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Deciduous Trees and Shrubs
May 1 2017
May is a busy time at our large nursery in Pirongia which produces Growing Spectrums extensive range of field grown deciduous trees and shrubs.

Work is well underway with the first process of lifting trees and shrubs from the field in preparation for our production nursery to start bagging and dispatching these plants to Garden Centres for retail sales.

The first stage in processing field grown plants is to undercut the roots while they are still in the field. This involves cutting the taproot and any deep roots with a large blade which results in the plant forming a fibrous root system which then makes it easier for the plant to establish itself when replanted into the home garden.

Our May photo gallery shows recent photos of plants which have been undercut and are resting in the field ready for processing which will take place in May and June.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Buxus Sempervirens
April 1 2017
With the change of the season slowly creeping in, it brings with it fresh new crops on the nursery ready to send to garden centres for autumn sales. Currently our staff on the nursery have been busy processing the first of our open ground grown Buxus plants for 2017.

Buxus are a favourite plant with gardeners for use in the garden as a topiary specimen or as a hedge. They are one of Growing Spectrum's crops which have a long production cycle. From the initial stage of taking cuttings to the finished product ready for sale it takes four years, a special plant indeed.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Producing Our Plants From Tissue Culture
March 1 2017
With autumn rapidly approaching we are well underway with production of not only our spring plants for 2017 but planning our 2018 crop production.

At Growing Spectrum our Propagation Team have been working hard to process the thousands of minute plants that come to us as tissue culture plants at this time of year.

Tissue Culture is a technique where cells or pieces of tissue are taken from the original mother plant in laboratories, which are then grown under sterile conditions where they form tiny plants identical to the ‘mother’ plant.

When these plants are ready they are sent to growers who carefully process them through various stages of production until they are ready for sale. This process that can take up two years to produce beautiful plants ready for us to supply into garden centres and then into your garden!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Year New Look!
February 1 2017
Growing Spectrums sales vans have had a fabulous new make-over featuring many of the plants we grow. Our vans have certainly been noticed and admired by other road users and what a pleasant view if stuck on the motorways.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Princess Lavender
January 1 2017
The production of plants never stops at Growing Spectrum and for the next few months, we are potting thousands of plants in preparation for next spring.

Our popular Lavenders, a favourite with gardeners during spring are well underway.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Iberis 'Sweetie Pie'
December 1 2016
Growing Spectrum was the first in the world to release this little 'Sweetie'.

What a stunning crop we have growing in the nursery. Plants are smothered with delicate lavender, mauve flowers which lighten as the flowers mature; one of our spring plants that are sure to impress any gardener.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Staff Veggie Gardens at Growing Spectrum
November 1 2016
Our spring veggie gardens at the nursery are well on the way. These gardens are tended by Bev who comes in weekly and does a fabulous job of growing vegetables for the staff. The range of vegetables Bev grows are not only interesting but extensive; veggies like garlic, lettuce, kale, broad beans, broccoli, strawberries, silverbeet and many more. The veggies Bev grows are harvested weekly and shared amongst our staff on Friday. Fresh is always best!

During the winter Bev makes big pots of vegetable soup for the staff on those cold frosty days. Yum!!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Standards and Topiaries
October 1 2016
One of Growing Spectrums speciality crops produced are Standards and Topiaries. As we see the size of sections reduced in many of our cities and towns, these stately plants fit perfectly used as container specimen or border plants.

We have fabulous crops of Lavender standards this year, and a perfect plant to encourage Bees into the Garden.

Read more about Care for Topiary Trees


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Daphne 'Perfume Princess' on A Current Affair
September 1 2016
Daphne 'Perfume Princess' dubbed the Holy Grail of Horticulture by Don Burk on A Current Affair.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Princess Lavender
September 1 2016
Growing Spectrum's most popular lavender, 'The Princess Lavender'.

With the warm extended autumn and warmer than usual winter temperatures, we have some gorgeous crops of The Princess Lavender this year.

Our plants have been kept undercover away from any frosts which can damage the flowers and are now being dispatched out to retailers, ready for the much anticipated spring sales.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Ready for Dispatch
August 1 2016
The last crops of Hellebores are ready for dispatch and will be sent to garden centres over the next two weeks. These wonderful winter and early spring flowering perennials are a stunning plant for a semi shaded spot in the garden. Hellebores are easy to grow and care for, with colours ranging from white and pinks to deep purple and reds.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Busy, Busy, Busy
July 1 2016
At this time of the year we are busy, busy, busy. (When are we ever not?) But we are particularly busy at the moment lifting all of our field grown trees from our open ground nursery, to get them potted to send into garden centres while they are in their winter dormancy. It is a huge job digging all the trees and then potting them up, labelling them and delivering them. This year’s stock is better than it’s ever been, coming out of our new nursery block. If you are looking for trees for your garden now is the time to get into your local garden centre to make your selections.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Hellebore ‘Winter Sunshine’
June 1 2016
The new named varieties of Hellebore are stunning! ‘Winter Sunshine’ is very good flowering form with pink, flushed white flowers through the late winter, with the flowers fading to red in early spring. Deep steel grey foliage on a compact form. Best planted in a shaded, cool position in the garden for flowers through July and August. Also look in stores this winter for ‘Anna’s Red’, ‘Penny’s Pink’, Tutu’, and ‘Ruby Glow’.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

We’re Growing!
May 1 2016
Yep that’s a pun, of course we’re growing, that’s what we do! We grow lots and lots of plants and our business continues to grow larger as we accommodate our ever increasing range of plants. Growing Spectrum is a leading wholesale nursery in the New Zealand industry and we work really hard at growing a great range of product and at the very best quality.

As part of our continued growth we have welcomed Julie Gregory to our team of staff this month. Julie has been part of our industry for many years and comes to us with a wealth of knowledge of plants and retailing and will be assisting us in stepping up to the next level.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Flower Carpet Rose ‘Sunset’ Competition Winners
April 1 2016
Mr and Mrs Harness won a return trip to Melbourne Flower Show in mid March. The competition was for anyone who purchased the new ‘Sunset’ rose when it was released in 2015. They were greeted at the flower show by Mr Anthony Tesselaar, the international marketer of the Flower Carpet Rose series.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Release This Month!
March 1 2016
Check out our brand new release - Abelia 'Sunshine Daydream'.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Release This Month!
February 1 2016
Check out these delightful new Rudbeckias - 'Sunflare', 'Sunshine' and 'Twilight'.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

We Need You!
January 1 2015
As we head into a new year we are starting to recruit new staff. Do you have what it takes to come and work in one of the country’s leading nurseries? Toward the end of 2015 a couple of our staff decided that they needed to make a change, heading overseas or back into tertiary education, so we are currently looking for a couple of passionate people, passionate about plants that is!

Early in the New Year we will have a couple of positions available in our despatching department. This is a team of young energetic staff who travel around the nursery on quad bikes collecting the plants that are going out on orders, they detail and label all the plants and load them onto trollies for delivery to stores. It is fast paced work, requiring accuracy and high standards. If you’re looking for a challenge and think this may be of interest give Grant the Manager a call!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Christmas is Approaching Quickly!
December 1 2015
We are almost past the madness of Spring and heading toward the heat of summer, and summer holidays. In the nursery we are working hard to get our stock potted before Christmas which will be on sale next spring. It’s a long way to plan in advance to get a plant ready for sale!

The nursery ‘closes down’ for a couple of weeks over Christmas and the New Year so that our sales and freighting departments can get a break, we will all be back at work on the 5th of January, ready for a new year. If you are heading away for a holiday, have a relaxing time with family and friends to re-charge for the year ahead.


From all the team at Growing Spectrum

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Travel to Learn
November 1 2015
The owners of Growing Spectrum, Peter and Carol Fraser have just returned from a trip to America where they attended an International Plant Propagators Society Conference and toured around many nurseries in the California and Florida regions. The purpose of these trips is to learn! Nurseries around the world are always very good at sharing information and we love to welcome other nursery people into our businesses to share information and hopefully learn something new. Indeed the philosophy of the IPPS is to ‘seek and share’, a very admirable business philosophy.

American nurseries are of course much larger than those in New Zealand and cover vast areas of land, growing millions of plants for the American market. But there’s always something that can be learnt!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Plants
November 1 2015

POLYGALA ‘LITTLE BIBI’ is released in New Zealand for the first time this month. A wonderful small shrub which just seems to flower continuously and never needs trimming or spraying! Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

PENSTEMON CHACHA ‘HOT PINK’ and CHACHA ‘PURPLE’. These wonderful perennial plants have been around for what seems like forever, the sort of plant our grandmothers always had in their gardens as they are so good for picking flowers through the summer months. Now we have some newly bred colours available. Check out the CHACHA SERIES which will be in garden centres in the coming weeks.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Off to Japan!
October 1 2015
One of our propagation team, Kim Wood, was very lucky to be selected to travel to Japan this month as a guest of the Japanese Plant Propagators Society. Kim has travelled extensively around Japan visiting nurseries, Tissue Culture Laboratories, Garden Centres and related businesses. We are looking forward to Kim’s return and seeing the photos of her travels and seeing if there are opportunities for us to use here at Growing Spectrum. It is Autumn in Japan at the moment. She will have to come back to New Zealand to see the cherries in flower! We will put up a news report here at a later date.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Spring is Here!
September 1 2015
Spring is here and the nursery is rapidly emptying as we send product into the garden centres. A couple of fine weekends and gardeners are getting busy tidying up and re planting for the summer ahead. A couple of exciting new plants that are being released this month to add to the Federation Daisy Range. ‘Honeycomb’ is brilliant yellow with a lovely double centre. ‘Purity’ is of course pure white and will make a wonderful display. ‘Superstar’ is brilliant pink with splashes of white and a yellow centre, all three new varieties are proven to be great garden plants and will make a wonderful summer display. Available in garden centres this month. There’s nothing quite like a daisy for mass colour in the garden through the summer months!


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Change of Seasons
August 2 2015
The most dramatic change between seasons is the move from winter into spring. The trees have been bare for the past few months and suddenly erupt into blossom then leaf. The spring bulbs push their way through the ground and is seems like there are brilliant yellow daffodils everywhere! Around Te Awamutu the local council of years gone by planted many hundreds of daffodils in many of the parks and reserves and along road sides, a wonderful legacy for future generations. They are an amazing site as you drive through the town in spring. Sadly the large Prunus ‘Awanui’ which were planted down the main street of the town are now being removed as they have grown too large. Thankfully many more flowering trees have planted in more suitable situations around the towns parks.

At this time of the year when most nurseries are fairly quiet, waiting for the spring trading to start, at Growing Spectrum we are really busy sending trees and open ground grown shrubs into stores. It is really hard work for our staff digging and potting tens of thousands of trees and shrubs, then labelling and transporting them out to stores. Luckily we have a great team of staff who get stuck in and get the job done.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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It's Winter!
July 1 2015
We occasionally freeze over here in the Waikato. Many of our plants are kept under cover for the winter to avoid frost damage but there are some very large crops like our beautiful COPROSMA that take up far too much space to be able to cover. So we put them under what we call ‘frost protection sprinklers’. These special sprinklers emit a very fine spray across the plants when the temperature drops down to 1 degree C. This puts a layer of water over the foliage then as the temperature continues to drop the ice forms over the water forming a very thin insulation layer between the foliage and the ice, protecting the cells in the leaf. Clever!

The ice builds up through the frosty morning and we get some amazing scenes in the nursery of ice covered plants. The ice falls off the plants as soon as the sun comes through and the plants are undamaged.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Pruning Hydrangea Correctly
June 1 2015
If you want to get the best flowering from your HYDRANGEA there are a few simple rules to follow.

Hydrangeas flower on the branches from the previous year and do best if pruned every winter. If your Hydrangea has been neglected over the years and is growing all spindly and floppy, you might want to start the first year with a really hard prune back to about 50cm above the ground. This will encourage your plant to put on lots of new growth, but it will hardly flower in the first year. In following years there will be plenty of flowers again.

We know some people that do this process every 4 years, once the shrubs get out of hand. However, if you don't want to miss out on the flowers every fourth year and prefer to keep your plants generally tidy, then prune every winter by taking the second-year wood right down to the base of the plant. It is easy to tell the age of the wood. Usually the second-year wood is lighter in colour, more branched out at the top and has old flowers on it. By taking this out you provide more light within the plant so new shoots can develop from the base.

Your plant will never get higher than what it can grow in two years. Do not prune back the one year old wood unless a branch is really sticking out of the general shape of the plant. The early flowers are already sitting in the terminal buds of these branches and are followed by flowers on the little side branches that develop in spring. Different varieties of Hydrangeas grow to different heights in the two year shoots, ranging from 50 cm to 2.5 metres. Make sure you choose the best variety for the garden situation. If you have to prune your Hydrangea constantly to keep it contained, you will have fewer flowers.

There are a few species of Hydrangea that need different treatment:

  • Hydrangea paniculata (cone-shaped flowers) needs to be cut back to 5cm long stumps on all branches every year.
  • Hydrangea quercifolia (oak-leafed) is grown mainly for its foliage and responds well to having the tips pruned.
  • Climbing Hydrangeas don't have to be pruned unless they get out of hand.

(Information supplied courtesy of Toby Schweikert www.greenhaus.co.nz)


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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The Growing Spectrum Vegetable Garden
May 1 2015
Our nursery includes many garden beds where we grow plants that we use for cutting material in order to grow the next batch of plants. We also have a small area dedicated to growing lots of beautiful vegetables! One of our retired staff comes into the nursery every week to maintain the garden and harvest what is ready. Wonderful Bev has a continual cycle of seasonal vegetables and it is amazing what is produced out of a small area. Every Friday morning all the staff meet for a weekly catch-up meeting and Bev produces a barrow of fresh vegetables to share. During the winter months Bev's vegetables go into big pots of soup to warm all our hardworking staff on the coldest of days.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Feijoa Varieties
March 1 2015
If you have a FEIJOA TREE planted in your garden you will no doubt have noticed that this month the fruit are maturing and falling to the ground! The very unique flavour of these fruit is enjoyed by everyone in the Autumn. Feijoa are really easy to grow in the garden and will produce lots of fruit from an early age. It is recommended that it is best to plant a couple of trees to get better pollination but if they neighbours have a tree you should be all good with just one tree. Apparently the flowers are pollinated by birds reaching into the centre of the flower to collect the sweet nectar during the winter months!

Here’s a great recipe for Feijoa Chutney - we have this on our morning tea crackers every day here at work!

Kim’s Yummy Feijoa Chutney

    Ingredients:
  • 15-20 Feijoa’s peeled & chopped
  • 2 Onions chopped
  • 1 cup Dates chopped
  • 1 cup Wine Vinegar
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 3 Cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chilli paste/sauce
    (more if you like it hot!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Cup Sultanas
  • 3 Teaspoon Curry Powder

Put all ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil.
Cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
Remove the Star Anise.
Spoon into hot sterilised jars.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Release This Month!
March 1 2015
COPROSMA ‘GOLDEN STAR’ is the latest to come from our own selections and will be released to the NZ market for the first time in March. Plants will be available from garden centres in limited numbers through the autumn. 'Golden Star' has been selected for it's earthy golden tones that will fit into any garden situation. 'Golden Star' will stay tidy and compact in the garden.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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New Plant News!
February 6 2015
This month we release for the first time two brand new plants which are available in garden centres now.

ORIGANUM ‘BELLISIMO’ comes to us from Tasmania in Australia. The lime green foliage is nicely aromatic when touched so it’s a great little plant to place alongside pathways or in the kitchen garden. In mid-summer flower bracts appear in shades of pink which deepen to a stunning plum colour in late summer. This is a really tough little plant which will tolerate the heat of summer and the cool of winter. Will grow well in a full sun position in the garden. During the winter give the plant a trim to remove old flowers and new growth will come away quickly in the early spring. A great plant for containers or garden edges. Height about 20cm and spread approx. 40cm.

GAURA ‘PETITE RAINBOW’ is another new plant from Australia. This is the nicest Gaura that we have seen for many years. Dwarf compact growth in brilliant shades of pink and crimson which change through the year. Masses of pink flowers will smother the plant through late spring and summer. Cut back the flower heads when finished and more will come through! This is another tough little plant that will tolerate the heat of summer, the more heat the brighter the foliage colours! Height approx.. 40cm and spread is approx.. 60cm.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Waikato Home and Garden Show
October 5 2014
Recently our manager, Grant Eyre, was asked to judge the Landscape Awards at the Waikato Home and Garden Show. The show is in its 30th year and the annual landscape awards are a highlight of the event. This year the theme was ‘Celebrating 150 Years of Gardening in the Waikato’ and the entrants were given an area of approximately 5m x 5m in which to create a courtyard garden.The gardens entered were diverse and of a very high standard.

The Gold Award was presented to Denise Robinson (WINTEC) for her contemporary modernist garden. A Silver Award was presented to Kim Wood, Kowhai Landscape Design for her contemporary courtyard featuring grass walls. Bronze Awards were made to John Williams (WINTEC) for his ‘The Way We Were’ garden featuring a rusted truck body and a pre European Maori settlement, and to Jenny Whale (Bloom Designscapes) and Bryce Alsemgeest (Infinity Landscapes) for their modern courtyard featuring re-cycled railway sleepers.
Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

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Hamilton Gardens Wins International Garden of the Year
October 1 2014
Hamilton Gardens has received the prestigious International Garden of the Year award. The win was announced on 1st October 2014 as part of the 2014 Garden Tourism Awards held at the International Conference Gardens ‘Without Limits’ conference in Metz, France.

The annual award is presented to gardens which distinguish themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction. Previous winners have included the Singapore Botanic Garden, which is currently applying for UNESCO World Heritage Status, and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy. Mayor Julie Hardaker commented “This is fantastic news. It puts Hamilton on the world gardens stage and I am sure the whole of Hamilton will be celebrating. It comes just as we start a major development programme at the Gardens which will increase the tourism options.” Hamilton Gardens Director Dr Peter Sergel explained “Many local individuals and organisations have contributed to the creation of Hamilton Gardens, and this is some well-deserved recognition for what they have achieved. There is a lot more garden development still to occur and we’re constantly improving the way we do things. However this international award confirms we’re on the right track.”

Growing Spectrum has supplied many plants to the Hamilton Gardens Complex through its development and are proud to be associated with this wonderful asset in the Waikato Region.


Grant and the Team at Growing Spectrum

Growing Spectrum on Facebook
July 2014
Have you checked out our Facebook Page?. We have regular promotions and keep you up to date with what has been happening at Growing Spectrum.
This month on Facebook we introduced the new variety Helleborus 'Anna's Red' which will be in stores this month.