There, before the colonists came, wide sweeps of dull green bracken or wiry yellow-green tussocks seemed bleak and monotonous enough.
The bracken grows in low sandy tracts near the coast.
The seeds are sown in April, on rich ground, which should not be too highly manured; the young larches are planted out when two years old, or sometimes transferred to a nursery bed to attain a larger size; but, like all conifers, they succeed best when planted young; on the mountains, the seedlings are usually put into a mere slit made in the ground by a spade with a triangular blade, the place being first cleared of any heath, bracken, or tall herbage that might smother the young tree; the plants should be from 3 to 4 ft.
So profitable was sheep-farming seen to be that energetic settlers began to burn off the bracken and cut and burn the forest in the North Island and sow English grasses on the cleared land.
The training of certain bedding plants over the surface of the soil is done by small pegs of birch wood or bracken, by loops of wire or cheap hair-pins, or sometimes by loops of raffia having the ends fixed in the soil by the aid of the dibble.