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Alice & Caleb's courtyard makeover with Tui

Adding greenery to Alice & Caleb's @pearsonandprojects courtyard makeover was a must! Not only did it add lush greenery and pops of colour to the landscaping, but also sweet smells and ingredients as they cook in their new pizza oven.

Check out the lush green additions to their stunning outdoor living space.


We had a spot in the courtyard that was perfect for a planter box, and alongside the pizza oven, we knew herbs were going to be well used. I built a simple planter box with the same timber as our deck and drilled some holes in the bottom for water drainage. The Tui team shared their herb recommendations and advised on how to plant them.

We used Tui Vegetable Mix and mixed in Tui Performance Organics Tomato & Vegetable Fertiliser Pellets. Then we soaked the herbs in Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic mixed with water, before putting them in place.

We planted the dry-loving herbs (thyme, oregano and rosemary) together as they can cope with dry periods. They prefer to be watered less frequently and avoiding watering them is easier if they’re all together.

The coriander will bolt in the hot summer sun, so we hope the side of the house will provide a slightly cooler and shady spot. Basil loves the sun and it is a must for Margherita pizza. We created an internal barrier within the planter to separate the mint roots from the other herbs, as they can take over the whole planter.

Finally, we planted some edible flowers to add to salads or summer drinks.


Alice's pot plant makeover

I have a selection of brand new plants and older plants I am repotting going into the old pots I have painted. I want my plants to be happy in their new containers so I’ve followed the advice of the Tui team and thought I’d share them with you!

  • If the container is too small it will restrict the roots, slowing growth and causing plants to dry out faster. If you select large plants, you need a large pot.
  • Always make sure containers have plenty of drainage for water to drain. If a container doesn’t have drainage holes you can create your own if needed.
  • Tui Outdoor Container Mix contains water-storing granules for improved water-holding capacity and a SaturAid wetting agent to spread water evenly to the root zone.
  • Before potting, soak plants in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic and allow them to drain. We have soaked everything we have planted, including all the herbs for our planter box.
  • Gently take the plant from the current container, loosen the root ball and remove any loose or dead plant material and roots.
  • Water your plant well and continue to water regularly.

For the outdoor pots and barrels, we rescued an unwanted Magnolia (yes please) and a few other shrubs and ferns I already had. I brought a Metrosideros collina ‘Tahiti’ (Dwarf Pohutukawa) which will produce gorgeous orange-red flowers, you can trim it to shape and is good for coastal areas. The Meryta Sinclairii (Puka) has been on my plant wishlist for a while now, it is a type of evergreen tree native to New Zealand.

I also potted a Peach Dwarf, because it looked super cute and I’m hopeful for homegrown peaches. And it felt like a perfect match, a giant olive tree and a pizza oven, so mediterranean.

And of course - I’m feeling all the plant responsibility of keeping our plants healthy and growing. So I’ve followed Tui's Container Gardening Guide to make that happen.

The main task now is to make sure the plants are regularly watered. Tui recommends watering deeply twice a week rather than a little each day, to encourage deep roots. It’s also best to water in the morning or evening to avoid evaporation. As the plants grow we’ll add some Tui Enrich All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser to replenish nutrients.

Follow Alice & Caleb's makeovers on Instagram @pearsonandprojects and discover all you need to know about small space gardening here >


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