Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 4
www.times.co.nz Times Newspapers Christmas Supplement -- 11 124104-V2 HUGE RELOCATION SALE Closes Saturday, December 21 Monday-Friday 9.30am-4pm Saturday 9.30am-2pm 18 Lady Ruby Dr, East Tamaki (opposite Scholastic Books) Ph 272 2380 Earths Botanics -- Gardeners Range Great Barrier Island Bee Co -- Manuka Honey Body Care Matakana Valley -- Olive & Macadamia -- Roses Seascape Spa -- Men's body care, and more! All made in New Zealand 124607-v2 While some common names for plants are right on the money, the New Zealand Christmas bell (Alstroemeria pulchella) doesn't really fit its moniker. While this plant, also known as parrot beak, does bloom around Christmas time, it is actually a native of South America which has become naturalised in a number of countries including Australia and New Zealand. But, because it's considered an invasive species, it's not necessarily a 'belle' of every ball. That said, this plant can be found in some Kiwi gardens and seeds are obtainable online. So, in the spirit of the season, which it seems to usurp, we'll take some time to chime out about New Zealand Christmas bells. Featuring slender leaves and bright crimson coloured flowers with green tips, Christmas bell blooms from summer through to autumn. This deciduous perennial features a root system which grows deep, enabling it to spread over large areas. Surviving as underground tubers during winter, shoots break through and form stems in summer. Because of their tall, straight stems -- growing to approximately 60cms in height -- and long lifespan, the blooms are excellent as cut flowers. Preferring full or dappled sunlight, regular water and free draining soil, these plants grow especially well on sloping banks. While compost and plenty of water should be applied during the initial season, Christmas bells require little in the way of care and they are very easy to grow. Removal of spent flowers is recommended to encourage growth for the following year. Gardeners considering growing these plants should be wary, however. As a result of their hardy nature, once established, they can be tricky to eradicate. Weedkiller -- applied during the height of summer for optimum results -- can help, but often removal of roots by hand is most effective. When doing so, take care to remove all roots; those missed can spawn fresh stems. Before falling for these leggy and festively-named, beautiful 'belles' and welcoming them into the garden, remember that they require commitment. So, if you're not sure you'll always like it, best not put a ring on it, gardeners. New Zealand Christmas Bell --- jingle all the way? Christmas bells, those Christmas bells, growing through the land, bringing weeds to all the world...including sub-tropical Auckland!
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 27
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 11