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In the news...

Kiwi landscape artist, Ben Hoyle, won a peace award at the Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki, Japan last month.

He was one of 10 international garden designers invited to take part in the inaugural World Cup. Mr Hoyle's garden – a moment in time – won a gold medal as well as a peace prize.

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November is a
good time to…

Plant whatever you fancy! In November the soil is starting to warm up which means you can pretty much plant anything. Some of our favourites include marigold, impatiens and lobelia.

Plus, now is the perfect time to fertilise your lawn. Use a general fertiliser high in potassium, such as nitrophoska blue, to encourage growth, strong roots and thick grass.

If you have them, check your irrigation microjets are working properly. If you find a blockage, use a needle or pin to unclog it.

And last but not least, remember to mulch your garden. Layer newspaper around your plants and then cover the newspaper with peastraw. The mulch will help keep weeds away and lock moisture in between watering sessions.

Kids Kapers

New Zealand has some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. So why not grab the kids and head outdoors. Botanical gardens are always a fun spot – kids can run around, play and learn about different flower and plant varieties.

Pack a picnic and make a day of it – don’t forget to pack some bread to feed the ducks!
Tomato, capsicum and chilli – the champions of chutney

Are you a meat and three vege family whose tastebuds are in need of a flavour knock-out? Look no further! Spice up your garden (and dinner menu) this summer with three Mediterranean favourites guaranteed to add 'heat' to any dish.

Now is the perfect time to plant tomatoes, capsicums and chillis and nothing beats making your own chutney – this bright red condiment is the perfect compliment to any summer dinner, BBQ or platter.

To get started, grab some Awapuni Nurseries tomato, capsicum red chilli and capsicum sweet bell pepper seedlings from your local supermarket, Warehouse or Bunnings store.

All three plants must be positioned in a sunny, well drained area that is sheltered from strong winds. If you've grown tomatoes before you'll need to plant them in a different area to where you planted them last. This will decrease the chance of your tomatoes developing nasty diseases such as blight.

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Burning questions

What is mesclun lettuce mix?

Mesclun lettuce mix is a blend of small leaf lettuce varieties which allow you to grow your own gourmet salad leaves. Because the mix is made up of lettuce that don't have a 'heart' (i.e. a white core), you can pick off the leaves and use them as required – straight from the garden!

What is companion planting?
Companion planting is the easiest and most environmentally friendly way of preventing pests. It is when you include plants in your garden which either lure beneficial insects or repel pests.

For example, plant tomatoes near onions, asparagus, carrots or even marigold flowers to help repel pests the natural way.

Beneficial flowers for bees

Einstein once said "if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left."

Bees are important to our existence and can no longer survive without human intervention.

Recently, researchers have found that certain coloured flowers attract more bees, increasing pollination.

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Landscape award winners announced

The 2010 Landscape of Distinction awards have been announced with an Otago-based company taking home 15 trophies.

The work Design and Garden Landscapes Ltd did on the Kunac garden on the Taieri won them the coveted title of 2010 Supreme Horizon International Ltd - Landscape of the Year. An award the company has had their eyes on for some time now.

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