Garden snippets

Hope you’ve all had – are having  – a nice Easter. For your enjoyment, here are some bits and pieces from around the gardening world …

Cut-flower rose growers on TV
Commercial rose growers Alistair Grant and Anne Mackersey were featured on Country Calendar on Saturday. They established Highland Roses on the farm of Anne’s parents at Whakamarama, near Tauranga, 18 years ago, having previously grown in the Otaki area. The episode follows the couple from Christmas into their biggest day of the year for their rose blooms –  February 14. You can see some of the show, and read about it too, here.

Topiary hedges
If you’ve been watching the Great British Garden Revival on Choice TV (Friday nights), you will have seen the amazing topiary creations of London man Tim Bushe (yes, that really is his name).

An architect, Tim created his first shaped hedge at a request from his wife (although it wasn’t the shape she wanted, he later did do a cat hedge). Read about, and see photos of, the creation of his elephant hedge here and here’s a longer article (but with only one photo) about Tim and his work – he donates all his fees to charity.

Plant help request
Charles Novak, director of the (under development) Tropical Adventure Botanical Garden in Florida, has been in touch to request help sourcing a plant. “I am looking for Ficus dammaropsis germplasm as part of scientific research to determine if Ficus dammaropsis will survive and grow in our climate and then harvest to maximise nutrient content.”

In his email, Charles says he wants to research grafting and espalier of Ficus trees, set up an experimental plot for comparison of rootstocks by grafting different rootstocks with the same source of scion; and a comparison of scion by grafting them on to the same rootstock.

He would like Ficus dammaropsis seeds or cuttings and would like five to 10 cuttings that are 8 to 12 inches long. For more information or to offer help email Charles.

Read an article by Charles about grafting here. The new botanical garden is being developed in the aptly named Plant City, inland from Tampa. (Sadly, the reality is that the town was named after a person, not its abundance of gardens!)

Free guides to New Zealand lichen
The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network is offering for free download two field guides to lichen, thanks to the generosity of authors Dr Allison Knight (Otago University)and Bill and Nancy Malcolm. Find them here.

If you’d like a hard copy of Dr Knight’s book, and wish to support the replenishment of the Audrey Eagle Botanical Publishing Fund, here’s information about paying for a copy ($20 each, plus P&P).

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