Environment

Retreat for Reptiles

Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) has proved to be a haven for native reptiles as well as birds, plants and insects. There are eight species of skink and five species of gecko and tuatara. Hauturu has the most reptile species of any offshore island....... Read More

Beating the heat

Previous columns will have prepared you for summer gardening. Soil nutrients should be in place, mulch has been sourced, pests have been identified and now the warm climate, sunshine and long summer days should be perfect for sun-loving tomatoes, beans,...... Read More

Troublesome tourists

Auckland Council is considering areas for self-contained freedom camping under a bylaw review. Come summer, campgrounds will be full, beaches will be busy and a mix of grey nomads (retiree campervanners) and flexible travellers will be on the road enjoying...... Read More

Cat control coming

When I was living in Wellington, on the lower slopes of Mt Kaukau, our two cats would often be found playing with half dead lizards, inside or outside. I just didn’t know that we were contributing to the decimation of the local native skink population....... Read More

Marching on together

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop run by Sanctuaries of New Zealand. This is an annual national event hosted at a different location each year.  This year it was at Hamilton Gardens. I’ve been to plenty of conferences in...... Read More

Plastic PR

The recent announcement on the purported ‘plastic bag ban’ revealed both sloppy reporting and a missed opportunity. Contrary to how the issue was mostly reported in the media, it’s not a blanket ban on plastic bags, or even single-use...... Read More

Keeping dieback out

Many thanks to everyone who came to help with the annual planting at Shakespear Open Sanctuary. The weather did not help much and heavy rain meant we had to cancel one of the scheduled days, which happens only rarely. To make up for it we ran an unscheduled...... Read More

Spring into action – slowly

A great garden starts with a well thought out plan and the garden design depends on many factors, including how much space and time you have, the climate, and what you want to grow. When establishing my new garden here on the Hibiscus Coast, the most...... Read More

Reviving the kokako

The kokako, sometimes called the blue-wattled crow, is one of New Zealand’s many unique species. It is about the size of a magpie, with strong legs for hopping and climbing trees. Its beautiful blue-grey wings are rounded and only good for gliding,...... Read More

What’s science got to do with it?

Gardening, like everything else in nature, is based on cycles that are all interdependent. If you want to get on top of insects in your garden you have to know why these pests get out of control; in short, know something about the dynamics of balance. Perhaps...... Read More