My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ away from it for a bit


Happy New Year folks. Himself and I shut the gate and left the garden (and the cat and cattle) in the capable care of our friend Trish. So many things would happen in our absence. I knew the possums would ravage the ripening peaches, that the climber beans would grow like triffids, that the courgettes would mature into marrows. We left rapidly growing grass that would be knee-high when returned and need mowing. C’est la vie! I’d just have to get over it.   

We drove south to the Waikato to join Mum and my family who live near Matamata (Peter Jackson constructed the Hobbiton movie set on a local farm when he produced Lord of the Rings). Tourists still visit the site.  We had a big gathering on my younger brother’s farm (where I grew up) on Christmas Day. Lots of talk and laughs. Different people gathered 02 January to celebrate my other brother’s significant birthday at his newly built home. It was nice for Mum to have her four ‘baby-boomer’ children in one place for a change. For each occasion, both sisters-in-law excelled themselves. Baked hot ham, new potatoes (my steamed heritage potatoes went down well and were subject of interest and conversation), salads, new beans, fresh strawberries, traditional Christmas pudding and custard, pavlova and trifle. The weather was so warm, we sat outside in the shade – cold drinks in hand. In this rural community, the talk inevitably turns to dairy farming.

 Wearing off the Christmas excess is easier in the saying and harder in the doing. Himself and I did some day trips and walked at local tourist spots. If you ever come to New Zealand, Rotorua is a neat place to visit. We used to spend a lot of time there as kids and then later for weekend escapes. When we lived in the Waikato, himself and I used to do quite a bit a trout fishing in this region. Always we soaked in the mineral pools.  The sulphur smells from the boiling mud pools and springs is always there. Below are a few photos snapped during our latest getaway.

historic-government-house.jpg This historic building is a museum.

lakeside-walkway.jpg Lakeside walkway – stay on the path. Great views across the lake of course, boiling sulphur springs and muddy pools. The foliage is Manuka or Tea-tree as it’s sometimes called.

mineral-pools.jpg My favourite place. The spa baths both public and private – different temperatures and minerals. We booked a private lakeside rocky pool (see last three photos) and soaked up the minerals and the view across Rotorua lake and watched the adult birds feed their chicks. It’s a noisy colony. A cold shower, drink lots of water and back in. Bliss. Who wants to garden?

Something really nice when we returned home hot and tired after six hours driving. Someone had mowed all our lawns! I just love my neighbour. What a nice thing to do. It more than made up for the loss of the peaches to the possums.

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.

3 thoughts on “My Garden ~ away from it for a bit

  1. Hi Jenny,
    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I visited your site right after you left your comment on mine and I was enthralled by the beauty of your garden. I wonder if the climate in New Zealand is similar enough to here for me to get some tips off you for my meagre patch which suffers dreadful neglect! I never seem to be able to find time to give it the attention it needs, it always falls last in the order of priorities after work (feels like 90% of the time), walking and blogging.

    Your New Year sounds absolutely idyllic and I could hear the buzzing of the insects in your description of the day! I hope you’re feeling better soon and can get back to your garden. If I may, I’ll come back with some questions on peach trees.
    Until then, hasta le vista!

  2. Hi andymont,
    Good to hear from you. You sound like me – life needs to be put back into living.

    The climate where I live is best describe as sub-tropical. There’s an occasional light frost in the winter. By all means ask away about peach trees – I’m no expert. I simply talk to others and read up about conditions and fruit varieties best suited to our particular situation.

    Enjoyed your latest blog.

    Cheers, Jenny.

  3. Hi Jenny,

    Finally back to the pear tree…I get good yields with the tree (sorry, don’t know what variety it is, I simply inherited it) but I have to pick the fruit early before the insects get to it. I don’t want to use chemicals in my garden and herbicides are difficult to get hold of here so I wondered if you knew of anything I could use? Last year, the entire crop was eaten by tree rats from the banana plantation next door! Perhaps you have a deterrant for them too?! So far this year, the old leaves are full of small holes and the tree hasn’t shed them yet despite the new buds. Is there any hope for my peaches?!

    Thank you for the post on Sir Edmund Hilary, it was beautifully poignant.


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