Groundwork Newsletter July20_07
Eplants New Zealands Plant Portal | What to do this week, newsletters advice, tips from the Professionals

Flamin Nora its wet outside. And to think we were experiencing 50 year drought conditions a few weeks ago - now we have 100 year plus rain intensity here in Hawke's Bay. It' certainly extreme ends of the scale and sparks discussion about climate change, the environment and what we are doing with the land.

In the office we are as busy as ever with site developments and growth happening in all areas, it's an exciting time for us. We have re-designed our homepage and you will notice constant improvements to the site over the next few months as we respond to the demand for sound information. Check out our new look homepage and let us know what you think.

In this weeks issue Sandra finishes her series on tropical planting with flower power, Wally shares his wealth of advice about keeping plants alive and happy during the winter months and I introduce a good friend of mine and his work with homeless children in Brazil, this is also an invitation to become involved by volunteering to help with building work and landscaping this facility on the outskirts of Sau Paulo. It's a great opportunity and many New Zealanders have gone to help already, there are several videos on his website about this work and it is well worth a look.

A Gnomaly - Rain - July 2007

A Gnomaly comments


Tropical Flavour - Part Three

Flower Power - In my last column the focus was on plants with striking foliage. They offer drama and interest all year round. Foliage is fantastic in the subtropical garden, but it would not be truly subtropical without a splash of vibrant colour.

Gloriosa 'Rothschiliana'Flowers are bold and racy, you won't see many soft muted pastel tones in a subtropical garden. Some evoke a strong sense of place, such as Orchids, Hibiscus and Frangipani. They remind us of tropical vacations and special occasions. Some are real show-stoppers like Brugmansias. Their heavy scent and pendulous flowers make them an ideal specimen in the garden. Read full article...
Wally Richards Columns

Keeping Plants Happy and Alive in Winter

Winter might be a bit of a hard time for us with the wet and cold but at least we can get warm & dry by putting on dry clothing or lighting a fire. If you were a plant stuck in a pot or in a garden there is nothing you could do to combat the wet and cold. This is silly you may say, as plants are plants and whatever Nature throws at them is a problem of Nature not yours.

Wrong, the plants you place in your garden or pots are your problem as those plants did not have any choice in the matter. Too often we place a plant where we would like it to grow, whether it is a suitable place for that particular plant or not. If glovesthe conditions are not ideal for the plant (soil/drainage/sun/shade etc) the plant will not thrive, be poorly and maybe even die. We are then likely to say that we don't have green fingers and that is the problem. The problem is our lack of understanding the needs of each type of plant and then providing for those needs to the best of our ability. Read full article...

Landscaping for your soul...

Co-founded by my good friend Santiago Demarco, The Asociación Comunitaria Aramitan (Aramitan Community Association) is an initiative whose goal is helping children and young people in high-risk situations in the slum area of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The project was inspired by the work done by the Asociación Comunitaria Monte Azul (Monte Azul Community Association) (, renowned and respected for its work in the outlying poor areas of Sao Paulo and for its advice to other communities of the world. Its work has given rise to a social, educational, urban and sanitary transformation, achieving through associative work what the government cannot.

How can you help?
Aramitan WorkcampAramitan receives no government contributions so public support is always appreciated, ways to do this are either by a monetary donation or you can participate in a Workcamp. Aramitan runs Workcamps doing various projects in the community such as building, landscaping and education. You can be of great assistance by giving your time to help in one of their projects, each of which runs for two weeks, why not hone your landscaping skills somewhere that really needs your help.
There's nothing better than snuggling up in front of the fire on a chilly winter night with a freshly baked slice of home made pizza.

Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin, Feta and Olives

Pizza Dough Ingredients
400g plain flour
3 teaspoons yeast granules
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pizza Toppings
1 small - medium butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pizza dough
½ cup tomato pizza/pasta sauce
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated fresh mozzarella
½ cup chopped herbs: sage, parsley, rosemary, oregano
75g Whitestone ewes milk feta
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch rocket leaves

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and pour into the well along with the salt and olive oil. Form into a ball and knead for 7 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave for several hours or until dough has doubled in bulk. Alternately you can make dough in your breadmaker by using the dough setting. Halve dough and roll into 2 rounds.
Preheat oven to 200 C. Roast the pumpkin with a good drizzle of olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper until tender and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Increase oven heat to 215 C. Roll the pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface and place either on a well oiled pizza tray or a terracotta tile. Spread the sauce over the base. Sprinkle with the herbs and half of the mozzarella and parmesan. Cover with pumpkin, feta and olives and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the base is golden and crisp.

Touchwood Books - Book Review
Landscape Handbook for the Tropics

Though this book was first published in 1995, and has been reprinted twice, the word "Tropics" has been a bit off-putting for New Zealand readers. However it is an extremely practical text for the professional designer covering all the basics of design and construction, materials and methods.

Landscape Handbook for the TropicsThe author has spent more than twenty years teaching and designing in various parts of Africa and there are nearly 100 colour photos of various large projects undertaken there, plus hundreds of black and white line drawings to illustrate various details. Normally selling for $69.95, we have copies at the bargain price of $20.00, plus $5 postage. email:
New Technology

You may have noticed in the last week that we have added a cool new feature to our website. Within our information pages you will see hyperlinks as per the below 'outdoor fireplace' link - when your mouse hovers over this link a 'lingospot' search box will pop up showing you other related articles on our website, wikipedia, in the news and the Amazon bookshop. Even cooler you can highlight any other word on the page and by holding the alt key and clicking on it you can create your own keyword searches. We are the first website in New Zealand to adopt this cutting edge way to search, something we believe is the way of the future. We strive to keep our website abreast of the trends and make your experience as easy and enjoyable as possible,
let us know what you think.

Thanks for your support and feedback...
Remember to send us your comments and feedback, and keep posting messages to the forum. That's what community is all about. If you have something to say do it now!

Tim Durrant and the Team ltd

In This Issue
Tropical Flavour
Plants in Winter
Landscaping for your soul
Book Review
New Technology
Tell a Friend and Win
Inspirational Galleries

Whats On - Events and Happenings

The more friends you tell the more chances you have to win...
Enter the draw to Win 500g Freshly Roasted Hawthorne Coffee delivered straight to your door by telling a friend about our website. The more friends you tell the more chances you have to win.

hawthorne coffee
Inspiration Galleries

Outdoor Fireplaces
Swimming Pools
The Beauty of Trees
Walls Fences & Gates
Natural Beauty

New Zealand Fine Prints

Trees for Survival Trust - Million Tree Campaign
The Trees for Survival Trust is organising a campaign with the aim of planting one million trees in New Zealand in 2007, the local effort towards the world-wide Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign - promoted by UNEP. encourage you to support this effort by donating towards the Kiwi contribution to the Plant for the Planet: Million Tree Campaign. Just print and cut out this coupon, fill in and return to:

Trees for Survival
PO Box 51684
Manukau 2140

I enclose my donation of:

?$10 ?$20 ?$50 ?$100 Other $_____________

Please make cheques payable to 'The Trees for Survival Trust'.

All donations will be acknowledged and receipted by the Trust.




For more information on the Trees for Survival Trust visit

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