Sunday, October 10, 2010

In for another Term

First morning, first day of term; the boys are not half as pleased to be back at school as I am to be back in  gardening mode, despite the light snowfall on the ground. The most exciting blossom of this Spring is the Black Boy Peach below, flowering for the first time. We bought this tree with us as a 20 inch seedling 3 1/2 years ago. Blackboys are one tree that grow well from seed and this came from Mama's former garden in Avonside, Christchurch and who knows what that house looks like now. Gardens, like people, are all the more interesting for their stories.

Those are not my hands or legs or short shorts below but it is my new Sieve being put through its inaugral paces. I don't know where Mum found it, what a treasure, and it flew down from Nelson, squeezed into Jen's suitcase. You can see how rough my compost is, and the lovely fine siftings for a seed raising mix; four equal parts of sand, leaf mould, compost and dirt. I've run out of potting mix and may just use the same recipe for that even though it has minimal food value. I have  found the commercial potting mixes run short on nutrients and I have to feed the plants with a liquid fertiliser anyway.
I haven't  lifted the fleece off the tomatoes for a few days now as even in the glasshouse it was scratching to get 10 degrees. On the right is the Brandywine; quite a different leaf but the same hairy tomato stalks as the black cherry on the left. This is planting week and time to put in all those subtropicals, beans and cucumbers, eggplant and peppers. I'll set something up in the living room this year just to get the heat for germination.

Asparagus is up later than last year. I never did add a compost mulch over the woodchips but it is not too late. I wanted to bury the crowns deeper to get less frost damage, and conserve moisture and besides, trundling compost is one of those repetitive jobs that creates a great mind space for planning other garden exploits.

It can also be said, in a loving way boys, that school for you creates a great mind space for me. Let's go out on The Future, (by Richard Langston: The Trouble Lamp) because I am up to it and I'm polishing my bright ideas.  

The Future

The future is not a contraption.

It is the second you just passed
on the way to the next one.

It is where our fears collect,
where a blind-dog sniffs
at the edge of a precipice.

The future is looking back at us,
asking us if we are up to it.

It is the place you need to walk out to
to hang your bright ideas
on the blue undisturbed air.


  1. There's even light snowfall up here, would you believe- up on the second-hills-back. Brrr! That heat pump is keeping things nice and toasty though. The sieve looks great in action, it's earned its free flight to Dunedin. And those plums are snug in the cupboard, less the jar that Mum took home with her last night. The day seems to stretch on now that I have two children at school- perhaps I'll get out in the garden too.

  2. That asparagus looks delicious! First day back at school was always a drag. Especially last term of the year because you could see the end but it was still so far away!

  3. mine were sick first day back, but have been duly informed no more sick days available this term. it was chilly up here for a couple of days, right after I took my seedlings out of the (school) greenhouse, but the last couple of days have been hot. love the sieve.