Sounds easy, and it is but here are some of our golden rules:
Wow - where did January go!
It has been a crazy month for weather with heat and lots of rain too. Weeds and plants are growing crazily in my garden in equal measures. Here are my top tips for jobs in the garden for February
1. Water your citrus - As your fruit develops over summer, it is important to keep your plants well watered. Half a bucket twice a week is what to aim for.
2. Feijoas are fleshy fruits, so to ensure you have lots of lovely juicy feijoas come autumn, it is critical to keep watering at the moment. If you haven't mulched around the base of each plant - do it!
3. Raise the heights of your lawn mower - this allows the grass to stay a little longer, and prevents the soil underneath heating too much. Soak lawns once a week, to keep them lush, and having a regular weed and feed spray regime should help keep weeds under control. Pimp My Lawn offer a good service.
4. Thin apple clusters to about three per bunch − any more than this and the fruit will be small and more than likely to bruise.
5. Weeding, watering, mulching & feeding - keep on top of the basics!
It's time to trim Buxus & fertilise any topiaries in pots. Plants in pots do better with chemical or synthetic fertilisers so use products such as Osmoform, Triabon or Nitrophoska. With February being a dry month, water your pots every 2/3 days. Watering will also activate the fertilisers you use too.
If you need a hand keeping on top of your garden this month or feel frustrated that you don't have the time to make it tidy and presentable, contact us here.
Now is the time to sit back and enjoy the garden with friends and family over the holiday season. The abundance of flowers and summer colour and harvesting fruit and vegetables.
Don't worry if you didn't have time to plant fresh herbs and lettuce. There is still time now to pop to the garden centre, get some seedlings and pop them in. I'm enjoying my basil and tomato plants that I only planted on the 23rd December.
Here are my top 3 essential January jobs...
1. Watering (the right way!)
If you are going to water the garden, make sure you do it right. Deep infrequent watering develops a much better root system for your plants. I recommend 1 - 2 buckets of water per plant every 5 - 7 days. This is obviously dependent on the size of plant, but if you remember the size of the plastic container your plant came in, you want that volume of water x 2. This should be delivered slowly at the base of the plant with a slow running hose (not the spray setting on your hose attachment) in the mid to late evening.
2. Keep On Top Of Your Weeds
Weeds compete for the small amounts of moisture in your soil, so do your plants a favour and make sure they are getting all the water at this time of year. Keeping on top of the weeds is easier said than done, but if you can keep on top of them and just wander once a day pulling out the little ones, then your garden will thank you for it.
3. Plan Your Future Garden
If you are wanting to improve your garden, make it lower maintenance and more attractive for this new year, now is the perfect time to start that process.
Autumn is the perfect time to make changes in the garden as it is the longest time before the harsh summer, for the plants to get established, so now is the time to start thinking and planning for those changes.
Start the process NOW by contacting me via email at email@example.com. We are qualified landscape designers as well as qualified and experienced gardeners, so are the perfect people to chat too.
We offer a FREE consult too where we give you free advice on what's best to plant, what will survive and thrive and garden layouts and designs that will suit you, your style and family home. Get in touch HERE now.
Mulching around the base of fruit trees and garden shrubs will conserve moisture and protect roots from the hot summer sun, especially if you have Camellia, Azaleas or Vireyas.
Fill your pots with summer annual colour ready for Christmas - impatiens, marigolds and petunias are a good option.
If you are growing tomatoes, feed them once a week with a good liquid feed such as Seasol. Remove any lateral side growths and tie up with strong stakes.
Keep planting out those veggie seedlings and sow seeds directly into the soil. Remember to stagger planting every 2 weeks to avoid gluts.
For patio pots, choose containers to use as focal points, rather than lots of smaller pots, which dry out faster. When it comes to watering, do this in the morning or evening, rather than the middle of the day.
With the first flush of rose blooms nearly finished, it is time to do the first lot of deadheading – removing the spent flowers will encourage new stems to appear sooner. A sprinkle of rose fertiliser is a good idea, as well as a layer of mulch. Water roses deeply a couple of times a week, aiming not to water the foliage, just the soil. This helps prevent black spot and mildew issues.
Mow lawns at a higher cutting level for the summer. If you cut your lawn too short, it will dry out more quickly.
Need help to get those jobs done in the garden? Got the need but not the time to do it?
Call us on 021 549 161 - we'd love to help.
Claire & the team
Eugenia ventenatii, better known as lily pily is an often used hedging plant, chosen for its vigorous growth and ability to grow tall quickly to screen out unpleasant views.
It has a lovely reddish tinge on the new growth and really bushy with a fine leaf to give a really dense hedge. A perfect solution - but over the past few years in the North Shore area it has fallen foul of psyllids and thrips - small sap sucking insects which leave lumps on leaves and distort the plant's growth.
After mating, the female insects insert yellow oval shaped egg into the edge of the new leaves. Small nymphs hatch from the eggs and move to the newly expanding leaves, where they feed and develop in the cup shaped pits which are formed by the plant’s response to the insects feeding. Excessive pit formation creates severely distorted or blistered leaves, leaving shoots to appear stunted. Nymphs produce excrement in the form of tiny white pellets, some of which collects on foliage and becomes blackened from sooty mould growth.
So what can be done to stop this damage to your hedge?
Firstly, the health of the plant plays a major role. Plants that are stressed and in poor condition due to lack of water or nutrients are far more susceptible to attack. Make sure that you are watering the plants regularly in summer and during dry times. We've had good feedback from our client Jackie who also uses Kiwicare's Insect Hit Granules applied to the soil every 2 - 3 months. We would also recommend feeding with sheep pellets or a liquid feed of Seasol.
Secondly, spraying with a systemic insectide spray such as Confidor, will kill the nymphs. Systemic sprays are chemicals that travel through the plant and remain in the plant tissue for a period of time. Do read the instructions carefully and remember to apply the second spray, 7 - 10 days after the first. Also, wait for a dry day. Studies have shown that focusing on spraying the underside of the leaves is more effective.
Good luck with your hedge care and if you need our help with treating a bad case of thrip & psyllid infestation, just give us a call on 021 549 161.
We spend a lot of time dealing with your weeds so we know what works and what doesn't.
We know you don't want weeds in your garden, but we also know that you worry about your pets, children, your health and that of the environment. You are asking us more and more for an alternative to "Round Up' and other weed killing products which contain glyphosate which is the active ingredient in Round Up and other systemic (travels to the root system) weedkillers.
You might have heard last week that many European countries are moving towards banning glyphosate by mid 2022. Studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organisation have concluded that glyphosate is 'probably' carcinogenic to humans'.
The scientific community is divided with other studies concluding that the active ingredient in the most popular and some argue most effective weedkiller is 'unlikely' to pose any health risk to humans.
Glyphosate levels in our urine have increased by about 500% over the past 23 years, as the chemical makes its way into our food chain, being so extensively used in modern day agriculture. Even though the levels in humans have increased, they are still considerably below levels that are known to have any impact on animals. So, the next step is to study how levels of glyphosate relate to our overall health.
So back to your garden. Our gardening team have recently done some testing of the effectiveness of non glyphosate weedkillers and organic alternatives, as we thought that if there is another product that is as effective as Round Up, but is a 'safer' alternative, we should use it in your garden - just to be on the safe side.
We have been really impressed with Wet & Forget's 'Hitman' product and we are are now using it as standard in your garden.
Hitman doesn't work if you are killing grassed areas in preparation for planting garden beds, but it is effective on broad leafed weeds (rather than fine grass) and great for weeds coming through cobblestones or paving. You need a good coverage all over the foliage to get the best results. It is also best to apply it at the hottest time of day to accelerate the dehydration of the weeds and it needs to be a dry day too ( 4 - 5 hours without rain).
Taken from Wet & Forgets website - www.wetandforget.co.nz
So, if you don't have time to tackle those weeds in your paving and pathways, get our help before Christmas comes. Contact us HERE to receive a FREE weed spray with every 3 hour garden tidy.
It really feels like we are nearly there. It is warmer and I wore a t-shirt all day yesterday!
Here are my picks of the essential jobs that need doing in my and possibly your garden this week.
1. If you have children who run around bare feet and complain of the prickles, then you have Onehunga weed growing in the lawn. Buy some Prickle weedkiller and give the lawn a spray. It is killed really easily.
2. If you have a tropical garden or love that look, now is the time for planting Hibiscus. Lots of different varieties available. I have the larger Sinesis variety at the back of my beds, as hedging along with Griselinia Lucida, and the smaller varieties can be towards the front of the beds.
3. Plant your summer veges now and remember to stagger plant over the next month, so you have a regular supply. Plant your basil next to your tomatoes as companions - apparently it improves the flavour of the tomatoes.
4. Pots and containers will need more regular watering now it has warmed up. If you know you forget to water, maybe think of mixing in some water storage crystals with the potting mix.
5. If you haven't already, mulch your beds to conserve all the moisture that fell over the wet winter.
6. Liquid feed your plants to give them a boost. I love Seasol that you can connect onto your hose and spray direct from the bottle. Lots of fun!
And remember that if you can't quite get into your garden as life is busy, get our help before time runs out. Call me on 021 549 161 to get our sparkly team of gardeners on your side now.
Some of you may have heard of companion planting - when you plant mutually beneficial plants next to one another, but we use the term 'companion gardening' to describe when our gardeners garden alongside the garden's owner.
Why employ a gardener when you can garden yourself?
Here are a few reasons we've been told....
What do our gardeners say about companion gardening? Victoria, one of our companion gardeners, told us a bit more.
"I love companion gardening. It is so lovely to spend a morning or a day with someone who is also passionate about gardening and it is very rewarding to be able to help out in a garden that is truly loved. It's also a great benefit to be able to talk about the garden, why that plant, why there, when does it like being pruned, how do you propagate it. All questions we know the answers to but I love getting another person's perspective. Gardening is a subject we can never fully know, so gardening with someone who has been hands on for years is an invaluable experience. Everyone has their different ways of doing the same thing!"
When someone is looking to companion garden with us, we meet them in their garden and spend time getting to know them. Then we carefully match one of our team of gardeners to the client and their garden, to ensure that they are companioned with someone they can enjoy gardening with.
If you think that companion gardening might be something you, or someone you know and love might enjoy, contact us now to arrange an initial catch up by calling Claire on 021 549 161.
It's all about making the right choices for your garden, but it's just as important to know what doesn't work. Check out your garden for any of these sins of the soil!
1. Planting trees and large shrubs too close to your house. You are asking for an arborist's or builders bill somewhere down the track. Check how big the tree will get at maturity. Unless you live on a lifestyle block, be cautious planting any tree in a smaller sized garden. Big trees in small gardens just don't work.
2. Weed mat - it destroys soil structure, compacts the soil so air and water can't penetrate and over time doesn't stop weeds anyway.
3. Planting too many plant varieties. Heard the saying "less is more"? It applies to gardens too. It is well worth getting some expert advice and having a planting plan, so you don't get carried away.
4. Cheap, solar, spiked in the ground garden lights.... need I say more.
5. Not paying attention to that expensive ready lawn you laid. You will need to get it treated and sprayed regularly to stop weeds invading.
6. Choosing a garden style that doesn't suit your lifestyle. If you are thinking of looking after the garden yourself, just make sure that you have the time and the inclination. This is a good conversation to have when you plan the garden or consider buying a house with a high maintenance garden to.
We can help you remove that huge tree, remove the weed mat and nurture your soil back to health, plan a perfect garden for you, treat your lawn or help maintain the high maintenance garden you have. Call us on 021 549 161 to start the process.
Hi - I'm the founder of Floribunda Garden Care & Claire Talbot Garden Design. I live in Hauraki, with my husband Mark and our 3 children, Tom, Molly & Charlie & 2 elderly cats.
4 years ago I decided to follow my passion, and studied Landscape Design at Unitec. It was the beginning of a journey where I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some wonderful people who are passionate about plants, gardens and garden design.
I wanted to create a business that would provide job opportunities for women who wanted to flow work around their families. The team started small with first Toni, who I knew from Playcentre days, then Nadine, next Viv and then Pam and her son Zac. I utilised the skills of Naomi to provide my clients with stunning landscape designs. Keely left the world of banking to join us, after graduating with her Diploma in Landscape Design. Then we met Victoria, with her wealth of horticultural knowledge after interviewing her on Takapuna Beach. Next Andre, with her strength & passion for outdoor work and Terry, with his attention to detail. We love the way he folds our garden bags every Thursday, ready for the week ahead! We are always looking for the right people to join the team too.
Nowadays, the vision of the business isn't solely around work opportunities for women, but to give opportunities for our team to work in gardens, doing work that they love and are good at.
With a team of gardeners we are able to match client to gardener to garden. It is like match making. I love to meet a new client and choose which gardener would be a perfect pairing.
I think my skills are being organised and being generous with my knowledge to clients. I offer a free garden consultation so that I am able to share ideas and create relationships with those who live around us on the North Shore. I'm also happy to recommend other local businesses to help with garden related jobs too, such as Simon, the great French window cleaner and Steve, the waterblaster! Did I forget to mention Travis, the hedge & tree trimmer....!
With having a landscape design background, I am able to share ideas on garden layout as well as what plants are best in what spots. I particularly love bringing together different leaf textures and shapes into a garden and suggest plants that look great together.
My goal is to grow the business three fold over the next 3 years and spend more time designing. To do that we need more clients, so if you know anyone who doesn't have the time or isn't able to keep their garden tidy and looking beautiful, let us know. We'd love to help them. And we offer a 20% discount on a garden tidy for new referral clients.
The best way to contact me is to call or text 021 549 161.