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Regional News Article

Big Garden Clearout
Oct 30, 2008
Author: Catherine - Southland

The felling was done by a professional, but my husband cut the felled trees up for firewood. While the chainsaw was still warm, we decided to take out the rowans. Fine trees, and loved by birds, but rowans were appearing amongst the matagouri on neighbouring farms and in time they'd have shaded them out. I don't think farmers like matagouri a lot, but I'm sure they like rowan less.

Now we were kind of into the swing of it, so we dug up the montbretia that was taking over flower beds. Not hard to see why this is a weed, nothing can compete with the tight-packed corms. We took five wheelbarrow loads of corms down to the bonfire in the field, and gave some of the leaves to a friend's goat. We replanted the area with native iris (mikoikoi) and winter rose.

It is a really big garden, and broom had got away in one corner so we cut that and pasted the stumps with herbicide. By this time (weekend number three) our seven year old daughter was getting bored with her job of picking stonecrop out of the drive, so we built a teepee out of manuka poles and overed it with broom, creating a gorgeous yellow hut.

Well, that was it, for the time being anyway. It will take me a while to harden my heart against the budldleia I have seen it cover river banks in Hawkes Bay, and I know how badly it affects river birds. But I still love the butterflies it brings to the garden. Will get mountain holly to replace them, in time.