Selections really are an excellent pastime; nevertheless, if you have already been at this for some time, you will begin to understand that a person shed the area inside your home in order to containers and containers of antique memorabilia.Read More
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What To Do In The Garden This Month; Bring a touch of the tropics to your garden with waterlilies. Here’s your “how-to” growing guide
WITH FLOATING leaves, exotic blooms and a beautiful fragrance, the waterlily (Nymphaea) is a popular aquatic plant that makes a sensational statement in the garden. Available in a wide variety of colours and different sizes, there’s a lily to suit all spaces. So whether you have a backyard pond or a miniature water feature on the balcony, read on
Hardly or tropical
Miniature waterlilies are available in both hardy and tropical varieties. With smaller fl owers and leaves they’re perfect for shallow tubs and make great water features on the balcony or courtyard.
How to grow
Sun The one thing all waterlilies need is lots of sunlight to grow (at least six hours a day) – the more sun, the more blooms. No waterlily will flower in the shade. Pots Waterlilies should be grown in strong, squat plastic containers, about 20 to 25cm diameter; smaller for minatures. Provided your pot or pond is at least 40cm deep (or up to 60cm), waterlilies will grow and flower happily. However, they don’t like fl owing or splashing water so don’t position them too close to a fountain spout.
Decor with your Home
Mix & fertilise Use a good-quality, heavy topsoil or garden soil (not potting mix), and add a fertiliser that’s specially formulated for fl owering aquatic plants. Cover with a layer of pea gravel or sand to help keep the dirt in the pot when submerged.
Care Lilies should be repotted every two to three years and can be split into two or three containers at this time. All varieties die down over winter, so don’t throw them out thinking they’re dead when they’re just dormant.
SPLASH OF COLOUR
Waterlilies are available in a huge range of colours: the hardy group generally has softer shades of yellows, pinks, creams and white, such as the vigorous grower
“Colorado” with its lovely coral pink flowers. The tropicals are bolder and more vibrant with some stunning deep purple and blue shades, like the “King Of Blues
what to do IN THE GARDEN this month; Super-hardy, attractive and easy to grow. You can’t go far wrong with succulents. Here’s the lowdown
SUMMER may have seen the death of many of your pot plants around your house or your office, so now is a good time to think about replacing them with something hardier like succulents.
Succulents are renowned for their tolerance to heat and drought – thanks to water-storing leaves and stems – and, in many cases, their ability to cope with wind, cold and seaspray.
Although difficult to kill, most succulents do need a well-lit position to thrive, and many will cope with full sun. They also need good drainage – if the soil is too wet, root problems can develop. Autumn is a good time to plant succulents – avoid winter as it’s usually too cold and wet.
All cacti are classified as succulents, but only succulents with thorns are classified as cacti. The zygocactus (Schlumbergera), also known as Christmas cactus, is a popular flowering type, and falls into the group known as epiphytic succulents.
In this group there are also some rarer species, such as the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum), and the exquisitely beautiful night flowering cactus, which opens its white, scented flowers as the sun sets. These types thrive well on a shaded verandah or balcony.
Of the foliage types, some of the most interesting include the Rhipsalis, which is suited to some shade protection; the thicker Donkey’s Tail or Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum and Sedum ‘Burrito’); and Crassula ‘Baby’s Necklace’, which all cope with sun or shade. The commonly called String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a succulent that has masses of leaves resembling little beads strung along wonderful cascading stems.
Many of the smaller growing succulents with rosette forms can look superb in a basket. Graptoveria, Sedeveria and Echeveria have flowers that look like leaves, and many have delicate colours of pink, terracotta and blue. Sedum sieboldii is another ideal candidate for a basket – the stems grow to 30cm, and come summertime it’s covered with soft pink blooms. Don’t make the mistake of throwing it out when it drops all its leaves – it’s deciduous, not dead.
Get your garden tools at the ready and grow your own medicine. Here’s your homegrown health cabinet
VISITING A HERBALIST has become more mainstream, with many of us happy to pop a garlic tablet in winter to keep colds at bay. A type of medicine that was once considered quackery is now thought of as quite conventional, as it was in the past. Doctors of old were often botanists with an expert knowledge of herbs and their healing – or poisonous – properties. Many modern medicines have their origins in these herbal treatments, too. The great news is, whether you have a small pot or a large plot, you can grow your own.
EAT IT CITRUS
Lemons, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit are all loaded with vitamin C – and ripen over winter, just when you need a good dose. You can buy citrus that is grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock, called flying dragon. This keeps them two-thirds the size of the standard types. There are also citrus varieties called Pipsqueak, which grow to about 1.5m, but can be clipped smaller if you’re going to keep them in a container. Also, a portion of the sales of Pipsqueaks goes to Cystic Fibrosis Australia. For more info visit Pipsqueak.net.au GROW YOUR OWN 1 Find a sunny spot in the garden that gets at least six hours of sunshine a day. 2 Plant out – or leave in a pot (see “Notes”) – in autumn or winter. If you’re planting your citrus out simply dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and a little bit deeper. The rootball should be slightly elevated above ground level. 3 Backfill the hole with soil so the roots are covered. Raising the tree like this into a mound helps with drainage. But make sure you don’t bury any of the trunk because this can cause collar rot. 4 Spread mulch around the plant. NOTES If you’re planting citrus in a pot, make sure the pot is at least 40cm high and 40cm in diameter, or larger if you like. Use premium, Australian-standard potting mix (look for the bags with the red ticks), which has good drainage.
CHEW IT GINGER
Ginger is a tropical plant, the root of which is often used in herbal remedies for nausea. Whether you use it in tea, or simply peeled fresh and chewed – a small piece at a time – it can be safely taken for morning or motion sickness, as well as an upset tummy. GROW YOUR OWN 1 Buy You can plant a piece of ginger that you’ve bought from the supermarket, or buy a root from a mail order company that specialises in edible plants such as Green Harvest. 2 Plant roots out now in a sunny, frost-free position, cleared of weeds and dug over with cow, sheep or poultry manure. 3 Place ginger about 15cm in the ground and backfill with soil. NOTES The ginger will start to shoot in spring, and you can harvest the fresh roots the following winter. Simply dig them up and store them in the fridge. So easy!
BREW IT SAGE
There is an old proverb along the lines of: “Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?” Fresh-cut sage sprigs infused in boiling water make a simple healing tea – great for coughs and colds. Add a little cider vinegar to the brew, and the liquid can be gargled for sore throats, tonsillitis and laryngitis, or relieve mouth ulcers and gum infections. It’s recommended not to drink sage tea for more than a week at a time, as there could be side effects. Consult a doctor before drinking sage.
GROW YOUR OWN 1 Pots of sage can be planted out all year round. Find a sunny, well-drained position and wait two to three months before picking too many leaves as it needs a chance to grow. 2 You can propagate new plants in winter – just cover the lower part of shoots with soil or mulch around it with straw to encourage it to send our fresh roots. NOTES Sage is a perennial herb that lasts about three years. It stops growing fresh leaves in winter
A dream to build their own house came true when Glenn & Mel Paterson found the perfect plot of land. The result is a contemporary & colourful family home
GROWING UP as the son of a builder, and having a brother in the trade, it’s no surprise Glenn Paterson has always had an interest in architecture. He started his career as a quantity surveyor and, after many years apartment-living in Japan with his wife Mel – and then tackling a renovation together in Auckland – the desire to design and build a home from scratch was strong. So the couple bought a large subdividable section in Onehunga, a suburb 8km south of Auckland city centre, with a 1920s weather-board bungalow sitting on the plot.
While the couple lived in and renovated the old bungalow with a view to sell, they came up with a design concept to build a modern four-bedroom house on the back section of the land to become their family home. “The benefit of living in the bungalow with a big garden during this time was that we developed a good feeling for what suited the land, and the best position for sun and natural light,” Glenn says.
Glenn and Mel both took on different roles throughout the build. Glenn’s area was the structural design, and he helped out his brother Rickie with the actual build where he could. Mel was in charge of the interior. While the couple worked together on the overall design, they had items they individually deemed as non-negotiable. “For me it was storage,” Mel says. “Having lived with minimal storage I realised how important it is when you have three young children.” It added a large chunk to the couple’s budget but Mel insists it was worth it.
For Glenn it was all about creating a feeling of space. “I made sure the hallways and stairwell were wide and evoked a feeling of openness,” he says. “I also designed the four bedrooms so they were large. I love the way the kids have their own special space and can shut themselves away with their friends for hours.”
With blonde timber flooring, sleek white cabinetry and white walls, the kitchen is Mel’s favourite room, even though she readily admits Glenn is the head chef in the family. “It’s a large space and there’s plenty of room to move, even with large family gatherings,” she says. “And if you’re working in the kitchen you still feel part of the action.”
White walls throughout the home provide a gallery-like backdrop to a decorating style Mel describes as ever-evolving. Bursts of her favourite bold colours, including green, yellow and orange, and her ever-growing collection of art stamp the new build with personality. “My mother grew up loving art and our family is quite artistic so I guess that is where my passion comes from,” Mel says.
Having now completed their dream to build, the only thing Mel would do differently would be to have a laundry room. “We have a fantastic laundry in the garage, reclining chairs and tables in the backyard, but having a dedicated room would be great,” she says. “Something I do have planned very soon is a wall of bold and colourful wallpaper for the dining room.” Looks like the Paterson family have a bright future in their new home!