Gardener’s Blog – July 2015

Summer is here and it’s a very exciting time at the Botanical Gardens as our plants are showing off in the summer sun. Each day there are new flowers filling the grounds with vibrant colours and sweet smells.

July is when the hard-working gardeners start to see the fruits of their labour – but that doesn’t mean that they can put their feet up, there are still a lot of jobs to be done! Summer is a great time for growth-spurts, however weeds will be in full force too. To keep our gardens looking lovely, the gardeners will be weeding daily.

Deadheading is another important job for us this month. We’ll be doing it little but often to ensure that we’re on top of the task and to also encourage further flowering. We’ll be paying special attention to our roses, lupins, sweet peas and dahlias, as well as pruning any shrubs that have finished flowering to keep them in shape.

Grass will be edged and cut, especially in the areas where daffodil bulbs have died back. The grass won’t need mowing as often due to the lack of rain and increased temperatures. A little tip for your own lawn is to raise the blade on your mower to leave the grass a little longer than usual as this avoids your lawn looking ‘scalped’.

Senior supervisor, Chris and her team are being rewarded this month as the herbaceous planting is filling the new rose beds with fresh foliage and flower buds. Seeing the flowers come together seems worth the days they spent removing 20 tonnes of topsoil to replace it.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of focus-points in our gardens this month as there’s so many plants in bloom. The new peonies and hydrangeas in particular are looking lovely around the bandstand and the willow plantings are putting on new growth, it’s great seeing so many different shapes sizes and colours. Make sure you stop by the American Bank as well to see the new gladioli.

Our vegetable garden is now looking full and the cabbages are almost ready to be picked and eaten. Sweet corn, peas, lettuces and tomatoes will put on a lot of growth this month, just in time for summer salads.

The wild flowers, adjacent to the Grass Garden, are in full bloom and will encourage wildlife into the gardens. Expect to see many birds and insects such as bees and butterflies in the grounds. There are also some wild flowers decorating the playground. There’s definitely an element of chaotic harmony to all of the different plants.

Speaking of the children’s playground, there are some very big plans in the pipeline. The gardeners plan to open it up and introduce new play equipment for very young children so that kids of all ages will get the chance to enjoy our gardens. There may be a new Alpine House in store for the end of next year, so keep your eyes on our blog for updates.

Senior horticulturalist, Wayne and his team are progressing well with the Plant Evolution Trail this month. Wayne is confident that most of the planting will be completed this month and that the Trail will be available for guests to enjoy very soon.

Wayne’s favourite plant this month is the Brugmansia arborea or Angels Trumpets. The large trumpet-shaped flowers have a powerful evening scent that attracts moths and bats. The elaborate flower heads and peach colouring makes them hard to miss. You can see this lovely plant in the Sub-Tropical House.

As for Chris, the Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’ is her pick. The flower heads are a striking orangey yellow colour and the spires can grow up to two metres high. You can find it in all its glory in the Grass Garden.

Remember to take a camera with you on your next visit to catch all of our seasonal plants enjoying the summer sun. For a chance to win a 12-month membership and a spot in our 2016 calendar, click here.