My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ neglected somewhat


Lately, My Garden hasn’t had the attention it deserves because my Mum has increasing palliative health care needs. She remains in her own home with support. It’s important my brothers, sister and I are there for her in the time she has left to her. We talk about her family and childhood upbringing in England, Dad and the farm, gardening, books, her seven great-grandkids (numbers eight and nine are on the way) and eleven grandchildren, high humid temperatures, community gossip, you know – the stuff of life. Mum always sang about the house and in the community, so it must be sad for her that she no longer sings in the local choir or no longer has the energy to play the piano now.  My sister and I maintain her small garden – the roses continue to make a great showing outside her lounge windows where Mum can see them.

In contrast, my own climber roses are wind-blown and are not dead-headed. Triffids is a description that comes to mind when I look at my garden. I can barely keep up with picking rhubarb, zucchini, apple cucumbers and scarlet runner beans. The coriander and other herbs are rampant and producing seedheads. The Luisa plums took a battering in the easterly winds from a tropical cyclone that recently hit Northland. I pick up the fallen fruit and ripen them in the kitchen. I don’t get into a sweat about this – such things happen.

At the moment, Himself is head down in the tractor engine doing mysterious machinations with some wiring. He’s setting up an electric motor to drive a spray pump unit. A noxious weed Wandering Jew, carried onto our place with flood debris has been rapid in its growth and invasive in its spread.  

dscf1302.jpg  dscf1307.jpg It thrives in damp shaded areas and has carpeted our  stands of native Totara trees along the stream banks. Leaves and stems grow roots on contact with the ground.  Aquatic birds that inhabit our stream – Pukekeo and Paradise ducks also spread this weed in their webbed wanderings on land. Anyway, we now have a major noxious weed problem under our trees and along our stream banks. 

 dscf1304.jpg  dscf1303.jpg It’s choking our regenerating native ferns and tree seedlings. So sadly, we’ll have to  spray using a herbicide as advised. Because we don’t like to spray we usually grub, smother or hand-pull weeds. This is a last resort decision for us. By now, you’ll have worked out that this is big stuff that we do sweat about.

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 ~ neglected somewhat

  1. It is understandable that you would want to spend as much time with you mother as possible right now. It is sad to read that she isn’t singing.

    I love reading your blog with pictures of and information about plants, animals and birds that are exotic and unheard of where I live.

    For your link information, I am moving my blog from to

    All of my new posts will be at that site. Thanks. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the info re your new blog site, Jolyna. I’ll action that now.

  3. Hi Jenny,

    I hope you are still checking this blog. Would you please e-mail me asap. I would like to talk to you about the RTLB position at WBHS.

    Kind regards

    Ross Osborne

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