Must I wait - by Sarah O'Neil

August is such a funny month, the weather taunts us like a temptress, letting us feel the warmth on our faces, and causing beanies to be flung aside in the promise of all the good things to come in spring. And then she snaps her fingers and it is cold again. Bitterly cold. Freezing air straight off snow covered mountains whip right through to the bone. read more >>

Sensational Scent - Daphne

A single sprig of daphne can fill a room with perfume. Such powerful fragrance on a small evergreen shrub is especially precious in mid winter! read more >>

What is lurking in your garden? - by Ruby Ward

It may seem during winter that we need not be concerned about pests and diseases - there is nothing happening to catch our attention. But winter can be a great ally in the battle against summer pests and you can improve your chances of winning the battle by - read more >>

How to make compost

A good composting system will consume all your garden debris and food scraps, rewarding you with one of nature's most fundamental allies. Compost feeds your soil, which in turn feeds your plants. read more >>

Under Cover

Spot a backyard greenhouse and you could be forgiven for imagining a resident 'expert' or 'plant-nut'. But these days, greenhouses aren't just for diehard gardeners. They're for anybody - from novice to expert - whatever the climate. read more >>

Cabbage

Eating lots of cabbage - and other brassicas, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cavolo nero, kale and Chinese greens - helps keep us 'regular' and reduces our risk of cancer. read more >>

Bee Friendly

As gardeners, there is much we can for the good of our planet. Sarah Thornton meets a gardener who's championing the cause to help our bees. read more >>

Revegetation - Repairing our Damage

Many of the world's ecosystems have undergone significant degradation with negative impacts on biological diversity and peoples' livelihoods. There is now a growing realisation that we will not be able to conserve the earth's biological diversity through the protection of critical areas alone. read more >>

Banksia's for birdlife

The sight and sound of birds in the garden lifts the spirits and soothes the soul. Studies show that birdsong can even increase your property value. NZ tui, bellbirds and wax eyes have a sound all of their own, that most of us think extra special - something worth encouraging with the right kind of planting. read more >>

Reduce your Footprint - Plant your Backyard

We often hear about the need to reduce our carbon footprint and be green. But how can we, as individuals, do our part to help? Thinking about your plant selection and surrounding habitat, recycling, composting and conserving water all help. read more >>

 

Legionnaire's disease

Gardening is an enjoyable and healthy pastime. However each year a few gardeners contract legionnaires' disease. There are simple steps you can take to lessen the risk.

 

Fill pots with ready flowering annuals for instant spring colour; pansies, primulas, cinerarias, violas, lobelia and alyssum.
Protect young seedlings and other tender plants from late frosts by placing pots under shelter or covering with frost cloth.
Sow peas diectly into well prepared soil with added compost.
Sow sweet peas directly into well prepared soil.
       
If your soil is heavy or poorly drained, make raised vegetable beds at least 15cm above ground level and fill them with the best topsoil or soil mix you can get.