Happy New Year everyone! I can believe we are already half way through January, the last month has been a whirlwind. With Christmas, weddings, and a week in the Coromandel with my family before wedding season really start to get busy, December and January have just flown by.
My gardens have been really flourishing and I am learning so much about what I'm growing, what works and what doesn't, and what I need to change next season. The dahlia garden is looking lush and things are doing really well in there. I wish I had've planted more now, but I'm so short on room, I might try and chuck a few more tubers in somewhere and at least then I'll get some late summer/autumn blooms from them. I was a little worried about this garden because I moved my dahlias to a completely different area this year and there is a tall hedge behind the garden which I thought may affect how well they did but it doesn't seem to be - apart from them growing out slightly to get to the light.
There have been a couple of things that just haven't worked for me this year - sweet peas being one. Last year my sweet peas did so well and this year they have struggled from the beginning. They're now all over and I'm going to put some more in and see how they go.
I had trouble germinating a few things - echinacea, feverfew, rudbeckia to name a few and so ended up buying plants from Awapuni Nurseries, or Paeroa Garden Centre which is amazing. These are things that I needed for particular weddings and so I had to get them in and growing! My snaps are enjoying a second round of flowering and my Achillea is going great - I bought a few seedlings online back in winter of these from a Christchurch nursery in some gorgeous colours so it's exciting seeing them flower now! My start ball scabiosa have done well and my other scabiosa are doing well also. Larkspur "smokey eyes" has been a favourite of mine and I love using it in bouquets.
The rose garden is doing well, it's a lot of maintenance and care but it's so rewarding getting to pick beautiful garden roses for my weddings! I am still struggling to get on top of the black spot, and the weeds have completely taken over this garden even though I've been mulching regularly, so it's a lot of work. Some are growing quite leggy and falling over a little, while others seem to do this and stay upright, I guess the larger ones with the thicker stronger stems are better off in this way. There are so many more varieties I want to plant for next season, I need to find more space for these also!
The thing that has been so exciting for me is that I have enough flowering at the moment that I can pick and sell bunches of flowers that are 100% from my gardens. I can create wedding bouquets using my own flowers and it's just such an amazing feeling. I'm planning on building a little flower cart so that I have somewhere to sell bunches out the front of our property, it's such a waste otherwise seeing everything flowering and not being able to use it unless I have a wedding! I'm needing to sow more seeds this weekend and get stuck into some weeding and mulching....always so much to do and never enough time but I'll get there.