Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sustainable Garden Ramble

Our native fuchsia, Kotukutuku, note the blue pollen - a beautiful small tree with red peeling bark and these stunning flowers that the birds love for the nectar.

Today I went on a sustainable garden ramble around the fair city of Hamilton, this was one of the first gardens, a small inner city paradise with NZ native plants and beautiful roses, herbs, a worm farm, vege garden - all grown with no sprays, everything as organic as possible. The woman who owns this garden runs the Envirocentre here in Hamilton. There was an excellent working worm farm in the garden, it was quite compact and I think I will invest in one, I need somewhere to put food scraps that doesn`t smell or attract flies.

The second garden I went to was this gully section on the outskirts of the city. Hamilton is made up of a number of gully systems that run through the city. At last people are bringing these areas of land back to life and replanting with native plants. Most of the gullies are full of weeds like willow and privet plus old car bodies and fridges !! This garden went down to a steam and has been planted with flax, cabbage trees, kauri, kahikatea, pukatea and many other appropriate plants, many being eco-sourced from the surrounding areas.

I went to another gully section that has been planted up for 35 years, it was like being in the bush somewhere far from any city - amazing place with a small nursery and very productive vege garden. The English couple who had done all the hard work were happy to show people around, they also had a chap talking about the bird life or lack of it, native birds that is, here in the city. Compared to other places in NZ, Hamilton has a very dismal record of leaving bush areas and planting native trees and other food souces like Banksia, Gums etc. Hopefully this is changing as people become more aware of what can be done with abit of effort.


chaniabee !!!! said...

i think !!this is not home garden! this is a paradise! very nice bravo!!

julechen said...

I didn't know we had a native fuchsia!!!

Ngaio said...

Fuchsia excorticata is the largest fuchsia in the world !! The blue pollen makes it pretty special also. It is common around forest margins and in second growth areas, it is also very fire-resistant. The flowers are produced all along the branches and it has silvery undersides of the leaves - the berries can be made into jam !!

julechen said...

Have you made this jam before?

Can one make jam from all fuchsia berries? Better ask you first before I go and poison little fuchsias all have berries at the moment. (I have no idea what kind of fuchsia it is, except that it's certainly not a NZ one). I'll have to bring some seeds back in March and try to grow the native one in a pot.