The traditional New Zealand garden centre has been the most common place to buy plants. But when you’re installing larger landscape projects it’s wise to go further afield and look for specialist nurseries and wholesale nurseries.
This site has listings of the nurseries in your area. Planting plans and plant lists can be sent to nurseries for pricing and quotation.
Use Findaplant.co.nz to find specific plants and nurseries.
Designing with Native Plants
Now is the time to re-invent native planting.
The 1980s saw what I like to call the ‘early period’ of native planting design. It was based on the ‘DoC Visitor Centre’ idiom – a bushy thicket of mixed vigorous shrubs and trees with a scattering of sedges or grasses at the edges – oh, and plenty of flax. This would be ‘leaning’ against the building or neatly bordering the garden lawn as if it were a visitor centre picnic area. This kind of planting has its value, without a doubt, but unfortunately became a little jaded and, like all trends was overtaken by other ideas in garden design. In the 90s we brought a little more scientific knowledge to bear and did authentic replanting of bush and wetland and alpine gardens and tried out our natives in traditional garden roles like clipped hedges and topiary. Although recent books and magazines have often shown New Zealand plants superbly, we need to re-invent native planting in the garden – to find way to make it exciting again. Click here for more…
Landscape gardening, gardening, horticulture and agriculture are all ingrained in New Zealand’s pioneering spirit. English and European plant species were introduced to recreate the essence of Mother England. Over time, as styles evolved, the nurseryman introduced new plants, many thousands with wonderful results and others that would leave a devastating legacy. Gorse (ulex europeaus) for example was introduced with pomp and ceremony (a tea party on the Wellington Botanical Gardens lawn) in flower. This species is valued in its native Scotland as a valuable asset for fencing and hedgerows on farmland, but it has become a noxious weed in New Zealand. Plant species indigenous to New Zealand have evolved to fill specific ecological niches here. Put simply “this is where they come from and this is where they will thrive in harmony with nature”. New Zealand’s native bush and wetlands have been substantially cleared – up to 90% of what existed in 1840 has gone. Past pioneering fathers and mothers of the land who cleared native bush to make way for agriculture and a new beginning must be “turning in their graves” as we learn from their mistakes. We now place a high value on native plants in blind gullys, as cover around wetlands and much more.
As landscape professionals and nurseries began to realise that traditionalist garden design didn’t always fit New Zealand’s contemporary personality, they began putting new design ideas into practice, protecting natural surroundings and weaving them into landscape plans. New Zealand native plants are unique and are world renowned for their style and aesthetic beauty. The landscape industry values New Zealand native plants and, as a result, there are many native plant specialists.
We recommend sourcing native plants as close as possible to your region.
Use our Search Directory to find native plant nurseries in your region.
For information on controlling invasive noxious weeds we recommend the NZ Landcare Research Biosecurity site: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biosecurity/weeds/