Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 23 (July 1958)
– 52 –

THE HOME GARDEN

PLANNING A GARDEN

Many maori people today are acquiring new homes, and when the day arrives for them to occupy their new place of residence, quite a lot of enjoyment is obtained in setting out the home surrounds. Usually, and very wisely, the first job is to fence in the section on which the home has been constructed. A beautiful garden should not be just a side issue but should be part of the home. It is only a garden that can alter the harshness of a wooden or brick home. Secondly, paths should be formed, usually to approach the front entrance of a home, then diverting to the side or rear. It is always a good policy to construct a footpath of permanent material, such as concrete, three feet wide according to the desires of the owners. Lawns are usually established in the front of the home with shrubs suitably spaced. On many occasions the lawn extends around the house on either side to what is commonly called a back yard. After having considered a suitable position for the accepted revolving clothesline, the rear portion of the section is reserved normally, for the vegetable garden, and odd fruit trees which may be desired. Some provision must be made for shelter from prevailing winds. This can usually be made by planting an attractive hedge such as Abelia florabunda, which is becoming very popular. The hedge has been planted in Rotorua and Mangakino districts having established well under cold and rather harsh winter conditions. Sometimes the initial work of establishing the home surrounds is rather neglected, and if only the persons concerned would endeavour to get the work done, the work involved pays dividends in beauty, colour, and attraction.

If the home is acquired during the winter months or early spring, it is advisable, if the lawn is to be a satisfactory one, to sow during the Autumn months. Spring sowing always gives rise to a risk of the young grass being destroyed, owing to dry weather and the hot conditions prevailing during the following summer. However, from new land a good crop of potatoes can usually be harvested, making the preparation of a seed bed to receive the lawn grass seed, much more friable. When the lawn is established and it has been decided to plant shrubs or ornamental trees, it is necessary to select the plants sometime before planting. If the land is subject to dry conditions the following shrubs could possibly be recommended: Cassia, Cotoneaster, Oleanda, Proteas (in variety) and Veronicas. In shady situations such as the side of the house or in damp situations, Azaleas, Camelias, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, Tamarix (or flowering cypress). In frost free areas the meyer lemon, grapefruit or sweet-orange is often grown to advantage. Often it is a wish to break the lawn from the rear part of the garden. In this case Loaicera nitida, a box like hedge, which ultimately reaches about five feet high, is a very hardy plant and most attractive. On the other hand if a suitable trellis has been erected and climatic conditions are suitable, passionfruit vines are very attractive and a profitable acquisition.

The vegetable garden must also be planned. Usually this is situated at the rear of the home and for some reason or other, often becomes neglected. If the home surrounds are to be kept neat and tidy, systematic planning of the garden must be apparent. Immediately a crop has been harvested, dig the land and allow to fallow until such times as it is required for another crop, always remembering to rotate your crops. For instance follow tomatoes with carrots, parsnip, beet, etc., or after the above crops plant cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce. Never attempt to grow the same crops in the same situation.

⋆ ⋆ ⋆

Three Maori welfare officers were awarded bursaries for the two-year Social Science Course at Victoria University and are studying at Wellington this year.

They are Miss Anne Delamere, welfare officer at Whakatane; Miss Ngahina Te Uira, welfare officer at Te Kuiti and Mr Paatu (Ted) Taua, now at Kaitaia.

Miss Te Uira, who is 25 years of age, is a Licensed Maori interpreter 1st grade. She comes from Maika in the Kawhia district.

Miss Delamere, although stationed in Whakatane, comes from the well-known Maori family of the Opotiki-Omaio area. She was formerly an N.C.O. in the W.A.A.F.

Mr Taua, who is 28, comes from a well-known North Auckland family. His grandfather, Mr Tau Henare, was a Member of Parliament for many years. His uncle, Mr James Henare, was Commanding Officer of the Maori battalion at the end of the war. Mr Taua's father, Mr Paihana Taua was a well known officer of the Department of Maori Affairs. It is believed that Mr Taua was the only New Zealander to top the British Commonwealth Division's senior N.C.O. course.

Another Maori Welfare Officer, Mr John Rangihau. Whakatane, is already half way through the Social Science Course.

⋆ ⋆ ⋆

A birthday cake with red and gold candles marked the fifth anniversary of the Huirapa Maori Women's Welfare League held at Puketeraki (Otago) recently. Members were dressed in traditional Maori costumes. After a Maori concert programme, the secretary Mrs Rata Kent cut the cake.

– 53 –