"Quarter Acre  " Paradise Gardens

"Quarter Acre" Paradise Gardens is the location where TV & Radio Personality, Author and International Gardening Consultant Dale Harvey lives. Following Dale's highly successful TV & Radio career Dale continues to be involved in Community and School Gardening Projects. Dale a confirmed advocate of the "Clean Green Gods Zone" Image of New Zealand takes every opportunity to promote New Zealand to Locals and International Guests by welcoming them to his little "Quarter Acre" patch of paradise. Follow Dale's helpful garden hints with his "What to do" in the Garden this Month and his FREE Monthly Gardening Newsletter or visit the Image Gallery or Community Area to post your pictures or ask questions. Download or Browse the many e-Book articles updated monthly or gather your friends or Garden Club together for a visit.

July Diary 2011

Tulip Pink Impression and White Zantedeschia

Tulip Pink Impression and White Zantedeschia

July is considered  Mid-Winter in New Zealand and often the coldest, wettest month of the year. Watch weather forecasts and local conditions carefully and be prepared to protect tender plants from frost, freezing, prolonged wet and snowy weather, hail, wind damage, flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, plagues, pestilence, civil unrest and the government.

Winning over Winter:

Frost, freezing, prolonged wet/snowy weather, windy spells and the general malaise of seemingly endless wintry conditions are the things that make winter gardening most problematic. Short of moving to a sunny (sub) tropical location there is no magic wand to wave winter away. But there are things the gardener can do to make the time go faster with less damage and really win out over winter.

Primula Obconica

Primula Obconica

Primula Obconica

Primula Obconica is a reliable bloomer for Winter colour indoors and even outside in very mild and frost-free climates. This pretty Primula is a native to China where it flowers throughout the Winter and well in Late Spring. Primula Obconica somewhat resembles the common garden primula malacoides.

But in this variety each floret can be much larger (2 in./5cm) across.  And the flowering stems can attain 30cm/1ft. on very bushy perennial plants. In some hybrid cultivars the flowers are tightly clustered together to create a colourful ball of candy colour. In other cultivars the flowers are produced in a succession of floral rings elongating up the central stem.

Colours range from pure white, cream, all blues, lilac, mauve, pink, purples, salmon  and soft orange and many ruffly bi colours and lovely soft pastels. Foliage is somewhat course or stiff with...

 

Lobelia

Bedding Lobelia Display

The Lobelia Family includes nearly 400 species of shrubs, perennials and  a few are even small trees. There is also one annual, L. erinus, the classic Edging Lobelia with its many delicate and pretty hybrid cultivars.

This hardy, semi-trailing groundcover is one of the world’s most popular bedding plants, producing some exquisite brilliant blue and purple shades as well as lilac, mauve, pink , white and many two-toned cultivars. These are unrivaled as a garden edging for the colourful annual or perennial warm-season border.

Edging Lobelias are often used in rockeries, window boxes, baskets and as edging to highlight taller plants. These are delicate in appreance but tougher than one might expect. They are very thin-stemmed creeping, sprawling and trailiing plants with small simple or softly lobed and toothed leaves in light to dark green and sometimes nearly purple or bronze. They thrive in sun or part shade in porous, well draining soils enriched with general plant food and aged cow manure. These Lobelias dislike heavy wet soils, especially in partially shaded sites. most prefer a rather neutral of slightly higher pH.

Protea - Timeless Treasures

Protea - Timeless Treasures e-Book Article

Dramatic Proteas are one of the world’s oldest flowering plants. Rock fossils indicate ancient forms flourished in Gondwana nearly 300 million years ago!

Dramatic Proteas are one of the world’s oldest flowering plants. Rock fossils indicate ancient forms flourished in Gondwana nearly 300 million years ago! Today over 100 species and a multitude of hybrids still thrive in many places on the Earth and are honoured as the national flower of South Africa. These are hardy survivors who have out-manoeuvred at least five world mass extinctions.

They have survived the arid dry conditions of the Permian and Triassic Period deserts on Pangaea, trampling Dinosaurs, legions of hungry herbavores, volcanic eruptions with their toxic air, acid rain plus the ensuring intense Ultraviolet solar radiation plus even meteor impacts that wiped out nearly everything else. With a nearly indestructible reputation for vigorous growth, prolific flowering and an unbeatable record for survival, it is remarkable how many of these timeless treasures perish in gardens each year.