My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ Mulberry, Lettuce and Broad Beans

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Had a much needed but brief break. We stayed with my sister and her husband who have a coastal farm and a frost free growing climate. An old Mulberry tree (don’t know which variety) planted about four generations ago still bears lots of red fruit – if only they could get to pick a decent crop. The birds strip the fruit so quickly! The tree stands proudly in solitary splendour the survivor of an old orchard once planted by the forebears of this family. They are considering grafting so a new tree an be grown in the present family orchard and thus maintaining the link between family generations.

The recent rain was a such welcome relief from the dry conditions we’ve been experiencing since spring. When got back to our own garden, the potatoes are in flower, and recent sowings of peas, beetroot, carrots and radishes have sprouted. We planted more lettuce seedlings to keep up with the salads – Red Sails, Buttercrunch and frilly green and red leafed varieties. Generally for the next month I’ll focus on conserving moisture. February can be so hot here. I need to prune the Redhaven peach tree now the fruit has has finished.

Younger son and I talked about preparing vegie garden beds in time for winter plantings in March. In autumn, I like to sow a green manure crop like broad beans in some part of the garden which I can later dig the crop in – it’s great for conditioning the soil. Also love the way the bumblebees go for the flowers.

We do like eating the young Broad Beans. I generally just shell them, steam with a few sprigs of Savory and then serve with finely cut strips of grilled bacon. Sometimes I will add a small knob of butter or a spoonful of creme fraiche (as the mood dictates) to the hot beans. Sprinkle a few Savory leaves over the beans and enjoy a simple dish.

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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