Sister-in-law Anna and I managed to get two parts of the main gardens started at the new house at Struan Farm this past week. After we finished the first bed we realised we had enough plants (almost) for the second area John had "authorised," so we continued planting. We got into a bit of trouble on our shaping of that second bit, our edge was eventually reshaped by the "overseer."
I did learn quite a bit from Anna, who soaks every plant in a bucket in its container before planting, until the bubbles stop. Almost every plant (except the conifers) was planted with blood and bone, some with a combination of blood and bone and sheep pellets. The roses were planted with sheep pellets and rose food, the azaleas and camellias with their special food. Everything was then watered and leaves/mulch spread.
It was quite a day's work, but looks great. Only a few spots to fill in. I've subsequently planted Arthropodium 'Matapouri Bay,' our native "Rengarenga lily," in a circle under the Bridal Cake Dogwood, along with a ring of hostas (and lots of Quash slug/snail bait, since they love both of these plants).
Part 3 consists of a (mostly) conifer bed at the end of the house near the stone chimney. John laid out a group of conifers I purchased at Cedar Lodge and Wairere Nurseries, which I've now planted along with nandinas to fill in a gap and provide some colour and different texture:
Conifers are very slow growing but think this garden looks interesting and should be even more so with time.
I'll be filling in those gaps in the other beds shortly, then it's on to another corner if we're "allowed."