Home' Greymouth Star : December 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
t was just before Christmas 43
years ago that I learnt about
the true value of flowers and
the message of love that they
At the time I was living
in England where I spent three
Christmases and every Christmas I
received a large bouquet of flowers from
my grandmother in New Zealand.
It was always so wonderful to receive
this living gift from so far away
even though there was a few tears of
homesickness shed while arranging
It was these bouquets of flowers that
kindled a love of flowers in my heart and
a desire to one day grow my own flowers
in my own garden.
Naturally this lead on to me creating
a garden although there was no plan
whatsoever to do this, and if I had been
told 40 odd years ago that I would
transform a bare section surrounded
by ugly tin fences into the beautiful
garden I live in today, I would never ever
have believed it as in those days I knew
nothing about gardening or plants.
The garden gradually materialised
through my love of growing plants and
digging up bits of earth here, there and
everywhere. I know at the back of my
mind I did want it to suit the house and
for the house to look as though it fitted
snugly into the garden or should I say
for the garden to fit it like a glove. I
have a feeling that the house now finds
it a tight fitting glove as the roses start
to cover the walls and sometimes the
windows as well.
The garden was started on a shoestring
budget when at times even buying a
packet of seeds was an extravagance I
could not afford.
The pleasure of receiving cuttings as
a gift was untold and I eagerly awaited
birthdays and Christmas (like a child)
in the hope that I would receive a bit of
money which could be spent on plants.
When I was given some money to buy
my new baby (the fourth) some clothing
I spent it on a lovely weeping cherry
blossom tree that is always in flower on
her birthday in October.
The tree is now 33 years old and every
spring it puts on a wonderful display
of tiers of cascading dainty little pink
blossoms while in the summer time its
umbrella shape provides a wonderful
shade tree to sit under. The autumn
brings its colourful leaves and even in
winter its bare and skeletal shape still
retains a beauty of its own. (By the way
being the fourth baby I had enough hand
me downs to keep her decently clothed
anyway and mums certainly deser ve
presents for giving birth).
It was 36 years ago that we moved into
this house (on the day baby no 3 was due
— thank goodness he waited an extra
week for his entrance into the world
so I got most of the unpacking done).
I barely had the chance to step outside
the door for the first few years and my
husband gleefully had full control of the
gardens. When I did make my presence
felt in his territory there were a few
battles and for a while there were the
“ his and her” gardens.
Somehow or other gradually I managed
to take over all of the gardens apart from
the vegetable area.
Not too sure how I managed this.
It was almost 20 years ago that I started
writing about gardening and I had no
skills in journalism whatsoever so I
simply had to write about what I felt
from the heart.
I got so much pleasure from my garden
that I really wanted to inspire others to
start a garden and to gain the untold
pleasure that I received and I sincerely
hope I have given inspiration to many
of my readers. Going by the feedback I
do believe I have lured many of you into
becoming addicted to planting flowers.
However, regrettably I have now
decided to have a break from the writing
as it is not always easy trying to find
inspiration in the small hours of the
morning as is often the case when due
to my busy lifestyle it has been left to
the last minute. I also work four days
a week and my family has grown from
six members to 15. You always think
you are going to get so much more time
as you get older but in reality life gets
busier. So thank you all for reading my
articles and I hope you all have a happy
gardening time over the holiday period
and in the future.
I will conclude in a sentimental way
with a delightful little verse by Win
Milne called ‘Garden of Friendship’
Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 7
When I feel a bit lonely,
Or just a bit low,
To lighten my spirits,
Out gardening I go.
It’s a garden of friendship,
Each plant that I tend
Reminds me of someone —
And each one of a friend.
When I gaze on the beauty,
Friends’ faces I see,
And I think of the plants
They have given to me.
The bulbs and the seedlings,
The cuttings and all;
If it wasn’t for friends
I’d have no flowers at all!
In my garden of friendship
Midst colour and scent,
My friends are all with me,
And I am content.
As you can see my garden fits snugly around the house like a glove.
An inter woven tapestry of some of my lovely flowers.
The patio area which is always a picture of colourful plants for eight months of the year.
The pathways have become narrower and narrower as the roses, delphiniums and other flowers have grown.
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