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New Books Inspire Dirty Weekends
Oct 8, 2007

Four new regional weed books are proving a hit with gardeners taking part in the Weedbusters’ Dirty Weekend promotion this October.

Gardeners are being urged to spring clean their gardens of weedy ornamental species during October, and the new Plant Me Instead books suggest non-weedy alternatives that can replace these invasives.

“Weedy species are a serious threat to our natural areas,” says national Weedbusters coordinator, Carolyn Lewis.

“Many are still being grown in private gardens, providing a seed source that reinfests bush and coastal areas, wetlands, and parks and reserves.”

The weeds featured in the Plant Me Instead books are the ones of biggest concern to volunteers and staff of various organisations working in these natural areas. While some weedy ornamental species are now banned from sale, propagation and distribution in New Zealand, others are still being sold.

“It’s important that gardeners make the connection that what they grow in their own backyards can affect the wider environment,” says Ms Lewis.

“Weedy species don’t respect boundaries and don’t stay where they are planted. Seeds are spread far and wide by birds, wind and water – and the illegal dumping of garden waste into parks and reserves, gullies, and other areas also spreads these weeds.”

The new Plant Me Instead books cover the Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast, Southland, Waikato, and Canterbury/Otago regions and are free on request from

As well as ‘Dirty Weekend’ events around New Zealand during October, there is a national competition for those giving their gardens a weedfree makeover. Full details are at

Weedbusters is supported by the Department of Conservation, Biosecurity New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Biodiversity New Zealand, NZ Landcare Trust, Nursery and Garden Industry Association, NZ Biosecurity Institute, NZ Plant Protection Society, and all unitary and regional councils in New Zealand.


Photo caption

DOC”s Penny Loomb and Dr Ian Popay of the NZ Plant Protection Society check out the new regional Plant Me Instead books.

Media contact

Carolyn Lewis (0274) 434 431 or