My Garden ~ a ruby wedding anniversary

Forty years ago today, that spring day was much as it is now with patches of blue sky, warming day temperatures urging signs of renewed life, bursts of early springtime colour daubed amid the greenery.  In my girlhood, I grew up with large country gardens in the farming area. Thinking about my parents’ garden evoked memories.

Plants echo those that grew  in my parents’ garden. I hear Mum’s voice lamenting four decades ago, the difficulty in September of doing floral arrangements when in another month, October, roses would be in full bloom. Himself and I were getting married. It was a country district do and after the formal church service and reception, the guests came

Dad wanted us to be married on the same day as he and Mum celebrated their 22nd anniversary. Himself and I were agreeable. My parent’s wedding day in 1946, was a simple affair in England with four guests before Dad was repatriated to New Zealand. Their photo shows Dad wore his army uniform and at his side, Mum was wearing a classic, two-piece, pale blue suit and a small pretty matching hat. Two Aunties helped her out with clothing coupons. Mum told us she also managed to get stockings to wear that day.

Happy. That is how I remember my day in 1968.  It was a communal affair. Himself’s sister sewed my guipure lace wedding gown. Mum baked three traditional rich fruit wedding cakes – large, medium, small. My Aunty iced, decorated and assembled the 3-tier wedding cake. Another Aunty baked and decorated the pavlovas. My Matron-of-honour’s mother sewed three bridesmaids’ gowns. Dad killed a beef steer to provide the beef for the caterers to cook for the wedding breakfast. Neighbours arranged flowers and set up the local district hall for the wedding reception for 250 guests.

Matching Chrysler Valiant cars borrowed from my Aunt and Uncle and a neighbour for the bridal entourage, were driven by my cousins. A local farmer whose hobby was photography, did the honours. I was on time and Himself and I each said “I do”.

“I do… I do”.

It was the same story for my cousins, my sister and others in the farming district in an era when family life events were transformed into rural social occasions. A special memory evoked by splashes of springtime floral colours and scents in my garden this mornng.

My Garden ~ it must be spring

Things are looking up. The daylight hours are longer, the sun has been seen to shine, and wonders of wonders, the slush and the mud is drying out. I actually got into the garden and sowed evergreen Broad Beans directly into the soil. The soil felt warm on my hand. So that’s a good sign. This season, I’m trying out a Dwarf Broad Bean variety. Back indoors, I sowed cherry tomato seeds into a seed raising mix: Baxters Early Bush Cherry Tomato and Black Cherry Tomato. My plan is to pot up and grow these tomato plants in the warmth of the polyhouse. I also sowed cauliflower seeds. I chose a mini variety because it will take less space in the garden and will mature in about 80 days from sowing before the hotter months happen in our part of the world at the end of the year. Pumpkin ‘Triamble’ is my favourite and seeds are being started in the warmth of the polyhouse. Still lots more to do – but it’s a start. 
Even better, I was able to weed the raised strawberry beds. Their dormancy is definitely over. Fresh green leaves and a few white blossoms are happy signs. I gave the plants a good feed of organic sheep pellet fertiliser and a layer of mulch. A great few hours in the garden is an antidote to soggy seasonal affective disorder.        
After work, it’s good to pull the gumboots on and get out in the fresh air. The bird song is uplifting at this time of the day. Three-year old and his little toddler brother love visiting our neighbour and feeding food scraps to the farmyard menagerie. It’s a good opportunity to tire out little legs before the dinner, bath and bed routine. The walk was not without its heart-stopping moments particularly when Turbo-toddler tore towards the stream-bank to throw a stick or stone into the water. Older brother inspected every stick for its potential to be wielded as a light sabre sword. But we did get to our destination as the photos show.