My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ gardens grow families

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Happy New Year. It’s day two into a new year and the sun is shining. Yesterday, I reflected about what makes a garden ~ or even a gardener ~ as our twin grandchildren celebrated their 8th birthday in their garden on New Year’s day. Lots of children and three dogs ran and chased, threw water bombs, played cricket and clambered over a fence to retrieve balls, scooted and rode bikes, swung from a tree and did slippery water slides. Much younger cousins played in the sandpit. Dinner was sausages and tomato sauce followed by birthday cakes eaten picnic style in the barbeque area. A tent was pitched so the older kids could sleep over.

When their Dad and Uncle were boys ~ the garden scene wasn’t so different back then. Himself and I can describe similar family gatherings in our parents’ gardens from our own childhoods. My mother said her family, who lived in a big English city, had a small garden. She and her brothers and sister played similar games in a large park near their home. In common with each of these generations is our garden experiences. Each kept a vegie patch. My sons grow peas and things their kids can pick and eat. It’s important children know where their food comes from.

Mum in her eighties, grows silverbeet, cherry tomatoes, parsley and a lemon tree in a tub. Kids need outdoor space for play.  A tree can be climbed, swung from, sat under for shade from the sun. Grass needs to be robust to survive the cricket and rugby. Places are needed for riding,  sand and water play. Gardens don’t only grow food and  flowers – they grow people.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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