Sunday, February 7, 2010


It surprises me sometimes, the small threads that far bigger decisions hang on. It was when I was particularly brassed off with the hose that always kinked and leaked that I decided to get a new one. You might think that the cords of logic and economy and knowledge would twine together to hang a prudent purchase on. But I went out and bought a magnificent Italian garden hose, 4 times the price of everything else. Ahh the joys of retail therapy and it wasn't my money so I got a few other things besides. Actually the thread that fueled it was that I felt unappreciated, and purchasing a good peice of equipment gave value to my work and my time. Is it L'Oreal that has that insightful marketing angle 'Because I'm worth it' and who can argue with that?

Of course I'm still procrastinating on THE BIG GARDEN which has proved to be a fruitful time for attending to smaller details. A bit like when you're sitting exams and suddenly the room is spotlessly clean and you're doing any number of things out of character to avoid the necessary evil of study.
Well the aforementioned hose has a fixed site, glasshouse one, and could argueably be cut to perfect size so there is never any excess to trip over or get entangled in. Except that occasionally it is required in its full capacity so I neatly coiled up the excess by the tap and although the rest is left out it looks loved and cared for; in the style of this one above. Jane's garden in Dunedin.
I came back from Nelson admiring the rough and tumble of their gardens, the mix of flowers, weeds and vegetables rumbled together and thinking I should loosen up. Looks like the garden has done that for me while I was away.

That's the broccolli in the foreground; the lot that got the extra water last week. The first night we had some for tea Jude flicked a large yellow thing out on to the table. 'What's that? (horrified voice) It looks like a spine.' Any number of things went through my mind, mostly along the lines of concealment. But no, a positive caterpillar identification quickly followed and another green vegetable fell off the menu.
How many people know that I grew a watermelon last year? The plants were mysteriously fruitless and by about now, early February I was ready to pull them out in disgust. As I came in close to grasp one particular plant by the neck my foot kicked something hidden by the describing it later I made the mistake of saying the first thing that came into my head. 'It was as big as, as big as...(looking around) Louis' head.' Louis did not appreciate the comparison.
I only bring it up because of the lacklustre performance from the cucumbers. Last year we had gherkins by the bucketful so this year I tentatively planted 2 of each cucumber thinking we would be swamped.

Reached in today to execute one specimen. No, you can relax now, 'green shorts' has had a reprieve; one fruit has been sighted amongst a sea of foliage. The telegraph has proved to be the only reliable performer with restrained foliage and regular fruit. The others might need hand pollination. Can't think why.

Amongst a week of solid fruit preserving the tomatoes are finally ripening like billy oh and it's serious harvesting. My Mouli (one of them) is sitting on top of the pot poised for action. Funny how I've never noticed quite how much the handle looks like a tomato too.

Did anybody else read this weeks Poet's Corner in the ODT? Martha Morseth, Then Luck Will Come. I've had two letters this week so my luck has arrived with a trumpet blast. I think thats why I like it.

There must be a moment
when wind stops,
trees hang limp and sleep comes easy,
when postmen slip hope
into hungry letter boxes.

Each time I pluck the petals
the daisies come out wrong.
Most things I know:
how glass shatters against hard surfaces;
teeth ache when cold;
spring often comes late.

Better to watch clouds
nudge their way across the harbour,
notice webs shudder with light,
see fantails careen, hear tuis cackle.
Then luck can arrive unnoticed.

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  1. That's a mighty fine hose you got there Miri. Glad those moulis are seeing some action. Your garden looks amazing - I can't believe the green thumb slipped me by but I feel nothing but gratitude when I go to the greengrocer.

  2. Oh my, that's a stack of tomatoes alright and I bet that's just the tip of the iceberg. I read a nice recipe online for a tomato salsa made with lime juice instead of vinegar which I thought looked pretty yummy. Anything new in the pickle/bottled goods line up this year?

  3. Hi Miri - those tomatoes look amazing in that photo. I was interested in your cucumber not fruiting - for all my gardens flourish the tomatoes havent set a single thing, only one courgette so far and even the sweet peas although they have lots of foliage no flowers. Perhaps something is lacking there. What a shame about the caterpillar in the brocolli - strange how kids never forget that kind of thing!!! A good hose - yes a good purchase there.

  4. I love when you post poetry and I love this poem.