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Freight & Delivery

When do you freight plants?

Plants are usually ready for despatch from July onwards and up until the end of November. Plants ordered after the end of November will be despatched the following July. Generally plants will be delivered to your home, without prior contact. If you are going to be away during the period we despatch plants (July and August), please notify us so we can freight your order at the most convenient time. We prefer not to freight plants after the end of September as vibration in transit can break off new growth but will freight up till the end of November.

I work all day, can my order be delivered in my absence?

Yes, but please let us know by email at the time of ordering where the best place is for couriers to drop orders off at your house (e.g. at the backdoor) or another location in your absence.

Courier vans do not deliver down my road can I have them dropped off at a nominated place?

Yes, let us know where your plants are to be delivered to before they are despatched, so we can indicate your instructions on the address label.

My house is down a long driveway unsuitable for trucks, what arrangements are best for our plant delivery?

We suggest that those customers with long drives and sometimes many overhanging trees, let us know and we will ask the Courier or Trucking firm to leave the plants inside the front gate or other location. A sketch is sometimes very helpful.

I would like a Saturday delivery, is that possible?

Yes Saturday delivery is possible for an extra charge. Please give 2-3 days notice for this service.

If I order a plant for a birthday present could it be delivered prior to the weekend?

At least a week’s notice is preferable to ensure delivery is made on time.

I prefer not to take delivery of my order until the end of August, can that be arranged?

Delayed delivery is no problem. We do prefer orders to be collected or delivered by the end of September, to avoid unnecessary stress on the plants.

I would like to collect my order from the Plant Centre, on what days is this suitable?

Plant collection is O.K. 7 days a week. Prior notice would be appreciated to eliminate any delay on the day of collection. Quite often there is only one person on duty at the weekends in the winter.

If I buy plants at the same time as our garden visit can I have them sent to our home address?

You will be amazed how many plants we can stack into a car. It is no problem to freight plants purchased during your garden visit. Talk to the boys at the Plant Centre.

Garden Visits

We have heard all about your beautiful garden and would like to know the best time to visit.

Peak flowering at Cross Hills is from 12th October to the 22nd November.

Can we push a wheelchair around the garden?

Most buildings are accessible by wheelchairs or electric scooters. Virtually all the garden is accessible by wheelchair (wheelchair available to use) or electric scooters but due to the distance to view the garden we suggest having two pushers. Alternatively book a tour on the Magic Mini.

I hear that you have a vehicle that can take my wife and I around the garden, is there a charge for this.

Magic Mini Tours are available weekdays only. We offer a service, at $8.00 per person (minimum $25.00), to transport around the garden, those visitors who are unable to walk the distance. The Magic Mini seats 9 people and the trip takes 35 minutes. This service is available by appointment only from the 10th October 2022 to the 11th November 2022.

My partner finds walking up hills a strain can we get around your garden without walking up steep paths?

For people finding walking long distances a strain, we have our Magic Mini set up to take you on a tour around the gardens. Alternatively most of the garden can be viewed by keeping to the easier paths.

Do you have a Café for us to have lunch at when we visit the garden?

Can we bring our picnic to the gardens and where can we eat this?

You are very welcome to picnic in the areas set aside. We have tables in the grassed picnic areas opposite the Café and in the car park paddock.

Is there anywhere children can play?

The year 2000 was commemorated with the planting of our Millennium Maze. The camellia hedges, consisting of 30 different varieties and over 1000 plants, provide some fun for both our young visitors and those young at heart!

Is there any charge for children to visit the garden?

There is no charge for children.

We have a pet dog can we take it around the garden?

Sorry no dogs allowed, excluding guide dogs.

I belong to a garden club, is there a discount for a group such as ours?

Yes, group admission Adults $12.00 for 20 people or more. Adults $15 for less than 20 people.

Do you have toilet facilities to cater for coach groups and for people with disabilities?

Yes, we have toilet facilities suitable for coach groups. Wheelchair access is available.
We have found prepaid VOUCHERS, which include entrance fee and the cost of refreshments, an excellent system for groups visiting the gardens. This system eliminates the handling of money when visitors are choosing their refreshments.

The club I belong to wishes to visit some other attractions while we are in your area, do you have any suggestions?

We have a good knowledge of what other attractions are available in the district so hope we can help you with your itinerary.

Do you have a season ticket as we like to visit your garden several times during the year?

Yes, our season ticket gives you entrance to the garden for as many visits as you can fit in right through to the end of May. Give one as a great gift to garden lovers or those friends or family members who appreciate regular walks in the fresh country air! Available from the Garden Café or Office, $25.00 each.

We are planning to visit the garden and buy plants at the same time, is this possible?

We hope to have a good selection of plants available right through to the end of November, but in some years the selection can be limited by this time.

Planting Tips

Many leaves on the lower branches of my plants have gone yellow and have black spots; the others at the top of the bush are good and green.

This is natural leaf fall and the plants will do this every year in the autumn.

Why have some leaves on the lower parts of my rhododendrons gone silver on the top of their leaves?

You have a Thrip problem that is easily cured with our Tree Health Bands. It may be necessary to prune back some other trees that have created too much shade, or are not allowing some breeze through your shrubbery. Click here to get our tree health bands!

Why is my rhododendron not flowering?

The main reason is usually lack of sunlight at the time plants need light to set flower buds on new growth i.e. November/December. Some bigger leafed varieties are slower to come into bud so be patient with these. Most varieties need good light for at least half the day and clear sky above is best. In hot climates, light shade or shadows passing over the plants in the hottest part of the day is ideal.

Some of my plants in the older part of my garden have gone all leggy and don’t flower well now?

Lack of sunlight is the main cause of this occurring. Prune back the overhanging trees to allow light into the top of your rhododendrons. You can then prune your plant back by 1/3 in late September to start with, if it responds well with new shoots the following season, you can do some follow up pruning to shape the plant. Alternatively delay pruning till immediately after flowering so you don’t lose the flowering.

I have found this autumn that some leaves on my plants have gone brown at the ends of their leaves, especially the top leaves.

This is the affect of the plants not getting enough water through the summer, next season with adequate water the new leaves will look normal. Tip; remember to mulch your garden and watch for leaves curling during the heat of the day, a sure sign some water is required. A good soaking once every 5 – 7 days is better than a little every day.

I have had my plant in the garden for 2 years and it appears to be going more yellow in the leaves than when I bought it.

Your plant is obviously not liking the position you planted it in. It could be a number of things, though most likely, heavy clay soil and correspondingly poor drainage.

Click here to read our Soil Guide!

My garden soil is free draining and has good humus, but I have one or two plants in a large group that are looking poorly and not shooting like the others.

You may have a pest problem such as grass grubs eating away at the root system. Dig down beside the root ball in the autumn to check for their presence. They will cause the plant to be loose in the ground and to have yellowish leaves and some varieties will have notches around their leaf margins. This damage is done by the flying beetles and is a sure sign that the grubs are present in the soil. It could also be best to dig up the affected plants and replant adding LAWNGUARD into the backfill along with compost and fertilizer.

I would like to grow rhododendrons in containers, can you give me some hints on how best to grow these?

Click here for information on growing in containers.

I have several deciduous azaleas with lichen growing on them. Is there a product that I can use to eradicate the lichen?

Click here for information on lichen and the product Surrender as a treatment.

Sometimes I have rhododendrons that flower in the wrong season. What causes this and can I do anything about it?

This happens in some seasons in the autumn when the weather tricks the plants into thinking it is springtime. There is no way of preventing this. Remember to break off the spent flower heads and then wait till the spring to enjoy the remaining flowers and hope the plants settle into a normal routine next season.

Some top leaves of my plants have light patches on their upper surfaces?

These spots are most probably a Powdery Mildew infection. The peak time for infection is Summer & Autumn. Starting a spray programme late spring with systemic & protectant sprays is the one option available. Allowing more breeze through your garden shrubbery will help keep it away or even shifting plants out into a more ventilated part of your garden would be better.

I have several plants that have gone leggy, how do I go about pruning them?

Click here for more information about pruning in our section on Plant Health.

I have yellow flowering rhododendrons that seem more yellow in their leaves than others in the same bed, is this normal?

We have always noted that the leaves on yellow and apricot flowering rhododendrons are inclined over time, in some soils to go slightly paler in their leaves. An application of a fertiliser high in nitrogen will usually change leaf colour in one season. Sheep pellets are also good and a mulch is always beneficial.

Some of my plants curl their leaves during the day then next morning are looking OK, why is this happening?

There are several reasons for this occurring. The most common cause is Water Stress. Rhododendrons and azaleas constantly lose water by transpiration through their leaves. Old established plants can survive periods of drought in the late summer because they are no longer in active growth. Leaves may wilt and curl during the day causing the plants to look stressed, but no damage results, so long as the leaves are turgid again by morning. If they are still curled or wilted in the morning action is needed e.g. a good soaking. Also branches of plants can be cracked or broken by pets or children. If you can definitely eliminate lack of water and broken branches for the wilting of the leaves, damage to the roots is a strong possibility.

Click here for more tips on watering.

Click here for more information on damage to the roots in the Wilting Leaves section of our Plant Health Guide.

I garden in an area with a clay base quite close to the surface where I would like to plant rhododendrons and azaleas, what preparation do I need to do?

Gypsum is a slow release source of sulphur and calcium which can be used to improve soil structure, aeration and water retention of clay soils. Reduced crusting of the soil surface allows for better water penetration and the improved soil structure allows for better root penetration. Plants need sulphur, gypsum contains 18%, and being a neutral mineral it won’t upset the soil’s pH balance. Gypsum can be incorporated into the planting bed at 1-3kg per sq. metre prior to planting, or used as a top-dressing at half kg per sq. metre. Gypsum is cost effective.

Opening times

365 Days

Nursery & Plant Centre

7 Days a week from Sunday 9th June 2024

Monday- Friday -10.30am - 5pm 

Saturdays 1pm - 5pm 

Sundays 10.30am - 5pm 

Garden Café
Catering is available for pre-booked groups only, subject to availability, please contact our office to discuss.

Where to find us

339 Rangiwahia Road
RD 54
Kimbolton 4774
New Zealand

Contact us

P. 06 328 5797
E. office@crosshills.co.nz

Cross Hills Gardens & Nursery ©2022

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