My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ trees as living connections


Trees are very much on my mind at the moment. It will be soon time for planting. Last year when my three-month old grandson was born, Pohutukawa trees had started flowering as they do before Christmas. Later towards the end of autumn, we’ll plant a pohutukawa – our gift to celebrate this baby boy’s birth. The placenta will be put into the hole and planted with the tree. In this way his tie will be especially forged to the land. The tree variety chosen will suit our inland situation – and won’t grow as large as the coastal specimens. This tree won’t be planted in isolation – I plan to plant it as part of native grove that will include trees for his cousins and two-year brother. Trees evoke strong natural connections with our life experiences.

My sister planted a Rimu sapling when her son was born three decades ago. Decades ago, my Dad, who saw active service during WWII, planted Golden Totara, inspired by a memorial grove planted in remembrance of local men who did not return.  I think it was his quiet way of remembering and trying to restore the land. My sister-in-law has this most wonderful cherry tree – my mother-in-law would have loved the fabulous blossoms and bird life. Each of us has this strong sense of connectedness with the land.   

On another note, some tree felling will have to happen soon. A stand of Leyland Cypress  were originally planted as a roadside boundary shelter belt about 25 to 30 years ago (well before our time here). As with the row of trees lining our drivewway that we had felled in the summer of 2005, these are on borrowed time and are showing signs of rot. Himself will be able to get his chainsaw out again. Lots of firewood to cut. I’m thinking nature abhors a vaccuum. What trees can I plant?

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.

7 thoughts on “My Garden ~ trees as living connections

  1. There seem to be some beautiful natives you can plant, the Pohutakawa flower seems to look like what I would call a Bottlebrush here in the states.

    My friends planted a row of fruit trees along their drive, they do not act as a windbreak but my goodness it is glorious to see in early spring when they are flowering!

    I always love to look at pictures of mansions – especially old English (I live in a Tudor style house) or Southern USA plantations that had long drives with beautiful plantings inviting a quiet walk or a majestic drive to the house. I have seen one picture with a bunch of Pecan trees that are absolutely glorious and stately looking.

  2. What wonderful, exotic trees you have! They’re all such lovely shades of green – greens that we don’t see here in the desert. And the Pohutakawa looks rather like a native species of brush that grows here – the Sonoran Fairy Duster.

    In my garden, we have a palo verde, a honey locust, a grapefruit and a blood orange. I’d really like to have a Meyer lemon and a desert oak, as well. But I think I’ll need a larger yard before I can do that!

  3. My community is doing a “Carbon Fast” for Lent this year.

    Among the suggestions to reduce our carbon impact on the world is to plant a tree. The statistics are astounding how much carbon dioxide one tree can absorb among other benefits like shade and beauty.

    My property is missing the mid-level trees (15-20′) tall. We have very few flowering trees too. So I am looking to plant several of the native species that are so beautiful here.

    Don’t you think the carbon fast is a wonderful idea?

  4. I’d love to be able to walk those stately drives. One of my neighbours has planted an olive grove that looks stunning and another grows a stand of pecans. I have considered planting an edible tree crop in a similar way but such trees do need protection from the gusty winds we get that affect such trees. Carbon impact was a topic of conversation with my two brothers this weekend after they had felled some large trees overhanging Pete’s farm roadside boundary. Our government’s carbon credits policy is an issue as farm forest owners perceive they stand to make a financial loss. Rich favours planting trees native to our country. Pete (mis)-quoted some Austalian article he’d read, “for every tree felled, plant 101”. My instinct is to go for the “shades of green” and to plant flowering trees to feed our native birds and to encourage the bees. Bottlebrush does well here and is a marvellous tree to plant because our native birds like the tui feed off the nectar.

  5. Pingback: olive garden menu

  6. Neat to come across another kiwi blog. I found you by googling pohutakawa mulch. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Perth is Tuart Country | Ockham's Razor

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