Kapi-Mana News : March 19th 2013
26 KAPI-MANA NEWS, MARCH 19, 2013 GARDENING 5244114AA Porirua New World & Anchor have teamed up to donate $3500 to local causes. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE RECIPIENTS Toni Gray Wellington Riding for the Disabled Association Peter Sinke Plimmerton Rotary Club Liam Mc Dowell Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club Customers purchasing Anchor products were given a token to place in a box indicating support for a particular community group or project. The groups were Wellington Riding for the Disabled, Rotary of Plimmerton - Pauatahanui Track project and Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club. If you are interested in having your organisation participate in future, please contact Ashley Chester at Porirua New World on 04 237 0012. MARCH MADNESS UPPER HUTT FAIR Saturday 23 March Upper Hutt CDB • 9am-4pm Retailer Stalls with SUPER SPECIALS throughout Main St S Entertainment all Day Main Stage features Rhythm and Brown and the hugely popular Shenanigans CRAZY PRICES! 5242486AA Join in the FUN of the FAIR this Saturday. There's something for everyone! Over 50 Specialist Stalls Saturday 23 March 11am-2pm Greenacres School Mad Hatters Gala Greenacres School Mad Hatters Gala Planting natives will attract natives By NICHOLAS BOYACK Stone the crows: If you want a real tui in your garden the best way is to build a native wild garden. Lovely: Kakabeak has a beautiful flower that native birds love. Everybody loves seeing tui and kereru in their garden but both birds are just a fraction of the native wildlife you can attract with a little effort. Conservation Department officer Lyn Adams is promoting a style of gardening she calls wild- life gardens. It will not only bring native birds to a garden but native lizards, butterflies and insects. Traditionally New Zealand gardeners have copied English, particularly cottage style, gar- dens. Often people go as far as using English books, which recom- mend English plants. The problem with that is that plants used in England to attract wildlife are very often weeds here. A classic example is buddleia, which native butterflies love. In New Zealand buddleia is a nasty weed that chokes river val- leys and competes against native plants. If you want native butterflies, you need to plant nettles, hebes and muehlenbeckia. Planting muehlenbeckia has another big advantage -- lizards use it for shel- ter.The popular tree lucerne is another no no. Kereru flock to it but in New Zealand it is a weed that spreads quickly and over- grows natives. Although there is a short-term benefit in attracting kereru, if lucerne is not controlled it kills the native bush our native birds and insects rely on. As well as planting natives, there are a number of other things you can do to make your garden more attractive to native wildlife. Rat traps. Every garden has rats and if every household in every street trapped, there would be a lot more wildlife. Rats eat lizards and native insects, compete with birds for food and eat birds on the nest. For information on how to trap rats go to www.predatortraps .com/downloads/ratkillsystem1 .pdf Controlling you cat: Cats catch birds, lizards and insects. Keeping your cat in at night is a challenge but she says if you own a cat, you have a moral obligation to support native wildlife. You can do that by planting your garden in natives. Think native. Plants like kowhai, kakabeak, hebes, cabbage trees, manuka and native flaxes are a good start. Also plant native flowers like Chatham Island forget-me-nots, New Zealand iris and New Zealand bluebell so you have flowers in your garden all year round. With kowhai there are varieties that flower at differ- ent times, which create a better chance of attracting tui. Think about insects: Wetas, praying mantis and stick insects are not as glamorous as tuis but they are native and need encou- ragement. Hebes are popular with praying mantis and stick insects, and can add colour to a garden. Insects like mulch and areas to hide in like rotting logs. Or you can make a stick stack. Just throw lots of sticks together on a stack and insects will soon call it home. Be careful with chemical sprays: New Zealand gardeners use herbicides to control weeds and insects. Use poisons carefully and once you have control over such nasties as gorse or blackberry, try other methods. If you have a na- tive garden with plenty of insects, insects like praying mantis will thrive and chomp through many of the pests you want to get rid of. Ms Adams says the recent in- crease in tui and kereru numbers across the region has been well received. By following her simple rules, birds like bellbirds, kaka, stitchbirds, whitehead and kaka- riki could all become common. POINTER Ms Adams has one final tip -- wildlife gardening takes time. Do not expect to plant kowhai and have flocks of tui in your garden the next year. It takes time to get results but that only makes your first visit from a tui even more satisfying. One day you might get a visit from a bellbird or a kakariki and you will know your wild garden has been a real success.
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