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Selwyn Times: September 20, 2016

28 Tuesday

28 Tuesday September 20 2016 Gardening SELWYN TIMES Art gives your garden a personal touch WOULD YOU dare to buy a friend or relative a piece of garden art this Christmas? The idea that you can make art yourself for next to nothing is not wishful thinking. So if you find yourself at a sculpture exhibition, or one of the many garden festivals and fetes that have sprung up, and you see a toilet roll holder bolted to what appears to be a concrete drainage pipe lovingly smeared in purple paint, for goodness sake don’t imagine you could do the same yourself. Just buy it and get it home to rescue that desperately dull stretch of griselinia. But before parting with your cash bear in mind: where you are going to put it; what it will look like when it is in place; and if you know when to say ‘‘stop’’. As for that last point — a garden crammed with art is as disconcerting as a toilet plastered with family photos: aunties and nephews happily beaming down at you and giving you claustrophobia when all you wanted was peace and quiet. Art, they tell you, is very personal. Not so in the garden, where everyone invited around must suffer or marvel at your personal taste on show. It pays to buy not what your gut instinct says you love but what will gel best with the geraniums. Inside the house, most artworks would look acceptable displayed against a white wall but in the garden you could say you already have the art installed: plants are like a painted canvas. IMAGINATION: Give life to your garden. Intimate corners suit trinkets. So the art you bring home is really more of a final brushstroke. Big lawns thus require fat installations at the end; intimate corners suit tiny trinkets and treasures. Therefore you have to first identify which particular spaces need what — the garden’s overall style and feel is as important as the size and aspect of the spaces inside. Resist buying the art while trusting you will find somewhere to put it. Plywood cutouts in various settings will work well in particular areas. A dark corner may best be furnished with something bright and shiny, while another vista might be enhanced with a see-through work that comes to life in silhouette. If your haven is bold, funky and chunky you can’t insult it by asking a flowery teapot to stay. Busy pieces of sculpture look best in simple settings but minimalist pieces are strong enough to cope with a little more froth and flowers surfing around their shores. Your garden is a cake and pieces of art like the birthday candles — space them out, make sure they match the icing, and for goodness sake don’t put on too many. gardening without guesswork Question: Answer: If you notice your garden is lacking that oomph, try adding compost to the soil. Mix it thoroughly with the soil that is there and it will help to create a better growing environment for your existing plants, as well as preparing for any new planting on the cards soon. Our Organic Compost is fantastic to use on all areas of your garden. It is designed to breakdown and unwanted nasties in your soil, while adding vital beneficial nutrients. For best results, try adding in Blood and Bone to the top 10cm and lightly fork it in. We have Blood and Bone available in a variety of sized bags, and also Blood and Bone Pellets. This is a great source of natural plant food and soil conditioner. Thanks to Violet for her question. My garden appears to be looking a bit lack lustre, what do you suggest I do to give it a boost? 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! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! Send us your question and BE IN Breaking your back fighting with clay soil? Clay Breaker is excellent for helping to loosen up the clay soil, add in our Organic Compost and it will work its magic to break down the clay, creating a better growing environment for your plants! Although application rates vary depending on the extent of the clay, there are clear instructions on the packaging that will help you with how much to mix in to the soil. 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 Tuesday 27th September

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday September 20 2016 29 Cosmos bursts with summer colour • By Tod Palenski THESE DAYS, garden design seems to be all about simple foliage and clean lines. As much as I admire the contemporary look, sometimes I prefer a bit of wild flower-like personality in my back yard. That’s where the easy-to-grow cosmos comes in to play. Bursting with hot summer colours and growing to around 1m tall, cosmos are no shrinking violets. In fact, I love the way they sway gently in any summer breeze. These devil-may-care flowers also come with easy growing instructions, thriving in the heat of summer and flourishing almost anywhere, as long as it’s hot, dry and sunny. I’ve learned to give my cosmos plenty of admiring glances during the warmer months as, like all annuals, they germinate, flower and die within a season or a year. But don’t fret – they also pop up again each following year. For me, cosmos look best when grown en masse, creating a COLOUR: Cosmos looks best when grown en masse. sea of country-cottage colour. So, I recommend getting your hands on as many seedlings as you can afford. Once you’ve found a good spot and you’re ready to plant these American natives, add a good general fertiliser, like nitrophoska blue, to the soil to encourage growth. Then simply dig a hole (approximately 3cm deep) and place your seedling inside. Plant each subsequent seedling about 10cm apart, giving them space to grow but ensuring they’re close enough to support each other in strong winds. Next, layer newspaper around your plants, and then cover it with peastraw. This homemade mulch will prevent your plants drying out during the day and in between watering sessions. Voila – you’ll have a cosmos floral fiesta in no time, and get to enjoy an array of colour until the first frost hits, usually around June. And if you really want to bring the outside in, just a handful of these long-stemmed beauties look great in a tall vase (just don’t forget to put them in a cool place and change the water every two to three days). You’ll be thanking yourself for adding a bit of country colour at your place. Spring Spring is such a fantastic time of year, and with it brings a welcomed burst of energy and excitement for what the new season brings. While the enthusiasm levels are higher now, bear in mind that we can still have unsettled weather this month, so patience is a virtue definitely applies when it comes to planting. Preparation is key, so make sure that you are prepared with your Veggie Garden Mix, Compost, Bark and other goodies to get stuck in when the time is right. has arrived Things have changed a bit! As some of you will have seen, our site works are all but done! We are operating out of our new retail shop and we absolutely love it! With the imminent changes to Main South Road, we had to reconfigure our site. We now have access available off Weedons Ross Road, as well as our usual Main South Road entrance. Please drive carefully, and follow all the bright green signs that lead you to our new set-up. We look forward to seeing you in store soon! LET’S GET GardEninG INTELLIGRO OFFERS: 3 Expert gardening advice 3 High quality products 3 South-Hort growing mixes 3 VIP rewards 3 Buy in-store and online 3 Handy delivery service For more information, check out our website: www.igro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz 1394 Main South Road, RD7 Weedons www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415