The best gardens to see this Christmas
 
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The decorations are out, the heatwave is growing stronger, and days are getting longer. All signs of a looming Kiwi Christmas. Are you spending more time in the garden leading up to the big day? Whether you’re just tidying up the garden, or decorating with lights - Crewcut couldn’t be happier to make your lawns and gardens look their best.

Many of us get into the Christmas lights spectacular - which is such a cool way to redesign your garden just in time for Christmas. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best lawns and gardens to check out this time of the year. 

 

Auckland

Franklin Road

Of course this goes without mentioning - an Auckland Christmas tradition. Everyone's lawns are neatly mowed with decorations adorning every front door and garden. Carollers sing a festive tune and cotton candy hides the smiles of young children. 

 

Karaka Light Show - 20 Cornwall Place

Each year the Karaka light show draws in crowds because of the grand light decorations. Truly not to be missed!
 

 

 

Canterbury

11 Tullamore Place

Boasting to have plenty of Christmas decorations inside and out! Maybe a Santa’s grotto is waiting for you and your family in the backyard! Check them out, 7-11pm, from December 19-23.

 

190 Hoon Hay Road

Such a magnificent use of the front and back garden - with beautiful Christmas lights and inflatable Santas. Be sure to check this one out!

 

7 Woodglen Drive, Woodend

This place has really utilised full capacity of their front yard, creating a beautiful space. Even has a realistic Santa clause too!

 

 

Wellington

37 Sumner Terrace, Porirua

If you're into pyrotechnics, you'll absolutely love this! With a full light display, you'll be standing on the front lawn, entertained for ages. 

 

30 Caesers Place, Churton Park

Fairy lights, fairy lights, and more fairy lights! This property has gone all out with decorating the grass with multi-coloured lights. Such a simple and effective take on the Christmas lights celebrations. 

 

For a more comprehensive directory of all the light shows around the country, be sure to check out https://www.lightupchristmas.co.nz/xmas-lights.php

 
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The secret magic of composting
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If you’ve considered compositing as the wizardry of gardening hippies - we do hope you’d reconsider. As part of our composting mini-series, we're here to prove that composting should be a part of your regular garden and waste management. There are so many great benefits it's a wonder why more people haven't moved to the 'Composting Convoy'. 

On average, New Zealanders send about 2.5 million tonnes of waste to the landfills - or about one tonne per household. However, according to Auckland Council Waste Assessment, the normal household could compost half of the waste they create. While some waste can't be composted such as packaging, plastic and glass (which you should aim to recycle anyway) - a lot of waste you can.

Compostable items include:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Branches and twigs


One of the great parts of composting is you can add your grass clippings to the mix when you get your lawns mowed. Your regular Crewcut operator would be more than happy to add the clippings to your compost bin as part of their service

So you may be asking: 'apart from looking like an enviro-warrior how exactly does this benefit me?'. Oh mon frere, you have plenty to learn about the magic of composting:

  • Enrich soil to produce healthier plants in the garden
    The leftover you get from compost (in either a solid mulch form or concentrated tea) is so good for your soil. It is absolutely jam-packed with nutrients which aide in plant growth and root health.
     
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    As mentioned previously, 2.5 million tonnes of waste get sent to landfills. A vast amount of this waste is compostable, however it's now sitting in landfills not decomposing properly. All the methane produced in these landfills are toxic and are then sent into the atmosphere - not an ideal situation. 
     
  • Reduces the cost for rubbish collection
    By reducing how much waste goes in your council bins or bags, you may be able to put out your rubbish less often. This is a big win, and you'll encourage yourself to save even more as you get better at composting. 

 

If you live in Auckland you can even get a discount on your very first composting bin! Just follow the link, complete the quiz or attend a composting event and you'll receive your discount and free shipping on a selection of compost bins. 

Composting is becoming more and more popular as people realise the benefits. In the next article we’ll show you what kind of composter you are, and how to start your own compost bin. 

Is a hedge better than a fence?
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If you've ever watched 'The Block' or a home and garden show, you'll know how important it is to enclose your property with either a fence or hedge. Aside from the aesthetics, they have plenty of practical positives as well. However, there has been hot debate on which is better - fence or hedge. So who comes out on top?

Privacy and security

Because many hedges can grow to pretty decent heights (some can get to 2 metres!), you can be assured that your privacy will be maintained. This means a reduced risk of mischievous, thieving eyes peering into your backyard and home. Alternatively it means you can saunter in your stubbies around your garden in peace. 

Muffles sound out better

Hedges work brilliantly as a sound blocker. If you have noisy neighbours or are close to a busy road - you should definitely consider having a hedge. A dense hedge can reduce the decibels of noise by up to 50 percent. Most fences on the other hand, do very little for noise control. If you are interested in noise control with fences, you will need to consider brick or thick wood. 

Windbreak

While fences take the brunt of wind gusts, sometimes it can prove too much and causes the fence to topple over. However, a hedge will slow down a lot of the wind while allowing some to pass through.

Wildlife

Hedges are great for our wildlife! Birds stay in them, flying insects and bees carry nectar from the plants, and a neighbouring hedgehog will call it home. If you have young children - they will really appreciate all the extra wildlife the hedge will bring to the garden.

Interesting background

While a fence can look a bit boring, hedges can add a textured and interesting background to any garden. Some hedges even grow interesting flowers - a two in one surprise!

Cost

Fences often have plenty of upkeep and can get worn down very quickly. A well maintained hedge on the other hand will continue to look nice for as long as it's looked after. All it needs is sunlight, water, and 1-2 sessions of hedge trimming a year. Crewcut offers affordable hedge trimming year round, and nationwide! 


Adds value

Plenty of real estate agents agree that a well-maintained and trimmed hedge adds plenty of value to your property. This is particularly pertinent when it comes close to sale time of the property.

 

So have you been sold on hedges? If you need more help and advice on how to best look after your hedge, make sure to ask you local Crewcut operator. As we come into the sunny months, time spent in the backyard will be much more enjoyed with a nice hedge surrounding it. 

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Hey Aucklanders - money does grow in your backyard!
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As the age old saying goes: "Money doesn't grow on trees", however, you can grow your money - in your backyard. With the average house in Auckland selling for 1 million (as of May 2017), you could add even more to the house value by having a well maintained garden and lawn. While renovating other areas of the house are sure to make their improvements on the sale price - nothing sells more than the green, green grass and foliage you have outside. In fact, it can raise the value of the property by 16%, which is today's market is around $100,000+!

Potential home owners love to see outdoor areas they can raise their children in, relax in, or just have room for a fun-loving dog to run in. The extra space is a luxury as houses grow closer and closer together. If you have a lawn, take advantage of it with some regular lawn mowing and extra TLC. Crewcut's Auckland lawn mowing team covers all parts of the city and beyond - so if you need your lawns mowed, we're ready.

The perfect gift for a Kiwi Father's Day
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Father’s day is coming up, do you know what you might be getting?

New underwear? Perhaps a box of chocolates? Or maybe another ‘best dad ever’ mug? While these are ‘mighty fine gifts’, we know you’d prefer something a bit more satisfying.

When the gardening needs doing, or the lawn needs to be mowed, are you often left with the job? While Kiwi dads are built on the ‘can-do’ attitude, sometimes this mantra gets taken advantage of by others in the family. Dads out there, we hear you.

This year, you should be able to sit back with a beer (or cup of tea) in hand and get a company like Crewcut to mow the lawns for you. Enjoy the time with your family instead and leave your backyard to the experts. We think that’s the ultimate Father’s day gift.

So send this to your kids or partner as a subtle memo that ‘hey, I don’t want socks this year’. Ask them instead to treat you with the gift that keeps on giving - the gift of never having to mow your lawns again. You deserve it, because as a Kiwi father, you’re a cut above the rest.

To arrange a free lawn quote, contact us on 0800 800 286

 
How to get your kids outside in the holidays
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How do you keep the children entertained throughout the school holiday? Especially in winter! At a time of the year when everyone generally stays indoors - we’re saying, get them outside! The best way to boost their immunity, understanding of nature and self awareness is to get them immersed in conditions they might not normally experience.

1. Visit the Auckland Botanic Gardens

There’s an abundance of activities to do here during the school holidays, including nature challenges, kids vs. wild, Matariki mobiles and much more! And if you can't make it to the programs, children love walking around the gardens and learning about all the various plants and flowers that make this garden so full of life. Winter growth is very unique which makes it the perfect time to visit the gardens. 

2. Wilder kids.

If you’re in Wellington, your kids are going to love the Wilder Kids programme. Aimed at 5-12 year olds, your children will have a fun outdoorsy day learning about nature, creepy crawlies and how to protect everything in New Zealand’s big backyard. The programme runs every school holidays, and while winter limits outdoor time, your kids will still be learning heaps.

3. Conscious kids

Similar to the Wilder Kids programme is the Conscious kids winter group which runs in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. This happens during the second week of the holidays and is open to all ages. It’s a 100% nature based program that aims to get Kiwi kids outside and exploring whilst learning problem solving skills and environmental awareness. 

4. Mud pie delight

Of course we can’t all afford to put our kids into holiday programs, so why not utilise the mud in the back yard? Kids absolutely LOVE mud pies. Can we get any more Kiwi than loving a good pie? All you’ll need is a decently sized bucket with smooth dirt and decorative imagination. They’ll get messy and you might too (just don’t wear anything too fancy).

We at Crewcut love the outdoors, and kids especially do too. Why you should get kids in the garden highlights more reasons why the great outdoors is the best classroom your child can have. Let them enjoy the outdoors these school holidays so they can appreciate everything mother nature has to offer.

Giant Poppy and Crewcut
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In 2015, local artist Tony McNeight created a giant poppy in the Auckland Domain with over 59,000 metal poppy discs. People of all ages came down and wrote heart felt messages on these poppies to collectively create the biggest poppy ever. Tony has a strong connection to the Anzac commemorations as his family members served in WW1. This project is for all that feel like they can’t or haven’t been able to truly say thank you to those who served in WW1.  

Tony believes that Anzac is still very relevant today:
There’s something inside of us that wants to keep this fire burning….it’s a fire of freedom.

Especially for the younger generation who may have never met their past family members who served: 

For young people it’s an opportunity for them to find out about their great grandparents and what they did and who they were. What sort of people they were, what sort of hardships they went through - terrible hardships.

During the 9 days that the poppy was being created, Frederic Leturque, mayor of Arras (a town in France) came and placed a poppy. He recently requested Tony to recreate the Giant Poppy in a town square in Arras where there is strong historical connection. During WW1, Kiwis helped the French by building a large map of underground tunnels that were used to store animals, troops and hide behind enemy lines. During this time, many gave their lives to protect our freedom and the freedom of the French people.

This kind of connection is what the French people want to remember, commemorate and give thanks to. 

Tony set up a fundraiser to get his Giant Poppy over to Arras, and Crewcut was proud to support his project. If you want more information on his journey, visit his website: http://giantpoppy.co.nz

Why you should get kids in the garden
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As we advance into a more technological age, the art of gardening is becoming more and more redundant. We notice that increasingly, people want ‘low maintenance’ instead. But having a flourishing garden with shrubs, flowers, and fruit & veg is one of the most rewarding things. Kids today spend more time indoors looking at screens then they do outside looking at nature.

Gardening is healthy and is fun for children. Not only will it help with their understanding of how things grow; but they will learn responsibility, love of nature, good nutrition, physical activity and understanding of life. There’s also a great reward if the plants flourish as they will be able to physically see what hard work can earn. 

Some simple ways to get your children interested in gardening include:

  • Giving them their own little garden space. This could even be just a few pots for them to grow their plants.
  • Use specialised, light weight equipment that children will find special to them. Not only is it a lot safer but is more unique as they feel a sense of ownership and pride.
  • Get older kids to plan the garden space and the younger ones to plant them (who doesn’t love a good mud pie!)
  • Visit public gardens for ideas and inspiration. 

Different tasks you can give your child include:

  • Digging
  • Picking flowers
  • Weeding
  • Watering
  • Picking vegetables when they are ready to eat
  • Replanting and potting
  • Decorating pots with paint
  • Picking off dead bulbs

You don’t have to have the greenest thumb to get your child interested in gardening. It’s all about ‘planting the seed’ (see what we did there) so that your children may grow their own healthy garden to share for future generations.