Kapiti Observer : May 12th 2011
39 THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 Gardening Time! 2504655AG Mulches from $10.00 ½ m3 Certified Organic Compost and Topsoil $40.00 ½ m3 Bark Mulch $35.00 ½ m3 Also Available Pathway Lime, Lime Chips, River Pebbles, River Stone, Builders Mix, Pea Metal, Foundation Metal Deliveries and Courtesy Trailers Available Ph 0800 888 200 / 04 298 8774 Otaihanga Road, Paraparaumu Open 7 Days HAMLEN LANDSCAPING SUPPLIES AND GARDEN CENTRE 102 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu Courtesy Trailers and Delivery Available www.hamlenlandscaping.co.nz We do Driveways, Retaining Walls, Decks, Fences, Lawns, Gardens, Section Clearing and so much more. Call now for a free quote or call into the yard 3586010AD Go easy on using coffee FROM Page 38 The acidity level, however, is confusing. Although roasted coffee grounds are acidic, tests have shown that some (but not all) of that acidity is removed in the brewing process. The amount of acidity that remains depends on the beans themselves, the temperature of the water used in the brewing process, how long the grounds were exposed to that water, whether the water is soft (acidic) or hard, and what other compounds are in it. So while the drink itself is fairly acidic, used coffee grounds are not necessarily high in acidity. The pH of decomposing coffee grounds also changes over time. As far as fertilisers go, coffee grounds are not ''slow release'' (the nitrogen becomes available immediately), so adding small amounts to your plot regularly is better than one huge dumping. Overfertilised soil Too much nitrogen in your soil? Overzealous applications of high- nitrogen fertiliser or high-nitrogen mulches such as animal manure and grass clippings can cause an abundance of leaves at the expense of flowers and fruit. One way to rebalance it is to apply a fertiliser high in phosphorus and potassium. Bone meal might help. A better alternative is to apply a carbon-rich mulch, such as crushed bark, wood chips, sawdust, straw or newspaper. Easy composting Simply dig your kitchen scraps straight into an empty bed and let them decompose over the cooler months. Add a layer of compost, then sit back indoors and swot up on your spring planting choices. Victorian gardens an attractive way to remember the royal wedding By VICKI PRICE Adding colour: Pretty polyanthus curve around this trellis summer house. Photo: VICKI PRICE ' A goldfish or lily pond in the middle of the expanse of green helps to emphasise the lawn, and benches sited around this create a pleasant place to sit with views around each side of the garden. ' Lacy flowers add a feminine charm to a garden as well as to royal wedding bouquets. Their ethereal presence helps to highlight more solid forms while not stealing the show from the main components. In a Victorian garden, flowers are just one feature of these most English gardens. To bring a little Victorian charm to your own garden, consider using lacy highlights in the form of flowers and hard-landscaping additions. White painted trellis can be one way to do this and will enhance a climbing vine or rose planted at its base. A summer house or pergola in this same material will instantly give a quaint English garden look. As a highlighter, white sharpens the focus of coloured plants or green forms and gives a crisp clean look. It can also blur a hard line where formal plantings need to be softened with wispy froths of flowers such as that which gypsophila and Queen Anne's Lace bring. Gorgeous green lawns were a feature of Victorian gardens and these can be broken up with a central or far end feature. A goldfish or lily pond in the middle of the expanse of green helps to emphasise the lawn, and benches sited around this create a pleasant place to sit with views around each side of the garden. Many gardeners place a bird-bath here instead where the birds' antics can be watched from within the house. Similarly, a white-painted seat positioned at the rear of the garden gives a strong focal point, especially when viewed through a gateway, arch or gap in a hedge. In a Victorian cottage garden, where rambling and seemingly colourful chaos reigns among the plantings, the lure of strong white furniture can suggest a civilised respite. Stepping stones were another feature of Victorian gardens, taking the visitor through the grassed areas. Clearly defined garden areas were also a strong feature of the era, with there being flower gardens and vegetable gardens growing quite separately. An orchard and a kitchen garden was essential and everything was formally planned in straight lines and geometric shapes. Paths and secret vistas led one to new discoveries as one moved through the garden. But secure within this strict structure, softness and beauty also held court. Known as a parterre, a flower bed was designed to be formal yet decorative. These were normally surrounded by turf and shaped with the use of bedding plants, small hedges or gravel. On a large scale, these gardens give the impression of elaborate embroidery and require a gardener with a lot of time on their hands or with a team of gardeners. For modern day gardeners who are busy, a smaller version that is manageable will still bring much pleasure. One style of Victorian garden that was more manageable, did away with flowers, but kept the parterre system. Turf was laid out in an embroidery fashion with gravel or low-growing hedges marking the patterns. Geometrically shaped shrubs contributed to the overall neat design, including pyramid- shaped topiary. Plantings in a flowery Victorian garden included perennials, annuals, spring bulbs and favoured shrubs and trees such as dogwoods, hydrangeas, flowering plums and crab-apples. Roses were a strong favourite. If you want to create a special Royal garden plot in remembrance of the wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton, these are the flowers in the bouquet, with their meanings in brackets; lily-of-the- valley (return of happiness), sweet William (gallantry), hyacinth (constancy of love), ivy (fidelity) and of course, myrtle (marriage and love). There are many websites devoted to Victorian garden design. For 19th century flowers see victorianflowergarden.com.
May 16th 2011