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Saturday, 2 June 2018

Trees that count

Friday was very productive day with Les as we tackled the shady garden, adding spider plants, busy lizzies and pruning the camellias. We filled the hollow on the roadside flower beds. Also added a heart shaped planter which I filled with red bromeliads and love-lies-bleeding, near the Jesus rock.
My tree guys are going to come and have a look at the rotting cherry tree and we may POSSIBLY be planting new trees as replacements although I have come up against a bit of opposition there.
I had suggested to the elders we plant 12 trees -

3 kowhais
3 bottlebrushes
3 feijoas
3 olives

but that didn't seem to go down too well, with many fearing maintenance and costs. But I pointed out that it costs MORE to maintain a lawn, and lawns don't give us anything, like fruit and shade, or homes for birds, unless we bring in some sheep to graze it, we would need to pay someone to mow it. (Yes, if they want grass, might as well bring in some sheep, the original lawnmowers).

In despair - how will we ever get this garden started if we aren't allowed trees? I came across this project called 'Trees that Count' that is pledging and funding native tree plantings across the nation, to offset carbon emissions and restore our land, so we could possibly have our trees without having to pay for them and people will come and plant them.

I might have to revise my planting plan to for strictly natives, so it may be

3 Kowhais
3 Cabbage Trees
2 Pohutakawas
1 Puriri
3 Manukas

for the strip of land owned by AT, (Auckland Transport) which they are SUPPOSED to look after but Lord knows they don't. I know because the contractors looking after our parks and reserves say that AT doesn't have anyone at the moment and not paying anyone to do this. This is all the land that is our verges and berms. They will do the bare minimum, but they aren't even mowing or planting anything except by the new motorways.

I also need a compost bin, some upcycle raised beds and more benches for near our bus stop, and some help on Monday to trim and tidy the coprosma. There is a kowhai hiding in that bush, and found there were some olive trees behind it belonging to next door's property.

I thought of olive trees (the cultivated kind) for fruit and feijoas because they are so easy to grow. Although they are not native, we need fruiting trees, plus how can we teach the bible if children have no idea what an olive tree is or that you can pick fruit from a tree. It doesn't come from a shop in a plastic bag! How can I tell them where anointing oil comes from or that Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives, or show them how Gentiles are grafted into the Jewish wild olive trees. How can I explain what Jesus means when he says I am the vine, you are the branches if we aren't even allowed to grow any vines at church. How can we enact Palm Sunday if we don't have any palm fronds to wave? Or fern fronds, I can imagine those huge mamakus or silver ferns would make a fantastic flag.

How can we explain these leaves are for our healing and there are fruits of the holy spirit if we have no fruit bearing trees. Oh but the maintenance and costs! I keep hearing from grumbling elders. I don't understand why people seem to hate trees so much. You can demolish a building and build it again, but a tree is one of God's creations that gives life, please respect them and look after them, and they will look after you. All flesh is grass, and flowers fade away, but a righteous tree planted by living water endures forever.