My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

My Garden ~ trees as living connections

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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

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. 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 do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

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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