By: Blonde Two

Star Garden 1
Imagine yourself in a spring garden; there is a white painted house overlooking a new-green lawn. You are surrounded by budding trees full of celebratory birds, that ever so fleeting hint of the brightest green and sunlight caressing the daffodils … But wait a minute; what else can you see? A hedge of burgeoning lavender? Freesias so dense their perfume floods up to greet you?Star Garden 2

Gladioli, pansies, valerian, a citrus tree or two? Peonies pushing their way through the dark earth so fast that you are convinced that you can see them moving.Star Garden 5

Now listen, those birds are chirruping; but what about the magical whirs and grunts that assault your ears from the yellow kowhai trees (pronounced co-why)? And what on earth are kowhai trees?Star Garden 6

Of course, you remember, you are not in an English country garden; it is September for heaven’s sake; the sun is travelling across the northern sky, a morning frost can lead to afternoon sunbathing and the birds are called fantail and tui. You are in New Zealand; the land where the daytime sun is so strong that winter turns to summer in the blink of a kiwi’s eye, and spring is a cacophony of growth and new things. For me, there is nothing quite like New Zealand for this. The comfortable sense of the familiar, with just a big enough hint of Kiwi quirkiness to induce a mild sensory confusion. It can be exhausting, but I love it!