December 2012

Itís cocktail thyme!

The party season is upon us. And no party is complete without cocktails and nibbles. Got plenty of strawberries and mint on hand? Try these strawberry mint margaritas and mojitos. And blend up that abundance of basil in your back yard to make some tasty homegrown basil pesto.
Give the gift that grows

Got a keen gardener in your family? Well do we have the gift for you Ė to give that is. If you order seedlings from us next week weíll gift-wrap it in simple but smart brown paper and a green ribbon, include a special message from you, deliver direct to your recipient in time for Christmas, and throw in a free seedling bundle. Alternatively, get the seedlings delivered to you (maybe keep some for yourself!) and create a special potted plant to give on the day. Seedlings are the gift that keep on giving and are guaranteed to be a hit with any die-hard gardening fan. Lastly, why not go the extra mile and create some crafty garden markers to accompany your plants. Here are some tips on creating cork, cutlery and stone markers.

For more details on ordering Christmas seedlings click here. Light up your living room

If youíre looking for something a bit different for your Christmas tree this year, why not try this simple and sparkly idea? Itís made of tomato stakes and would be a great substitute, or addition, to the traditional tree. For tips on how to make it click here.
December is a
good time to...


Keep planting your gourmet veges (like fancy lettuce and spinach) and herbs (like basil, coriander, and rocket) so you have a continuous and regular supply. Watch out for any plants that might be getting too dry and remember to keep watering. Start digging up your new potatoes for Christmas dinner. Continue to apply pea straw mulch on your vege, herb and flower gardens. Watch out for aphids. And, start deadheading your roses for their next flowering in autumn.

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Seasonís greetings

Last week we received some great feedback from one of our online customers. Usually we donít like to blow our own trumpet, but we thought Rebekah from Auckland addressed a concern that some of you might also have Ė how to guarantee the quality of the seedlings you buy online when you canít see them.

Hereís what Rebekah had to say:
ďHaving the plants delivered to my door, saves me the hour and the stress it takes to wrangle my toddler at the garden centre, and leaves we with more precious time for my garden. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hand pick the seedlings, like I would at the garden centre. But the plants are very healthy and larger than those normally in the seed trays at my local. Your web-site is great so easy to use, and a massive selection! A huge thank you and I look forward to many more orders with you at Awapuni Nurseries.Ē

So, if youíve been thinking about ordering from our online store but havenít had the confidence to take the plunge, we encourage you to give it a shot. If for any reason at all youíre not completely satisfied with your seedlings give us a call on 0800 33 2000 and weíll replace the order no questions asked.

On that boastful note, we wish you a happy festive season. Thank you for your support during the past year and happy gardening for 2013.

Henri Ham and the Awapuni Nurseries team


Add colour with asters

If youíre garden is still looking a little post-winter dreary then you need to plant asters. These retro looking daisies come in a wide ranging selection of colours including blue, purple, red and pink, and will add the vibrancy your garden needs.

Theyíre a perfect companion plant for growing next to roses, petunias, marigolds and cosmos because they all like the same conditions Ė full sun and free-draining soil.

Asters also come in different sizes. The dwarf variety grows to about 25cm high and the tall variety grows to around 75cm high.

Did you know these bright flowers are popular with bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects too? Which makes them great for planting in a spot where you need extra pollination Ė like your vege garden.

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Easy oregano

Oregano is super easy to plant. Got a corner in your vege garden that looks a bit empty? Simply dig a little hole and plant your oregano seedling. You donít even have to wait for oregano to grow to harvest from it, although I would advise against doing that. If you let it get established before you start picking itís leaves it wonít just be a one hit wonder of a herb.

And thatís it. My gardening advice for this month has been dispensed.

If only it were that easy Ė for me that is. If youíve been reading my articles for the last five or more years youíll know I canít just stop there. I have an endless supply of ĎTodís top tipsí, as I like to refer to them, to dole out.

So, given oregano is so easy to plant I thought Iíd mix up this monthís article with a few hanging basket tips too. You canít go wrong with a good hanging basket. And you canít go wrong with giving a good hanging basket this Christmas. Got kids? Get them involved in the planting.

Head down to your local Bunnings or the Warehouse and grab yourself a basket and a plastic saucer to fit in the base. If you want to have plants growing out the side of the basket (what Iíd recommend) purchase some sphagnum moss and a basket with small spaces in between the wires (so the moss wonít fall out the sides). If youíd rather just plant the top of the basket like you would a pot Ė grab a basket with a coconut fibre inside.

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Burning question

My plum tree gets loaded with fruit and then most of them fall off. Whatís happening?

Some plum trees, like Black Doris, self-thin their fruit if they have too many fruit on the trees. This means you end up being left with big juicy fruit. But if youíre not being left with good fruit, it sounds like you have bladder plum. When the tree has finished flowering, spray it with copper and this will stop the tree getting the disease.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Henri and Paul Ham, Awapuni Nurseries Ltd
Pioneer Highway PO Box 7075 Palmerston North 4443 NEW ZEALAND

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