Wednesday, 26 December 2018

'Tis the season

Christmas season has started...the garden is peaking for flowers. I'm harvesting chamomile, lavender, lambs ears and watching fruits developing come autumn.

Tidying up patches here and there am shifting ferns plus am thinking of moving lemon tree to out the north side in front of the terrace as it's getting shaded by the manuka and kowhai. I will have to do that in autumn/winter when the ground is a bit softer though.

Have potted up lots of spider plants, yes I did go to Kings Plant Barn Boxing Day sale and bought two sacks of potting mix for $10 as had a discount, sweet! But not buying any plants as its not the right time to plant them although, very tempted to buy another protea to replace the ones mown over at church. They were all 25% off i.e normal price.

Good news although not sure if should say on here, as its another secret santa thing, but to anyone reading this, please don't tell anyone, so I will write very small or maybe in green so anyone who's colourblind and won't be able to read it - am getting a team together to make the garden at church but we not going to say anything we just going to do it so it will be a surprise. Because miracles don't happen when you explain how it's all going to be done and have to write audit reports and document it and say how much it cost. I'm pretty sure santa doesn't include the receipts for all the gifts and count up all the time and labour it cost to sort, make and deliver the goodies and charge it to the children he loves. No he doesn't do that he just gives, and he somehow just knows what the right gift to give to each child. Of course he has lots of operation that big doesn't just happen with just one person. Thank you garden angels. 

In other news have just been relaxing with my summer reading a book called 'The Worst Hard Time' it's the untold story of the dustbowl in America. I can't believe that happened but it did when misguided homesteaders plowed up the prairie to grow wheat  to export to Russia and then just abandoned it when prices dropped so all the top soil of these abandoned fields just blew away - and people were dying of hunger, starvation and literally choking on dust storms when the wind blew over the dry land. The best grassland in america was totally ruined by get-rich-quick suitcase farmers, and the homesteaders were also lured in by cheap land that the native Americans said was totally unsuitable for crops as it had no fresh water. I'm wondering if that could happen in NZ..I'm thinking of all those pine forests/plantations which are logged and what happens to the land once they are logged. When you drive past logged places they look terrible just devastation everywhere. After all they are an export crop ...

But what do I know. I'm sure the experts have some clue rather than thinking about how much money they are making from it. Also I think it's weird they don't do anything with the logs just export them to other countries, we could be making furniture, carvings, pine oil, mulch...fragrant bbq woodchips, mushroom habitats, etc etc.

My family did put up a Christmas tree this year from the Christmas tree farm in Balmoral. When it dies I plan to use the pine needles as mulch it's very good especially for acid loving plants. Otherwise what a waste of a tree! Please everyone look after your trees and if you must cut on down, grow another in it's place we need all the oxygen and shade and bird homes we can in these perilous times.

Woodside Garden is going great the potato harvest yielded 303 potatoes this year. We've had plums, and there's leeks and strawberries. I'm a bit sad that SOME of the people I know only care to come along so they can harvest whatever we have grown..but never lift a finger the other times. So I kind of thought maybe I just won't show people the garden unless they prepared to spend a morning there gardening it. Or is that miserly of me? Again, what can you do when mothers want you to drive them everywhere, not pay for petrol, and harvest all your bounty, yet not contribute. Oh and tell you you can't spend the money they gave you for Christmas. But when tables are turned and they say oh you didn't help make dinner, or cook anything so you can't eat it. Oh but you did offer to help but then just get yelled at for helping. Thats quite a difference because I've never stopped anyone from gardening if they wanted to...and I've never forced anyone to garden and piled a guilt trip on them if they don't.  I don't even care if they want to plant whatever they like, it does not matter to me as long as they are enjoying gardening!

 Anyhow am planning a Neighbours picnic for Sunday 6 January raindate the following Sunday in Riverpark Reserve, by the soon to be upgraded playground (hooray, it's going to go ahead in March!!) so don't be two sandwiches short of a picnic just come along!