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Easy summer success with roses

Wanting six months of colour, great picking and good scent? Terra Viva Owner Peter Worsp tells us why you should look no further than roses.



Don’t be fooled by the rose ‘experts’ who tell you that roses are ‘needy’ when it comes to care and attention – they’re actually very hardy and their ‘needs’ are easily met.

They say that roses respond to three things – water, feeding, and an occasional spray, but if you’re only going to do one of those, make it water every time.

The old adage ‘Don’t do as I say, do as I do’ certainly applies to my gardening. I’m finally following the instructions I hear myself giving to customers – and achieving the results.

Avoid overhead watering where possible to keep the foliage dry and lessen the chance of fungal disease.

A hose trickling at the base of the plant for 20 minutes gives the ideal good deep watering. It’s almost impossible to over-water roses.

Producing so many flowers makes roses hungry and, just like us with food, a little and often suits best.

Feeding in September, November, January and March gives consistency and, with plenty of water, you will be rewarded with roses all season.

An occasional dose of Seaweed Tonic promotes good plant health and assists the plants to maximise the uptake of fertiliser.

Summer pruning is just as important as winter pruning and it’s very straightforward.

When all the flowers on a stem have finished, take off the stem 15mm above the joint of five outward-facing leaves and the stem.

This doesn’t have to be the first set of five leaves – go as far down the stem as you reasonably can because the lower part of the stem will push out the strongest growth.

Strong re-growth = strong flowering.

Spreading compost around roses improves fertility, soil texture, aeration and moisture retention.

When planting roses, leave enough of the ‘trunk’ at the bottom to allow for future composting without burying the graft.

Giving roses a bit of ‘breathing space’ allows for good air movement which lessens the chance of fungal disease.

Good watering and feeding encourage new growth which is always healthy, while roses without adequate water and food get stressed and open themselves up to pests and diseases – just like people under stress.

An occasional spray, including the underside of leaves, wards off any problems and the recommendation is to alternate sprays to prevent any resistance building up.

Super Shield is a good combo to deal with both insect pests and any diseases; alternate with a combo of Mavrik insecticide and Fungus Fighter for diseases.

Kiwicare Organic Super Sulphur is great way to combat mildew and rust.

If any (or all!) of the above makes no sense, then just give us a call or drop in and we can give full clarification!


Growing vegetables = Growing health: Terra Viva Home and Garden

Growing your own vegetables is a win-win all round. High in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals and fibre, vegetables protect against heart disease and cancer. The mental health benefits too have been well documented.



By Terra Viva Owner Peter Worsp


The 1959 rehab programme for war veterans included working in the garden as part of a physical and mental wellbeing programme. You’ll also find that children growing vegetables are much more likely to eat them. If you’ve grown your own vegetables you know exactly what’s gone into and onto them.

Growing vegetables gives you a healthy body and mind, a great sense of satisfaction and a healthy pocket. That convenient back-garden vege patch can save you big bucks, especially at this ‘in between’ season of the year. So here’s a few tips, and always remember: plants were designed to grow – it ain’t rocket science!

Herbs are one of the easiest, even in the smallest patch. Parsley – great in the ground or in containers in full sun/part shade with plenty of water. The secret for basil? Maximum heat and shelter from cold wind. Picking mint? Always cut stalks off right at the base and use only the tip to keep plants clear of rust – mint loves water and is happy in part shade. Coriander is such a useful herb which also loves part shade and is at its best grown from seed in spring and autumn. Sweet rocket transforms an average salad into a culinary masterpiece.

As winter veges finish and summer is still a way off, plant pak choi, silverbeet and spinach, which all grow fast and are happy in the cooler temperatures. Beetroot is delicious and versatile – the young foliage as a microgreen, the small beets roasted or grated, and for preserving at the end of the season. Did you know that any of the beets are good for lowering blood pressure?

Soil preparation is the key, so dig down to a spade’s depth and mix in blood and bone, a dusting of lime, and sheep pellets, to provide loose and fertile earthworm-attracting soil. Regular light side dressings of crop-specific fertilisers and a top-up of Tui Seaweed Tonic will give you bumper crops. Marigolds, sunflowers and cleomes keep the bugs at bay.

Along with lettuces (plant every two weeks for a continuous supply), tomatoes are the top summer crop. Good heat, good soil and regular feeding give lots of sweet juicy fruit packed with goodies like lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant for prostate health. In cooler climates, grow the smaller-fruited tomatoes –Sweet 100, Sungold, Berrytoms – as they ripen much quicker. Feed tomatoes regularly and use the same fertiliser for eggplants (aubergines) which love heat, along with chillies and capsicums (Target is an easy variety). Climbing beans and dwarf beans love well-composted, damp but well-drained soil, and once again…heat!




Terra Viva

Christmas goes ‘modern NZ’: Terra Viva

Iconic Christchurch store Terra Viva is a veritable mecca of all things Christmas, between the garden centre, the inspiring home and giftwares department, and the fully-licensed café. Metropol catches up with Terra Viva’s effervescent Peter Worsp about what we can expect to see decking the halls in 2018.


Terra Viva


Terra Viva Home & Garden has made a quantum leap from the ‘good old days’ when Christmas decorations were all about Father Christmas and always in red velvet and gold. Contemporary Christmas decorations have a great New Zealand look and, because they don’t have a strongly specific Christmas design, they’re multi-purpose and can be used all year round. There’s a definite move away from the short annual outing for three weeks at Christmas – makes a lot more sense!

Even the Christmas trees themselves are quite different, with LED/seed lights, and the most popular line is the white or black stemmed lit trees which give a simply superb look all year round. Combine the soft glow with candles and tealights, and double the effect by placing them in front of a mirror. LED/seed lights/fairy lights are the quick and easy way to create a festive glow, so coil them into glass vases with green foliage, or artificial flowers, and there’s an instant table decoration. A small wreath of foliage around each jar, artificial or real, adds the finishing touch.

The contemporary colour themes focus on soft mossy greens, greys, natural wood, cream, vintage-effect paint finishes with silver or glittering glass to enhance and contrast.  The stars this year are the appealing little felted unicorns, mice and dogs dressed in ballerina outfits – little skirts etc – along with the ceramic animals. Their cuteness appeals strongly to children, so use them all year round in shadow boxes.

If you’re heading off to the bach for Christmas, check out the strong New Zealand coastal theme with shell hangings, and shell/bead/pearl cones for table centrepieces – these are decorations that will still look the part long after the festive season is over.