Friday, November 25, 2011

Going Home

Leaving a community is a bit like mopping the kitchen floor, where you walk out of the room backwards mopping up your footsteps as you go until no trace is left that you were there. The house will be repainted and a new family will move in. Life moves on.
One of the things I've enjoyed in the garden is growing great weeds: phacelia and calendula in the glass house below, borage not flowering yet and red poppies in the background.

Here's a closer look at the poppies growing on the path. I'll leave these traces of joy but around the house it's time to erase, to return everything back to woodchips and trees that can be easily managed with a lawnmower and poison spray.

One thing will last a little bit longer: fabulous soil that absorbs moisture instead of repelling the rain and for a few seasons, wild flowers will try and establish themselves. Oh yes and it will take a lot to remove the comfrey. The poppies below are a snag in my timetable because they are just about to flower. These are great big blue ones that a favourite neighbour gave me seed for and this is the first year they are growing in quantity. I will pull them out at the last minute.

I pulled the comfrey out easily in Spring when it was crowding the trees and just threw it down as a nutritious mulch. If you like it, it is very easily dealt to and useful but if you don't like it, well ...
I've been reading a marvellous book Finding the Still Point by Gerald O'Mahony. One of the things he talks about is finding a motto that encapsulates what we want to be. I'm working on mine and I suspect it will have something to do with food. I even like my garden to be well fed.

Now the frost did damage some of the tomatoes and more spectacularly the potatoes; compare plants on left in the warmer mid section of the glasshouse to the end rows. This will reflect in yield and timing too I expect.

I had a little experiment going with the raspberries with pruning and sure enough these will fruit for Summer instead of Autumn this year. I later read that you can prune half your raspberries in Autumn and half in Summer (after fruiting) if you want to stagger the crop but here it is too cold too quickly for Autumn fruiting berries.

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I am endeavouring to delegate some packing and have a couple of unsuspecting neices arriving the week before the moving truck does. I have singled out some of the more exciting jobs for them, collecting pine cones to fill the shed and hosing down the house and windows among others.  The outside of houses, in this climate, need a good scrub down every few years or five,  which was a housekeeping revelation to me that I intend them to act on. On with the rubber gloves then...  


  1. I have loved your gardening stories Miriam, and the wee glimpse into your life in a part of the country I fell in love with about 16 years ago. I hope the move back to the city goes well for you all and I have my fingers crossed that you keep blogging from Dunedin. Best wishes, Sandra.

  2. Well Miri I'm sure it's with some bittersweet feelings that you put this post together - what an incredible experience - your new garden in Dunedin will feel like a walk in the park in comparison..