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Ground Rules

Saturdays 7.30am | TV ONE

Fact Sheet 2005 - Ep 1

Garden project with Richard Greenwood

This weeks project - Privacy Screen

Throughout the show Richard demonstrated how to use screening to transform an exposed courtyard into a private haven.


50 mm Diagonal Trellis panels
1 panel  1.000 x 1.800 framed
2 panels 0.650 x 1.800 framed
Fenceco N.Z. LTD
73 Union Rd
Ph: 09 537 8111

6 x H5 timber posts
Dimensions - 100x100x2.400
78 Carbine Road
Mt Wellington
Ph: 09 978 2200

Eugenia ventenatii
Lily Pily (used to create hedge)
Kings Plant Barn
St Lukes
Ph: 09 846 2141

Carex albula  'Frosted Curls'    - Look 1
Dianella nigra 
Native Blueberry                       - Look 2 
Milne's Plant Link LTD
0508 MILNES (0508 645 637)

Dasylirion longissimum
Mexican Grass Plant                - Look 2 
Wairere Nursery Ltd

White Glazed pot                       - Look 2 
Kings Plant Barn
St Lukes
Ph: 09 846 2141

Rusted Urn                                - Look 1 
Remains Of Empire
 81 - 83 Patiki Road
Ph: 09 828 7732  Fax: 09 820 0722

Contractors: Landsmiths
Ph: 09 358 2717

The Basics with Lynda Hallinan

This week's topic - Cutting and Dividing

Tools needed are:

  • A sharp knife/ Secatuers 
  • Watering can
  • Pumice
  • Pots
  • Plastic bags or Plastic bottles - to cover cuttings
  • Skewers -to prop up plastic bags or bottles


Disinfectant- keep a bucket of warm water with a splash of detergent in it for dipping your tools into between taking cuttings -that way no diseases are passed on.



The best time to take cuttings from a garden is from now through to autumn because the growth is firmer.

Step 1: Prepare your pot

TIP: Always start your cuttings off in pots rather putting them straight into your garden. This way you can control the conditions of your pot and give your cutting the best possible environment while it grows its new roots

TIP: The perfect environment is a pot of pumice (or you can go for a 50/50 mix of pumice and potting mix). Pumice is good provider of water and oxygen - the two things your cutting will need for survival

TIP: Use a plastic pot. It is often said that you should place cuttings around the edge of a pot. This is true for terracotta pots that lose moisture - but not necessary for plastic pots that are used more often today

Step 2: Select you plant:

TIP: Choose healthy plants and strong young stems. Cuttings will grow roots faster when the parent plant is young and healthy

TIP: If possible take cuttings from non-flowering shoots. Otherwise the plant's energy will go into developing the flower and not the root

TIP: Take cuttings from the youngest sappiest growth

Step 3: Make the cut

TIP: Use sharp knife or secatuers

TIP: Make your cut just below a leaf joint and at least two nodes down from the top

TIP: The node is where the plant's growth hormone is gathered. If you cut below this point it encourages the plant to put that energy into growing roots

TIP: Take more than one cutting for insurance

TIP: All cuts should be clean and neat

Step 4: Prepare for planting in pot

TIP: Take off the bottom 2/3 of the leaves by pulling them downwards. This is where new roots will be formed

TIP: Removing leaves reduces water loss - although you need to keep some leaves for photosynthesis to take place

TIP: If the leaves are particularly big you can cut the remaining leaves in half

Step 5: Plant in the pot

TIP: Rooting compound should not be necessary for the plants that we are using in this item

Step 6: Cover it

TIP: Once your cutting is planted in the pot, you can use a drink bottle (with the base cut out and placed upside down) or a plastic bag to create the humid conditions the plant heeds to get started

TIP: Place in a sheltered, warm place out of direct sunlight

Step 7: Keep an eye on it and keep the pumice moist

TIP: Watering is crucial until roots form

TIP: Check every two or three days and water to keep the mix moist.

TIP: When you begin to see new shoots, gradually expose the new cutting to the real world by removing the plastic covering in stages

Step 8: Plant it out

TIP: Have the plant totally uncovered in its pot for about one week before moving it into its permanent garden location (it should take four to six weeks to get to this stage)

DIVIDING PLANTS: Step-by-Step Process and Tips

Division best propagates perennials that grow in clumps. This is done by lifting the whole plant out of the ground and separating it into pieces each with a root section attached. 


Probably better to do this in the autumn or winter  - Choose a cloudy day
Perennials need dividing regularly (every two or three years) to refresh them and keep them growing well

Step 1: Prepare your soil or garden area

TIP: Make sure your soil or garden bed is well dug over and in good condition

Step 2: Choose your plant

TIP: Choose well-established and healthy plants

TIP: It is sometimes more economical to buy a larger perennial plant and divide it yourself

Step 3: Dig the plant up

TIP: Lift the plant with a fork or spade and shake off excess soil

Step 4: Separate

TIP: Gently separate by hand or cut into sections with a sharp knife

TIP: Discard the centre of the plant if it looks less healthy

Step 5: Replant

TIP: Put straight into the ground so the plant doesn't dry out

TIP: Replant with the soil level the same as before


Top 5 - Fencing options

Soft and natural - Brushwood fence

Go bush with a brushwood fence - They're a good alternative if you're looking for a softer, natural-looking fencing option for your garden, but can get tatty with age.

Brustics Brushwood Fences
9 Arrenway Drive
Tel: 0800-BRUSTICS
Fax: 09-478-2260

Play with perspectives - horizontal trellis

A tweak on the traditional horizontal slat fence, here the slats have been placed at progressively greater distances apart - creating an interesting optical effect&.
Rural inspiration - Onduline fence

Onduline is a versatile and durable product, with a real Kiwi feel. Made from organic fibres saturated in bitumen, it offers good sound-insulation properties and is available in the colour of your choice.

Perimac NZ Ltd
PO Box 25 384
St Heliers
Tel: 0800 ONDULINE (0800 663 854)
Fax: 09-570-6014

Blank canvas - pipe and mesh

It's not the most attractive option, but good old pipe and mesh is great for growing a climber - creating good, green privacy. And updating your fence is as easy as pie.

Modern weave - bamboo and zincalum

And this funky product weaves sheets of zincalum - which can be any colour you wish - through a bamboo frame to give a contemporary, architectural feel to your garden.

Contact: Mark Mortimer
68 Verran Road
Tel: 09-483-4655
Mob: 021-256-4935

Beautiful Backyard with Ruud Kleinpaste

Vineyards and Olives, on the dry plains of Marlborough, surround the first Beautiful Backyard we are visiting in the series.

There is something for everyone on this half acre section - you can take your pick from soft curving flower beds around the beautifully restored Villa, wide straight Perennial borders or even a remarkable structured formal knot garden edged with buxus and divided into colour blocks.  And Sue Monahan and her husband Dave have created them all from nothing.

The villa was literally falling down and Sue used to get out of the house with her babies and started putting in the gently curving garden beds around the house.  They had no money and a small family, so Sue used to raise her plants from cuttings and seed and then sold plants at the market in order to get more plants!

The formal garden areas are only 5 years old - Sue and Dave managed to buy the paddock next door and then went about drawing up the plans on paper, taking all the angles and sight lines from the existing big old walnut tree and the views of the mountains.  Then Dave got out with balls of string and they laid all the beds out - with paths wide enough for the wheelbarrow and hand mower, before Sue got stuck in and planted all the buxus.  She keeps them neat all by herself .  She also has to go around each autumn and spade down around the inside edges of the beds as the roots of the buxus can be invasive.

The garden is divided into 4 colour groups and some of the plants looking great the day we were there were the red Heuchera "chocolate Ruffles", and the amazing bearded Iris "Dusky Challenger".

Dividing the knot garden hedged area from the wide perennial border area is a Lonicera hedge. The Perennial borders are very wide at 4 metres, with the planting lower at the front and higher at the back.

There are two edible garden areas at Upton Oaks - the first is a little potager that would fit in any space, with salad greens and herbs handy to the kitchen - all watched over by the scarecrows.

And the second area is quite new, with large beds for all the big crops and a whole orchard of fruit trees cleverly contained espaliered against the walls. Sue and Dave have chosen a good range of fruit trees which fruit throughout spring, summer and autumn in to winter.  Sue says the hardest thing about espaliering is being ruthless enough to cut off really healthy branches just because they are not growing in the direction they want them to.

The last area of the garden we see is the original spot, which is now, a lovely brick barbeque area with gentle borders and walls smothered in Alberic Barbier roses.
Sue and Dave wouldn't be without their gardens now - they run their business from home and have a beautiful environment in which to sit and relax - views of the gardens from every window of the house, and the satisfaction of knowing that they do it all - all by themselves.

Plant Right with Lynda Hallinan

This week's topic - Full Shade

Lush look

Clivias (Clivia miniata ): One of the best plants for growing in dry shade under trees. Their spongy, fleshy roots are like orchids, almost epiphytic, and can store water in their dormant mode. (Lynda to shake one out of a pot to show roots.) They also have a natural connection with podocarps like in their habitat in South Africa and here under totaras, through a mutually beneficial fungus called mycorrhizal fungi, which grows in the root nodules of podocarps.

This species grows up to around 45cm. It flowers in spring with blooms appearing in clusters on stems. The foliage is strappy and a glossy dark green. The flowers are usually orange, but hybrids in yellow and cream are now available. The hybrids are better specimens with bolder flowers and more intense oranges. Clumps can be divided after flowering. Clivias aren't hardy to frost but in cooler areas they can be grown in pots. They flower best when root bound.

Bromeliads : A very large family of plants, which includes the pineapple, from tropical rainforest and temperate parts of Central and South America. They are perennial and usually have stiff strappy leaves that form a water catching "vase".  Many are epiphytic, which means they can live on trees for support or in the ground with their very shallow roots. This means they are ideal for situations where there is minimal soil, such as among tree roots. They just need water in their "vases" and minimal nutrients. Their foliage can be more spectacular than the flowers, depending on the variety. Some varieties shoot up large spectacular flowers. Many have sharp or spiky leaves so need to be handled with care. They are easily propagated by removing the "pups" that appear after flowering and replanting. It is a good idea to keep them in pots, perhaps burying the pots in the garden, so they can be moved about (unless among tree roots, of course).

Hen and chicken fern (Asplenium bulbiferum ): Terrestrial or epiphytic fern from Australasia. It spreads by creeping rhizome, and has arching fronds. They are good in shade, though tend to need a lot of water. Great for a really lush look and in the right location can get over one metre high and wide. You need to watch for slugs and snails.

Fruit salad plant (Monstera deliciosa ):  A large evergreen climbing plant with intriguing foliage and fragrant fruit. They like warm, humid, frost-free conditions and part shade. A good plant for around the base of trees as they can climb them a little.

Vireyas (Rhododendron vireya hybrids ): There are many hybrids of these evergreen shrubs that grow to around 1.5m with flower colours ranging from orange/yellow tones to pink/red. Much of their appeal lies in the flowering, which can happen at any time of year, making them useful feature plants.

Impatiens, New Guinea hybrids (Impatiens x hawkeri ): The classic busy lizzies, but these cultivars have striking combinations of flower colour and foliage.

Old-fashioned favourites look

Astilbes Hardy perennials that make good ground covers, they like shade but also water. They have fern-like foliage and red, white, or pink flowers appear on tall, fluffy plumes. Divide established plants from late winter to spring.

Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum ): A hardy woodland perennial that grows to around 90cm. Small pendulous clusters of flowers appear in mid-spring to early summer.

Chatham Island forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia ): Evergreen perennial that grows to about 30cm high with long-stemmed, veined heart-shaped leaves. Heads of blue and white flowers appear in early summer.

Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' ): Forms a clump of silvery heart-shaped leaves with green veins. It grows to around 40cm with similar spread.

Hostas : Hostas are grown for their foliage interest   large, ribbed, heart-shaped leaves that grow in clumps in various shades, from green to bluish grey to yellow striped. They get small pink or mauve flowers in summer. They are very vulnerable to snails and slugs.

Pulmonarias (to source some variegated varieties): Hardy perennials that like a temperate climate with distinct seasons. They prefer shade and moist soil. There are many hybrids, with forms tending to have showy variegated foliage and short stems of flowers either violet/blue or pink/red in spring.

Helleborus (various at Joy Plants including Helleborus X sternii): These like dappled shade in woodland settings, but don't like to dry out in summer. They produce cup-shaped flowers in winter to spring, the sternii variety producing green flowers flushed pink or purple.

Mr Toad (Tricyrtis hirta ): A shade-loving perennial that grows to around 90cm. Pale lilac flowers are speckled with darker purple on arching stems with soft green foliage. They flower in autumn.

Tiarella (Tiarella wherryi ): Low-growing (to around 30cm) perennial that produces racemes of narrow cream flowers.

Plant Doctor with Ruud Kleinpaste

This week's topic - Whitefly


  • A heck of a lot of sooty mould on the upper sides of the leaves. A lemon or mandarin tree soon turns black.  Leaves are covered in honeydew deposits, which are covered by copious amounts of sooty mould.
  • The underside of leaves is completely smothered in white scaly looking growths and circles of eggs.
  • There is extensive yellowing of the leaves because they suck substantial amounts of carbohydrate from the host plant. Also some distortion and mottling of colour.
  • Clouds of white flies come off if you brush past an infected greenhouse plant or cabbage

There are heaps of different kinds of whitefly - one for every occasion, but the main ones that turn up in our gardens are:

1. The citrus whitefly.
2. The greenhouse whitefly. In glasshouses, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, zucchinis, and beans are prime targets, and outside they descend on pumpkins, squash, beans, capsicums, peppers and hollyhocks.
3. The ash whitefly can be found on a range of trees and shrubs.
4. Cabbage whitefly has been around Brassicas since gardeners can remember. It's most prolific in late summer, but hangs around well into autumn in the northern parts of the country.


BEST PREVENTION TIP: To stop them getting established in the first place look at the underside of leaves early in the growing season and wipe the small colonies off before they become big and hard to deal with.


  • Make sure you remove all old plants and sticks from the greenhouse at the end of the season.
  • Pick off leaves with colonies on and burn them.
  • Try using a vacuum cleaner with a small brush head to get adults off indoor plants - you have to put the vacuum bag in the freezer to kill the whitefly.
  • Hang yellow sticky traps right by the plants.
  • With outdoor garden plants you can attract the small Cecidomyiid fly.  The caterpillar form of these will eat vast quantities of whitefly larvae and eggs. So you need to plant things with flowers shaped like umbrellas - like parsley, coriander, fennel.
  • Try Encarsia formosa  parasites - These are little wasps and you can release them in a greenhouse, at the first sign of white fly.  Most commercial growers just release thousands of these wasps into their glasshouse every month or so. For the average home gardener you'd only need about 10 per square metre. They can be bought by mail order from:

    BioForce Ltd,
    PO Box 812,
    New Zealand.

Or you can request your local garden centre to order them for you.
They arrive as grubs and hatch into wasps at your place, which is when you release them.

There is a bit of a trick with controlling most whitefly because it has become resistant to most insecticides.  But there are other options:

  • Fatty acids (potassium salts), which are an old fashioned version of green soap - spray onto the underside of the leaves and the tips - as that's where the youngest babies are.  This works when it dries and they scratch themselves to death.
  • Neem oil will do the job, because it kills their appetite (the nymphs and the adults) and they stop eating.  You do need to make sure it's applied to the underside of the leaves every month or so to maintain control.
  • Spray with Conqueror oil, which will suffocate them.  But it's not as effective as Neem and it'll kill parasites as well.

The good news is that Citrus whitefly is easier to kill with insecticide - so spraying Confidor or Orthene both work really well.