Posts Tagged ‘garden’

The first snowdrop has finally flowered.  They often appear much earlier in May or even in April, and I’ve been waiting patiently.  In 2013 we didn’t see the first one until June.  I guess the sunny autumn days we’ve been having convinced them winter’s still far away.  Violets have been out for weeks, but snowdrops have been noticeably absent.  Ipheions and grape hyacinths will eventually turn the garden from white to blue.

Snowdrops were slow to show this year
I wondered when they would appear

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Garden flowers are fading, and I wanted some potted colour for indoors.  At Mitre 10 I found cyclamen, three for $13.50, and also bought a Sweet William to fill a blank corner.

At the checkout they had shopping bags that said: I just came in to get some compost.  I didn’t need another bag, but love the truth of the slogan as I rarely come out of this shop with only what I came for.

Outside was another sign that resonated:

While we need to be kind to our Aussie neighbours, I think this is clever marketing.

A local firm is what I choose
so Bunnings is the one to lose.


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Our beautiful autumn trees demonstrate that summer is over.  The evenings are darker now Daylight Saving Time has finished, and the lighter mornings  are welcome.

We’ve had cold days and evenings where we’ve needed the heat pump on to keep us cosy.  However today has been one of Indian Summer.  A high of 26 degrees meant we could have breakfast and lunch outside.  I worked in the garden clearing away plants that have done their dash, and welcoming spring bulbs that are already pushing through.  Ipheions and Muscari are well on their way to brighten the colder days.

Although we’ve not felt winter’s sting
already there are signs of spring.

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Floral Friday

A friend gave me this lovely hanging basket full of petunias (thank you, Jo).  The colours are great because they match many of my other flowers, especially the hollyhocks.    I’ve been watering the basket every morning, and though the petunias have been battered by strong winds, they quickly perk up again.

Petunias are a genus of flowers in the Solanaceae family that originated in South America.  The Solanaceae family also includes tomatoes, chili peppers, and tobacco.  It’s the petunia’s resemblance to tobacco that earned it its name which comes from the native American word petun which means “a tobacco that does not make a good smoke”.  Petunias symbolize the desire to spend time with someone because you find their company soothing and peaceful.

It’s far from being junior
the colourful petunia

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Window Watcher

I like to pick flowers from the garden and bring them inside, but I never pick hollyhocks.  They are more suited to displaying their stately stems outside in the garden.  The wind encouraged one to explore inside our kitchen window.

It looked so good peering in at us, I could hardly bear to nudge it back and close the window.

This hollyhock is welcome to
come inside and enjoy the view.


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Gorgeous Gladioli

Two exquisite pale pink gladioli flowers are displayed outside our fence.  Another has been picked and brought inside for us to admire.  I left these two so passersby may enjoy them.

This particular glad came from a bulb given to me by my friend Vonnie over thirty years ago when we left Auckland.  Contact with her has since been lost, but I think of her every summer when these flowers appear.  A beautiful bulb is the ideal gift to give someone moving to a new city, being small to carry and able to wait patiently to be planted.  We have other glads, white ones that came from my Mother’s garden and remind me of her, but these pale pink ones bring a special quality to our garden.

‘When these glads flower so tall and bonny
they bring a memory of Vonnie.’

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A new garden has appeared in Cathedral Square, north of the tram line.  There are five beds, with one in the centre.  The outside ones are labelled for the four directions, something to delight the heart of a ritual-maker (or a bridge player).

The central bed, with a pohutakawa tree  looks almost as though it could be a sundial, especially as it is planted with thyme!  It has the numbers 1-12 in Roman numerals, and a plaque above each gives the number in te reo Maori.

The garden, called Time to Heal, was designed by Avonhead School with support from Katherine Brooker and the idea is that you take time out of your busy day to rest and heal in the garden.  Katherine Booker says it’s a garden for reflection. “It’s about the past and the present and moving forward. It’s for individuals to take a break in but it’s also about the wider community and the city needing time to heal.”  It contains healing plants used in rongoa Maori and other traditional medicines.

‘New beds have popped up in the Square
you could take time out and pause there.’

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