22 Thursday October272016 follow us on facebook.com/riseupchristchurch TheStar Gardening WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW When to plant Warm climates spring, summer and autumn Temperate climates spring and summer Cold climate late spring, summer Where to plant Full sun When to prune Little pruning is required, they can be trimmed to shape in summer or autumn Plant spacing Depends on the variety. Allow 50cm apart for mass garden plantings Where to buy Garden centres and hardware stores. Heroes in the sun Rachel Vogan says geraniums flourish in the heat and can make colour statements in a range of garden areas UP UNTIL very recently I have loved to loath old-fashioned types of geraniums. You know the ones – with that hideous smell, which makes some people sneeze or gag. The intensity stemmed from my childhood, when Nana had them planted all over her garden on the dry, barren clay banks of her garden at the head of Akaroa Harbour. Every time a friend would pop over and admire her garden they would be sent home with a pile of cuttings, often including geraniums. As her apprentice, she would ask me to hold them, but the aroma would give me a sneezing fit and seemed to linger on my fingers for hours. But I sucked it up, as I adored my nana. Last season, however, I did a massive U-turn. I started growing geraniums in pots and in parts of the garden that struggle to get enough water and attention – basically in areas the hose doesn’t reach and in which the soil is so barren and hard I can’t get a fork in. And they flourished, so much so I am now a convert – as long as I do not need to go near them or touch them, we get on just fine. Geraniums are one of the most widely grown and highly regarded flowers in the world. Little else can match them for durability and flower power throughout the year, blooming for over nine months, and in some cases in a sheltered spot all year round. Plant breeders have gone mad and bred piles and piles of new hybrid varieties. Many flower for longer, have brighter-coloured blooms, the growth habits are more compact and they seem to be more disease resistant as well. Many also self-clean, so that when the flowers finish, the old blooms just fall off and new flower stems appear. These geraniums thrive in sunny, dry spots, and are ideal for those of us who may forget to water their pots. Christchurch Super Garden Tour Including 14 Premium gardens 19th & 20th November 2016 10am to 4pm A Wigram Lions Club Project raising funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Child Cancer Foundation. Tickets & free information brochures available at any Oderings, Terra Viva, or Portstone Garden Nursery Outlets and at Riccarton House or the Bicycle Thief Restaurant. Tickets $25 each or at www.lionsclubs.org.nz/ chch-gardentour tickets at $27 each. One ticket gives access on both days.
TheStar follow us on facebook.com/riseupchristchurch Thursday October272016 23 Gardening Guide Blueberries If you love to pick and eat fresh, have you tried growing your own blueberries? We have all heard of blueberries, but what a lot of us do not know is that they are easy to grow. Blueberries are a wonder food and are a fantastic addition to the garden whether you grow them as specimen plants, in containers, or as a low hedge. Blueberry Swirl – A self-fertile plant, meaning the flowers can be fertilised with their own pollen. Many varieties of blueberries require the presence of another variety for pollination and fruit set. ‘Swirl’ is a late-season rabbit-eye blueberry, with flowers and fruit coming after most other varieties. It is also more heat and drought tolerant and the fruit are tasty and sweet. Blueberry Delight – One of the most attractive, vigorous and high-yielding southern high-bush varieties. The summer fruit are medium to large sky-blue berries with a sweet and spicy flavour. The bright blue-green foliage provides a perfect contrast to the pink and white spring flowers. This variety enjoys cool nights and yields best when planted with other varieties. rapidly in the last two weeks of ripening. Lack of water can mean a poor crop and dark, undersized berries. While blueberries are resistant to most diseases, it is prudent to spray to prevent mildew and cover them to protect the ripening berries from birds. The plants are hardy to minus four degrees, although frost will damage flowers. Knowing how to prune blueberries is important, because fruit is borne on last season’s wood and the most vigorous wood bears the largest fruit. The flower buds that will produce next year’s crop develop on the outer part of this year’s growth in late summer as stems mature. Minimum pruning consists of the removal of dead or damaged wood and any weak growth or twiggy old branches. Remove some of the oldest branches after four to five years to encourage new growth. While light pruning is possible year around, winter is the best time for heavy pruning. Find all our Gardening Guide articles online at www.oderings.co.nz Blueberries like a slow-release fertiliser, such as Oderings Total Replenish, in spring and summer. Water is vital for the full development of your berries, which swell CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT ‘Fairy White Blush’ is a pretty wee gem. It commands your attention with its multi-toned blooms; Look for tumbling types to plant in baskets and window boxes; ‘Vancouver Centennial’ has bright carmine red flowers and wonderfully contrasting green and plum coloured leaves; Pac geraniums are bred to flower for a longer period, making them reliable container options. OPPOSITE PAGE Flowering for over nine months of the year, geraniums pack a punch when planted en masse. BELOW Geranium purpureum 5 WAYS TO USE GERANIUMS 1. Patio pots, planters and window boxes. They thrive as container plants and, in most regions, flower from October until winter knocks on the door in June. 2. En masse. Create colourful bedding displays. Allow 50cm between plants. 3. Hanging baskets. The tumbling and ground-hugging varieties make brilliant basket cases. Make sure the basket has plenty of root room. 4. Walls of colour. Look for the climbing varieties to cover banks and walls in cloaks of colour. Initially, they may need support to help them cling. 5. Indoor plants. Every now and again, rinse them under the hose or shower to freshen up the leaves and they will more than likely bloom all year round. TREAT THEM MEAN Sounds terrible, but the less you feed geraniums, in terms of fertiliser, the better they seem to bloom. Therefore not a lot of extra food is required. GERANIUMS FOR FREE Geraniums easily root from cuttings or snippets taken from plants. Simply remove the lower leaves and place into a glass of water or pottle of seed-raising mix and within four to six weeks roots will appear. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS Pluck the tips out of new plants to encourage more side branching. These tips can be used as cuttings. DID YOU KNOW? Numerous types of geraniums exist, well over 400 species; a few include ivy, zonal, regal, cranesbill and numerous cultivars and named hybrids. $7 . 99 EACH Basil Bowls Pick and use often to get the best from your basil plant. Pick up, take home, ready to harvest. Backed by Oderings Quality Guarantee We know them ‘cause we grow them. Open 7 Days, 8am – 5pm Head in-store or visit oderings.co.nz $9 . 99 EACH Blueberry Swirl & Delight With blueberry Delight and Swirl, you won’t need to pay $5 per punnet when you can grow your own blueberries at home. This price WON’T be beat. EACH 4 $ 9.99 Varieties Barrington 92 Stourbridge St Linwood 485 Linwood Ave HOT DEAL Cashmere 205 Cashmere Rd Philpotts Rd 116 Philpotts Rd Specials valid until 2.11.16 or while stocks last. We cannot sell or redeem Go Gardening gift vouchers. Other vouchers – Yes. $ $1 1.79 . 29 Potted Colour Have an instant garden full of colour galore. Huge range of top quality flowering bedding plants ideal for the garden or pots and planters. $2 $ 4.69 . 99 9 PACK Impatiens White One of the most popular summer bedding plants. Early flowering, good uniformity and compact habit. Glistening white flowers. $7 $ 9.99 . 99 EACH Sassy Daisies Flowering profusely from spring, this hot and dry lover is perfect for garden borders, pots and planters. Yaldhurst 20 Main West Coast Rd ODE/STA/7324