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 ~ away from it for a bit

3 Comments

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

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.

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!
    AndyMont

  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.

    Andy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s