The Garden Diaries: South Island in July

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The Garden Diaries: South Island in July

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Admittedly gardening in the South Island of New Zealand in July can be challenging. But when there’s a stunning winter day, there’s nothing like getting into the garden to get some jobs done. Here are some ideas for what you can do at your place.

Plant of the month: Daphne

July is a great time to plant daphne with its amazing fragrance. Plant it in a spot where you pass regularly and pick sprigs for a vase inside.

Daphne Perfume Princess is an example of a new variety of daphne. Bred in New Zealand, it’s robust and has masses of pretty pink and white flowers from July to September. Growing to about 1.2m, it’s perfect for a pot or in the garden. Tolerates full sun and likes well-drained soil so add some compost when planting in the garden.

South Island

What else to plant

Whether you like standards, bush roses or climbers, it’s a great time to get them in the ground now. And there’s a huge range to select from in store.

Remember, for their best blooming potential, roses need at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Plant in rich, well-drained soil that’s high in organic matter. When planting your rose, be sure to dig a hole that’s wide and deep enough to accommodate its roots.

Helebores, or winter rose, are another good choice for planting right now.  While they like sun in winter, hellebores thrive in shady spots.  Enjoy their evergreen foliage and the range of dainty, coloured flowers from dark, plum shades to whites and a range in between.

Don’t neglect the vegie patch either. It’s a great time to get in some spinach, kale and leafy greens such as silverbeet. These leafy greens love the cold and will perform well at this time of year. In fact, kale leaves become sweeter with frost.

South Island


In July there’s always plenty to pick too. Parsnips are ready to pull, and it’s time to harvest cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale.

South Island


Be warned there’ll be some frosty days in July, but that’s the best time to get out into the garden. Start by pruning roses. Don’t be frightened about giving roses a good cut back at this time of year.

While there’s danger of winter frosts, protect any tender plants, particularly those in containers. Move them somewhere warm and sheltered.

Put out some snail bait to keep the pests at bay.

Our Perfect Plant Promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 percent happy, return your plant (with the receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants available at your local Bunnings Warehouse and bring your garden to life.

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