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Selwyn Times: October 31, 2017

28 Tuesday

28 Tuesday October 31 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Gardening Local News Now SELWYN TIMES Fire rages, homes at risk Scented plants to Sue Witteman says we often choose plants for their visual appeal, but picking them for their perfume can be equally pleasing SCENTED: Luculia comes in both pink and white and is worth a spot in your indoor plant family. WE OFTEN don’t think about scent until it wafts up our nostril and catches us unawares, and then we remember how important it is – the olfactory tentacles reach out, memories are triggered and we remember when that particular scent linked us to a person, place or experience. The word ‘evocative’ is an overused adjective when it comes to scent, but it really does fit the sensory experience. Not only is it a link to the past, but it can also lift your mood in the present, and create a boost of happiness or contentment. While fragrance may be considered more often when thinking about or planning the outside garden, it is often overlooked when it comes to the inside. In an effort to rectify this, let’s look at the plants we can grow inside, and in doing so, add another layer of enjoyment to our living environment. When thinking about scented plants, it is helpful to divide them into those that will be inside with us for a short time, and those that will be there long-term. Short-term plants would include flowering bulbs such as hyacinths and narcissus bulbs, lilies (Christmas or Easter), the sweetsmelling Primula malacoides, and the well-known lily of the valley. After flowering, these short-term plants are usually either planted in the garden or chucked out. Then, there are the plants that will live with us long term, and these are the ones we shall concentrate on. Note that some of the plants may be ones that are somewhat common when grown outside, but when brought inside, they take on special significance. SCENTED PLANTS TO TRY Hoya carnosa (wax flower) – This climbing or hanging plant has waxy, star-shaped white and pink flowers accompanied by smallish dark green leaves. The flowers give off a honeynectar scent, and an older plant can be covered in these blooms. Provide good light, but keep out of direct sun to avoid leaf scorch. Hoyas require well-drained potting mix and to be fed diluted houseplant food every couple of weeks, especially when in flower. They also like to be root bound (my favourite kind of plant), so don’t be in a hurry to repot them. There is also a green-flowered hoya called Hoya serpens. Jasminum polyanthum (jasmine) – Known for their desire to grow and for their strongly perfumed flowers, this jasmine has pink buds which open to white flowers. Pinch out or cut back the shoots to stop any unruliness and to keep it bushy, and provide a structure or wires for it to grow up or around so that it doesn’t turn into an irksome monster; this will ensure you stay in love with it. Place in bright light and keep moist during the growing period. Also try J. azoricum, whose elegant pure white flowers I particularly like. There are also a couple of variegated jasmines including J. officinale ‘Aureum’ and J. polyanthum ‘Cream Glory’, which not only look fresh with their cream or yellow variegations, but also aren’t as rampant. Prepping the garden For ThE SummEr monThS Applying the bark After you have dug through Organic Compost, give it a water. If you wish to use weedmat, do this now but make sure that you apply it correctly. It needs to create that barrier so the weeds stay away. Using pins or staples to hold the mat down is going to help immensely with this, so don’t skip this step. Choosing your bark mostly comes down to a personal preference, so come down and have a look at what we have. Our team can advise you on which is best if you have specific requirements for the area that it is going on. We do recommend a depth of 10cm to get the maximum benefits from the bark. Water Watering the bark after it has been applied will help to settle it on your garden. A pattern for watering should be established, so that the garden doesn’t dry out, and so the bark stays put. Weeding As the weather warms up even more, the weeds will be popping up more frequently. It is important to remove them regularly, so they don’t take over the garden and compete with your plants for space, water and nutrients. When you have removed all the weeds, add Organic Compost in to the soil. Dig it through your soil and it will help to provide some much needed organic matter, as well as aid in water retention help to promote worm activity. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our team, send us an email to info@igro.co.nz, or post your question on our Facebook page. 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 NEW ENTRANCE: 261 Manion Road, Weedons Access to Intelligro from Manion Road is now available from both the Weedons Ross Road end, and Curraghs Road entrances. Manion Road is the new road built between Weedons Ross Road & Jones Rd www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday October 31 2017 29 Editorial supplied by www.gardener.kiwi grow indoors or outdoors Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascan jasmine) – This jasmine variety is known for its 6cm pure-white spring-toautumn flowers and its attractive, tidy, dark green leathery leaves. Once again, place it in bright light but not direct sun. Do the usual feeding while in active growth and take care when watering to never let the root ball dry out, but ease back a bit in winter with both the feeding and the watering. The stephanotis is one of the most fragrant of the flowering plants and you can create a circle of scented loveliness by growing it around a hoop. Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine) – Usually thought of as an outdoor plant, star jasmine can be grown inside as long as you have a bit of space. I recall a café that I used to frequent where the ceiling was covered in this jasmine, and as you sat there the scent wafted around you – it was magical. For growing inside, provide it with a decent-sized pot, some welldrained potting mix and some support to climb up or along. There is a variegated version – ‘Variegata’ – that is less vigorous. For another small grower and a different flower colour, try T. asiaticum, with its scented HORORATA PRIMARY SCHOOL PTA GARDEN TOUR Sunday 5 November 2017 10am – 3pm Tour six amazing local gardens • Yarrabee Downs • Haldon • Downs Road Tickets $25 • Arbourlea • Guillaumedowns • Terrace Station For further info or to pre-purchase tickets please phone Hororata School office 03 318 0803 or Lucy 03 318 0718 No eftpos and No dogs primrose yellow flowers. Osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive) – The osmanthus family are not known for their shouty flowers, but rather for the sweet scent that their flowers give off. The sweet olive is no looker, but does have agreeable leaves that look a bit like a bay tree. It sits there quietly until the small, off-white flowers open and release a sweet, spicy scent into the air. Water the root ball regularly. Citrus – Bring your lemon, calamondin orange, kumquat, or mandarin inside. The scent of the MAINSCAPE Garden Supplies Making your great outdoors greater SPRING SPECIAL Mushroom Compost $18 scoop Come and see our range of garden supplies FREE loan trailers available. OPEN 6 DAYS Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm, Sat 8am - 3pm 1543 Springs Rd Phone 021 241 7908 EFTPOS Available www.mainscapegardensupplies.co.nz Mainscape Garden Supplies COLOUR: Gardenias are noted for their powerful fragrance. Above: The common myrtle has cute flowers and the leaves are scented. small, waxy white flowers is one of the most pleasant and easiest of the scents to live with. Position in bright light and keep watered and well fed. Gardenia augusta syn. G. jasminoides, G. grandiflora, G. florida – With glossy, healthy-looking leaves and reasonably-sized creamy flowers that look as though they are made out of parchment, the gardenia is a bonzer plant. With a good fragrance and a long flowering period from late spring onwards, the gardenia is a good choice for inside. Place it back from the window, avoiding direct light, and ensure that you keep some humidity happening around the plant. If you move the plant for maintenance, put it back facing the light exactly as it was – these plants are prone to flower drop if you change the way they were facing. (Other sensitive plants that can have the same issue are stephanotis and hoyas.) It likes acidic soil, can be thirsty, and I have heard of it being fed throughout the winter to stop the leaves from going yellow. This is an elegant plant and looks especially so when grown as a standard. There is also a prostrate dwarf form called ‘Radicans’ that can also be grown in a hanging basket. Heliotropium arborescens (cherry pie) – This is one of my favourite scents and I always try to have one of these plants in my life. The common name cherry pie is a good clue to how mouth-wateringly good this plant smells. Before you commit to this plant, make sure you can provide enough sun for it – it likes a lot. It has a long flowering life and is impossible to walk past without stopping to take a scented sniff. The leaves are slender and dark green, and the small clusters of flowers usually violet-purple, though there is a mauve and a white form. Brugmansia x candida syn. Datura candida (angel’s trumpet) – If you are wanting something flamboyant with a lot of wow factor, then get yourself one of these. The hanging white flowers look not unlike a couture gown and are large – up to 30cm in length. Make sure you have the space for it though, as it can get quite big. It likes warmth in summer and a cooler, well-lit position in winter. 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