Summer 2019

From the nursery

We have been working on our native growing project for five years now and we are finally seeing some good results. We are working with a company called Groundtruth - who use the plants that we grow to convert marginal farmland back into native forest. It’s quite exciting to see the plants that we have grown, flourish and turn a once gorse infested property into a place where you would love to take a walk. This year we are growing around 250,000 plants. If you have some land that you would like to put back into native forest, please email me and I will put you in touch with Groundtruth.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham

Tis the season to chilli

While it’s easy to get swept up in everything Christmas related right now, some people (mainly me!) are equally (if not more) excited about something else during December –chilli season! Chillies are one of my favourite plants to grow and eat. It’s not uncommon to see me wandering round the nursery snacking on a chilli as I work. Though I’m a little more careful about it since the time I forgot I’d left a Carolina reaper in my pocket and it burnt right through my pants to my leg.

Anyway, if you love chillies as much as me or have always been keen to try growing them, now (as we head into the warmer weather) is the perfect time to plant them. Chillies are surprisingly easy to grow...

Read more


Trendy veges

Earlier this year we asked what you’d like to see at the nursery, and you told us. So, what’s new?

Purple carrots (purple dragon) – sweeter than orange carrots, some with a peppery after taste. Fun to try in your garden this summer.

Golden beetroot (golden Detroit) – sweeter than red beetroot. You can plant year-round, harvesting in 10-12 weeks. Grate into summer salads, and eat the leaves too (I treat them like spinach).

Giant Pumpkin (Atlantic giant) – grown for fun rather than taste. Expect 20kg-40kg pumpkins, sprawling over 6m2. In the right conditions (and love) you can grow 200kg+ pumpkins - start by leaving only one pumpkin on the vine.

Broccolini (tasty stems) – a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli, and definitely very trendy right now. Slightly sweeter than normal broccoli; you can compare the taste to asparagus. Ideal for stir-fries.


Zap in some colour with zinnias

If you’d seen me in the garden lately, chances are I’d have been tending to my summer veges. With the (mostly) warm November we’ve had, my vege and herb garden has rocketed away.

But now that my greens are sorted, I’m ready to add some other colours to my garden beds – and what better way to do this than by planting some cheerful zinnias.

Zinnias are bright, bold, and best of all, one of the easiest flowers to grow. In fact, so easy they’ve been grown successfully on the international space station; in 2016.

Read more.


Christmas decorations from the garden

Have a go at making your own from the garden this year. Holly leaves and Douglas fir are classic wreath bases, but many variations can work just as well – like this wreath (pictured) that one of the team whipped up at home. Make it a fun holiday project for the kids to assemble them out of your own garden. Click here for more ideas.

Decorate your Christmas day table with a leafy feature and DIY your decorations by spray-painting pinecones silver and gold (dried sticks work well too) Add some spray-painted shells and driftwood from the beach too, for kiwi-summer Christmas feels.

And because it’s December, I’m going to side-track and share this Christmas day recipe I stumbled across - rosemary hasselback potatoes – I’m keen on the deluxe version with small pieces of bacon inserted into the cuts; delicious.

  Photo credit: thisNZlife
Image by I Heart Naptime  

December is the time to…

Summer is here - which means it’s time to plan your summer garden. There are endless options of what to plant at this time of year. Eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, watermelon, rock melon are all summer loving fruit and vege. Keep up your continual planting (some every few weeks) of lettuces, spring onions, radishes, coriander and basil; to maintain a constant supply over summer.

Stake your climbers (tomatoes, beans, cucumbers) as you plant them – so don’t damage their roots later on. If you’re short on room did you know Zucchinis can also be staked to grow vertically too?

Ensure your veges success by attracting bees to your garden. I encourage you to "think like a bee" to create a pollinator rich garden. Bees enjoy flowers in a variety shapes and sizes, especially blue ones. Planting flowers like foxgloves, calendulas, zinnias and cornflowers will all attract bees.

They're also a big fan of edible plants that flower. They love herbs likes lavender, sage, sweet basil and rosemary. Plant these alongside your tomatoes, beans and fennel.

Read more


Easy-care flowers

At this time of the year, it’s nice to have flowers in your garden that look great, but you don’t have to spend too much time maintaining. For this, I recommend livingstone daisies, gazanias and asters. For growing info on livingstone daisies, go here. For gazania (pictured) click here, and for asters click here.

To try some other flowers that cope well with the heat of summer, try verbena, celosia – cockscomb, cosmos and zinnias. These flowers will cope better than others if you’re heading away over the summer, and not being watered regularly. When you do water the garden, remember to water in the morning, deeply and thoroughly. Aim for the roots, not leaves. Read here for the 10 Golden rules of watering, from Gardena.


12 Days of Christmas

The nursery has gone all out for Christmas this year - with 12 days of new deals or giveaways each day from 1st – 12th December. Keep an eye on your inbox to see these deals coming through; and on our Facebook and Instagram pages for details, plus other regular updates from the nursery.

If you’re not on our weekly specials & deals email list, sign up here so you don’t miss out.


Garden events this summer

There’s a lot happening around the country this summer – starting with free tours of our nursery right here in Palmerston North, on the first three Wednesdays in December. Email us to book.

Around the country, the Auckland Botanical gardens have their annual sculpture in the gardens on until 1st March. The Wellington Botanic garden have a herb garden walk on 27th January; learning about domestic and culinary uses for a range of herbs. If you’re in Christchurch, download a summer Seasonal treasure hunt and head along to the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Each season they have new items for you to hunt and find.

In the Manawatu region, We're lucky enough to have many impressive gardens open to the public – click here. Chances are there’s one close to you that you’ve never been to. If you’re elsewhere, Gardens to visit has a NZ wide list of many recommended gardens.



My tomatoes are planted; I’ve staked, mulched, and labelled them. If you’re like me and often grow more than you can eat fresh, bottling your tomatoes is a great solution. Although canned tomatoes are relatively inexpensive, there’s something special about cooking with your own tomatoes from the summer. Plus - you’re reducing your waste by not buying cans.

Here’s an easy kiwi recipe for bottling your own tomatoes. Once bottled, they can last up to 24 months in the pantry. I find the trick is to have enough jars to store them in. So even though your tomatoes are still a month or so away, it’s now time to start stock-piling those jars.

And for a variation on bottling your tomatoes, here’s one of our teams very own tomato relish recipe. This will also last for up to a couple years in the panty, although I can’t imagine it ever lasting that long in our house.


If you’re a fan of ours on Facebook you may now be seeing less of our gardening tips, special deals, giveaways and more. To keep seeing these – go to our Facebook page and click on the ‘Following’ tab under the top photo. Then click ‘See First’. This way you’ll never miss out!

Awapuni Nurseries Ltd, Pioneer Highway,
PO Box 7075, Palmerston North 4443, NEW ZEALAND
Phone: 64 6 354-8828 Fax: 64 6 354-8857

Unsubscribe | Share with a friend