My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ downed tools and took a break


Yay! Himself and I drove to the Bay of Islands and took a nano-break in our Northern backyard so to speak and joined the few visitors brave enough to visit our country at this time of the year. Three nights and four days! We stayed in Paihia. No matter the wet and wintery weather, we played the tourist and imbibed our nation’s heritage and cuisine. Of course, we checked out the cafes. We drove to a local vineyard near Kerikeri. We discovered a wonderfully crisp dry Sauvignon Blanc 2006 and a fruity Pinot Noir Rose. That made the trip worthwhile.

In 1819 Samuel Marsden introduced winegrowing to New Zealand with the planting of over 100 different varieties of vine in Kerikeri, Northland.

“New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate”

he wrote. Nearly two hundred years later, the New Zealand wine industry is at an all time high, and is especially praised for it’s Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.\

It’s fascinating to read the historically familiar names on the tombstones of the earliest settlers in the cemetery behind St Paul’s Anglican Church in Paihia, the first church to be built in New Zealand, quote:

Less than a decade after the first Christian service was held on the Northern shore of the Bay of Islands on Christmas Day 1814, Reverend Henry Williams and Mrs Williams arrived on August 3rd, 1823 to establish the missionary settlement at Paihia.  On their arrival, Mrs Williams with her three children went to reside in Kerikeri while the Reverend Henry Williams at once set to work to erect temporary buildings at the new station. On September 15th, Mrs Williams came to join her husband and records in her journal state that, not only was there a storehouse and dwelling, but also a Church, built of raupo, which was opened for Divine Service on Sunday, September 21st, 1823.  This was the first Church ever built in New Zealand.The Reverend William Williams with his wife joined his brother Henry, arriving at Paihia on March 26th, 1826.  This gentleman was a classical scholar of Oxford University and also had a considerable medical knowledge which was of the greatest benefit to the Mission.In the year 1828, the raupo church was replaced with a lath and plaster structure, which served until 1856 when a wooden church was built.  This was used until 1874, when it was dismantled and another wooden church erected, incorporating much of the old timber.  In 1925 the 1874 church was dismantled in sections and transported to serve at Taumarere.  It was moved to make way for the stone Church of St Paul, the fifth to be erected on the site.  It was built as a lasting memorial to Henry and William Williams. 

We ferried across the bay to Russell for lunch in the Duke of Marlborough Hotel. We walked up Flagstaff Hill. We mooched around the Russell art galleries. Later, we walked along the waterfront from Paihia to Waitangi – the place where New Zealand’s founding document treaty was signed.

I actually forgot to take photos – I guess a case of being blase about familiar sights and taken-for-granted scenery. Anyway, we spent much of our time near the waterfront.

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.

2 thoughts on “My Garden ~ downed tools and took a break

  1. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  2. Sign: wdpad Hello!!! wnayr and 1042srtphwzmac and 8245 : I love your blog. 🙂 I just came across your blog.

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