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Gardening finds

I really enjoy gardening… although admittedly I’m a little slow and easily distracted when it comes to actually gardening. Perhaps I really just like going to the garden centre and drinking coffee. I do also really appreciate a good bargain. Cue, Gardening Finds care of Dee.

Granty – TradeMe

A great source of SUPER cheap plants based in Botany Auckland. Handy if you’re wanting large numbers as he generally sells in larger quantities, which is perfect if you’re mass planting something like grasses or grandiflora. His range includes succulents, palms, flowers and trees and I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve bought from Grant.

He can arrange freight / postage at your cost, and if you’re picking up from his home you will need exact change as this is a one-man band operating from home Grant doesn’t have EFTPOS or vast amounts of change on hand. Grant also doesn’t text so upon wining the TradeMe auction it’s best to call him and work out what you’re going to do.

The Native Plant Centre

A haven of glorious plants from specialists in the production New Zealand native plants… filled with super handy info around planting. What I find most helpful is the breakdown of planting area, allowing you to look at plants according to things like coastal environment, shade loving, ground covers and plants which are known to attract birds.

The Native Plant Centre is a wholesale and retail nursery, and the prices are pretty damned good to.  They’re located in Albany, Auckland but I’ve never set foot in the nursery and have bought all my plants straight off their website. Their plants are always of excellent quality and their service is professional and honest (even sending back my change when I over paid courier charges).

Even with paying for courier charges, I find The Native Plant Centre to be very reasonable. While the e-commerce side of the website can be a little hard to navigate, it’s well worth it. The site doesn’t have your standard e-commerce payment system, upon completing your transaction you’ll be supplied an invoice number which you use when making your payment via online banking.

Coffee Grounds

If you’ve ever searched gardening on Pinterest you’ll have stumbled across all kinds of amazing tips and tricks. My fav by far is using coffee grounds in the garden… and now that I have a Nespresso I have a stash of little coffee pottles. Getting the coffee out of the pottles is surprisingly therapeutic much like I imagine shucking corn is. I know not everyone has a coffee machine, but fear not you can all have coffee grounds! I’ve noticed BP and other petrol stations with an espresso coffee offering have FREE bags of coffee grounds by the door, failing that I’m pretty sure cafes would be only too willing to part with their coffee grounds.

The trick with coffee grounds – Frolic around the garden tossing coffee grounds across the dirt where plants may be struggling due to poor soil conditions. Rake the soil lightly to combine the grounds with the soil. Water to get things going… or if your like me, do all of this just before it rains and let God water the plants.

Other handy tips:

  • Rotten eggs in the fridge? Don’t bin them… just bury them. I normally stick to one egg per hole and space them out throughout the garden. Come to think of it I have same answer for bananas which are past their best too.
  • Rather than ripping out plants you don’t like, see if you can reposition them… even if out of sight. It’s a great way of filling gaps in the garden without buying even more plants.
  • Plants that “dance” in the wind and make a great rustling noise are important in the garden as they ensure your garden is appealing to all senses in all seasons.
  • Rather than getting carried away and desperately trying to fill every space in your garden place rocks or other objects in the spots between plants, you’ll notice overtime the items you’ve placed are grown over and you’d spaced your plants correctly in the first place… it just stops you from getting over zealous and fill gaps unnecessarily.

I’m always keen to hear more gardening tips – so by all means share.