Tikorangi Notes: Monday 6 June, 2011

Alas Mark found the first instance of camellia petal blight today – in a japonica. It seems to appear earlier every year. We have never seen it in sasanquas and I was a little surprised this week to hear of claims that in warmer climates, sasanqua camellias are susceptible. We would really like to hearContinue reading “Tikorangi Notes: Monday 6 June, 2011”

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Abbie Jury has been writing for the garden pages of the Taranaki Daily News on a weekly basis for the past 14 years, and contributes to various other gardening publications. Readership surveys by the Daily News rank her highly (of late, second only to the TV critic) for her combination of technical knowledge, an appropriately down to earth approach, wry wit and flowing writing style.

Abbie gardens alongside her husband Mark (himself a plantsman of note and internationally renowned plant breeder) at Tikorangi – The Jury Garden in North Taranaki, New Zealand.

Ephemeral whimsy in willow at Wisley

From what I can see from his list, Rangitikei artist Steuart Welch from Cannock Forge is bringing to us pieces from both ends of the spectrum – big bold statement pieces which require a truck to move and some which represent the whimsical aspect of his nature. We are really looking forward to seeing the effect of placing such strong pieces in our garden and learning first hand how to tread that line between enhancing a vision and dominating it. The works will remain in place throughout our Rhododendron Festival until the second week of November.

More a murky khaki than clean and green

Our geographic isolation works to our advantage environmentally. But our clean and green tag has more to do with a very small population than with a high level of environmental awareness. Many of us have a long way to go before we can claim to be green and clean at a personal level and some have even further to go than others. It would be good if the gardening norm here embraced sustainability and sound environmental practice. I think it is described as gardening with the environment, not in spite of it.

Abbie Jury Tikorangi The Jury Garden

I don’t see many New Zealand gardeners managing this meadow genre. Our soil fertility is too high, our grasses grow too strongly and will choke out most competition, our torrential rains will flatten meadows even in summer and if the rain doesn’t do it first, then winds will. Our nitrogen levels are too high. And we tend to be a bit anally retentive and suburban, dedicated to manicured lawns and edges, let alone to glyphosate, to tolerate the casual live and let live philosophy of the meadow.