Xanthe White is a well-known Auckland landscape designer and author. Her talented work ranges from private commissions to major urban projects through her Xanthe White Design business. She has been Daltons Brand Ambassador for ten years and also appears frequently on radio and television.
Xanthe has won numerous awards for her work including gold and silver medals, and the People’s Choice award at the Ellerslie International Flower Show. She has also won a Silver Gilt award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and a gold medal and Best Design award at the Gardening World Cup in Japan.
Xanthe is married with two young children who feature in some of the photos throughout her books.
“Daltons products are made for real gardeners who know that the key to a beautiful garden begins with the soil. Like anything in life if you don’t get the foundation right you will never get the results you desire. Daltons have had the last 60 years of trials and testing to ensure that each product is the best it can be and their team is always available to offer advice and support. To take on the world you need to know you can depend on those you are working with every step of the way and I can truly say Daltons have been there for all my successes!”
Award winning landscape designer and author, Xanthe White, has been Daltons brand ambassador for over ten years. She has plenty of gardening experience and knowledge to impart to home gardeners and professionals alike. Here Xanthe shares her passion for gardening, along with tips, advice and gardening secrets even the most weathered gardener may not know.
For me, my links to gardening always take me to my grandmothers, and my grandfathers too in stories. But both my grandfathers passed; one before I was born and the other when I was quite young, so the gardens were my grandmothers’ domain. They taught me about growing food and the value of beauty.
I’m currently working on my project in Les Quesnoy (which I mentioned in more detail in the winter newsletter). This week was not a great one. Just a couple of months out from when the garden will be opened to the public on the eve of Armistice Day, we were left with a design that despite being relatively basic, was simply unachievable with the funds we have been granted for the project.
We had emailed every MP we could think of, approached the media, contacted countless organisations and groups for support but we simply did not have enough to make it a reality.
Without an approved budget we were unable to order plants or do anything to bring the garden to life. Add to this being a parent in a household that was struck with norovirus, and after three days without sleep or food and an upcoming meeting with our funders, I simply sat down and cried… for a few hours. My stunned husband spent the day emailing more people such as the Prime Minister, (is it normal for a husband to email the prime minister when his wife is inconsolably weeping?).
My friend Lynda rang to do an interview about the garden and ended up consoling my tears and wrapping me up in support.
It made me think what gardening is about to me and to question, what do I believe can bring more joy and pleasure to people, whatever you have in your pocket? It is of course, plants.
So, our team pulled together and we took the last remaining folly out of the garden and now it is a field of plants. Because that’s what the war was to our grandmothers who had nothing while the men scaled the walls and lived in terror. They kept their families fed and clothed and filled with soul by working the land. Already our plantings expressed this koha, a mix of plants that feed, make fabrics and heal, but also give beauty back to the world. Because that’s how gardens make peace and how the women of war bought peace to us all in the worst of times. They not only gave us the comforts of life from what they could grow and nurture, but they also reminded us of beauty and its power to heal and bring us back together.
So now our garden is not just for peace - it’s for all the women who walked before us with little resources and kept us safe and happy, and healed the suffering of their husbands and sons who came home with terror in their dreams, by wrapping them in places made from the earth where tears could be shed behind bushes and could be used to feed the roses.
So, as our grandmothers did, we will garden for peace with the earth and the seeds, and make something to remember them by forever.
The Good Dirt
by Xanthe White
Improving soil health for more successful gardening.
In The Good Dirt, landscape designer Xanthe White goes beneath the surface to reveal the secrets to successful gardening. As the title suggests, this book is all about the soil we find in our garden and more particularly how we can maximize its growing potential.
If you’ve ever wondered why some plants thrive in one location but struggle in your own backyard you’ll be likely to find explanations in the soil below. Xanthe White examines the five main soil types found in New Zealand and offers advice on how to get the best from each one by working in harmony with nature.
Complete with ingredients guides for each soil type and ideas and design features to enhance its fertility, this is an essential companion for anyone looking to establish a new garden or improve their existing one.
The Natural Garden
by Xanthe White
A sumptuous and inspirational landscape design book that looks at how award-winning landscape designer Xanthe White’s signature style, which she calls the ‘natural’ or ‘wild’ garden can be applied to flower, native, rural, dry, inner city, productive, subtropical, coastal, and small city wall and roof gardens.
Warmly and expertly written and lavishly illustrated with photos and Xanthe’s own hand-drawn plans, the book also contains best plant guides for each garden type as well as growing and composting advice. It’s almost as good as having Xanthe call round for a consultation!
Organic Vegetable Gardening
by Xanthe White
Organic vegetable gardening is big again. Here’s a book that takes readers by the hand and shows them how to go from backyard bombsite to organic Garden of Eden in one year.
Author Xanthe White, New Zealand landscape-design star, documents a year in the garden she built from scratch in a rundown inner-city backyard, inspiring readers to realise that they can do it too. Xanthe’s monthly diary inspires and confides, and her guides to sowing, planting, pests and diseases, making compost, mulching and more make it easy for beginners to follow - and get fabulous results. There’s plenty for experienced gardeners here, too. Xanthe’s tips, techniques and infectious enthusiasm will get even the most seasoned gardeners wanting to try something new. Most of all, she demystifies organics and makes it easy to agree that the only way to garden is organically.
Studded with great informational photographs, this book carves out new and unique territory that sets it apart from other gardening books. It is an inspirational and practical guide.