Autumn

It was 1999, on the east coast of America, in Connecticut, that I first fell in love with Autumn.

The trees, the forests, the light through the leaves, their colour and transparency, the dappled sunlight on the leaf covered forest floor. The seasons, Autumn. The changing colours, I can see them now, in my minds eye, reflected on the pristine water of the lakes, the roadside forests, gardens, everywhere! It’s a wonder I didn’t fall into a lake or have a car accident, my eyes drawn to the trees, the colours.

When I returned to this side of the hemisphere nursing the afore mentioned broken heart, I yearned for autumn colours, the American trees and forests, the seasons…

When you leave I discovered your loss is not just about losing a person/friend? It’s so much more. The loss of a place, a reality, dreams, surrounds, smells, belongings, experiences (both had and yet to have)…

You won’t be surprised that in quick succession I added deciduous trees to this little garden.

But I soon learnt that the climate has a lot to do with autumn displays and the weather here is not conducive to the colours I hoped for. The harsh winds and fluctuating temperatures year after year have meant, at Autumn time, our leaves are often brown and crumpled. Sometimes burnt black. No breathtaking displays of golds, lime greens, pinks, oranges, reds, burgundy…

But look what I’ve found yesterday! One of our new cherries…

Our other deciduous trees still try and this year, a bit more gold than crumpled brown than previous years?

The beauty of Connecticut is vivid in my memory.

Yesterday’s harvest 🌱

Have a wonderful day!

Lawn

Our front garden is tiny too. It used to be crowded and bushy with large weedy trees and ratty flax. In the middle, a shell garden, ouchy to walk on but beautiful and beachy.

We loved it for many years. Lovingly regularly pulling weeds from the shell garden, though never as often as needed.

But lawn was calling me, lush and green.

I craved lying on my back on soft grass watching the clouds pass by and I was keen to give my daughter a place to do her (untrained) incredibly neat cartwheels.

With the help of our friends we removed trees, shrubs, ancient flax, stumps and our shells.

And lay down turf.

Now clouds drift by witnessed.

And neat cartwheels get neater.

We still lovingly remove weeds.

A beautiful rainbow today reminding us there is treasure yet to be discovered.

And a golden sunset.

Today I am grateful for all the help we received.

May help be at hand for you today if needed.

 

Golden Elm

It wasn’t an easy decision to add a Golden Elm to our garden. We have an issue of space. Our garden is tiny and Golden Elms grow big!

I remember when my daughter spotted the tree at the garden centre and set her heart on it. In truth, I had, for a long time, wished that we had space to plant one but had conceded, sadly, that we didn’t.

But my heart was reignited by my daughters pleas.

Could we?

We walked around our garden trying to find a spot. Growing the tree in our imaginations to check if it could work.

There is a street in Wellington city that has huge alternating Golden Elms and Pohutukawa trees. The two canopies beautiful side by side, contrasting and complimenting. I love.

The spot we settled on was in our front garden near our Pohutukawa.

There may be a time when it gets too big and we might have to cut it back or remove it but that will be many years from now. In the meantime we will very much enjoy it’s company.

It makes me think about decisions and my thoughts tentatively tiptoe in the direction of some hard decisions I’ve made and wonder, what if, what if I’d chosen differently?

I believe life has a way of putting us where we’re supposed to be and the only way we find ourselves here is by taking the paths we chose.

And the here and now I love and am grateful for.

Not regret, it’s pride I feel for myself for making those tough decisions that have contributed to leading me here.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

 

Cherry Guava

At the beginning of summer we added two Cherry Guava’s to our garden.

Guava’s remind me of my childhood. There was a small ragged tree on the last incline to our house, on the side of the track, sitting close to a drop down into a small valley.

When we were young I remember the fruit being plentiful, ripe and sweet.

As we got older, I remember the fruit dwindling.

The fruit firmer, less tasty, not so ripe.

Thinking about it now, it must have been the birds beating us to them and us, in turn, picking green fruit to beat them back!

Another memory of guava, was the guava juice from the local cafe in Pacific Harbour in Fiji when we were working on the film Anacondas.

Tropical fruit on a tropical island. Yum!

Gentle rain here today, all day, no wind and not cold.

We have a very happy garden.

Today’s harvest 🌱

My daughter commented on how yummy the strawberries were today.

Look what has been enjoying the rain 💦

Have a wonderful day!

 

Silverbeet

Something in our garden has been happily munching holes in our silverbeet.

I don’t mind sharing, I guess.

Why is sharing so hard sometimes? For me, in this instance, I know it’s because (I’m a bit horrified to admit) that I like things to be perfect.

I know nothing is perfect and it’s an impossible ideal to strive for.

And a terrible expectation to put on yourself and/or others.

But still, it’s something I know about me. I’m sure it’s learnt behaviour from a multitude of life experiences.

Maybe being one of four children and vying for parental attention? Getting that much desired sticker in primary school for colouring inside the lines? Or popular culture telling us we’re only loveable if we look like one of those beautiful people who grace the front of magazines?

Gosh when I write that it makes me think everyone must have the same issue, surely? We all wanted the sticker, so we all tried to colour inside the lines, right?

But I know it’s not true, there are people who know they are loveable as their imperfect selves.

And deserve success even if they have made mistakes.

And would never impose a need to be perfect on another person.

Do we strive for perfection because we are looking for approval/validation?

But hold on, I can give that to myself!

And I can teach my daughter she can give it to herself too!

It might be a challenge to overcome a life time of conditioning, but I like challenges, I like the end game, success, but that can be another thought for another post, another day.

You are enough and you are loved. Have a wonderful day!

🌱

 

Baby peas

My daughter had an old weathered packet of pea seeds in her gardening bag and while gardening a couple of weekends ago, it fell out, spilling the seeds all over the place.

We gathered them up and popped them into a large empty pot, thinking they wouldn’t sprout, but guess what?

They did!

Loads and loads of them.

Our favourite!

You may have heard it said that we here in NZ may have a short summer this year?

We hope it’s long enough for our young peas to mature and give us a bumper crop.

Aren’t surprises great!

Especially surprises after nasty wind storms.

So tiny and fragile yet so resilient and strong.

Makes me think of Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss reminding us that it’s all about perspective. That from the perspective of the universe, we, the human race are tiny and vulnerable, living on a speck floating in space, at the mercy of the great unknown (a big elephant 😃).

The human race (so tiny and fragile yet so resilient and strong), can you imagine that we all walk around with smart phones connected to the entire rest of the world via the world wide web and travel on flying buses!

Isn’t it a remarkable time to be alive? Sometimes the extraordinary things humans do/have done blows my brain and I have to bring my focus into the here and now. Do you have to do that sometimes, to shrink your peripheral down to your surroundings, to find your serenity? (ha ha, yes I’m Australian)

Our sunset today.

And seconds later.

May you be surprised by something today that warms your heart and brings you comfort and peace of mind 🌱

Mesclun

Some plants were flattened by the wind yesterday.

The worst affected were the tomatoes. We’ve propped them up, hopefully they will recover and still give us some tomatoes.

Surprisingly the rest of our little garden survived pretty well. Our plants won the battle!

Look how well these little ones survived!

I guess sitting so close to the ground with their nice strong anchor.

The mesclun this year has been particularly yummy.

I’ve been keeping the water up, to chase away any bitterness.

Water can work for me too, a nice long shower, dilutes bitterness to nothing!

But other times it’s a battle of the mind.

Then it’s a choice, focus on the problem, or focus on the solution. I like to focus on the solution.

But sometimes the solution isn’t immediately apparent and we get stuck in the quagmire.

If I can’t fix it with a shower or find a solution, I take action.

For me, this is often gardening.

But any and all action helps me, it can be sweeping, vacuuming, walking, talking, shopping, lunching, singing…doing something, anything. Action is the heftiest and most successful weapon in my artillery.

After school today, transporting my daughter to dancing, she spoke about a new find, the orchestra/rock band teacher who let them play on the drums, with no direction, just play. To be creative, unrestricted in their expression. I like that.

Today’s sunset.

Pink sky at night, Shepherds delight.

Today’s harvest 🌱

Have a wonderful day!

 

Cucumbers

It is windy here today. Right this moment our little garden is being tormented by violent gusts of wind.

I’m sure everyone here in Wellington feels they get the worst of it where they are but where we live, it truly seems like the wind fights with itself, gusts turn against each other and a vicious battle ensues. And our little garden, the battle field.

Let’s not think about the wind.

If we imagine our plants safe, can we make it so? I’m willing to try. So here goes…

Here are some photos from yesterday.

This is our first attempt to grow cucumbers.

We have some blossoms.

And a little cucumber.

I like the idea that the wind is blowing our worries away, as a colleague suggested today.

Maybe that’s why it’s still blowing, perhaps there are still troubles that need to be blown away.

Today’s harvest (a quick snap seconds before the wind scattered everything) 🌱

May the angry gusts of wind whipping around our house threatening to pick us up (and deliver us to Oz?), turn to a gentle breeze in time to lull us to sleep.

But before that, may first all your troubles be blown away.

 

Growth

Our tomatoes are getting bigger.

And our Feijoa’s.

Our apples too.

Time, a magic ingredient. We can increase or decrease the water supply, we can adjust the soil content but time, a necessary ingredient, we have no control over.

Time, something I’m grateful for and as I get older, ever more conscious of it passing. And the faster it seems to pass!

My thoughts have been on our whales today and how their time has been cut short. And no answers.

There is a reason. I hope the reason is discovered so we can work to stop it happening again.

More than 300 whales have lost their lives.

Last September in Woolgoolga on the north coast of NSW we saw the whales on their migration. Mothers and babies frolicking in the sparkling deep blue sea. Like a happy dog wagging his tail, their flukes put smiles on our faces.

More than 200 whales saved, I hope they swim out to deeper water where it is safer and they find solace in their friends and joy in their surrounds and, in time, frolick again.

No harvest today, dinner with friends 🌱

May you find joy in the company of friends today, as we did.

 

Blueberries

We have a new addition to our garden.

Blueberries.

Although they are both self fertile, we bought two because of the promise on the tag that cross pollination would increase yield.

I’m very interested in increasing yield!

Over the past 5 years my interest in obtaining a semblance of financial security has increased exponentially. The main driving factor? A strong desire to be able to retire one day!

In my study of all things finance, I’ve learnt all about yield. I love that my new found knowledge translates to our garden!

And I feel a bit daft that I hadn’t used that word already with regard to our garden, of course we’d like to increase our yield. Grow more than 4 apples, more than 2 plums, more than a handful of peas!

Increase yield. I like those words.

In August last year, I read that Warren Buffet had 1% of his current worth at age 50.

He he, since then I’ve been learning as much as I can about Warren.

In the afternoon sun, after our alfresco dinner in our little garden, my daughter sang The Sound of Silence.

I can hear her singing it again now as she gets ready for bed, her beautiful voice enhanced by the acoustics of the bathroom, filling our world, making me hum along.

An incredible melody, an incredible song.

It reminds me of The Silent Valley in The Phantom Tollbooth.

Today’s harvest 🌱

If you desire it, I hope your yield increases today!