Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Cherry blossom in Harper Avenue

The cherry blossom’s out, so today we walked in Hagley Park, rather than on the beach.

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Our path took us through the golf course and the Botanic Gardens, past a talking tree, to the Daffodil lawns.   The talking tree was an artwork Post Hoc by Dane Mitchell.  It’s actually a stealth cell-tower tree which continually broadcasts lists of millions of lost things.  There are three of these trees in the central city until 1 November.

We went to the Arts Centre in search of coffee and came across the Harbour Singers, part of the weekend’s Songfest.  After a restorative hot chocolate at The Lucky Cup we headed back to the car and a restful afternoon.

We had not expected to see
amid spring flowers a talking tree

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The gods responsible for weather
just need to get their act together
our warmer days that did not last
now seem a dream from distant past
the summer solstice ought to be
a time for basking by the sea
but we’re beset by wind and rain
and winter clothes are out again
the outdoor parties, barbecues
have transformed into indoor dos.
If you expect a Christmas crowd
be warned – eighteen degrees with cloud

I guess we can be glad because
we do not suffer heat like Oz
no celebrating over there
they’ve fires and smoke and choking air
I can’t imagine what I’d do
with daily highs of forty-two
while living in a state of fear
because the bushfires might come near.
Across the ditch are people who
have lost their home and neighbours too
their P.M. won’t admit the cause
might be related to his laws
and as their towns burn to a cinder
the Aussies covet our Jacinda

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Blossom is a promise of fruit to come.   At this time of year our cherry tree is a mass of blossom.  We will have some fruit, from the branches we manage to cover, but birds will be the main beneficiaries.

Cherry blossom

I brought a branch inside so we could enjoy it in the kitchen window.

The apple tree is showing a blush of pink.  The birds aren’t as interested, and usually leave the apples for us.

Apple blossom

Such pleasure when the blossoms show
cos fruit will follow, don’t you know?


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Spring in Christchurch is full of floral pleasures.  This week the cherry blossoms in Harper Avenue are a sheer delight, and they may well be gone by next week.

Cherry blossoms are called Sakura in Japanese, and this is the name of a popular Japanese folk song familiar to many of us.  Cherry trees and blossoms have a special significance in Shinto and Buddhist traditions.  Linked to the Buddhist themes of mortality, mindfulness and living in the present, Japanese cherry blossoms are a timeless metaphor for human existence.  Their blooming season is powerful, glorious and intoxicating, but tragically short-lived — a visual reminder that our lives, too, are fleeting.  The beauty of the flowers short and sweet, and there are contradictory meanings as well.  Cherry blossoms symbolize both birth and death, beauty and violence. They are a central motif in the Japanese worship of nature, but they have also historically signified the short but colorful life of the samurai.  Kamikaze pilots during World War II adorned their planes with cherry blossom images as they prepared to “die like beautiful falling cherry petals for the emperor.

These blossoms seen along the way
remind us we must seize the day



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As spring advances the flowers in my garden move from the white snowflakes and narcissi towards shades of blue.

There are ipheions


and grape hyacinths


the first bluebells have appeared


there’s even a blue sweet pea

All these flowers made me think of the song by Bobbie Vinton, whom I saw live in Auckland many moons ago when he toured with Gene Pitney.  It’s a sad song, not at all suitable for the hopeful season of spring.

Blossoms are also starting to open.  Soon my garden will go from blue to pink.

Spring goes from white to blue to pink
with roses soon to come I think.

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de-clutter the roses
rambled over fences and posts
dashing Dublin Bay
modest Cecile Brunner
exuberant Utersen
all past their summer best
secateurs snip
remove dead wood
cut above an outside bud
leave all tidy and bare

keep cosy inside
clean out cupboards
feast on stored foods
sleep through dark nights
dream possibilities

Await renewal

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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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We took a detour around Hagley Park to view the cherry blossoms.  Both Harper Avenue and Riccarton Avenue are spectacular in today’s sunshine.

Although this show lasts only about a week it is breathtaking and well worth a detour.

‘There’s nothing like a flowering cherry
to make you feel springlike and merry.’

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The cherry blossom’s out in Harper Avenue, always a joyful sign of spring.


I couldn’t resist crossing the road to enjoy the daffodils too.


When people are crossing, the traffic lights stop the cars to let pedestrians and cyclists through – just as it should be.

“The cherry blossom is superb
with daffodils beside the kerb.”

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The temperature in the back garden at 10am this morning was twenty degrees.

Thermometer (Small)

With a nor-wester blowing it had risen to 23 by lunchtime.  While I enjoy having my lunch outside and soaking up Vitamin D, this is not right when we are barely a week away from the winter solstice.  April and May have had higher temperatures and lower rainfall than for many years.  Global warming is having a strong effect.  Where will it end?

“These temperatures are just not right
they document our planet’s plight.”

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