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Archive for the ‘Seasons & Cycles’ Category

The first Ipheions have started to flower.

Ipheions/Spring Star Flowers

These Spring Star Flowers are related to onions, and grow prolifically everywhere in our garden.  Apparently this flower’s energetic properties are ‘restoration of soul purpose’ and finding your own ‘True North’.

“The Spring Star Flower may just be
a compass point for you and me.”

 

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Lunch outside on June 30th

Yesterday it was warm enough for us to have lunch outside.  After a frosty start the sun shone, the sky was blue, and we were glad to soak up Vitamin D.  All this will help to boost the number of sunshine hours in June.  A few weeks ago we were being told this was the dullest June for 37 years.

“Midwinter sun was good to see
and washing could dry naturally.”

 

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Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

It was also the eve of St Alban’s Day (22 June).  Alban was a citizen of the Roman city of Verulamium in Britain.  He became a Christian after sheltering a priest who was fleeing from persecution.  Put to death in the 3rd century AD for refusing to renounce his new faith, Alban was buried on the hillside at St Albans, where he is honoured as the first Christian Martyr of Britain.

We to a commemorative dinner at Bailies Bar in the Christchurch suburb of St Albans, where the meal was based on what people in Britain ate in the 3rd century AD.  In keeping with the times of St Alban food was served on shared platters.  We were welcomed with mulled wine, and the soup was barley broth.  The platters had roast vegetables, green and herb salad, meats, and flatbreads.  There were also pots of mussels.  It’s years since I’ve eaten mussels, so I tried a couple, but was not impressed.  Dessert was baked winter fruits with cream, and quite delicious.

Stephen was guest speaker and talked about St Alban (Roman history being his special interest).  The meal was delicious, the company good, and all credit to the St Albans Residents’ Association who organised this event.

“St Alban was a special bloke,
rebelled against the Roman yoke.”

 

 

 

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Avebury House was the place to be today, as we celebrate the season of Matariki, a time to farewell the old and welcome in the new.  There were lots of displays and many activities for children.

Giant snakes and ladders

The Richmond Community Garden behind the house has been revived and expanded since the earthquakes, and even at the beginning of winter it’s looking good.

Kale

Scarecrow

I was impressed that plates and cutlery for the community hangi were all going to be composted.

It was great that so many people made the detour around the roadworks to join in this community event.

“Although the roads around are creaky
there was a crowd for Matariki.”

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Floral Friday

The first narcissus has flowered, very early.  Usually the snowdrops come first, but not this year.  The seasons are all mixed up these days.

“They miscontrue the time of year
it’s early for these to appear.”

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At this time of year a regular chore is sweeping up fallen leaves, especially those from the walnut tree.

While I’m sweeping I collect fallen walnuts and feijoas, which gives me a feeling of harvest satisfaction.  I’ve been making feijoa and ginger loaves, and giving away the remains of last year’s walnut harvest.

What harvest is your garden producing just now?

“I pick up feijoa and nut
you’d almost say we have a glut.”

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Floral Friday

The first cyclamen flower has emerged.  I love the way its petals unfurl.  This sign of spring is especially welcome as temperatures have been low this week.

In times past the cyclamen signified maternal love.  Perhaps that’s why potted versions are often on sale just before Mother’s Day.  I’ve read that the cyclamen, together with the columbine, was one of the flowers of choice for Leonardo Da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century, and he covered the margins of his manuscripts with it.

In antiquity the cyclamen was recognised for its therapeutic virtues, due to the presence of cyclamine, a bitter substance with purgative powers.  Its root provides a basic remedy in homoeopathy for depression and feelings of guilt.  The roots which are enjoyed by pigs once earned the European cyclamen the nickname of ‘pig bread’ or ‘sow bread’.

The name cyclamen, which is identical in Latin and English, is transcribed from the Greek word kuklaminos, derived from kuklos, meaning “circle”.  It refers to the round and flattened shape of its tuber.  There may also be an allusion to the nicely curved shape that the flowers take.

“This flower unfolds all in a round
as it emerges from the ground.”

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