Saturday, 6 October 2012

Now and Before

Spent a few hours in the garden today. Gardening makes me feel connected to life.

My mother says flowers (or 'flahrs' as she calls them) are better than shrubs. .

I like the flowery foreground of our bank - still to decide what to plant in the background. 

In autumn I decided it was time to tackle the ground left after we took down the rickety old rabbit hutch.
(We'd been thinking of using the old run for chooks but decided against it).

What we were left with was some spare ground ... perhaps we could use it for a vege. garden?

The small space just below the glasshouse is perfect for a small garden. For a start, that's where the rhubarb plant will be shifted to (it wasn't doing so well where it was).

The blocks of concrete I un-earthed have made perfect stepping stones ...

These are photos taken when I did the work in autumn. You can see the grape vine going for broke in the glasshouse.

All cleared. Still not sure about whether to use the lower space for a vege. patch. Not sure I want to invest the time needed. We have a Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings where we can buy fresh, locally grown and organically produced food.

Decision made. We will use the patch for a lawn and if later on I feel inclined to plant vegetables, it can always be dug up..

Autumn photo, the small garden plot dug over and ready. (Yet to lay compost).

This is where I will re-house the rhubarb plant. But what else can I put here?

Problem solved when we are given strawberry plants by some kind friends.

Rhubarb in the foreground, strawberry plants farther back. The climber is in place for beans or maybe tomatoes.

I read once that strawberry plants like pine-needle compost. Perfect. After we had a large cypress cut down two years ago, two piles of pine-needle compost have been languishing. (A hedgehog used one of the piles for a hibernation hidey-hole the first winter, but no sign of it this spring).

This is what I was faced with in autumn of this year.

After a tidy-up, a slight improvement this spring. Still work to do with plans for a garden seat and removal of the old timber and netting to the left of the photo.

Looking the other way, down towards the house. Remains of the pine-needle compost in left foreground.

I spent time today cutting down wattle from the neighbours to the right that had barged over the fence into our area. It's got a lovely perfume and pretty yellow flowers, but is very invasive and needed to be cut back.

A garden is a never-ending project but a perfect excuse to get my hands into the earth, to smell leaf mould, moss and clay. To connect with nature. To remain ... well ... grounded.


Anonymous said...

I agree with gardens over the years have kept me grounded and connected to Mother Earth. I miss that...I've half heartedly tried to grow things on the apartment patio...but the summers here are brutal with heat and only small amount of shade a very small dying tree. Plus the faucet on the patio does not work and apparently neither does anyone elses...cost prohibitive for the owner to fix. My strength was giving out at the last while caring for Don lifting and hauling water and even dragging a hose through the apt. (there is a faucet at front door) just not working for me. perhaps I shall try to grow a veggie at the front...home grown okra and/or tomatoes would really be a wonderful thing. IF I could keep the yard maintenance people from wacking them off...they all ready wacked a hose :( I like your tiered spot...rather nice for the rhubarb (Don loved his rhubarb pie, very difficult to find in the grocery in the USA) and the strawberries...look forward to seeing how they both do :)

A said...

I love your garden so much Kay. It so... I wanna say "spiritual".

Kay Cooke said...

Theanne - Thanks for your lovely, lovely comment. I appreciate all you say and how hard it is to have a garden where you are. I have only recently 'returned' to gardening after neglecting ours for some time, preferring to concentrate instead on writing. I am really loving getting 'back to earth' if you like, and in touch with nature. Rhubarb is a lovely thing to have in the garden and I will dedicate my first rhubarb pie to you and to Don (Don was the name my late father , by the way!)

Kay Cooke said...

Agnes - What a lovely thing to say - really encouraging and motivating for me! Thank you.

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