Rain has been pretty persistent for weeks, mud can’t be worked on when it is gluggy so my attempts to get out in the garden have been as haphazard as the sun.
I have managed some site preparation around the house though – sifting out builder’s rubble, levelling the ground and peg marking pathways and garden beds. The soles of my boots cracked last week as if in sympathy with the strain and the handle of the old garden fork has just broken, a pity because the tines could gently persuade organic matter into the clay. Using it to prise out a large boulder was asking too much, I guess! These red volcanic rocks were blasted from the hillside during the building of the original Lyttelton tunnel in 1867. Then moved by hand and utilised around town to build iconic retaining walls, of which we had two on our property. A combination of the earthquake and rebuild have left some buried for me to now discover and shift. When I was in South Africa I watched my dad move heavy stuff around with a trolley, so I’m copying him to save strain on my heart (it’s a bit tricky using it on a slope!)
A collection of plants are waiting impatiently to be given their homes. They’re each known to me by name so I feel much like a parent fussing over their nutritional and residential needs.
This is not a garden to save me time – it is one to help me savour time.
It will demand my attention, even monopolise me in certain seasons but I hope the relationship will respond to my touch with an abundance of favours. A trailer load of gardening research has led to my plan which will be implemented with a bucket full of past experience and the odd spadeful of whimsy – as my fancy of the moment beckons. Formal elements like hedging are to contain rambunctious perennials and fool me into believing there’s a sense of order.
Control of plant positioning is currently mine but I know, in a sliver of a moon beam, nature will decide. Stems will throw tantrums with the wind while blooms flirt and delight. And seeds will wander off, like wayward teenagers to find new and exciting spaces for their feet.