Wednesday, 28 December 2016


My paper shredder is doing overtime as its turning letters from my penpals I had from age 8-13 into mulch. So sorry Shelley, Helen, Rebecca, Rachel, Nicole, Karyn, and whoever else answered an ad in the Kid Kiwi or Garfield magazine all those years ago. It was fun reading your letters but as your names have changed and you've probably moved home, gone overseas, married or even become famous you may not remember me BUT if you still have any of my letters the address is still the same and if you do decide to write back to me I will most probably reply!

I still dislike maths and puberty was a terrible hassle, but I got through it. Oh and I gave up netball. My new hobby is gardening so please write and tell me what plants you are growing.
Who knows one day it may be published as a regular column in NZ House and Garden magazine. Two penpals, one from the burbs and one from the country, with two very different gardens... (apologies to Janice Marriot and Virginia Pawsey).

Now Ferndale has become Avondale - it is spider plant populated along with Monsterosa deliciosa or fruit salad plant, to go with my birds nest fern, - all 'sheet mulched' or 'lasagna mulch' with shredded paper,  twigs, hamper stuffing, and compost. I have even found cuttings of 'wandering willie' which is tradescantia by another name...the purple version. I know if it gets out into the bush it will take over, but I'm thinking it will make a pretty ground cover confined to this bed and will do well in the Auckland humidity. I was graciously given three cuttings by the plant in Devonport where it was growing in a tub.

This morning was round two of operation Myra's garden and managed to clear the pots so you can climb up the stairs. I gave her basil and sage to grow in pots and rescued her lime tree by giving it a good soak. I'm not too keen on her spiky yuccas though. I almost got in trouble by nearly discarding her freesia bulbs but Louise found them again and she's going to repot them so next spring they will come back better than ever. Myra surprised us by showing us there is such a thing as 'Figgy Pudding' which you can buy for yourself at Countdown Te Atatu. And so on that note I will wish you dear readers all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.