My truck was in the garage, I went to Auckland for 24 hours and there was stuff to take care of with my father so I hadn't worked since last Wednesday. I'd intended to go JNKs but there was a car in the way of where I need to back the truck in so today I stopped in and asked if they could move it sometime. Of course they were very happy to do that and I was able to do two loads until even my yellow safety glasses weren't bright enough for me to see anymore. I was going to dump the second load because I have a big day tomorrow but when I had to turn my headlights on, I realised I really did just have to stop!
Which I did. Outside the legendary Lobster Pot. I hadn't been in there since I was a kid but instead of ordering a piece of fish, I got Shrimp Chowmein. It felt like such a treat after a couple of hours of sawing dead branches and scraping up wandering dew.
This time you need to keep an eye on the Nikau (?) in the very middle to get a sense of the changes (that's the scruffy one you see in the top two).
When I trimmed it last week, it had one open frond and one tightly shut so it was a real reward to see this tonight...
Now to the mysteries...I'm the first to admit that a) I never know what I'm doing and just go by instincts and b) this means I don't know many plants.
So I found a virtual miniture forest under these trees today. All of them had baby ones of the themselves coming up all around them and I felt mean ripping them out but I could tell by their parents that it wasn't wise to leave them there. BUT I also didn't know which ones to keep for planting elsewhere either. I'd sooo appreciate your help by first telling me if the above plant is actually a Nikau or something else then by identifying the below three plants and tell me the pro's and con's for keeping/relocating or greenwasting them. I get a sense they might be natives but that for every one I've pulled out, 3 will soon appear in it's place - especially now there is light and air around them...
I'd done three loads from three differenct gardens a few days ago but I still had energy for one more so I rolled into JNKs around 6 when no-one was there. I reversed the truck right into the very back and went crazy.
The trimming of the hedges was the easy part.
You can't see it in the first image but because all the inner branches of those bushes were dead, there was kneehigh Wandering Dew under it and that was the challenge. You can just see in the far corner of the second image where I got up to before it got too dark.
Now that Father's been discharged from hospital after 2 months and is home, his needs have increased. He's always had only one functional arm but since his stroke, he has to have pills at 5 different times of the day, a patch, a fizzy pill twice a day, and have all his meals prepared for him. But here's the thing. His Carers he gets for half and hour each morning and night aren't allowed to give him pills and aren't allowed to use a stove. This means it's become our (my) responsibility to give him both, defeating the purpose of having Carers. And because my brother's at sea, I've had to set alarms and drop what I'm doing to go do these things myself.
So gardening has become my happy place. No matter how frustrated or sad I get about my Father's decline, the minute I get in my truck, everything disappears.
After giving Father his afternoon pills, which I added the night pills to so I didn't have to check in later that he'd taken them, I drove straight to one of my Timebank colleagues place and stole a pile of branches, Wandering Dew and Nasturtiem from her garden. It was so satisfying taking twice as much as what she hoped for. And she generously gave me two hours into my bank. I'm not sure if that was from the relief of having the piles gone or because she knows I'm hoarding hours that I can pay lots of people to help with a major clean up mission next year.
Either way, I would have paid her for giving me a job where I was able to abandon my cares for an hour...
I went like crazy this weekend to get JNKs finished before clients start arriving on Monday. My dear friend Fiona helped with some big stuff on Saturday and at 5pm on Sunday, I was done. I told the new tenant that I'll go back on nights and weekends and potter away with the back area. I told her I wasn't going to go all 'forensic' on the back area but later she told me they were going to fence it off so children can run around there. Now I can't wait to make it a fun little area with mystery things for them to discover. I already found a concrete piglet that I've tucked under some agi's and someone had placed a few painted stones that I've distributed for others to find randomly. (When looking at the images, that one big rock in the middle is the same one in all of them).
You'll notice I put a few rushes against the wall to create more privacy between the two properties. And you can imagine how much I enjoyed digging up all those rocks and placing them. Have I told you how much I love rocks?!
Fiona was working to the right and I was to the left so putting Boomie, my portable speaker on her motorbike seat was perfect. I've left it in the garden overnight and even run over it when I'd left it on the truck and it fell off so there was no way it was going to get damaged or forgotten here ;-)
My happy place ;-)
It's all go at JNK's place. I drove past this morning on my way to dump last nights load and there were vehicles everywhere, including a monstrous moving van. Luckily I had lots to do so didn't go back till after lunch. The moving vehicles had gone and there were only cars left so I was able to park up and start work.
You can imagine how excited I was when I discovered what lay beneath that first images mess! And there are quite a few more rocks in amongst the rest of the plants but I'd be there till Christmas if I tried to do the whole area so I settled happily on this small Zenish space.
I have my music on random rotate everyday and after digging out the stray agies, just as I was pulling the creeping hedge off the magnificent rock, the song Whakaaria Mai came on. It felt like a moment - as if the rock was thanking me for giving it back daylight or something...
Last night my step-father surprised me with the offer to come and waterblast the wood fence that the hedge had been all over. The neighbours had obviously waterblasted the section they put back in (to Jim's left) so it stood out.
What a difference huh?! Jim (and Ruby!) did a spectacular job.
Now that the fence is complete, I'll distribute some of the ferns to fill in the gaps...
So now I have one last section to do in the front then I can move around the back.
I've been gathering stray plants from the other areas to fill in this one because it's the only part on the whole section that's fairly bare. I'll try take better images this time...
The images are a little cropped by the software so if you click on them, you get to see the whole picture. I've tried using three different options to show you the images - there's the slideshow, the gallery (the last two) then individual images (the one above). Which do you prefer?