Questions, Answers, Ideas, Solutions

Use the comments box below to ask questions about your garden or landscape, products maintenance or whatever you like.

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25 comments on “Questions, Answers, Ideas, Solutions

  1. My back gate opens onto a park. I’d love to include the vista in my backyard landscape, but I also value my privacy! (We currently have a wooden paling fence) A one-way glass would be ideal, but it would last less than a week, I’m guessing! Any ideas?

  2. Hi Vonnie,

    I suggest a fence or wall with a series of shutters all romantic like. When you want to view the view open the shutters and when you want privacy close them. One way glass would be expensive and need cleaning etc. Clever planting could help retain the view and privacy but i would suggest getting a landscape designer or architect around for advice.


    Tim Durrant

  3. i purchased a vehicle gearbox from a subaru parts dealer costing $450 incl gst) and hand it fitted by my mechanic costing $(650), we discovered that the gearbox is faulty that the subaru parts dealer sold to me (gearbox was sold with 1month warrenty), am i able to claim installation cost of the gearbox because it is faulty. upon purchase i was told that the gearbox is in good working condition.

  4. If you were told it was in working order you have recourse via the fair trading act and the consumer gauntness act. Go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and they will be able to help you out.

    Good luck

    Tim D

  5. Wendy Collins -Brines on said:

    I am interested in getting any advice on what brand of filter to fit on my outside taps…. Don’t want any chemicals or any kind to go on my garden….worms hate tap water… to know if anyone out there can help with reliable and efficient brands etc.. Cheers Wendy

  6. Looking for pavers with a difference. Check out our exposed and terrazzo paving made using stones and schists from throughout the south island

  7. under the leaves of some of my strawberry plants are what looks like foam bubbles. inside these are small green yellowish bugs. what are they and are they harmful to the crop.

  8. Hi, We had a lot of weeds which i have manged to get under control with yates Turfix but we are unable to get rid of one particular type of weed which has a stalky type and has a long leaf but not wide, we can send a photo via email to make things easier and we need help what can we use to get rid of them. your help will be highly appreciated.

  9. Can you email me a picture of the weed –





  11. michele dunlop on said:

    any suggestions for pictures of garden plantigs to look down on. I look directly down from my balcony, limited hours of sunshine both winter and summer,
    I have planted a permision, cherry and russet apple and have been adding plants to give it a bit of a woodland look but it lacks zing? any pointers.
    thanks m

  12. Hi Michele, can you email me a photo please



  13. Hi, I have some subsidence in one part of the garden, there is a ever-growing sink hole, we dug down several feet and could not see any obvious reason (no water) yet the hole continues to sink. There is a concrete path leading to that part of the garden and now that too appears to have subsidence. My question is which professional do I contact for a independent evaluation of what is the problem and what are the solutions? Thanks

  14. Hi Meg,

    You need to talk to a structural engineer who will either be able to assess the situation or put you on to a geological engineer. It sounds like there is an old sceptic tank or landfill under the area. Or some erosion or something. You can also talk to your local council who may have some records about the site.

    Hope that helps.



  15. Neville on said:

    Can I propogate Ficus Elastica (Rubber trees – from seed).
    Just thought i would have a try as a nearby tree has lots of seeds on the ground.

  16. Hi Neville,

    There is some information here

    Propagation of Ficus elastica is usually done by cuttings or air layering. It is common for people to propagate new Rubber Trees from the leftover scraps after a pruning session. It is quick and simple to do, and you would then be able to share your plant with others. Be aware that the milky sap of Ficus elastica is toxic if ingested and that handling of the plant may cause an allergic reaction, for some. If you don’t know how you will react to Rubber Tree, it is advisable to use gloves when handling it. Also, this plant is not a good idea if you have pets that like to chew on your houseplants or small children who may put things in their mouth.’


    Tim Durrant

  17. I have 2 upright topiary bushes and suddenly in patches, some of the leaves have turned dark brown and looks dead. Have you any idea what is causing this please? I noticed a few spider webs on them too, so have sprayed with ‘no spider’ spray, but there seems to be more patches affected since I’ve done this.

  18. i moved into a new house a few months ago and in the garden was a pruned plant which i thought might of been some sort of rose bush . it has since grown to massive height has loads of green leaves and very sharp long thorns and has not flowered and looks like it has no intention of flowering ive had to keep cutting it back as all it does is grow and the thorns are leathal, any ideas on what this plant is? as i would like to know how to deal with it

  19. Hi Katey,

    Can you email me a photo please info@



  20. I have tree that is bearing fruit and I am puzzled to what it is.

    I can best describe it as a “weeping” type tree – the branches and leaves
    droop down. The fruit is in bunches similar to cherries but the appreance
    is more like a small apple, they appear to be ripening into a red colour.

    Can you identify the tree for me and advise whether the’fruit” is edible.

    Thank you
    Kevin Reilly

  21. Our daughter recently bought a property. There is a tree that is lethal with long spike thorns on the lower branches and shorter ones closer to the fruit, which resembles an apple. What is it? the previous owner has no idea what it is.

  22. I would like some suggestions for landscaping under a large Oak Tree. Lawn does not grow very well and it is a dusty mess. I need to cover an area 2 -3 metres each side of the trunk. As the Oak drops a large amount of leaves in Autumn it needs to be something that is easy to blow or rake leaves from. It is also our access to the backyard so need to push lawnmower over it.

  23. Bonnie on said:

    I have a Nikau plam we planted when we bought our house over 20 years ago, I now have a few new plams growing from the berries (tallest 4inchs) I`ve no idea how they set or when from seed but found when I rearranged potted plants in area under the plam. What would be the best thing I could do with the new plams? Plant in a bush somewhere, like the Waitakere Rangers.

  24. Hi Bonnie, In my experience Nikau seedlings to not transplant very well – are they in pots or in the ground?

  25. Preston on said:

    We Got a tree over growing our river it has green maple leaf shaped leaves and thorns on the branches and trunk does n e one no wat it kuld be?

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