A Guide to Growing Native Plants in Kapiti, New Zealand
A Guide to Growing Native Plants in KAPITI CONTENTS Some local plants that remind us of our past . . . but also our future potential 2. Knowing Your Local Conditions Nikau thrive in moist, sheltered, frost-free sites. The shelter they need, however, is long gone from most 4. Dunelands areas. We see old nikau in open pasture because, being monocotyledons, they are simply very hard to kill. For nikau to thrive and reproduce once more we must 8. Lowland Terraces restore shelter - and in doing so we encourage kereru (NZ pigeon) to visit and spread their seed. 9. The ‘Nikau Belt’10. ‘Kamahi Country’11. Birds in Your Garden Kohekohe, a dominant tree in mild-climate forests12. Gardening which receive year-round moisture, impresses with its winter flowering. In summer, large seed capsules develop that by early winter have split open to reveal14. Pests orange fleshy seeds. The luxuriant flowering illustrated here is only possible where possums have been15. Being Water-Wise eradicated. References Pingao (illustrated) and spinifex are two native species adapted to life in the shifting foredunes where they help create smooth dune profiles. Destabilisation of dunes by pastoralism in the 19th century led to mass planting of marram grass and lupin which formed new dunes, but ones with erodable, steep profiles. To re- establish pingao now we need to control rabbits as well as marram.
Your Loc ocal Knowing Your Loc al Conditions The zones shown here describe areas rainfall and readily draining soils results characteristics in wildlife communities property fits into the picture, and some of which share similar ecological conditions. in summer drought. (and farming practices, garden styles and the local characteristics you could They are different from their neighbouring The patterns of plant succession or valley/ even the weeds you’ll encounter). consider when you plan your planting. zone in some way - perhaps salt is a spur vegetation will be similar within each We give a brief overview of the zones. The The following pages list plants which are limiting factor, perhaps the area is frost- zone but will differ from a neighbouring boundaries will be blurred in reality - but suited to the local conditions and which free or the combination of low summer zone. You can also recognise local you will be able to recognise where your reflect the natural (native) local vegetation.PAGE 2
DUNELANDS (1) the duneland has huge implications for with nikau and pukatea in moist, sheltered Cold air draining into the valleys effectively distribution of pollutants, and for effects of sites. This is the characteristic forest we still creates a mountain environment at low levelsSalt, summer drought and winter frosts drainage and subsequent loss of swamp see in pockets today - a fresh green canopy - one with heavy frosts and even snow! Fordictate life in the dunelands. Many of the habitat for plants, birds (especially coastal dotted with olive crowns of tawa. Because the purposes of gardening, however, we havewesterly winds are strong and dry, so without species and water-fowl) and fish (such as eel, tawa is so sensitive to exposure, kohekohe is combined it with ‘Kamahi Country’.rain to wash salt off plants they really can be mudfish, inanga). As many people have often at an advantage in a regenerating forest,killers. Watch too for the infrequent but discovered, what we do to one property can and you will see many smooth-canopieddamaging easterly gales. affect distant neighbours. stands of pure kohekohe. Tawa will be more ‘KAMAHI COUNTRY’(6) The youngest dunes have a specialised but conspicuous on south-facing cool and Year-round rainfall and cool temperatures onlimited variety of native plants. This is a sheltered sites. The upper limit of this zone these old weathered soils has created acidicshrubland and grassland zone, with some LOWLAND TERRACES (2) is around 150-200 metres. conditions, but luxuriant forest growth.taller growth possible in sheltered hollows. Like the duneland this zone also has very Large-leaved species such as rangiora,Because frosts are light or lacking, it is habitat wineberry, five finger and lemonwood are seasonal rainfall (dry summers) and ESCARPMENT (4) not detailed in this bookletfor a suprising array of insects. Feeding common in the second growth and the forest experiences frosts but wind and salt have lessprospects for insect, seed and small fruit- The vegetation on these steep slopes of thin understorey, with disturbed bush particularly of an influence. The alluvial and silty soils ofeating birds like finches, larks and silvereyes soils and mobile screes reflects both the mild, the old river terraces are deep and fertile but rich in climbers and tree ferns.are good. moist climate and the effect of salt-laden drain freely, often drying out in summer. Some Forest succession starts with tauhinu and Further inland, older stable dunes have westerlies along with extreme drainage! So of the silts may be heavy in winter; to a plant manuka and moves on to kamahi (abundantthin soils which drain readily and organic we find leathery leaved tree daisies, hardy that is similar to a drought. Good drainage is enough to lend its name to this zone),matter is rapidly leached away. They can pittosporums, ngaio and karaka along with a mixed blessing as pollutants drain into rewarewa, five finger and tree ferns. A maturesupport forest growth, but quickly lose that the more temperate species like kohekohe, alluvial aquifers that supply many farms. forest will contain northern rata, rimu andcapacity if cleared. Scattered groups of titoki and mahoe. Totara, titoki and, where there is shelter, white maire over a tawa canopy.kanuka, akeake, ngaio and taupata remind kohekohe are visually dominant native trees Properties near bush will enjoy the spilloverus of what bush could have grown. Damp, here - they cope well with seasonally dry soils REIKORANGI (5) of forest wildlife such as ruru (morepork),sheltered hollows allow a greater range of and have tolerated grazing. Smaller trees and kereru (NZ pigeon), whitehead, riroriro (greyspecies to grow, but they need to be frost- This extensive hill-surrounded valley system, shrubs tend to be small-leaved species. warbler), bellbird and tui.tolerant ones. where four rivers have down-cut into a basin Where peat-filled swamps between dunes filled with deep, fertile, glacial gravels, hashave been drained and developed for The ‘NIKAU BELT’ (3) some unique characteristics that separate it,housing, peat has been replaced with hardfill ecologically, from other zones in the area.and peaty sand which creates a whole new This area has a mild, moist climate year- round, generally frost free (especially alongecological zone! Treat these areas the way you KEY to the following pages:would treat dry dunes, but remember the the banks of rivers, or where rivers issue fromeffect of peat on lowering the pH. the mountains and there is a constant (shaded) known to be local species, historically, and should cope with draining of air that reduces frost). There is pata Coprosma It is the patchwork of contrasting wet and most garden situations enough shelter or distance from the sea fordry areas which gives the duneland its salt winds not to be a problem. Soils areecological interest. Water dominates natural mostly weathered clays and stabilised screes rengarenga Ar (unshaded) not native to this area, but suited to the habitat describedduneland, for two reasons. In some places coated in loess, although this ecological zonenew dunes have blocked the flow of streams extends out across the lowlands in placesto the beach, creating swamps. In other where a mild climate counteracts the effects nuka Leptospe (underlined) good plants to use as ‘nursery crops’ and for quick shelterplaces sand plains created by wind scouring of free drainage. Slopes without vegetationexpose the water-table and small lakes and cover are prone to erosion during high Note: the species listed are ones that should do well in the modern garden or bush-swamps are created, or the compacted rainfall.surface prevents heavy rainfall from draining edge environment. No attempt is made to list all species likely to have grown in theaway. Plant succession here progresses from area. Our emphasis is on species native to this area, suited to our conditions - we think tauhinu to manuka then to kohekohe and The inter-connectedness of water through tawa over large-leaved understorey species, they give plenty of gardening scope, and a reliable framework to work within. PAGE 3
Foredune Foredunes run the entire length of Kapiti- important for the entire neighbourhood. are drying, salty and ensure constant sand- conditions. ❂ Frost should not be a Horowhenua. South of Waikanae, The pressures of human trampling, rabbit drift inland. There are summer droughts, problem here. however, we are gradually losing that line browse and storm events on the foredune and this is when most salt damage can Design interest: Few species, but of dunes to the sea. The remnants are vegetation can often be overcome by the occur. ❂ The dunes are not only low in colourful & texturally interesting. They shored up with walls and groynes. North home gardener as well as by local nutrient but without organic content, they suit massing together in informal groups of Waikanae, although the foredunes are authorities! drain and dry rapidly. If you add organic which reflect the underlying landforms. surviving, stabilisation is an ongoing Factors for gardeners to consider: material, you must keep on adding it, for concern. So how people garden here is ❂ The prevailing west-to-north-westerlies it will break down quickly in these It is not just the action of waves that causes coastal erosion during storms - turbulent wind increases the damage. Foreshore gardeners should aim to get air flowing smoothly up the beach and over the foredune by controlling the height of vegetation or having permeable fencing that wind can filter through. Solid fences, walls and shelterbelts will only make the turbulence, and wind erosion, worse. in the lee small leaved pohuehue Muehlenbeckia complexa autetaranga, sand daphne Pimelea arenaria seaward side (spreading plants) sand coprosma Coprosma acerosa nihinihi, shore bindweed Calystegia waiuatua, shore spurge Euphorbia glauca soldanella taupata Coprosma repens pingao Desmoschoenus spiralis tauhinu, cottonwood Cassinia leptophylla spinifex Spinifex sericeus piripiri, bidibidi Acaena novae-zelandiae To germinate spinifex seeds, first sand sedge Carex pumila (on moist sites) mingimingi Coprosma propinqua catch your whirlygig! Feel for plump, tataraheke, sand coprosma Coprosma Eleocharis neozelandica hard seeds in the centre and use those, acerosa ngaio Myoporum laetum keeping the container moist. horokaka, ice plant Disphyma australe akeake Dodonaea viscosa NZ spinach Tetragonia trigyna whau Entelea arborescensPAGE 4
Dry DunelandDunes increase in age as you travel inland than expected. Successful planting relies air drainage off the hills helps prevent we need to replenish soils regularlyand their soils mature accordingly. on matching the dry/damp patterns and frost. Plants listed have an asterisk if they with organic compost.Between the dunes there are often flat using hardier species in sites exposed to are frost-tender. ❂ The entire area Design interest: Kanuka and akeake, ifsandplains and hollows created by wind- dry salty winds. experiences summer drought. Mulching left unpruned, have attractive, wind-scouring where the soil is damp. Much of Factors for gardeners to consider: with a heavy chip (that will not blow away) shaven forms that have become key visualour urban development occurs in this ❂ Use salt-resistant species to create will help plants establish. ❂ In these focal points in this landscape.zone and not all the dunes have survived shelter for other plants. ❂ Frost is an sandy soils organic matter will break down Prunable hedges:taupata, akeake, oleariabulldozing, so soils may be less developed issue - although less to the south where rapidly. To recreate the old forest fertility Street trees: karaka, akeake, ngaio, mahoe, kanuka gro es ves tre lar ger d of wind r e s i s t a n t to shr ublan lee The copper butterfly isSmall plants & Ground Covers frost resistant species on moist flats abundant on the coast becausepetako, sickle spleenwort Asplenium that’s where its native hostpolyodon plant pohuehue or Trees - on younger dunes & dry sand plainshuruhuruwhenua, shining spleenwort Muehlenbeckia grows densely. ngaio Myoporum laetumAsplenium oblongifolium M. complexa is a versatile plant kanuka Kunzia ericoides - survives bestmingimingi Cyathodes fasciculatus planted in groves - it even makes a great hedgemingimingi Coprosma propinqua Moist sand plains & hollows - low stature . . . akeake Dodonaea viscosa when grown along a wireCoprosma rigida remuremu Selliera radicans taupata Coprosma repens netting fence - and is a populartaupata Coprosma repens shore pimpernel Samolus repens rautini, Chatham Is.akeake Senecio huntii pot plant overseas.coastal tree daisy Olearia solandri Gunnera arenaria whau* Entelea arborescenstauhinu Cassinia leptophylla sand buttercup Ranunculus acauliskorokio Corokia cotoneaster panakenake Pratia angulataJuncus australis (tolerates dry conditions) Trees - older dunes with soils. As above, plus: libertia Libertia perigrinanshibiscus Hibiscus trionum titoki* Alectryon excelsus Carex flagelliferarengarenga Arthropodium cirratum akiraho Olearia paniculata sand sedge Carex pumilangutukaka, kakabeak Clianthus puniceus mahoe Melicytus ramiflorus blue wheat grass Agropyron scabrum kowhai Sophora microphylla . . . and taller species toetoe Cortaderia toetoeClimbers mapou Myrsine australis cabbage tree Cordyline australis harakeke, swamp flax Phormium tenaxkaiwhiria, native jasmine Parsonsia capsularis kaikomako Pennantia corymbosa karaka Corynocarpus laevigatus rengarenga Arthropodium cirrhatumpuataua Clematis forsteri matai Prumnopitys taxifolia kahikatea Dacrycarpus dacrydioides shore fuchsia * Fuchsia procumbens PAGE 5
Duneland Streams Streams in the duneland are mostly courses have been straightened (which deep, meandering channels with steep, speeds up their flow and erosional eroded banks. Plants suited to growing energy), they are treated as drains for on their banks will be ones which cope farm effluent and stormwater, and most with dry, well-drained sites, not ‘wet feet’ have lost any streamside (riparian) sites. vegetation. Our planting plans may help ❂ They act as visual corridors through restore vitality to those waterways. the landscape but many of their natural ❂ Inanga (adult whitebait) spawn within streamside grasses and reeds hundreds of metres from the coast, where salt water turns to fresh water on the spring tide. This is another argument for keeping stock or mowers away from stream edges and to allow Ideal heights for streamside planting: plants to grow which will minimise erosion along the stream banks. ❂ Overhanging vegetation contributes Shrubs & grasses to the shading and nutrient supply for (1-2m) all manner of stream life. Native, 3m max. evergreen vegetation is better than deciduous vegetation as both shading and nutrient will be constant year- round. Small trees (2-4m) 6m max. Stream banks . kowhai Sophora microphylla EA AR ngaio Myoporum laetum ED AD koromiko Hebe stricta SH Large trees muakaro, scented broom Carmichaelia (>4m) odorata tree tutu Coriaria arborea (poisonous fruit) 12m max. toetoe Cortaderia toetoePAGE 6
Wetlands Duneland WetlandsSwamps and ponds created by poor water-logging. Much wetland has been lost ❂ Avoid planting raupo in ponds withdrainage will have a fluctuating water (and wildlife habitat with it) so recreating high nutrient levels - it will soon chokelevel - suited to plants which tolerate swamps and ponds is a positive the pond. The flip side is raupo is goodoccasional or seasonal waterlogging. Wet contribution to local ecology. for filtering grey water - as areareas created by a high water-table Schoenoplectus validus and Baumea Swamp flax (harakeke) and Factors for gardeners to consider: coastal flax are different species.generally have a more stable water-level, ❂ Peaty soils, when drained, shrink and articulata ❂ Give priority to planting You won’t find much coastal flaxand plants grow in zones around the prove difficult to manage. You could add banks above wetlands that are surrounded growing in this area as it commonlyedges according to their tolerance of topsoil or sand to condition the garden. by rural land. Plants may help filter the grows on well-drained rocky sites. high nitrogen levels in seepage and runoff. But you will find lots of large swamp flax (Phormium tenax) growing where the soil is damp year-round. Its seed pods are erect (on coastal flax they hang down and are twisted). Designing a wetland? Small gestures for local wildife go a long way. A stump or dead tree overlooking the water is a natural vantage for shags and kingfishers. An island in a Wet edges pond can provide a pukio Carex secta predator-free roostingDamp raised ground (or occasional waterlogging) Carex geminata site for waterfowl.manuka Leptospermum scoparium Carex lessonianakoromiko Hebe stricta var. atkinsonii upoko tangata, giant umbrella sedge Dabblers and swamp birds likekaramu Coprosma robusta Cyperus ustulatus the shelter of over-hukihuki, swamp coprosma Coprosma wiwi, sea rush Juncus maritimus hanging pond-sidetenuicaulis Damp edges & hollows jointed wire rush, oioi Leptocarpus similis vegetation; ducks likeOlearia virgata cabbage tree Cordyline australis raupo Typha orientalis a grassy bank fortoetoe Cortaderia toetoe harakeke, swamp flax Phormium tenax kapungawha, lake clubrush access - socabbage tree Cordyline australis Carex virgata Schoenoplectus validus provide both. PAGE 7
Lowland terraces The character of remnant patches of native Even though this area is devoted to frost - or the clay-rich silts that are heavy not exposed to wind. growth on the free-draining lowlands horticulture and grazing, native vegetation in winter and dry in summer, reduces the Design interest: Stone walls are part of today is dominated by totara, with groves plays a dominant role in the landscape, range of plants that will do well without the alluvial lowland scenery. The remnant of kohekohe, titoki and matai where bush giving residents a ‘framework’ on which shelter. So, firstly, concentrate on patches of native trees have rounded has been protected from stock. The to build a visually sympathetic garden. providing shelter! Plants listed have an crowns - this is a ‘soft’ landscape. understorey shrubs are mostly hardy, Factors for gardeners to consider: asterisk if frost-tender when young. The Prunable hedges: kohuhu, mapou small-leaved and divaricating species banks of larger streams will be frost-free ❂ The combination of good drainage, Street trees: titoki, totara, mahoe, which make interesting garden plants. so tender plants like tree ferns and drying winds and summer drought, plus kaikomako kawakawa may do well in sites that are No-one knows for certain how many years cicada pupa stay underground but it clearly helps if you don’t dig around the base of your trees! Small plants & ground covers koromiko Hebe stricta var. atkinsonii Big trees toetoe Cortaderia toetoe titoki* Alectryon excelsus muakoro, scented broom Carmichaelia kohekohe Dysoxylum spectabile odorata totara Podocarpus totara thin-leaved coprosma Coprosma aereolata matai Prumnopitys taxifolia Coprosma rhamnoides stiff stemmed coprosma Coprosma Small trees crassifolia manuka Leptospermum scoparium Ferns (all prefer semi-shade) poataniwha Melicope simplex Hydrocotyle novae-zealandiae (moist, shaded huruhuruwhenua, shining spleenwort wineberry Aristotelia serrata ground) Asplenium oblongifolium Climbers kaikomako Pennantia corymbosa mikoikoi, NZ iris Libertia ixioides manamana, hen & chicken Asplenium kaiku, NZ jasmine Parsonsia heterophylla - mapou Myrsine australis - good in dry sites bush rock lily Arthropodium candidum bulbiferum not P. capsularis which prefers drier habitat kowhai Sophora microphylla raupeka Earina autumnalis (orchid) panako, thread fern Blechnum filiforme akatea, small white rata Metrosideros kawakawa Macropiper excelsum peka a waka Earina mucronata (orchid) tarawera, button fern Pellaea rotundifolia perforata mahoe, whiteywood Melicytus ramiflorus coastal astelia Astelia banksii (part shade) hounds tongue Phymatasorus pustulatus climbing fuchsia Fuchsia perscandens wharangi Melicope ternata Carex solandri ponga, silver tree fern Cyathea dealbata Clematis foetida (yellow flowers) kohuhu Pittosporum tenuifolium wind grass Anamanthele lessoniana (semi- wheki Dicksonia squarrosa puataua Clematis forsteri shade)PAGE 8
‘Nikau’ Belt The ‘Nikau’ BeltThe combination of low frost frequency, environment. Today the zone is important shelter provides. Mature trees may die if Design interest: Apart from tawa andyear-round soil moisture and reasonably for the density of kohekohe in second exposed to wind, and juveniles (which titoki’s olive green crowns, the palettenutritious soils create a mild, productive growth stands - a tree of moist, coastal make attractive garden plants) also here is a distinctive fresh green, withgrowing environment. With shelter, trees areas rapidly disappearing through require a draft-free, shady site ❂ your kohekohe, mahoe, kawakawa andlike tawa and nikau find the humidity they pressures of lowland development and gardens are a vital link for birds moving hangehange the greatest contributors.thrive in. Fragments of mature forest (seen possum browsing of the remnants. down into the lowlands from the Tararua Sizeable clusters of trees tend to nestlenear Emerald Glen or in Nikau Reserve) Factors for gardeners to consider: foothills.They’ll appreciate continuous into the landforms - this can be mimickedremind us of the potential lushness of this ❂ Tawa needs the humidity that good plantings. on a smaller scale with low vegetation around buildings. Prunable hedges: Lemonwood, kohuhu, poroporo Street trees: Kohekohe,titoki, lacebark, turepo Big trees kohekohe Dysoxylum spectabile cabbage tree Cordyline australis rewarewa Knightia excelsa titoki Alectryon excelsus tawa Beilschmedia tawa turepo, small leaved milk tree Streblus heterophyllus Small trees manuka Leptospermum scoparium Small Plants & Ground Covers karamu Coprosma robusta maukoro, whip broom Carmichaelia wharangi Melicope ternata flagelliformis wineberry Aristotelia serrata maukoro, scented broom Carmichaelia odorata lacebark Hoheria sexstylosa koromiko Hebe stricta var. atkinsonii kawakawa Macropiper excelsum koromiko Hebe parviflora mahoe Melicytus ramiflorus Climbers poroporo Solanum aviculare pigeonwood Hedycarya arboreaFerns NZ jasmine Parsonsia heterophylla hangehange Geniostoma rupestre var. kotukutuku, tree fuchsia Fuchsia excorticatahuruhuruwhenua, shining spleenwort akatea, pink rata vine Metrosideros diffusa ligustrifolium (shade) (moist sites)Asplenium oblongifolium rata vine Metrosideros fulgens mikoikoi, NZ iris Libertia ixioides kohuhu Pittosporum tenuifoliumpanako, thread fern Blechnum filiforme puawananga, bush clematis Clematis turutu, NZ blueberry Dianella nigra kanono Coprosma grandifoliatarawera, button fern Pellaea rotundifolia paniculata panakenake Pratia angulata lemonwood Pittosporum eugenioideshounds tongue Phymatosorus pustulatus kohia, NZ passionvine Passiflora tetrandra raupeka Earina autumnalis (orchid) nikau Rhophalostyis sapida - (shelter)wheki Dicksonia squarrosa kiekie Freycinetia baueriana ssp banksii peka a waka Earina mucronata (orchid) rangiora Brachyglottis repanda (understorey) PAGE 9
‘Kamahi’ CountryOn the foothills behind the lowlands, or particular) kamahi is a showy specimen and cool nights that mean young plants the most of flowering trees and vines.in the Reikorangi Basin, there is plenty of tree with a rich supply of nectar for birds. in particular require good shelter. ❂ a Prunable hedges: large-leavedyear-round rainfall. As a result the soils Rata vines, passionvine, clematis and common complaint along disturbed bush coprosmasare deeply weathered, leached and supplejack contribute colour and bird edges is the tree disease Armillaria which Street trees: Northern rata, kamahi,somewhat acidic. First manuka, and then food to the garden. will spread to new plantings, so remove kaikomakokamahi dominates the regenerating bush. Factors for gardeners to consider: infected wood where possible.Like many other hill country trees ❂ although there is great variety of plant Design interest: flowering interest in(rewarewa, northern rata and heketara in types and forms possible, beware of frost natives comes into its own up here - make Big trees rimu Dacrydium cupressinum white maire Nestegis lanceolata tawa Beilschmiedia tawa - needs shelter rewarewa Knightia excelsa northern rata Metrosideros robusta miro Prumnopitys ferruginea Overseas, many beetles fly to escape animals which eat Small trees raukaua, five finger Pseudopanax them. Here, there were so few Small Plants & Ground Covers anomalus animals many beetles stopped everlasting daisy Helichrysum bellidioides Climbers kanono Coprosma grandifolia flying. They grew big and Nertera depressa (damp ground) kaiku, NZ jasmine Parsonsia heterophylla horoeka, lancewood Pseudopanax heavy. When humans brought Lagenifera pumila akatea, pink rata vine Metrosideros diffusa crassifolius rats to NZ most of these giant turutu, NZ blueberry Dianella nigra rata vine Metrosideros fulgens pate Schefflera digitata hangehange Geniostoma rupestre var. puawananga, bush clematis Clematis rangiora Brachyglottis repanda beetles were eaten out. This ligustrifolium paniculata mahoe, whiteywood Melicytus ramiflorus one is the HUHU beetle. karamu Coprosma robusta kohia, NZ passionvine Passiflora tetrandra kaikomako Pennantia corymbosa tutu Coriaria arborea Ferns putaputaweta Carpodetus serratus Coprosma rhamnoides kiokio Blechnum novae-zelandiae pigeonwood Hedycarya arborea koromiko Hebe stricta hounds tongue Phymatosorus pustulatus kamahi Weinmannia racemosa hunangamoho Chionochloa conspicua (a piupiu, crown fern Blechnum discolor heketara, tree daisy Olearia rani tussock) kotate, soft tree fern Cyathea smithii kotukutuku, tree fuchsia Fuchsia excorticata Cortaderia fulvida (a small toetoe) mamaku Cyathea medullaris broadleaf Griselinia littoralis mikoikoi, NZ iris Libertia ixioides ponga, silver tree fern Cyathea dealbata kawakawa Macropiper excelsum winika Dendrobium cunninghamii (orchid) wheki Dicksonia squarrosa forest cabbage tree Cordyline banksii
BIRDS in YOUR GARDEN & BUGS !What does your garden offer a bird? flowers are available throughout the . . . and butterflies and moths andThere is a big ecological difference year, but they eat fruits also, and tui show worms . . . one of the features of thebetween gardens with numerous birds a preference for native fruits (especially New Zealand insect fauna is that so(especially starlings, sparrows and podocarps) over exotic species. many species are dependant upon ablackbirds) and gardens with a great The main fruit and foliage eaters (NZ particular plant for part of their lifevariety of birds. The latter reflects the pigeons, starlings, silver-eyes) are useful cycle - perhaps all of it.range of feeding opportunities the for distributing plants around, especially Having a diversity of native plants ingardens offer, as well as safe roosting and the pigeon which can swallow the really your garden is good for this reasonnesting places. big fruits - but it works both ways. These alone. Whiteheads or popokatea areMost of our garden birds are ones which birds also transport your garden species Over half our native bugs evolved in endemic to the North Island.have recently immigrated from countries fruits back into the bush where we don’t forest situations but with so much These noisy birds move inalready full of predators (so the birds necessarily want them. forest cleared their options are limited. flocks, eating insects off foresthave learnt defensive behaviour). This Finches, larks, sparrows feed mostly on A small corner of your garden that is trees. They rarely fly in the grass seeds and small insects in the open. allowed to stay dank, still and open, but may be tempted intoincludes ‘natives’ like fantails and tits that gardens along bush margins bycame from Australia long before humans, Your garden might also provide for water undisturbed is precious habitat for our the fruits of hangehange,but recently enough to still have birds that feed on invertebrates, fish and native insects. putaputaweta, mahoe or rimu.Australian traits. foliage. Swamp and pond birds likeOur endemic birds don’t have those pukeko, ducks, scaups etc. need privacysurvival skills ingrained: they can’t share and shelter. Shags, kingfishers appreciategardens with cats, dogs, rats and even perches beside the water.magpies except on brief feeding visits. And don’t be in too much of a rush toSo you could reduce the number of bird- fell that old dead tree - it could becomekillers for a start. home for your local morepork (as longMost birds have a preferred diet (and a as you eradicate the possums first).way of seeking it) although most show So you can see that every garden is aa burst of interest in protein around potential food source for birds at anybreeding time. They might primarily time of year. What our native birds needbe insect eaters hawking on the wing is not food so much as habitat where they(fantails), feeding in ground litter can breed and roost free from predation,(blackbirds, thrushes, tits), feeding nest disturbance and competition fromfrom inside tree canopies (riroriro, aggressive immigrant species. Some ofwhiteheads) or from the outer crown the shyer ones will appreciate linkagesof trees and bushes (silver-eyes, between gardens (perhaps an avenuestarlings). of street trees?) so that they need notNectar eaters, like tui, bellbird and fly in the open.silver-eyes, will seek out whatever
GARDENING Introduced You LandscapeAre You a Gardener? The New Landscape species NATIVE Protecting Natural Natural gone wild SPECIES (2068) (2000) RemnantsWhether you plant a shelter belt or a Where once there was 15 metres heightherbaceous border you’re deciding what of luxuriant growth producing its ownplants will do best in that location - that’s nutrients and microclimate, and What’s important?at the heart of gardening. Add a dash of perhaps a metre of organic soil below ❂ fencing - to let palatable plants andimagination and sensitivity to your this, now there is more likely to be seedlings grow, and to reducesurroundings to those practical 10cm of grass on a soil dependent on trampling damage;decisions and you’re on the way to being fertilisation.a garden designer as well. Where once the wind blew across a ❂ sealing the bush edges from wind toAlthough the range of native plants never tightly woven, wind-resistant coastal Introduced create the cool, humid microclimate speciesseems as broad as the selection of shrubland of uniform height, now it is that many interior forest plants need. in gardensexotics, your native garden can be just more likely to swirl turbulently around (16,900) Use low stature, fast growing plantsas satisfying and interesting. Plus, it’s a hedges, houses and solitary Dept.of Conservation such as taupata or manuka in coastalhaven for all those insects which prefer macrocarpas. areas; karamu or mahoe on theor rely on native species for their welfare. Biodiversity is not simply a numbers lowlands; poroporo, karamu or The waterways are rich in nutrient from game: increasing the number of plant rural run-off, most swamps are drained, species in the country does not kohuhu in the foothills and in the hillElegant plantings of Carex provide good habitatfor stream life and help absorb flood waters. their peat soils shrunken or replaced necessarily improve biodiversity if it’s at country. If there are tawa in the stand, with hardfill. the expense of the native flora. plant a taller shelter belt to minimise So, what plants will suit these new The diagram suggests that ‘windows of wind exposure to their crowns (use situations? Will the natives once present opportunity’ are now more likely to be salt resistant species like kohekohe survive today? Here are some tips: filled by an imported species than by a and kaikomako in the lowlands); native species. So, gardening with ❂ near the coast, accept that you are in natives is rather like an insurance policy ❂ retaining the natural water table and a shrubland zone - the only native trees for our native flora. soil moisture patterns in the vicinity. likely to thrive there are the resilient Kahikatea is particularly vulnerable to coastal trees ngaio, karaka, akeake, drainage; kohekohe or taupata which will quickly old wetlands. resprout if damaged by salt or wind. ❂ controlling weed and animal pests. ❂ on fertile river terraces and open Concentrate on smoothing the flow of Rats and possums prevent fruiting and spaces (especially well drained areas) wind (mass planting of same-age plants seedling growth. See p.16 for advice; deep-rooted trees or tiny-leaved shrubs helps). Avoid plants with large, soft, have the best tolerance to stresses. ❂ limiting access. Make a path, but only non-shiny leaves. Take particular care one, especially where neighbours ❂ in inland areas once forested: see with young plants (mulch and water share a natural remnant. You can’t well). what grows around the edges of forest remnants and plant those species expect great seedling growth where ❂ once a wetland plant, always a (shrubs, vines, hardy ferns), or have a kids play or everyone has a track to wetland plant, so they should survive look at a regenerating scrub area and their favourite spot; in the ‘new landscape’. But now they plant those species: they can withstand have a modern role to play - purifying ❂ stock nibbling over the fence? Plant exposure. Plant in groups, and add water and providing shade for wildlife species they don’t like - ngaio, rangiora ‘internal’ bush remnant species later in streams. Concentrate on riparian and poroporo for example. when there is shelter. planting and restoring the water to
Simply YouOr Simply Gardening Where Can You Source Specialist Native Native For Getting Tips For Getting TheChoosing to garden with natives is a Native Native Plants? Plant Stockists Results Best Resultspersonal preference, but look at someof the reasons why people enjoy doing One of the features of lowland Kapiti- Talisman Nursery Starting from scratch? On bare land yourit: Horowhenua is that so little natural worst enemies are the drying wind, Ringawhata Road vegetation remains. Without the ability weeds that appreciate your disturbance❂ if they use species already proven & Otaki to go out and collect seed we rely on of the soil and hungry rabbits. suited to the locality they ’ll get neighbours and specialist plant nurseries Dense planting is advised, to provide optimum growth and minimum to stock our gardens. Otaihanga Nurseries cool cover for tender roots as quickly as maintenance Try, where you can, to use plants bred 117 Otaihanga Road possible and to suppress weeds. You can❂ they appreciate the character of from local stock. Eco-sourcing is quite Paraparaumu thin growth later. natural landscape around them - that valid. Although people will point out A mulch will have the same effect, but ‘sense of place’ that birds carry seeds long distances, a could blow away in exposed coastal❂ their sense of garden design overrides Gus Evans Nurseries great number of plant species have fruits gardens unless you pin it down with any reluctance about planting 12 Utauta Street eaten by small birds or geckos which netting or fibrous mat. ‘common’ or ‘scrubby’ species. don’t have big ranges, or perhaps the Waikanae ‘Nursery’ crops are a good idea for❂ they are aware that there are specific seeds are wind distributed. The plants large planting programmes, to provide plant host-insect relationships which don’t get widely distributed at all. Naturally Native quick shelter from the wind. Start with they can nurture (and have gardens The same goes for pollination, so some native adventives (the first plants to full of native butterflies, cicada and 30 Gammon Mill Road plants are relatively ‘incestuous’ and establish quickly after disturbance, such moths) Tauranga develop local traits that often give plants as taupata in the duneland, manuka or❂ they want to re-create and improve tolerance to local stressful conditions. karamu elsewhere) and a year or two habitat for wildlife (especially later interplant with other species. With Matatoa Trees and Shrubs important in the wetlands) time, you can thin or remove the Many gardeners experience difficulty P.O.Box 31❂ it gives them a buzz nurturing & ‘nursery’ plants. A useful exotic species getting the pure species of manuka and Engles Road protecting vulnerable and unusual to use like this is tree lucerne. kanuka established. It is possible that the native species Shannon seedlings develop best with soil fungi❂ it provides plants ideal for weaving present. Try adding Trichoderma (available and dying, for symbolic uses and for from garden suppliers) to the planting hole, Plantwise using in flower arrangements or a handful of soil taken from under Summit Road❂ they know they’re contributing to New established groves of manuka, and use Lower Hutt Zealand’s biodiversity (and preventing locally sourced seedlings. outsiders using windows of opportunity to take over). Did you Taupo Native Plant Nursery look at the pie diagram on the previous P.O.Box 437 page? Taupo
PESTS Eating Your Garden Eating Your Taking Over Your Patch Your Pa Rabbits are a major pest for gardeners Possum numbers are high inland of We are familiar with weeds like gorse and duneland. especially in the sand country, and hares State Highway 1. blackberry but there are other weeds of Treatment: Roundup, Escort are common in inland rural areas. It pays particular concern in Kapiti that gardeners might unwittingly spread Pampas to eradicate them before planting or Control methods include: protect new plantings. Hares will not ❂ Bait stations using Talon 20P pellets thinking they are attractive fruiting or take poison readily so the best option is or Pindone pellets (delayed kill flowering garden specimens. to shoot them. Note that rabbits seem response, so pulse for cost effectiveness). Boxthorn partial to hebe, coprosma and aciphylla. ❂ Timms traps set near palatable trees. Control methods include: Possum favourites include coprosma, ❂ Magtoxin tablets for fumigating tree fuchsia, five-finger, kohekohe - burrows and they love ripening male pine ❂ Pindone cereal rabbit pellets (an cones. Bait with fruit and cinnamon Two species of tall grass, like toetoe, anticoagulant poison) or dates. but they flower late in summer and ❂ Shooting is only permissible in rural ❂ Live trapping. As above - but you have their dead leaves spiral like pencil areas. Remember it is an offence to to dispose of the possum yourself! shavings. Concentrated in disturbed carry a loaded fire arm on any vehicle. ❂ Shooting (see previous notes) Erect, thorny shrub with red fruit, active sites like dunes and along riverbeds. It is also an offence to discharge a fire in duneland. Treatment: Spray after flowering with arm so as to annoy or frighten anyone, Rats and mice prevent the germination Treatment: Spray regrowth after cutting Roundup, Gallant. so warn your neighbours before you of seeds to a greater degree than most to ground level with diesel/Grazon shoot near dwellings. Old Man’s Beard of us are aware. mixture. Or rip out manually. NB discarded branches can resprout. Protect plants with: Control methods include: ❂ Oxblood, in liquid form, painted onto Boneseed ❂ Bait stations using Talon 50WB pellets foliage (a length of drain pipe does the trick). ❂ Acrylic paint +egg powder repellent painted onto foliage ❂ Tyres, netting or plastic sleeves placed around young plants ❂ Exclusion fencing made of chicken netting A smothering clematis, on lowlands and inland areas. Leaves are arranged in fives (native clematis have leaves in Yellow-flowering shrub with fleshy threes). Fluffy seedheads. leaves and black fruit, active in Treatment: Roundup, Escort.PAGE 14
BEING WATER-WISE Kapiti District does not store water. Its supply relies on rainfall maintaining riverBanana Passionfruit Some garden and farm trees become levels and on bore water. As we know, problems when their original summers usually stretch demand for circumstances change. Macrocarpa water beyond supply! seedlings will proliferate in open ground if grazing stock are removed. This guide should help you plant Sycamore can establish in native bush species adapted to the climate of your and shade out other plants. It is a neighbourhood and its stresses, but particular problem around Reikorangi. there are other common-sense Crack willow, once popular for precautions to take to minimise water- streamside planting, will resprout from useage when supplies are low:Vigorous climber with green/pink branches moved downstream during Two coastal gardens which have solved the waterflower and yellow pulpy fruit. Most Soak, don’t sprinkle crisis by using naturally resilient seaside species: floods.active in frost-free ‘Nikau Belt’ and Water the roots, not the leaves (above) prostrate ngaio and pingao, (below) a silvery combination of spinifex with the northernriverbeds. hibiscus and, in the centre, the milky leaves of the For a full list of pest plants in the Wellington Water late in the evening to shore spurge Euphorbia glauca.Treatment: Roundup. Cut back in area refer to the detailed literature provided minimise evaporationwinter/spring and spray regrowth. by Wellington Regional Council. Their PestWild Ginger Plant Section in Upper Hutt can be Add water-retaining crystals to pots contacted on 04-5264133. Install a rain- water tank to Using Herbicides collect garden At all times be as specific as possible, water off your roof targetting only the problem plants. Do not use herbicides where there is a risk Use timers, moisture meters, directional of seepage into waterways. sprinklers and hose triggers as ways of controlling water wastage(Both Kahili and Yellow Ginger)“Tropical’ leaves, yellow flower spires Put your washing machine rinseand dense rhizomatour root system. water to good use!Treatment: Dig up and dispose of allrhizomes and tubers. And after you’ve watered . . . mulch Nearly one third of Kapiti’s water supply is directed at gardens. Wise use and wise planting can reduce this substantially. PAGE 15
(left) This colourful dune garden uses local ingredients: pingao, coastal flax and ngaio; (centre) the shore spurge Euphorbia glauca grows best on coarse sand or fine shingle; (right) the rengarenga lily and Tecomanthe, a vine from the Three Kings Islands, are perfectly suited to that difficult, shady south side of coastal houses.PAGE 16
Clockwise: Bush-edge gardens can be show-cases for our floweringvines, in this case Metrosideros fulgens; Carex flagellifera graces adeck where the background colour isprovided by kamahi seedheads; toetoeare ideal grasses for difficult spots and agreat food source for finches; this bush-edge garden is designed to evoke anaturalistic grassy clearing, using silvertussock (Poa cita), Chionochloaflavicans (flowering) and juvenileputaputaweta (Carpodetus serratus); thelarge-leaved coprosmas such as karamuand taupata are sometimes treated withscorn as a garden plant because they‘grow everywhere’, yet this ability totolerate a wide range of conditions makesthem ideal nursery plants or gap fillers.Try them espalliered against a sunny wallor as a bird-friendly hedge. PAGE 17
References The Native Garden: Design ThemesB O F FA from Wild New Zealand IsobelMISKELL Gabites & Rob Lucas 1998; Godwit.planning design ecology Gardening with New ZealandP.O.Box 11 442 Plants, Shrubs and Trees Muriel E.3rd Floor, 111 Dixon StreetWellington, New Zealand Fisher, E. Satchell, Janet M. WatkinsTel: 64 4 385 9315 1970; Collins.Fax: 64 4 384 3089 The Cultivation of New Zealand Plants Lawrie Metcalfe 1993; Godwit. Native Forest Restoration; A Practical Guide for Landowners Tim Porteous 1993. Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust. The QuickFind Guide to Growing Native Plants Andrew Crowe. Viking.Boffa Miskell encourages design and restoration projects which reflect the spirit of our natural places.We are pleased to support this guide and help Kapiti put these principles into practice. The Wellington Regional Plant Guide Wellington Regional Council. Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae has native plants labelled in their natural habitat.
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