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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Mission accomplished...

Although there's always more as gardening are never ending. But got two things done - planted hydrangeas by the church (two), and removed the rest of the blackberry bush from Woodside so we can put the fence in. It filled a bin and two sacks. Nicole says she's got a thornless blackberry we can grow, it remains to be seen if this thornless blackberry is edible.. but we will train it so it doesn't grow into a huge tangled mess like the last one!

 I have another to - do list

1. save toilet rolls to grow seedlings
2. sow - silverbeet, feverfew and wildflowers seeds
3. source more hydrangeas, need three more to plant by the church
4. create a lavender hedge by St Giles church
5. weed St Giles church corner bed
6. learn how to grow kumara
7. feed worms - think they've chomped through most of my papers
8. mulch other church bed at Henderson
9. buy coriander to plant by plums at Woodside as they repel beetles
10. visit Oratia Native Plant nursery, to buy aspleniums/spleenwort, pink cabbage trees, kowhai, hebes and manuka
11. more swan plants for butterflies, and bog salvia for bees
12. finish my design for APW

I am looking forward to the trip to Mangawhai in a fortnight where will visit some gardens with Te Atatu  Floral Circle. I am sharing a room with a seasoned flower lady called Sheryl.

Tomorrow must restrain myself from visiting all the garden centres...and buying up all their plants. They just look so good at this time of year.

I have been reading 'Farmers of Forty Centuries' Organic Farming in China, Korea and Japan by F H King. It was first published in 1918 and is basically a narrative of a tour taken by an American agriculturalist who is rather astonished that farmers in the East have been farming their land for centuries and never lost fertility, due to organic practises and manual labour whereas in America they farm for two generations with artificial fertilisers and machinery and end up with a cancerous dustbowl. I have been inspired by the rice paddies and think with so much rain and wet in Auckland, and the fact that rice is just a grass, why can we not grow rice as a crop here? Then we could feed our growing Chinese population, and won't have to rely on imports. We could also grow bamboo, (a very renewable resource as it 'grows like Topsy'*) mulberry trees for silkworms, and tea. Why not? We could just turn this land into an extension of China. After all, that's where roses, magnolia, willow and most of our magnificent flowering ornamental shrubs we grow in our gardens originally came from.  Bring on the pandas!

* I asked one of the old folk at the retirement village who Topsy was cos all the old folk kept saying things grew like Topsy, meaning something that grows so fast that it's 2 metres tall before you know it. They didn't know who Topsy was either. It just growed.