprinkle seeds over mix, press in lightly
  3. Water by misting with a spray bottle
  4. Place on a drainage tray in warm spot
  5. Water every day as needed, but avoid overwatering!
  6. Cover seeds with clear lid or plastic bag with holes snipped for airflow to encourage germination
  7. Harvest after the first two true leaves emerge from the cotyledon by snipping off at soil level

Gardens, gifts and café in one: Lushingtons Gardens, Gifts and Café


Spring is a time of renewal. It’s also a time to explore, to do something different, to find somewhere new to enjoy. There can be few more alluring places for a new experience than Lushingtons Garden, Gifts and Café at Tinwald, Ashburton. It’s the perfect stop for lunch and a leg stretch en route to and from Christchurch, but because it offers so many tempting delights – it is even better for a day out.

Right now, the garden centre has a huge range of edible plants. “We have stocked up again on edibles after an enormous run on these during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says Miranda Sinton, who co-owns Lushingtons with her sister, Sophie Duff.

“There is everything from vegetable and berry plants to fruit and citrus trees. Now is a good time to be planting seeds for summer harvesting and our knowledgeable and experienced team can help with your selections. We take pride in the quality of our plants and grow many of them in our own nursery at Allenton which helps keep the prices competitive.”

The café too has new surprises on its spring menu for breakfast and lunch, alongside wholesome homemade cakes and slices. Next to the café is the gift and homewares shop.

Worked around a “country comes to town” theme, here you will find beautiful French and English-inspired giftware.

Lushingtons definitely has what it takes to delight the senses and lift the spirits. Once you are there it is not easy to leave.