By: Blonde Two
Gardening on the scale that is required here at the New Zealand farm is a very different affair to tidying around my little postage stamp back in England. Before Dartmoor took over my life, I was a keen gardener and always enjoy having a bit of time to do some while I am over here in New Zealand. It is however, very, very different.
For a start, there is farm equipment available and, more importantly, there is Norm available to operate it. So if I wanted, we could bring the tractor, a chainsaw and the big leaf blower in and have a grand time knocking trees over, sawing them up and blowing bits around. Gardens grow much quicker here – Aunty’s garden is a thing of beauty and was planted from scratch 25 years ago. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of trees that surround it. It is a lovely legacy for her to have left us all and is an absolute haven for birds of all sizes, colours and strange calls. Oh and did I mention the train track and scale model of a station?
I am particularly proud that there is part of me in this garden. There is a huge (things grow large and quickly here) camellia that I bought as a present for Aunty and Norm when I left New Zealand the very first time I came. This was 27 years ago now which is impressive as neither the house or garden were here at that time, they had just bought the land and the camellia was moved when they did. There are also three lovely tree ferns (I discovered yesterday that one has had a baby) that Aunty and I planted together. I can remember being very jealous at the price of them – $10 for a plant that would cost over £100 at home.
Today has dawned beautifully and is set to be sunny. This is good because Norm and I are heading down to Hare Creek to plant up the baby trees that we bought and dug up from the garden yesterday. We are set to finish a job that Aunty started years ago and plant up some native bush. One day, when I come back, I will be able to go down there and wander through the bush, listening to the creek running and the Tui’s playing.
We have an exciting range of trees to plant;
Rimu (seedlings from the garden) – beautiful wood, Rimu can grow to 50m.
Five Finger (Pseudopanax Arboreous) (Whauwhaupaku) – quick growing and common.
Lancewood (Pseudopanax Crassifolius) (Horoeka) – sharp edged leaves
Teatree (Leptospermum Scoparium) (Manuka) – as in Manuka Honey (yum)
Knightia Excelsa (Rewarewa) Proteaceae family – 20 metres, hermaphrodite flowers
Pohutakawa – (Metrosideros Excelsa) New Zealand Christmas tree, red flowers.
Kowhai (coe-fie) – Sophora, yellow flowers loved my New Zealanders and Tuis
Pittosporum – at last one I know, many of these are native to New Zealand.
Kahikitea – Dacrycarpus Dacrydioides – 55 metres, an unusual native conifer
Post planting note: The trees are all planted now, along with some tree ferns and flaxes it is up to the weather gods to look after them and Norm to make sure that the cows don’t get in! Hopefully, I will come back to find them bigger next year when the project is to build a bridge across the creek!