Top Shows

Ground Rules

Saturdays 7.30am | TV ONE

Fact Sheet 2005 - Ep 5

Garden project with Richard Greenwood

This weeks project - Street Appeal

Throughout the show Richard demonstrated how to give your home 'street appeal' with a simple and stylish fence, complemented by a strong planting theme that brought glamour to the front of the section.


  • Agave attenuata
  • Rhopalostylis sapida 
    Nikau palm

Milne's Plant Link LTD
0508 MILNES (0508 645 637)

  • Corokia

Kings Plant Barn
St Lukes
Ph: 09 846 2141

Hire Equipment
Hirepool Auckland
09 376 4058

Fencing panels

  • Zincalume

Metal Craft Industries
26 Trugood Drive
East Tamaki

Garden & Building Supplies
PlaceMakers - Mt Wellington
80 Lunn Ave
Ph: 09 527 6054

Letter box

  • Architectural Letterbox

Post Impressions
Ph: 09 622 3171


  • 'Asphalt'


Kings Plant Barn
St Lukes
Ph: 09 846 2141

Skip Bin
Payless Bins Ltd
Ph: 09 576 3190

For any information about fencing regulations refer to or your local council.

Contractors: Landsmiths
Ph: 09 358 2717

The Basics with Lynda Hallinan

This week's topic - Organics

If you want to keep your environment clean and your garden free from chemical sprays then organic gardening is the way to go. This week we are going to look at the basics of organic gardening - showing you the steps you need to take to get started. 


SOIL: The foundation of any organic garden is the soil.  Healthy soil generates healthy plants and these plants will in turn be more resistant to disease. You can use organic compost bought commercially or if you prefer - make your own.  If you feel the need to use natural fertilizers you can use blood and bone, sheep pellets, chicken manure or liquid seaweed. These all rely on natural soil micro-organisms to break them down.

COMPOST: Composting is an efficient way to manage your kitchen and garden waste and create perfect food for your organic garden.
Successful compost requires and even balance (50/50 by volume) of ingredients containing nitrogen and carbon:

  • Wet and green nitrogen rich material -grass clippings, kitchen scraps, weeds, and manure
  • Brown and dry carbon rich materials - dried leaves, twigs, branches, shredded paper and envelopes, untreated sawdust and wood shavings or egg cartons


  • Soaking the leaves of 5 comfrey leaves in a 9-litre bucket can make a general fertiliser. Stir each day for 3 to 4 weeks and use as a fertiliser.

WATERING: If your plants don't have good access to water they will be stressed. This stress can make them more prone to disease. So a good water supply is essential in an organic garden. Mulching on a regular basis will also help keep the soil moist - plus it will provide organic matter to the soil and encourage soil micro-organisms.

MOSAIC PLANTING: Some people have great success reducing the pest community in their garden by not planting their vegetables in rows and instead using a mosaic approach. The theory is that the insects and pests look up at the silhouette of the plants against the sky and find it difficult to identify each plant. This confusion makes them confused and they move on!

PESTS and DISEASE: As well as feeding the soil the other main branch of organics is that of natural pest control - harnessing natural pest control processes rather than adding dangerous chemicals. You can do this by:

A) Buying disease resistant plants or plants that are happy with your soil type so that you don't need to use fertilisers.

B) Companion Planting to:
a) Encourage natural predators such as hoverflies, ladybirds and lacewings or
b) Discourage certain bugs and insects


  • Basil: Basil deters flies, mosquitoes and thrips and is a good companion with tomatoes - plus it improves the tomatoes' growth and flavour.
  • French marigolds (the ones with a scent) repel greenfly and blackfly because they produce a scent that is offensive to these insects. Their roots also give off a substance that repels the eel worm (eelworms are the bad nemotodes that attack plant roots). Marigolds are good to interplant with tomatoes and potatoes.
  • Nasturtiums act as a decoy and attract slugs and snails. They are also attractive to black aphids and cabbage caterpillars, so they can be planted near cabbages to save them from insect damage.
  • Horseradish: is another decoy plant that attracts aphids and green shield beetles.
  • Garlic: is a deterrent for aphids and is therefore good to plant with roses.  If you plant a bulb of garlic with each rose, the rose plant will take up the smell of the garlic and repel the aphid. Onions, garlic and leeks are all good vegetables to mix around throughout your garden to create a deterrent to many pests and insects.
  • Lemon balm: encourages bees into the garden.
  • Shoo fly: is an herb that helps to prevent whitefly.
  • Geranium citrosa: acts as a mosquito and fly repellent.

C) Killing pests directly with safe products such as neem oil, slug beer traps or physically removing pests such as spraying aphids off roses and stamping slugs.

D) Removing diseased plants and gathering up fallen leaves quickly

E) Deterring pests with organic sprays like smelly garlic or seaweed and fish that work by repelling bugs.

  • You can make your own garlic spray (white butterfly, slugs, snails and aphids don't like the smell) by chopping up 4 onions and 4 bulbs of garlic and putting them in a 9-litre bucket full of water. Let this settle for a week to 10 days. Add soap melted in hot water to provide a sticking agent. Strain through muslin or a non-metallic strainer and pour it into your garden sprayer.
  • You can make your own soap spray for use as an insecticide by dissolving 50 gms of soft soap in an 4.5 litres of hot water.  Let it cool and use as a spray against cabbage white and other caterpillars.

GENERAL CARE PRINCIPLES: The essence of organic gardening is staying in tune with your garden, keeping a watchful eye on all your plants and their condition and making sure that you act fast if any maintenance or action is required.

Products purchased from:
1 Scotland St
(09) 360 8477

Kings Plant Barn, St Lukes
118 Asquith Ave
St Lukes
(09) 846-2141
or your local Garden Centre.

Top 5 - Letter Boxes

Letterboxes can be just something for the postie to stick your mail in - or so much more. We've brought together a range of options, that address security, style and even a spot of whimsy!

Contemporary appeal - Metro letterbox

Slick, shiny and with just a bit of a tweak to the standard letterbox design - this is just the number for giving your street-front some classy appeal, especially for a contemporary home.

Available from:
Eon Design Store
Beaumont Street
Freeman's Bay
Tel: 09-368-4860

For other stockists nationwide, visit contact:

Box Design
Unit 5/1027 Ferry Road
Tel: 03-384-8387
Fax:  03-384-8317

Just jesting - Letter-Headz character letterbox

If you want something extraordinary, then a colourful themed letterbox may be up your street - get one ready-painted or come up with your own colour scheme.

6 Durham St East
Tel: 09-309-5017
Fax: 09-309-5159

Secure and stylish - Brabantia Vectra

If you want to keep your mail secure, you can go for something like this stylish pressed stainless letterbox. It works best when mounted against a solid wall.
Post Impressions Ltd
PO Box 16-158 Dominion Road
Freephone: 0800-378-525

Classic in plastic - Mailhouse polyethylene mailbox

This may look like your classic letterbox, but it's made of polyethylene - that's plastic to the uninitiated - so there'll be no problems with rust, and no painting required!

Post Impressions Ltd
PO Box 16-158 Dominion Road
Freephone: 0800-378-525

Sculptural steel - the Wedge

Superb in stainless steel, this 'wedge' box is at the pricier end of the market, but it will keep your newspapers and junk mail well protected from the elements!
Post Impressions Ltd
PO Box 16-158 Dominion Road
Freephone: 0800-378-525

Beautiful Backyard with Ruud Kleinpaste

Judith and her husband Phillip bought their Dunedin house 14 years ago. Previously they lived along the road in a villa without drive on access. They used to walk past this house and admire it so they finally put a note in the letterbox asking the owners if they were keen to sell. They were. When they bought the house, Judith says, "The garden was established but less structured than it is now".

The Front Garden
The roadside garden is higher than the back and hit by the easterly off the sea. When they first moved in, Judith started by planting roses and trying to develop a more cottage garden effect - with little success. She soon learned that the coastal conditions would dictate the design. She started again and replanted to suit using polychroma euphorbia surrounded by teucrium hedging. Her father helped her create the geometric outline for the hedging, framing a central circle of bricks and a pottery urn.

Judith says she chose the formal layout because this part of the garden faces the street and she did not want to spend too much time gardening out there. Now maintenance is just a matter of keeping the hedges trimmed. A driveway leads along the side of the house towards the back garden. When Judith and Phillip moved in the right hand side of the driveway was planted with akeakes and a variety of other shrubs. These were soon replaced by a dramatic row of white flowering cherries underplanted with rows of arthropodiums and sedums. On the left of the drive Judith has a series of triangle gardens planted with grey grasses, purple euphorbia, echiums, lavender and standard pohutukawas - all chosen for their tolerance of coastal conditions and their blue, silver, purple or red colour.

The Back Garden
In contrast to the exposed front garden, the land behind the house slopes away giving the back garden great natural protection from the sea breeze. Right from the start Judith knew she wanted to establish a patch where she could grow vegetables and herbs for use in her home based cooking classes. The backyard had good sun and wind protection but was covered in concrete. In came the concrete cutter! Squares were cut and removed a potager garden created. While this garden is small, it gives Judith a chance to grow all her favourites; garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, Italian cabbage, lots of herbs including parsley from seed each year, lettuce, broad beans and courgettes. Judith says she "likes to likes to grow fun things - not carrots or potatoes!"

Nearby Judith created a knot garden and planted it with pleached bay trees to hide a clothesline. And a picture in a magazine inspired her to try the highly successful espaliered quinces. Beyond the driveway a set of steps with a pohutukawa on either side lead to an area where Judith grows a variety of fruit including greengages, apricots, apples including a small cooking variety called 'peace good nonesuch' and pears. These trees are underplanted with bluebells and daffodils 

At the lowest point in the garden is a stream. Leading to this are two border gardens, one in the shade the other more sunny. In the shaded area Judith is able to indulge in her love of hostas, trilliums, ligularias, achilleas and viburnum. The sunnier border is planted with roses, helleborus, and crambe cordifolia.

Judith Cullen's Cooking Class - published by Longacre Press 2004

Plant Right with Lynda Hallinan

This week's topic - Coastal

Improving site
Poor sandy soil is best improved by adding organic matter to retain nutrients and moisture. Add your garden compost, or a peat- or bark-based bought compost, and manure. After planting mulch heavily to further conserve moisture.

Plant selection
Many New Zealand natives are adapted to our vast coastline, such as those from offshore islands - Chatham Island forget-me-not, puka (Meryta sinclairii) and Poor Knights lily - and tough divaricating shrubs - Coprosma rhamnoides or Coprosma acerosa hybrids and Muehlenbeckia astonii.

Most coastal plants are wind resistant but not all wind-resistant plants like the salty spray. The main adaptations to coastal conditions are to wind, salt and drying out in summer - through waxy leaves (Coprosma repens, agaves) or dense fur (eg Artemesia, Pachystegia, Brachyglottis, lavender) to resist water and salt penetration and to resist drought. The fur gives the foliage a grey look.


Karo (Pittosporum crassifolium 'Stephens Island'): A moderately frost-hardy species that grows to around 8m with a spread of 3m. Clusters of fragrat reddish flowers appear in spring, followed by greenish white fruit. Tolerant of dry conditions and adaptable to most soils, it needs a sunny aspect and suits coastal conditions.

Pohutukawa (Metrosideros 'Mistral'): A familiar sight on New Zealand's coastline, all pohutukawa are resistant to salt and exposed places. Mistral is one of the most suitable.

Maori spurge or shore spurge (Euphorbia glauca): Shrubby perennial that grows to around 60 cm, has blue-green foliage with slightly paler flowerheads and tiny nectaries.

Coprosma 'Karo Red':  Native to NZ seashores, withstands coastal winds where little else will survive. Grows in a dense mound to 1.8m.

Cordyline 'Red Fountain': This cultivar won't grow much more than 1m so is suitable for smaller gardens or pots, as well as the garden.

Poor Knights lily (Xeronema callistemon): Very forgiving and responds well to neglect. Give it a dip in the sea once a year, or bring home some seawater to throw over it like the spray in its natural environment. It flowers better when its roots are constricted so it's ideal for a pot. Likes a sunny situation.


Gazanias: Colour feature. Low clump-forming plants from the daisy family often seen in seaside gardens. Their bright flowers are usually yellow or orange but there is a huge colour range available. They are frost tender and don't like wet winters, but are easily grown in a sunny position with gritty free-draining soil and even poor dry soils. The double-flowered variety stay open.

Silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum): These do best in perfectly drained sandy or gritty soil with added humus. Leucadendron argenteum, a fast-growing silver tree, used to be seen on the hillsides of South Africa's windy Cape Peninsula. Does well on coasts if conditions aren't too humid. Other species are suitable for coastal planting, such as L. salignum, L. salicifolium and L. laureolum.

Leucospermum tottum 'Champagne': Compact bushes full of flowers that like well-drained soil and a sunny, temperate climate with low humidity.

Mexican snowball or white Mexican rose (Echeveria elegans) - Rosette-forming succulent with pale grey-green leaves coated with a white powder produces golden-centred pink flowers.

Plant Doctor with Ruud Kleinpaste

This week's topic - White Butterfly and Aphids

How do you know you've got them?
The favourite plants for the caterpillars are Brassicas - all Brassicas are fair game and in fact can be decimated by them - so that's cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, turnips mustard, swede and ornamental Kales. Nasturtium leaves also often host a caterpillar or two. And the happy little butterflies you see anywhere near your vegetables are a sure fire indication there's trouble ahead - as are the leaves of your plants disappearing in huge chunks.
The droppings can get pretty gross too. Big curly black &dark green clumps of it.
The baby caterpillars initially feed on the surface of the cabbage's tissues, but as they moult and grow larger, the larvae make their way towards the centre of the plant to feast on the tender new growth. Even the insect's droppings taste like cabbage but they look awful.
The female butterflies lay their eggs (clumps of tiny yellow bullet shaped eggs) under the leaves, and there can be as many as 3 or 4 generations eating your plants in one year.

How can you get rid of them?
There are effective non-chemical solutions that should help reduce the population in your garden. (Apart from tennis practice with a racquet)

  • The absolute key to controlling these non-chemically is to watch for the first signs of butterflies, and check your plants frequently for eggs or caterpillar feeding damage.
  • You can use a lightweight crop cover (cloth that still lets in light and air and water - but not the pesky butterflies) to protect younger seedlings and transplants.  Simply drape it over some stakes or cut the top and bottom off a drink bottle and pop that over the individual plants.
  • The long hand method is to find the eggs and caterpillars and just squash them.
  • There are some natural enemies that can easily be attracted which will eat the eggs and young caterpillars - things like hover fly maggots, lacewings, and whirly gig mite, and also pteromalum puparum.  Or you can plant the following things around about your precious plants which will attract all of them: buckwheat, parsley, carrot, hemlock, dill, and queen Ann's lace.  For hoverfly it's Blue tansy. 
  • Removal of old Brassica crops and weeds is clever, because these can act as intermediate hosts (and don't forget the nasturtium!).
  • Grow varieties that are more tolerant - red leaf varieties of Brassica - red cabbage are supposed to be less inviting to them.
  • When the white butterflies are searching for their food crops they look for the contrast between the plant and the ground so if you use non-reflective mulch like Hessian or shade cloth around the plants the butterflies won't land and lay.
  • You can use Pyrethrin spray to kill the caterpillars - they act as nerve poison, which paralyses the caterpillar.  
  • Derris Dust is another botanical insecticide which quick action, quick breakdown with low toxicity.
  • You could try Btk spray as well. Remember to discard any left over.
    Chemical solutions.
  • Contact insecticide like Carbaryl is ok - but you have to spray every 2 weeks, and add a wetting agent like "Spray fix" in order to get it to stick to waxy leaves. 
    You simply mix a little "spray fix" into the spray when you are diluting it into the pump sprayer.

BTK Spray purchased from:

Horticentre Veg-Grow
(09) 832 1400