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Constant creativity is part of the pleasure

This article was first published on 17 May 2013.

Constant creativity

Constant creativity

If you ask most gardeners if their garden is finished the answer will often come back as no. It’s not just the matter of on-going maintenance, there is almost always a special plant to be acquired, something that needs to be removed or a plant combination that needs to be changed. This is the nature of gardening although we don’t always have the resources to do everything on the wish list.

If you do get the opportunity to make changes it can be exciting but you must have patience. Establish your vision and plan what you need to do. Timing is really important too. Planting is usually done in spring or autumn for good reason. Generally it is this time of year when plants can get good soil moisture. Summer is often too dry and winter can be too wet or even frozen.

In some cases plants can easily be moved. However there may be some that will need propagating as they won’t shift. Those are the ones likely to be in the wrong place for your plan (Murphy is a gardener too).  If you are not sure then find out. You don’t want to move your grandma’s favourite shrub that she grew from cuttings taken from the family farm that isn’t there anymore, only to find it can’t handle root disturbance!

A small scale project that has been slowly progressing in the upper garden is the transfer of the native cultivar display to the carpark border by the daffodil lawn. We are moving a number of smaller shrubs and herbaceous plants to this area and in spring hope to see them burst into growth in their new environment.

Shirley Stuart is curator of the native plant collection at Dunedin Botanic Garden.