Pest grass warning

A pest grass is popping up around Taranaki and should be destroyed. Both common pampas and purple pampas are classed as eradication pest plants by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Towering trees fit for a king


Saxegothaea trees are found living in the deep forests of Chile and Argentina. These splendid conifers are podocarps, related to our rimu and totara trees.

Share your seeds

An autumn seed swap takes place at Kama and Pete's house, 26 Glenpark Ave, New Plymouth tomorrow, from 1pm to 3pmish.

Down in the patch

Rain has arrived yet the soil remains warm and if you can get new plants in, they should do well in terms of getting a good start on growth.

Community garden

Adele Wisnewski, senior community work supervisor.

Practical gardening skills give offenders a chance at a better future.

Wind-resistance with looks


I was happily driving up Mangorei Rd the other day, and there on the left was a high bank topped with pohutukawas.

Down in the patch

The dry weather continues and the challenge of keeping lawns and gardens fresh and green gets harder every day.

Hope and faith

David Self's Manaia garden

Manaia gardener David Self is raising hope.

Gardens face ruin if it doesn't rain soon

"We need it to rain"

Coastal Taranaki School pupils, from left, Catharine Carrie, 17, Charlotte Walsh, 17, and Jana Taingahue-Rongonui,

It's not only Taranaki farmers praying for rain, townsfolk are suffering too.

The clifftop gardens


I'm always amazed at how groups of gardeners get together in Taranaki to create or improve one of their local parks or reserves.

Built on solid foundations

Chris and Steak Goodin's garden

Visitors to this country garden at Okato are guaranteed to leave as friends.

Down in the patch

Growing is still thirsty work for plants in autumn. Even though there's been some rain, it's still dry.

Gardens teem with cicadas and crickets

Cherry McLeod

First it was wasps, then aphids, and now cicadas and crickets are in bumper numbers.

Down in the patch

If you are contemplating planting roses this winter, you need to be planning what you are going to plant and get them ordered now to avoid disappointment.

Location key in garden plans


Wasn't Womad fantastic? No rip roaring winds and no predicted deluge, allowing us to sit back, relax and enjoy three days of wonderful music. What was your favourite?

The crunch bunch

Owners of Maple Park Apple Orchard in Brixton Brett, left, and Steph Lye.

Crunch, thoughtful munch and toss. That's the pattern of Steph and Brett Lye's day.

Unexpected delights

Rachel and Rodney's garden.

The diminutive exterior is deceiving - inside and out back is a stylish garden and classy hosts.

Natural beauty sets scene for Womad

Womad strap

It's that wonderful time of year again - Womad time, the best three days of the year for me. I just love new music, and what better place to discover it than Womad.

Down in the patch

Rain is forecast, so now is a good time to feed evergreen fruit trees such as citrus and feijoas.

An oasis in the broken city

From a grey wasteland to an ebullient ray of light, temporary gardens are popping up in the City of Gardens in the most unlikely places.

Garden guardians

gard strap

They weren't always welcome but today, volunteer gardeners at The Gables keep it lovely.

Send her down, Hughie


When I first came to New Zealand almost 40 years ago, I worked for the Duncan and Davies nursery out at Brixton.

Down in the patch

Autumn is nature's best planting time as it gives plants a good long period to establish so they can gain optimum growth before next spring.

Down in the patch

Partial water restrictions began in the New Plymouth and Stratford districts last week and water conservation is urged.

Oakura revival

Wendy Gibson strap

Sarah Foy visits an Oakura garden, once open to the public, that is being revived.

Tending to the soul

Dawn Bowen's strap

Out the back of Dawn Bowen's wee unit near Pukekura Park is a magical garden of rambling and rampant plants.

The plant master


A beautiful bush walkway has been lovingly landscaped in New Zealand native flora.

Down in the patch

It may seem an odd time of the season to be pruning shrubs, but that's exactly what we did at a public workshop at Tupare last Sunday.

Citrus trees

Citrus trees: February to March is time for the last application of a balanced fruit tree fertiliser before the cold weather sets in.

Landscaper has a Mexican theme


Landscape designer Sheldon Barnett hopes his garden will win him an international award.

Remarkable explorer behind Douglas fir


Our forestry industry in New Zealand is based on just one tree - the radiata pine from Monterey in California.

Down in the patch

Summer pruning is a good thing to be doing now. Fruit trees like plums or ornamentals such as flowering cherries will thank you if you trim them now.

Life full of love and orchids

Dale Whittaker strap

Orchid enthusiast finds she may have retired from horticultural happenings but not life.

Big Jim's proves a big temptation

Vince Naus

NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll visits the lovely Taranaki garden of Vince Naus and Ann Walker-Naus, owners of Big Jim's Garden Centre.

Abundance from scratch

Lizzy Brouwers' strap

A New Plymouth woman has turned a clean slate of a garden into a healthy, full plate.

Down in the patch

Start planning your autumn sowing or planting of vegetables as your spring and summer crops are maturing.

A place for camping . . . and trees


If your kids or grandkids have never been camping, I've found the perfect place to have a practice night or two.

Hort happenings . . .

It's time to swap seeds.

Beautiful begonias

John Cuthbert's beautiful begonias strap

Dazzling begonias live in John Cuthbert's shade house.

Down in the patch

Hotter weather is a signal to get chillies underway.

Children's garden plants seed for future

A garden within the Wellington Botanic Gardens is being planned to help teach children that food doesn't grow on supermarket shelves.

Nowell's Lakes surprise


We'd never heard of it but it sounded so exciting, we decided to give it a try.

Doing his bit for the monarchy

Monarch butterfly

Taranaki, man does his bit to preserve Monarch butterflies.

Spuds take over as Kiwis' favourite vegetable

Potatoes have nudged out tomatoes as the favourite vegetable in the shopping aisles.

Down in the patch

Spring flowering bulbs are starting to arrive in garden centres, the first being anemones, ranunculus and freesias.

Penchant for spud tickling

Shirley Stephens' Inglewood garden. strap

Shirley Stephens passes on a love of gardening to younger generations.

Botany meets history


I thought I'd check out the Okoki Pa, just north of Urenui. I've driven past this commanding outcrop so many times without ever stopping, so I told myself I'd make the time and visit the site.

Inner-city magic

flower strap

Sarah Foy revisits an ordinary home where some extraordinary remodelling is going on.

Weeding battle

Direct Hit sounds like the name of a war game, and weeding can feel like a battle

Lifelong gladioli passion for Spud

Gladioli of all descriptions will fill the Normanby Hall on Sunday. The Gladioli Society will stage its annual show with up to 150 of the bright summer flowers expected to be on display, says organiser Spud Brogden.
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