Ewen's garden

A collection of columns, paintings and photographs about gardening on an offshore island in New Zealand.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Yesterday my parents arrived from Masterton, naturally enough when I went to meet them at the wharf, Mum was lumbering along with yet another bag of plants for my garden. As you will already know, this is not the first consignment of plants to arrive from down south. Currently unfurling itself is a particularly beautiful bearded iris originally from Mum’s brother Uncle Robert’s garden. It is a stunning almost black velvety colour. I am so pleased it has produced a flower since it was only planted a couple of months ago and is now showing off to all, including Mum. It is this side of gardening I think is very important, the links and associations we can make with individuals friends and family. Another plant with a connection similar to this is the Queen Anne’s Lace, which used to grow at the back of the rose garden on the farm and often wrested into floral decoration by Mum for occasions at church or district functions in the local hall. Many of these plants I don’t have the name for, example Queen Anne’s Lace, for the life of me this morning I could not find the correct botanical name for it!! Other plants remind me of people I have known along the way, some of which have been grown in pots or pieces taken when we have shifted house, so continuing the link.

Now as I write good ole Mum is out there pulling weeds for me, so I think it only fit I should allow her a few words of her own here, especially as she has a world more experience than I do in this arena of husbandry. So over to Beth….

Having just come in from kneeling on the path and in the garden it is quite good to have a brief rest. I actually quite enjoy weeding. When you remove a big dove’s foot, Geranium molle for instance, there is a lovely clear space left, or, more importantly, another plant can breathe and continue to grow and flower. It is fun finding purple plantains that came from my garden, and cat mint, Nepeta faasenii, lambs ears, Stachys lanata, iris, Iris sp,. day lily, Hemoerocallis cv. and others. There are places waiting for more of my succulents and a lily with buds that will be a complete surprise to both of us.
At home, I have a Cecil Brunner rose that my sister Joan grew for me when I began my first garden at Pirinoa, near Palliser Bay. Joan died when she was 35 years old, so this rose is a real treasure to me and I must grow a cutting for Ewen too, now that he is developing this garden. When I was a girl, there was a lovely old climbing red rose and a butter-yellow coloured one; I now have both on my trellis. The butter-yellow rose has a true old appearance in that it looks like crinkled tissue paper. My Father had planted both of these in the early 20’s and became part of my girlhood days. It has just come to mind, our current Masterton garden’s origins were from my Mother. We live in the house that my brother-in-law Trevor (an architect) designed for her when she moved to town from the farm. We altered and enlarged the plantings, although only 1/8 acre, but a few stay the same. So the ties with friends and family carry on.

Thanks Mum it’s cuppa tea time now, time to plan!


At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Dorry plantarea trandafirilor said...

Well that's a nice story ;)


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