New Zealand’s 2007 Magazine of the Year is urging readers to purge their gardens of weedy ornamental species to save our environment.
In the April edition of NZ Gardener, columnist Ruud Kleinpaste and editor, Lynda Hallinan, have emphasised the weedbusting message in a 7-page spread that features 20 of New Zealand’s weediest species.
The article features well-known species such as moth plant, monkey apple and Mexican daisy that are now banned from sale in New Zealand, as well as species that are not yet banned but have shown themselves to be weedy, such as agapanthus, jasmine and ivy.
“It’s great to see such a prominent magazine come out with such a strong message to its readers,” says national Weedbusters coordinator, Carolyn Lewis.
“Lynda and NZ Gardener should be applauded putting such emphasis on this issue, and showing what individual gardeners can do to help safeguard our environment.”
About 75% of New Zealand’s weed species are garden escapees that have ‘jumped the fence’ and are causing problems in natural areas, such as wetlands, bush, coastlines and riverbanks.
“It’s really heartening that mainstream gardeners are taking notice of what is growing in their gardens, and seeking environmentally-friendly alternatives that stay where they are planted,” says Ms Lewis.
“There are many lovely plants in garden centres, both native and non-native, that aren’t weedy that can be planted instead.”
Problem plant species vary from region to region in New Zealand, with some species considered more of a threat in particular areas than others.
“Your local Department of Conservation or regional council offices will have information on this,” says Ms Lewis.
”You can also check on the Weedbusters website at www.weedbusters.org.nz for identification and control information.”
Plant Me Instead booklets, featuring weedy species and suggesting non-weedy alternatives, are available free of charge on request to firstname.lastname@example.org for the Waikato, Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast, Canterbury/Otago regions.
New booklets for the Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay/East Coast areas are currently being developed.
Weedbusters is a weeds awareness programme 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. For more information go to www.weedbusters.org.nz