Landscaping & Gardening Information
A Guide for Servicing Your Chainsaw
Chainsaws provide many years of service for very little upkeep. Taking the time to service your chainsaw will help ensure that your equipment will not let you down. For safety reasons, make sure you only service your chainsaw when it is fully cooled, with the spark plug disconnected. If you are working with an electric chainsaw make sure it is unplugged first of all. You should also wear gloves and protection for your eyes.
Catch a Leprechaun in Your Garden
There is no mention to be found of female leprechauns in traditional Irish legend, so as to how they came to be .. your guess is as good as mine.
Lifes a Beach--A Shore Theme in your Outdoor Space
Twentieth century American architect Phillip Johnson once said, "I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?" Mr. Johnson evidently didn't how to relax, but as another summer is slipping away, you can. Did you visit the beach this year? Do you wish you had? Either way, you can create a seaside feel in your outdoor space and enjoy memories of the shore at home! Here are some quick tips.
Fuchsia (named after Leonhard Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist) is a genus of over 100 species of shrubs and small trees. Although there are four New Zealand native species (colensoi, excorticata, perscandens and procumbens) and one from Tahiti, the vast bulk of the genus occurs in Central and South America.
Gallica roses are a case in point. While the popularity of Old Roses waxes and wanes as each new generation discovers them and then seeks something new, the best of them carry on regardless.Rosa gallica, also known as the French Rose or Provins Rose, is a species that grows wild from southern and central Europe to the Caucasus. Because it readily produces sports, has a tendency towards double flowers, and may have hybridised naturally with other species, it is likely that the earliest European garden roses were forms of Rosa gallica.
If you appreciate plants that have no hesitation in boldly stating their presence with huge, almost artificially perfect flowers, then tuberous begonias are for you. While some may find them rather too overstated, downright brazen even, if you like colour, and plenty of it, with subtlety an option rather than compulsory, then look no further.
Everybody recognises palm trees, they are the universal symbol for the tropics but many are hardy enough for our temperate climate gardens. Until recently New Zealand gardeners have had only a very limited range of palms to choose from. In the last five years the range has grown enormously as nurseries have been encouraged by gardeners eager to experiment.
Think of cyclamen and the chances are that Mothers Day immediately comes to mind, which is something of a pity. Now don't misinterpret me, there's nothing wrong with mothers or with having a day for them, but it does seem a little unfortunate when such beautiful, adaptable and useful plants become so commercialised that there's difficulty escaping that association.
Although it is a member of the Thymelaeaceae, the family that includes the daphnes, it would be hard to imagine a plant less like a daphne at first glance. However, if you are familiar with the deciduous Daphne genkwa, there is some hint of resemblance there.
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
The Protea Family (Proteaceae)
The protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground covers, trees and shrubs that often make superb garden plants. While some of the species are frost-tender, they are in all other respects remarkably resilient plants that often thrive in situations where others would rapidly succumb. Poor soils and hot dry positions that scarcely seem capable of supporting life are often ideal for Proteaceae. If any plants could be said to thrive on neglect the proteas can.
Viburnums are related to the honeysuckles, so it should come as no surprise that many of them have fragrant flowers. But that's not all they have in their favour. No, this genus includes plants for all seasons and all reasons; foliage, flower, autumn colour, scent, groundcover, shrub or small tree, evergreen or deciduous, it's all there among the 120-odd species and the many hybrids and cultivars. Indeed, they're so variable that it would be quite possible to have an interesting garden of viburnums alone.
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