Monday, 1 February 2016

They survived!

My plants are still alive!
I came home and they all looked ok, the morning glory is climbing up the arch, and I even had to do some weeding as nightshade had decided to sprout in the rock bed.

I have yellow tomatoes and they are juicy, I caught Mary trying to peck at them yesterday.

I visited the Dunedin Chinese Garden which was amazing, they had transported an entire scholars garden all the way from Shanghai, it's been there since 2011. There were rocks and covered walkways, moon gates, a zig zag bridge, a tea house, and a goldfish pond complete with ducks and lotus. They had weeping willow, maples, creeping fig, hostas, liriope, peonies, and bamboo. If you go it costs $6 for a beneficiary/senior and is a lovely garden to walk around and compose poems in, or maybe practise some calligraphy (chinese style of course).

The next garden on my itinerary is the Hamilton Gardens, they are having a festival this week I heard, and there will be a garden party held in honor of Katharine Mansfield, so we are to dress up in Art Deco finery. That means pearls, flapper dresses, umbrellas and perhaps a hint of scandal. I expect to see a giant aloe somewhere. I don't know why they aren't having it in Wellington, but then, I heard also that Ms Mansfield wasn't too keen on Windy Wellington where she grew up in a straight laced middle-class family in Thornton. She would have rather been in the South of France, on the Riviera where she spent her final days. I suppose the Waikato River is close enough.

Another festival to outrival Hamilton is Auckland's Heroic Gardens Festival, and Ayrlies Garden is hosting a fete day. Having been there last year I will say if you are in Auckland definitely check it out, it is even listed on the 1001 Gardens You Must Visit Before You Die book.

The Heroic Gardens festival was originally held to raise money for Herne Bay Hospice, particularly families of LGBT who had loved ones dying of AIDS. But now it is just raising money for everyone, and you don't have to be gay or dying of AIDS to participate. Or living in fancy Herne Bay. Most of the gardens listed are in Mt Eden which has become the Mecca suburb of the gardening world in Auckland (you would think Ellerslie, because of the Flower Show?) because of it's rich volcanic soil. I am thinking of going to visit at least two or three gardens listed on the program.

So there you go, it's all about survival, whether you are a shunned Kiwi expat writer, a chinese scholar who would have been shunned in Dunedin for being too 'yellow' or maybe you caught HIV and thus had to face a horrible lifetime sentence. While dying you can leave behind a wonderful garden that is full of life as those leaves are for our healing...