Gardening and Community

While busily sorting two areas of my garden today I apologised out loud to a beetle scurrying around my paintbrush. You see I had disturbed his entire composting community in order to access these fences for staining and he was at a loss for where to now call home. 

“I  understand” I wanted to say, “it’s so disorientating when an external influence changes your plan”.  

I’m hoping he and the other critters will take up residence across the pathway, where the soil is still too heavy for planting. I’ve sprinkled gypsum on the ground; moved the existing half-yummy compost (full of worms) and added more organic material to woo their activity.

A family of soil organisms have already done magic in the area above. It’s levelled now and ready to plant, once the weather is cooler. (No photo yet). Some hydrangeas and perennials have been temporarily vacationing in my ‘nursery’ bed – they’ll get my profuse apologies when it comes to their uprooting and repositioning.

Gardening gives me chance to ponder my own roots too since I’ve been transplanted numerous times.

This year I’ve resolved to start learning plant classification: recognising their characteristics; naming and understanding their position in the bigger scheme of the plant kingdom. (Actually it’s really complicated). I’m also sorting my own family tree. (Even more complex).

Sure a life can be noted by dates: born, married, died – and placed within a branch of a family tree but it all sounds rather life-less to me. I want to know how my relatives lived.

What of the buds of opportunities that never fruited?

Or the flowers of friendships that faded?

What of the scars on family branches that were caused by hurts?

Or their inner world of thoughts and struggles which, like roots, kept pushing through unseen? 

More optimistically, what of the relationships – adult and child – that were nurtured and thrived under the canopy of mature trees?

Or the relatives who courageously shed misconceptions about life in middle age, like a tree losing its leaves in autumn? (There’s a certain serenity with a deciduous plant in winter – unashamed to bare its inner scaffold of tangled, knobbly branches and weather-beaten blemishes. I’m convinced it’s the same for those humans prepared to be open).

I’m working on a personal project called “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Time” and will share snippets in future blogs. It’ll need shaping and pruning and regular input of extra nutrients information to help it grow. Like setting up a new garden it all takes vision and time to develop, which brings me right back to the top image taken in Hagley Park.

Way back in 1855, Christchurch’s predecessors had foresight to pass a law that ‘reserved this space forever as a public park’. Generations of communities, no matter which ‘family tree’ they belong to can enjoy the recreational facilities the park affords us. And I know those underground critters are making good use of it too.


3 thoughts on “Gardening and Community

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  1. Wow! Just as I’ve been watching and admiring as you have brought life to this garden, so I am more and more amazed at the vision you have for what it will become; and the thoughts, nutrients et al that will enable and be enwrapped in it are only just beginning to be seen.

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