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Selwyn Times: May 24, 2016

20 Tuesday

20 Tuesday May 24 2016 SELWYN TIMES The Landscape Specialist LANDSCAPING YOUR LAND A new home’s outdoors is a blank canvas providing scope to create your dream garden. While budget may determine what can be done it need not limit imagination or good preparation leading to an attractive manageable garden especially with the help of landscaping professionals like Greenscapes. “Ground preparation is crucial for a healthy lawn and weed-free garden, the difference between a garden that barely exists on bony land and one that flourishes,” says Craig Thomas, owner of Greenscapes who has 27 years’ experience in the industry. As a member of Landscape Industries Association of New Zealand (L.I.A.N.Z.), Greenscapes covers the complete spectrum of landscaping from site works to the final garden. This includes: soil preparation; irrigation; design; plant advice, selection and planting; laying lawns (with hydrolawn, ready lawn or seed); supplying plants; and preparation of concept plans for approval by sub-division developers which Craig says need not be an expensive exercise. The team at Greenscapes includes Tim Mauger who is hard landscape project manager, eight skilled landscapers and office manager Kay Emson who has been with the company for 12 years. Tim, who has around 30 years’ experience in construction, oversees all hard landscaping including paving, decks, pergolas, raised gardens and fencing. Greenscapes also works closely with their professional landscape designer who notches up 20 years in the business. He will meet clients on-site and provide a partial or full landscape design. Craig also has a loyal connection with his suppliers including: The Irrigation Warehouse who design and supply quality parts; landscape suppliers Gardenmakers Landscape Supplies; and Andrew McKay from Hydrolawn who Craig has worked with since beginning Greenscapes 15 years ago. This is a massive combined level of landscaping expertise which might explain why so much of Greenscapes’ work is repeat business or referrals. Greenscape are professionals. They can take care of any project from one hour maintenance jobs to $350,000 commercial developments with the same attention to detail, so why not talk to Craig on 349 4363 or 027 260 2621, email: greenscapes@xtra.co.nz, or via their webpage: www.greenscapes.co.nz. HYDROGRASS LANDSCAPES We are specialists in section clearing, lawn preparation and hydroseeding. • Inspections • Landscaping • Hands on Service • Removal & Advice • Seeding • Irrigation • Site Preparation We also provide the following services: • General Excavation • Mobile Soil • Bobcat and Truck Screen • 5 Tonne Excavator • Soil Supplies We would love to hear from you! Call Andrew for a Quote today T: 0274 414 251 Email : hydrograss@xtra.co.nz Ph 341 5688 www.gardenmakers.co.nz The IrrIgaTIon Warehouse your first choice for Irrigation products and accessories. Great range, great prices, great service. 40 Carmen Road, Hornby 308 Flaxton Road Rangiora Ph: 03 349 9488 | www.tiw.co.nz Thinking of Landscaping? FOR: • Garden Makeovers • Landscape Design & Planting • Plant Supply (discounted rates) • Hydro & Ready Lawns • Grounds Maintenance • Irrigation Systems FOR : • Garden Makeovers • Paving • Decks & Pergolas • Landscape Design • FREE & Quotes Planting • Plant Supply [at discounted rates] • Grounds Maintenance • Irrigation Systems • Paving The Landscape Specialists Phone: 03 349 4363 Mobile: 027 260 2621 www.greenscapes.co.nz

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday May 24 2016 21 gardening Protea is the king of colour Dylan Norfield looks at protea and the importance of pruning If you ever wanted a flower to stand out in the crowd then the protea is the flower for you. The Latin name is equally grand, being named after the Greek God Proteus, who was known to change his form at will, and chosen for the genus due to the wide variety of forms it and its larger family can take. Protea has also been adopted as the common name, unless you are in South Africa, where they are known as the ‘sugar bushes’ or in native Afrikaans: suikerbos. It really is the royalty of the plant kingdom, with some species surprisingly easy to grow and a must for the flower arrangement. However, protea do require some specific soil, light and environmental conditions to thrive. The key to growing most species is avoiding wet roots. This is the principle reason behind many failures. The fleshy roots are susceptible to root rot and so plants will yellow and go downhill rapidly. With this in mind, add plenty of drainage – in the form of grit and sand – to the soil when planting, and, if necessary, raise the planting area up above the surrounding level to increase water runoff. Another key to survival is to find the most open and windy spot in the garden as they love plenty of air movement around the foliage, making them ideal for coastal gardens. Because they are such a prized plant in the garden and also not fast growing, when they look healthy it can feel like a real accomplishment. After a couple of years getting them established, proteas will need regular pruning to keep the plant dense and garden-worthy. The alternative is they begin to look too leggy, and lose all the lower foliage. The easiest way of combatting this is to cut flowers for the vase each year, giving you a wonderful display inside while also keeping your plant reduced. Do not just break off the old flower buds, however, as this will simply cause new shoots to appear behind the old flower, eventually making a straggly plant. Pruning 1. Cut flower stems back when ready for the vase, leaving 10cm of healthy leaves on this year’s stem underneath your cut. (Alternatively, cut stems back immediately after flowers are spent, again to 10cm of healthy leaves.) 2. Leave any shoots that have not flowered as these are next year’s potential buds. 3. Remove any weak stems close to the ground as these will produce inferior flowers and use up vital plant energy. 4. Any longer shoots can be cut to shape up the plant, but remember the loss of next year’s flowers. 5. Never remove more than 30 per cent of all the foliage on a bush as this will have a very detrimental effect on the plant’s strength. This method of pruning is a general rule for all species of protea, but some species can be pruned harder. This will require some research on the species and a classic example of this is the king protea, Protea cynaroides. As it comes from an area of South Africa that experiences fires it has evolved to have what is called a ligno tuber under the ground. This, in effect, is a fat root that stores energy for the plant and has the potential to shoot away if all the foliage is lost, as in a fire. This gives us a great advantage when pruning as it shoots away regularly from the base keeping foliage to the ground throughout its life. BOLD: Protea aristata is only found naturally on a 60km stretch of the Swartberg mountains, in South Africa. Above left: Protea roupelliae is one of the most adaptable species for the garden Above right: Protea cynaroides is commonly known as the king protea, having the largest flowers in the genus. gardening without guesswork Question: Can you tell me if my Magnolia tree is sick or not? It is in flower now large deep red flowers but they don’t open right up and fall off, it’s a lovely tree and has only been in for three years and I thought perhaps the mild weather we are experiencing may be a factor? Does it need feeding or anything else? I don’t want to lose it and will do anything to save it! Magnolias flower in the spring Answer: (Magnolia grandiflora) which is ever green and has large white flowers. As the plant you have has large deep red flowers it tells us that it is a spring flowering type also. It may flower during the summer, but not as many, and they are prone to fall off if the plant suffers any stress - especially during hot and dry conditions. With our weather being unusually warm and dry, this may be the main factor. These plants can take several years to get well established and become reliable flowerers. We would suggest that the plant be given a potash fertiliser in August and then apply some of our Organic Compost around the drip line before next summer. Make sure you water well after applying the fertiliser. If you don’t see any improvement in the next year or so, let us know and we can have another look at what is wrong. Thanks to Verlie for her question. for more information, check out our website: www.intelligro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd! WIN! aN INTEllIGrO prIZE pacK ValuEd aT $50.00! Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: info@igro.co.nz or post your question on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz Questions must be received by Thursday 26th May. What it potassium sulphate? Potassium Sulphate is more commonly known as Pot Ash. It provides essential potassium to plants that are sensitive to chloride. • Provides essential potassium to plants to encourage growth • Low salt content for healthy absorption of water • Corrects potassium deficiency in sandy and light soils.