Thrip Tips: Battling Tiny Garden Terrors with Big Results

Side-by-side comparison of two Tiny Garden Terrors on a green leaf and a beige surface, each with elongated bodies and prominent antennae.

Understanding and Managing Thrips Thrips, scientifically known as Thysanoptera, are tiny dark-coloured insects that can cause significant damage to plants. Despite their small size, about 2mm in length, thrips can wreak havoc on various plants, including rhododendrons. Here’s a concise guide on how to identify, prevent, and manage these pesky insects. Identifying Thrip Damage Thrips…

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Why Yakushimanum Hybrids?

Close-up of pale pink deciduous azaleas with green leaves. The flowers have multiple layers of delicate petals and visible stamens, surrounded by abundant foliage. One of the benefits of these azaleas is their vibrant blooming season, which adds beauty to any garden.

Exploring the Charm of Yakushimanum Hybrids: The Rolls Royce of Rhododendrons Yakushimanum hybrids hold a special place in the hearts of gardening enthusiasts worldwide, renowned for their compact growth, stunning blooms, and unique foliage. These hybrids are a testament to nature’s beauty and resilience, earning them the title of the Rolls Royce of rhododendrons. Among…

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Jiffy Joy: Thriving Cuttings Ready for Their New Home

A composite image showing plant seedlings in a greenhouse. The top left showcases thriving cuttings lined up in rows; the top right features close-ups of seedlings nestled in soil trays like they're experiencing Jiffy Joy; and the bottom reveals roots extending from pots, eager to find their new home.

It’s incredibly exciting to venture down to the propagation houses daily and check on our cuttings. Steve can’t resist peeking under the trays to see if the roots are sprouting. It seems like we’re in for another successful year with our propagation efforts, as the roots are already reaching the bottom of the trays, and…

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Why Deciduous Azaleas?

Close-up of a cluster of vibrant red and pink flowers in bloom, set against a blurred garden background. These beautiful blossoms exemplify ideal azalea care, showcasing the stunning potential of flowering shrubs like Deciduous Azaleas.

Discover the Beauty of Deciduous Azaleas in New Zealand Gardens As we move through July, it’s the perfect time to highlight one of the most enchanting and versatile plants you can introduce to your garden: the Deciduous Azalea. These vibrant azaleas not only provide a spectacular display of colours but are also perfectly suited to…

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What Are the Best Companion Plants for Rhododendrons?

A garden scene featuring blooming white hydrangeas and various green shrubs under sunlight.

People often ask me what plants I put with Rhododendrons.  As rhododendrons are such shallow-rooted plants, the following work well as companion plantings. Here’s a quick list of my favourites: hellebores, hydrangeas, lilies, dahlias, hostas, Chatham Island lilies, and trilliums. These plants thrive in a mix of hot and shady spots, and I also love…

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Planning that next gardening project

Three photos of garden landscapes, featuring young trees, shrubs, and a hose on green grass in a well-maintained outdoor space, perfect for showcasing your gardening project.

July is the perfect time to start planning your next gardening venture. Here’s our tried-and-true method for preparing new flower beds: Steve and I often get inspiration from other people’s gardens and browsing Pinterest. Once I gather ideas, I have to persuade Steve that another garden bed is necessary. We head outside with a hose…

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Why Do Rhododendron Leaves Droop in Winter?

A close-up of Rhododendron leaves dusted with snow, drooping gracefully against a clear blue sky.

Rhododendrons exhibit a fascinating adaptation to cope with cold conditions. As temperatures drop, rhododendron leaves curl and hang down, creating a protective layer that reduces moisture loss. This behaviour eases the strain on the roots, which would otherwise struggle to extract moisture from frozen soil. Additionally, when snow falls, it interacts uniquely with rhododendron foliage.…

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Transplanting Rhododendrons: 

A person wearing work boots and grey pants with blue stripes is planting a small bush in soil using a shovel, marking a productive day of gardening. A black planting pot is placed nearby, indicating the rhododendrons are ready for transplanting.

When and How to Do It Rhododendrons are popular evergreen shrubs known for their vibrant colours that can enhance any garden during spring.  However, to ensure their continuous growth and beauty, these shrubs may need to be transplanted or moved from time to time.  Many customers have inquired about the best time and proper technique…

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Rooting for Success: Our Rhododendron Propagation Adventure

Top left: Red leaves on a wooden surface. Top right: Two people working in dense greenery to ensure rhododendron propagation. Bottom: Hands using pruning shears on green leaves for successful cultivation.

I am thrilled to share that we have just finished propagating our rhododendron cuttings! During February and March, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to collect cuttings from a variety of beautiful gardens across Canterbury, including several old varieties that haven’t been propagated commercially for quite some time. With over 600 different varieties now coming through, our…

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