Monday Digest

Jane Bowron, a columnist who lives in Christchurch, attended this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show on Saturday and was distinctly underwhelmed. Read her thoughts on the show here. (Thanks to the regular reader of Sandra’s Garden who sent the item.)

In my earlier posting about Ellerslie I complained that the list of winners hadn’t been posted to the show’s own website – it is there now, dated March 9, four days after the winners had been announced.

My column in Saturday’s Bay of Plenty Times was about Janine Gray, owner of Coast Palms and Cycads and former chef to the stars. Janine is giving a free talk about cycad care this Saturday (March 16) at the nursery. Full details on the Events page.

David Harricks, whose garden was the subject of the BOP Times column on March 2, doesn’t water his vege garden, saying the cost of the water would make his home-grown veges unsustainable. David’s in a rented property so doesn’t have a rain tank but anyway after almost 3 months with no rain a regular suburban rain tank would probably be empty.

So the cost of water is something to be borne in mind. As of yesterday we’ve put a bucket in the shower – this morning I had 9 litres to put on the tomatoes. Here are some practical water-saving tips from Christchurch City Council, plus a list of drought-tolerant plants (xerophytes are plants that can withstand long periods without water). Remember that this list applies to plants in the ground, not potted plants which will need extra watering.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has a pamphlet online that more or less echoes the garden tips from above, but adds some general ideas, including making sure your hot-water thermostat is not set too high (61°C is best, it says). Adding cold water to cool very hot water is wasteful.

Waiheke Island is suffering a major water shortage – drought plus limited fresh water  plus lots of tourists. So for very dedicated, or very drought-hit, people here are some more extreme day-to-day water-saving ideas.

And, finally, an obituary for Dave Green, a plant hunter who established a national collection of species fuchsias at his home in London.

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