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


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My Garden ~ putting my places on the map

Today, my map is back!!!! How did this happen? Resilience is one of my personal traits – ‘I can do it!’ is my mantra (well, that’s what I’m telling you).   In a New Year post, I recounted Mike Sneddon’s blog – 7 Tips to Building Your Blog’s Readership http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/writing.htm  At the time, his words made sense, so I idly thought it a simple matter to add a Platial map to highlight my New Zealand references. Progress was slow and painful as I didn’t have a clue how to go about things.  What did I learn? Not sure. Six months later in June, and I’ve never worked out why or what I did, but my flash new Platial NZ map widget had disappeared from my blog. I lamented the joys of learning how to manage a  blog. 

Today, I went back to Platial and did some searching homework. Well, long story short, I’m setting up a new blog. I need to include a map. In 2009, Himself and I will leave NZ to work and to travel (more about that at a later time). My Garden blog will go on the back-burner for a couple of years though I probably won’t be able to resist dropping in from time to time – likely from a ‘homesickness’ for my plants and trees – and the pukeko, the cat, the animal life. Anyway, that’s in the tomorrow and tomorrow’s time.

However, first things first, my newly re-discovered world of mapping in blogland is grabbing my attention.   


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My Garden ~ Birds’ Nests, Lazy Cats and Granddaughter’s First Post

When she was a toddler, Granddaughter and I made up scrapbooks about anything and everything when she and her twin brother stayed with us. We’d do drawings, paste in leaves and flowers, and pictures and the like. I’d scribe the dictated little stories about what we’d been doing that day. These battered books are now tomorrow’s treasures. It’s the school holidays and today, blogging is the new scrapbook.  We had fun choosing a new photo of our countryside for the header. This is her first post. 

Nana and I thought how clever birds are when they make their nests. The thrush used the grasses to make a warm nest. Her nest looked like part of the clump of the same grass on the driveway bank. Pukeko is nesting in the long grass near the electric fence in front of the house. We took some photos and I wrote about them.

 

Sometimes the cats come for a walk with us. We didn’t want to stay near the birds’ nests for too long, otherwise the cats might sniff out an easy meal.


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My Garden ~ doctor’s orders

I’ve been housebound and full of antibiotics. The doctor didn’t prescribe gardening as a therapy. But, my head is feeling less woozy so I must be on the mend.  

I must be on the mend because I spent time viewing others’ blogs and websites about blogging. I happened on Mike Sneddon’s 7 Tips to Building Your Blog’s Readership http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/writing.htm. His tips about navigating and highlighting interest points made sense. Then in my boredom, I thought I’d apply his advice. I idly thought I’d use Word Press widgets to change the format of my list of categories and to add a Platial map to highlight my New Zealand references. Why do I do this to myself when this is the first time I’ve been laid low for more than a year?

Changing the categories format was simple enough after a couple of false starts. The map? I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. I thought to start by using place-names used in my recent post. Initially, I entered Northland twice before it dawned on me the Platial search didn’t recognise a region. It worked better when I specifically tagged Whangarei as the regional city. And so things have progressed slowly and painfully this afternoon. What have I learned? Not sure. It seems too much to get my head around RSS feeds – that’s for another down-day. Might have been easier to ignore the doctor’s advice and go into the garden.


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My Garden ~ others’ blogs

Younger son (works in .com industry) said I should ‘do’ a blog. Initially, I asked why on earth would I spend time at a computer to write a blog? When not at work, I switch the mobile off and unplug the laptop. That’s it! I prefer to connect with the abundant life that’s happening in my garden. New to blogging, I hadn’t a clue what to write about. I’ve always kept a garden diary and so thought maybe I could use these jottings as the basis for my garden blog.  It was usual for people in the rural community in which I grew up a a child, to grow and harvest their own food. My late father was a farmer a man who cared for the soil. The high level of soil fertility was a result of applications of liquid seaweed and dragging a chain harrow to spread the animal manure over the paddocks. This was in an era when neighbouring farmers were applying fertiliser such as superphosphate to promote pasture growth. He also grew enough vegetables to keep our family supplied year round. Dad always kept seeds for the next season. My mother preserved the most wonderful white fleshed nectarines and large peaches. He’d made the connection of the well-being of people with the health of the soil. My mother-in-law believed in the therapeutic power of gardening. It was she who drew my attention to the problems of harmful growing practices. She too was a seed-saver and shared her belief in the importance of growing a range of healthy food. Knowing how to cook great meals is as natural as growing great food in season.      

As I stayed out of the hot sun today and I spent some time reading others’ blogs. What a diverse lot we are. It’s wonderful the way people care about growing, cooking and eating fresh food. To achieve this aim, they start with the soil to nurture and sustain their living environment for the best results in the belief a positive difference can happen. There’s the sense of chatting over the neighbour’s fence. People help others or offer solutions.

Bill Mollison with Reny Mia Slay wrote in Introduction to Permaculture (1995): “Bring food-growing back into the cities and towns, where it has always traditionally been in sustainable societies. Assist people to become self-reliant, and promote community responsibility.”