April 2020 Part 1
In these unsettled times, having a garden is such a privilege. For those readers who no longer have gardens, maybe a few plants in pots are your solace, neighbours’ gardens which can be seen on your daily walks, and garden reading.
I have had more time to squirrel away the produce from our garden. Freshly sliced runner beans are packed in the freezer, parsley pesto is in abundance, with promise of more to come as our second planting of parsley grows prolifically. I’ve stewed quinces and put them in the freezer for winter breakfasts, and yesterday I made a double batch of a spicy rhubarb chutney. Tomorrow I’ll be making quince chutney which is delicious with pork dishes.
We’ve had the most beautiful autumnal days; clear air and sunny. Nature’s colours are in abundance, along with so many birds and fluttering leaves.
My camera isn’t working as I write so I have attached a few photos taken other years.
Photo 1: An autumn arrangement by Marilyn McRae. M Long
Photo 2: Autumnal flowering of Rosa ‘Francois Dubreuil’. M Long
Photo 3: A wide variety of dahlias are ever present in our autumn garden. M Long
Photo 4: Helleborus corsicus. S Dromgoole.
Photo 5: Another one of Marilyn’s arrangements. M Long
Some of you will have read the following poem, but for those who haven’t, I thought it was worth sending.
This poem was written by Kathleen O’Mara in 1869.
And people stayed at home
And read books
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened more deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless, the earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and people found themselves they grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.
Reprinted during Spanish flu pandemic, 1919
Our relaxed country garden started twenty nine years ago. In the early days I had very little gardening experience and no vision for the site, but an interest in plants was quickly developing. Over the years, with much trial and error, a garden has emerged which we and our visitors do enjoy.
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139 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
+64 3 3228 061