November 2014

Burning question

I live in a retirement village where my flowers must be in pots. I'm about to order some more petunias but would value your advice on what blue flowers to plant in my deck troughs to help bees and insects.

For blue flowers that attract bees I recommend growing lavender (like the small growing lady variety) and electric blue salvia. For other non-blue bee attracting flowers try dahlia, cosmos and zinnia.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Sweet tasting slaw

While the name of this dish is actually ‘sweet winter slaw’ we think it’s also perfectly suited to spring and summer dining. Visit here for Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘sharp-sweet’ and ‘clean-tasting’ cabbage salad recipe.

Mix things up

If you’re keen to grow different herbs, veges and flowers but don’t want to buy too many bundles and end up with lots of seedlings, you might like to check out our mixed bundles.

Our cottage garden, pots and tubs and hanging basket mixes are filled with seasonal flowers. Currently the cottage garden mix consists of cornflowers, cosmos, dahlias and zinnia and the hanging basket mix contains, amongst others, lobelia, marigolds and petunias.

There are at least 10 different mixed herb and vege bundles available from our online store at the moment. And, our mesclun and hearting lettuce bundles are always very popular.

Lastly, if it’s a certain variety of flower you’re after but in a range of colours, like cosmos or lobelia, we also stock plant specific mixed bundles. Take a look through our online store for more of your favourite mixed bundles.

Pump up the colour with petunias

For a quick shot of colour in your garden you can’t go past petunias. Pink, red, blue and more – you can even get duo colour petunias. Not sure how to choose? Try a mixed bundle and wait for the surprise when they start to flower.

All you need to plant petunias is a sunny, free-draining spot in your garden. Running tight on space? Try growing these pretty plants in pots. For more details on how to pump up the colour in your garden with petunias visit here.

Awapuni Nursery Tours

For the first three Wednesdays of December we'll run a free tour of the nursery with a free bundle of seedlings for everyone who turns up, the chance to win more seedlings and of course our regular nursery deals such as $1 potted colour plants, three bundles for $10 and our new Pick & Mix deal (fill a pot with any seedlings for $4). Tours start at 10am.

So if you've ever wanted to see what happens behind the scenes at Awapuni lock one of these dates in your calendar and visit here for more information.

Busy business

As you’d imagine, spring is our busiest time of the year at the nursery. And, a couple of weeks ago we had our busiest day yet in 2014.

On the day this photo was taken (right before Labour weekend) we sent out 12,500 bundles to New World, Pak n Save, The
Warehouse and Bunnings stores all over the country.
To say it was hectic that Monday would be an understatement!

If you’d like to see more of what goes on at Awapuni Nurseries, you might like to attend one of the three nursery tours we’re holding on consecutive Wednesdays during December. Visit our website for more information on the tours including start times.
We hope to see you there.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham

Dwarfing delphiniums

For me, the key to making your garden look visually appealing is to include plants in a range of sizes. If you’ve already got your small plants covered and it’s height you’re after, look no further than the delphinium, which can grow to around 180cm tall.  
Beautiful and elegant, bold and statuesque, delphiniums are certainly no shrinking violets. Quite the opposite, in fact, with the flowers perfectly designed to play a leading role in your garden.

You’ll be sure to love the colours too, with the plant's dense leaves sprouting flowers ranging from traditional blues right through to lilac, pink, yellow and white.

Not only striking, delphiniums are easy to grow, with the hardy perennials flowering from late spring to late autumn, year after year. They’re versatile too, working well in pretty, country gardens as well as modern or stately, sculptural ones (plant next to hostas, canna lilies and cardoons, and throw in some river stones for a bit of a contemporary look).

Convinced? Grab some Awapuni delphinium seedlings from your local supermarket, the Warehouse or Bunnings. Alternatively, head to our online shop and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

When you're ready to plant, choose a sunny, well-drained area with rich soil. Dig in a good quality compost and animal manure fertiliser, or garden galore, and add plenty of mulch to stop weeds forming and retain soil moisture. I prefer a soft mulch, like pea straw, which will rot down over time and feed the soil. And if you want to deter those delphinium-hungry snails, cover the mulch with a rough bark as these little critters find it difficult to cross the bumpy terrain.

Don't have time for a full garden makeover? Simply plant some of our dwarf pure white delphiniums in black lacquered pots. Reaching up to a metre tall, they'll add drama to your outdoor table, patio or pathway.

Either way, I guarantee you’ll be reaching new gardening heights in no time.

Read on for more details...

A short note on dwarf beans

Green beans were a staple for many of us growing up (usually over-boiled with little crunch or nutrients for that matter!). The good thing is this traditional veg is just as versatile in today’s kitchen (think salads with a twist or Asian-inspired cuisine).

The real beauty of the dwarf variety, though, is that, due to the plant's small stature, it can stand on its own in your garden, without needing support from any wobbly tepees. In fact, growing dwarf beans really is child’s play.

I, for one, used to love to get my kids involved in cultivating these flat and flavoursome greens. Not only are they easy to grow, they’re also fun to harvest.

To get started, pick up some Awapuni Traditional Value dwarf green beans from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online shop and get them delivered straight to your door. You’ll be pleased to know our seedlings can be unwrapped, separated and prepared for the soil without breaking their roots.

Next, start preparing your earth by adding a little lime – this will improve your garden's pH levels, helping your beans get sprouting. Then simply plant the seedlings about 10cm apart from each other in rows separated by around 30cm.

Don't fret if garden space is limited at your place; I've found they also grow well in pots. All you have to do is fill the pots to the top with potting mix – ideally one with a slow release fertiliser to ensure the best growth for your plants. Then dig a little hole and plant your seedling. A 10cm diameter pot will fit around three seedlings nicely.

Wherever you plant, don't forget to water your beans well and in six to eight weeks you should have a bumper crop. Don't worry if you end up drowning in beans - you can always freeze them.

Just remember, when you do go to cook them – think par-boiled, not over-boiled!

Read on for more details...

November is a good time to...

Sow the last of your grass seed. Mulch and apply a good general fertiliser. Plant your favourite summer veges.

Grow flowers like impatiens. And dry some of your herbs for cooking.
Read on for more details...


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Carol from Carterton, Marie from South Waikato, Maryke from Sanson and Joy from Waihi who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during October.

Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month, so stay subscribed for your chance to win and remember to check your inbox in case you’re one of our lucky winners.

Be in to win in 2015

We’re so pleased with the feedback we’ve received from each month’s winning Cultivated News subscribers that we’re going to continue giving away seedlings to subscribers during 2015.

What do you have to do to be into win? Simply stay subscribed to Cultivated News. We’ll randomly select six winners every month to receive six seedling bundles each.


Henri and Paul Ham, Awapuni Nurseries Ltd
Pioneer Highway PO Box 7075 Palmerston North 4443 NEW ZEALAND


P: 64 6 354-8828 F: 64 6 354-8857 W: E: