300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373

We would like your help!!!

callistemon-little-john-dwarf-callistemon1

Propagation season is upon us again. It is an exciting time of the year – deciding what to propagate. Quin and I are always looking for new plants to grow, plants that we think you might like to grow in your garden or landscape. You will notice our website has changed slightly with new photos on our front page, and a new tab – ‘& many other plants!!’ which we hope you will explore.

Our aim is to inspire you with the selection of plants at Woodleigh Nursery. We are increasing our range of ‘other plants’, including rare and unusual, scented, less common native plants, plants for bees and birds, the list could go on. These are in addition to our large collection of hydrangea cultivars and species. This brings me to the question – what would YOU like us to grow? What plants would you like to buy but cannot not find?

We think mail order works really well for our customers – having the convenience of shopping at a time that suits you and receiving quality and sometimes hard-to-find plants right at your doorstep. We are actively seeking to expand our range to suit your needs! Please email us with your suggestions. We would really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Spring is here!

Illicium henryi

I had an operation (nothing sinister) at the end of August and have been on light duties and confined to the house for the past couple of weeks. It is great being able to go outside again, enjoy the lovely spring weather and see the garden emerging from its winter dormancy. Spring is definitely here, our clematis is in full flower, the plums are in blossom and our hydrangeas in the garden are bursting forth into growth. It does seem very early this year.

Clematis paniculata

Clematis paniculata

It is a busy time of the year with the weeds starting to grow, and all the potting to do. It is exciting too though finding all the cuttings that we propagated last year and seeing them emerging as new young plants. Many of them are new species or varieties that we have not grown before such as Illicium henryi a lovely evergreen shrub with salmon pink coloured flowers; Dichroa ‘Pink Candy’ and Hydrangea ‘Glyn Church’ an outstanding new serrata variety. We will have these and many more available on our website and in our catalogue later in the season.

Illicium henryi

Illicium henryi

Hydrangea serrata Glyn Church

Hydrangea serrata Glyn Church

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


A dry summer

Woodleigh Nursery

Another 10 days of beautiful fine weather ahead at least. What a summer we have had in Taranaki, the capsicums have been fantastic, we are loving the corn and we haven’t seen a sign of blight on the potatoes – oh how I wish we had planted tomatoes this year, we gave up after the past 3 summers, fighting the birds, blight and wind.

We were very lucky to get 50mm of rain on Sunday morning, though the westerly winds that followed soon dried it up again. Our recent plantings of hydrangeas are handling the dry very well, the majority are growing in full sun as our framework trees have not yet established having been planted at the same time as the hydrangeas. We spread a woodchip mulch around the plants immediately after planting, I highly recommend this. I had a group of ladies here last week and were discussing the dry period and how many plants were suffering. Out of interest I scraped back some of the mulch to see what the soil moisture was like beneath and was pleasantly suprised at how moist it was. Adjacent we have our vegetable garden where we have recently been digging potatoes, here it is powder dry to a spade depth at least. Mulch provides many benefits for both the plants and gardeners, certainly helps to conserve soil moisture, adds organic matter to the soil, and a major benefit for us is the suppression of weeds.

I do hope we all receive some good general rain soon.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


A bouquet of hydrangeas!

Bouquet of Hydrangeas

What a fantastic display hydrangeas make! Our stand of hydrangeas in full bloom has certainly drawn alot of comments at the markets we have been to recently. At home, our shade houses and stockbeds are in full bloom too. It is a great time for you to visit the nursery to familiarise yourself with the individual varieties up close.

Bouquet of Hydrangeas

Bouquet of Hydrangeas

The markets have been a new experience for us. So far we have been to the local SPCA market held in New Plymouth on a Saturday morning, and we had a stand at a recent fair at Tupare Gardens. Tupare is an iconic heritage garden with a Chapman-Taylor house, now owned and managed by the Taranaki Regional Council. The garden is situated in New Plymouth and has wonderful drifts of hydrangeas, which complemented us and our stand on market day!

One thing we noted with markets is that customers tend only to buy what they can carry, where our door-to-door mail-order customers have no such limitation.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Woodleigh Nursery

Isn’t it great to have some lovely sunny days. I think it was in the twenties yesterday! We can almost see the plants in the nursery and our vegetable gardens growing before our eyes (and the weeds).

The weather has been great for visitors to the ‘Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular’, which is on this week. Our nursery is open for customers to visit, our advertisement is in the brochure map. I’ve got to say, it has been really nice to have customers coming to visit the nursery, as the business is typically mail-order and most customer contact is via phone and email. It’s great to spend time discussing the pros and cons of plants face to face.

We will open again for the festival in future years. We are otherwise open by appointment throughout the year.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Decision time – what to propagate this year

Hydrangea serrata Blue Deckle

Monday morning and we are back into the school routine. Farewell to these holidays, the children are all looking forward now to the next lot. Only 10 weeks till the lovely long Christmas break.

Back to work for me too. I spent the morning collecting cuttings, enough to keep me going for the next few days. We have around 150 species and varieties of Hydrangea’s in our collection. It is always a difficult decision, deciding which varieties to grow and how many of each. There are always the favourites, the ones we know will sell in large numbers, then there are the varieties which are popular in small numbers; and finally there are the more unusual varieties that a few collectors look for. We try to introduce a slightly different selection each year. If there is a variety that is not on our list, please ask as we may have it in small numbers; if not we are happy to grow to order or add it to our list for next year.

An important aspect for me though is labeling and record keeping. I need to be extremely vigilant when I am collecting cuttings; many look remarkable similar if not the same when dealing with a short stem with a few leaves. It can be very difficult to tell the varieties apart by their foliage. While we have a great range of distinctive flowing cultivars, a few are remarkably similar even when in flower. So if the variety you were after is currently out of stock, sometimes a similar substitute can be had.

So what have we decided? Yes we are propagating a selection of climbing hydrangeas. We are trying the aspera types again. Our selection of serrata’s – Blue Deckle, Kyosumi, & Miyama-yae-murasaki are a lovely combination. And then there are the miniatures – well suited to front of borders, small gardens or pots for courtyards and even indoors! Miniatures P. red, Hornli, Madam Baardse are always popular. Remember that pot culture is a great way to bring out the best of the red cultivars.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Are we staying home Mum?

Miro Potting

Yah! It is the school holidays, Lodi (6) our son is home from school. ‘Are we staying home today Mum?’ is a common question asked as he loves spending time on the farm / nursery. Miro our daughter (3) still has two days of kindy through the holidays which gives Lodi and me valuable time together.

Miro Potting

Miro Potting

It has been my mission to finish potting this season’s first batch of GOL’s (growing on lines – last years rooted cuttings) before the school holidays. Time enough after the holidays to catch with potting season in the nursery. Miro is a very able helper, she enjoys filling the planter bags with potting mix for me, and pots the odd plant albeit a little slower. We achieved our goal and the plants are making new growth already.

So what have we been up to for the holidays so far? A picnic in our bush down on the river boundary having boat races with montbretia leaves; Lodi and I spent a morning in town together – swimming and a visit to the Govett Brewster Art Gallery where we watched a movie of ‘Opo the Dolphin’ from the NZ Film Archives. Lodi is a real nature boy; he loves birds and animals and really enjoyed this film. He is very keen on chickens and ducks and is in the process of starting his own duck enterprise. He has a pair of Peking ducks and an Indian Runner who are laying eggs. There was great excitement on Tuesday morning as he put his first 11 duck eggs into the incubator – 28 days is a long time for young children.

We have just added two new plants to the catalogue – Hydrangea angustipetala and H. angustipetala (yellow). Both are wild species from China, with lacecap flowers. The outer bracts are cream coloured, with the later species having distinctive yellow true flowers a colour which is highly unusual in hydrangeas.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Hydrangeas – snippets of Japanese culture

Woodleigh Nursery

Hydrangeas are largely a northern hemisphere plant, or at least those popular in garden cultivation are derived from wild species from north of the equator. They can be found growing in East Asia, especially China, Japan and Vietnam, the U.S., Mexico, Central America and a little below the equator in Andean Equador and Peru. This post focuses on aspects of Japanese Hydrangea culture.

Hydrangeas have been cultivated and appreciated in East Asia for centuries, though it is understood that popularity increased there in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some species native to Japan and popular in world hydrangea cultivation today include H. macrophylla, H. paniculata and H. serrata.

Michael Hawarth-Booth in his well-known book ‘The Hydrangeas’ (1950) wrote;

“Among the wooded hills and shores of Japan, among the beautiful Red or Black Pines leaning picturesquely away from the wind, among the fretted lava rocks or the myriad tiny islets often planted by nature with blood-red Azalea, smoke-blue Wisteria and the wild white Rose, like the scene of a fairy story, the ancestral wild Hydrangeas grow”.

Reading a Japanese local contributors blog site (TsukuBlog from Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan) I learned that Japan experiences a month long rainy season (tsuyu), ending in mid-July when appreciation of natural beauty is ripe. Many Japanese consider AJISAI (or Hydrangea) to be the quintessential flower of this season, when wet and enshrouded in mist. While numerous modern varieties include pinks and whites, the original Japanese name Ajisai means a GATHERING OF BLUES.

The preceding paragraph provides context to a July 2012 GREENPEACE feature story I stumbled across on the web while researching this post – ‘The emerging power of Japan’s ‘Hydrangea’ revolution’. This is a protest against the Japanese government’s decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant, just 18 months after the devastating tsunami and resulting nuclear Fukushima nuclear disaster.

‘… [the Hydrangea is] a flower the Japanese have traditionally loved because it blooms in June and July, giving hope during the dark, rainy season. Born out of the aftermath of arguably one of Japan’s darkest hours, the movement offers hope and is gathering in numbers – similar to how the Hydrangea forms its flower; each small flower bunches together to form a bigger, more vibrant, flower’.

Who would have thought the Hydrangea would take on this edgy symbolism!

Referred to in preparing this post; C & D Van Gelderen, Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas (2004); G Church, Hydrangeas (2007); Michael Hawarth-Booth, The Hydrangeas (1950); Green peace website (The emerging power of Japan’s ‘Hydrangea’ revolution, 24 Sept 2012); TsukuBlog, Hydrangea in Japanese History and Culture (20 June 2012).

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Living at Woodleigh Nursery

Woodleigh Nursery

Here at Woodleigh Nursery we live, work and play on a few acres of land; 5km from the coast and 12 km from central New Plymouth. The land is well suited to horticulture with a good balance of flat loamy volcanic soils, a few easy sidlings, some bush and a nice sized stony stream on the back boundary. Our main limitation would be wind, and we can assure you that Taranaki is a somewhat breezy place. And that has been a key task for us over the winter months around selling plants – managing shelter plantings.

In three years we have established a network of shelter belts and other plantings to provide shelter function, coupled with other values such as an arboretum or collection of trees and shrubs, habitat for indigenous birds etc, amenity, stock fodder and fuel wood. Part of the weekend just past was spent crown lifting and dead-wooding an old existing belt of pohutukawa in order to optimise under-plantings of native shrubs and to generate mulch for our stock beds and open ground beds of Hydrangea paniculata. A future post will be dedicated to brushwood mulch, an important resource in any garden, landscape or park.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


A touch of spring 2012 at Woodleigh Nursery

Woodleigh Nursery

Welcome to our first ‘news’ post since the launch of our website earlier in the year. This post will be followed by regular informal updates of the ‘goings on’ at Woodleigh Nursery, of Hydrangeas, and the other lines of plants we are in the process of developing or simply interested in.

It has been a busy year; building nursery infrastructure, moving existing stock to our new nursery, propagating and managing stock, planting and mulching stock beds, establishing and upgrading admin systems and databases, implementing marketing information such as catalogues, advertisements and this website, and of course working with you, our customers, to the best of our ability.

While we are already quite familiar with them, we have become immersed in the whole world of Hydrangeas and are thrilled with where we are today! And so it is good to feel the onset of what is our second spring as Woodleigh Nursery; the positivity of the new season with promises for a good year ahead. The sales stock and stock plants are initiating new growth, and their fat buds will soon flourish into lush foliage, to be followed later by their terrific floral display. The nursery when in bloom is a real picture.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz


Woodleigh Nursery some background

Woodleigh Nursery

Woodleigh Nursery was established in Taranaki in the 1920s. In recent years Woodleigh has become known as a leading nursery in Hydrangea production. We propagate from what we believe to be New Zealand’s largest Hydrangea species and cultivar collection. We are also developing lines in scented plants and choice native plants.

We aim to provide friendly, personalised service to you, while at the same time focusing on a cheap and efficient mail-order service – New Zealand-wide, Door-Door”.

Visits to the nursery can be arranged by appointment.

Janica and Quin Amoore purchased the business from Glyn and Gail Church in December 2011.

Collectively, Janica and Quin share 45 years of professional experience; training in horticulture, arboriculture, plant ecology and environmental planning; trade and management roles in parks and reserves; arboriculture and landscape contracting and consultancy; and developing rural landscapes. We have two young children that show an early interest in plants and the nursery (some might call them apprentices!!).

You can download and print our catalogue: Woodleigh Nursery 2013 Catalogue [PDF] and the Woodleigh Nursery Order Form [PDF] if you wish. The on line version of our catalogue is here.

Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email janica@woodleigh.co.nz