Thursday, October 27, 2011

A lovely spring day

Today has been a perfect spring day.  I started at about 6.30 spraying the roses with garlic and pyrethrum as some of them had aphids.  It was so pleasant that I also wandered around the garden pulling out a few weeds.

The first of the roses is in flower.  This looks like an old rose and I would have expected it to have been hardy but it is the one that has the most problems either aphids or mildew.

I am pleased with this area, when we moved here it was a mess overgrown with calla lillies and other problem plants.  The main roses are Icebergs, both the white one and the burgundy.  They are just coming into bud now and the lavender cuttings I placed around the base are doing well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Maidenhair Fern

It was at the very end of July, in winter, that I cut the maidenhair fern down to ground level.  The poor plant had been in a pot for many years and was pot-bound when I decided to plant it out in the garden.  I am trying to get as many plants as possible in the ground to save on watering in summer.

It is now coming away very nicely.  It amazes me how well plants can survive a certain amount of neglect.

Friday, October 21, 2011


A lovely sunny spring day but with a chill wind.  Everything is bursting into life.  At the beginning of this month I posted a photo of plum blossom, now it is in leaf with small fruit forming.  The bay tree that had been in a pot for years and got planted out last summer is bursting into fresh growth, the roses are in bud and the huge Australian Frangipane is covered in its lovely yellow blossoms.

The garden I made last summer and planted with acanthus, bergenia,  oak leafed and variegated hydrangea is coming on well

I must try and find the energy to pull out the last of the broccolli,  put in a teepee and sow some beans.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Rena Shipwreck

Yesterday I mentioned the Rena - the ship that has gone aground in the Bay of Plenty.  The following is a link to some amazing photos of this ship

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Respite is Nearly Over

My period of respite comes to an end on Monday.  It will be good to have M. back home.  I am still a little tired but that is because of having to go up to Kaitaia last week for a minor operation which I am still getting over.  Still I generally feel a lot better.

Have just been for a walk around the neighbourhood and noticed in particular this tree (not sure of its name).  I must keep an eye on it to see what develops from the buds.

Another tree that looks pretty at this time of year I thought was called Rhus but when I look up Rhus it appears to be something different and very poisonous.  Still this is pretty.  There are a lot of them about.

When I got home I thought the Banksia rose looked very pretty.  This was huge when we bought the property two years ago but I have cut it right back and still want to cut a bit more but am waiting for it to finish flowering.  The large trunk is to the right of the post.

We have a second more fragile looking Magnolia out at present as well.

Earlier I went out with some friends to the Town Basin (as in yacht basin) and on the way stopped at a new plant nursery and bought three kowhai trees and a red flowered titree or manuka.  Apparently every fifth customer qualified for 8 vegie plants so I also got some Italian parsley, leeks and a selection of lettuce plants thrown in.

Meanwhile the Rena is still spilling oil and containers into the sea in the Bay of Plenty.  It could just have easily been adjacent to our harbour.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yesterday I had coffee with a friend who  has an avocado tree that is laden but she has trouble picking them.  The tree is planted on a steep slope.  We still have the pickers from our previous property so I went and picked some for her (and me) this morning.  Yum,  we are both pleased with the arrangement.

I also went to visit M. in the rest home.  They are going to move him to a room closer to the nursing station which is good.  Apparently, he has been wandering at night and causing chaos when he has inadvertently gone into the room of the lady next to him.

He was actually very bright when I visited and we took his coffee outside onto the deck and had a chat there.  he needed reassuring that he will be coming home again.  The trouble is he forgets and then gets worried that he is in there for good.  He seems quite happy to be there for a fortnight and I explained that in six weeks he will be back for another fortnight.

Anyway, I think his new room is a lot better - it is closer to the heart of the building and looks over the deck.  I hope he will settle in there.

When I got home our wonderful handyman was here - yesterday he put some batons on the top of the fence and today he painted it - I am thrilled with the result.  The top photo is the one after he had painted it for us.  There is still a lot more to do but we are getting there slowly.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Missing her "Dad"

Ever since M. has been in the rest home Kath has been missing him and spends most of her time on a dining chair situated in the lounge.  Have never seen her there before but she hardly leaves it.

The rest home has been very good and are trying to keep M. occupied.  I went to see him yesterday (and collect his washing) but he was out on a bus trip.  He will be at the Alzheimer's Club again today.  Unfortunately, they tell me he is very confused.  I will walk down again today after he is due back to see how he is.  When I phoned he was having difficulty - not sure whether it was hearing or comprehension.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alzheimer's poem

Do not ask me to remember,
Don't try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you're with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I'm confused beyond your concept,
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you,
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can't help the way I'm acting,
Can't be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don't fail to stand beside me,
Love me 'til my life is gone.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A new season?

Today dawned bright and clear the forecast is only for 17 degrees C. but it is great to see the sun and not have the cold wind and grey skies of yesterday.  Our plum tree is covered in blossom - the photo is just of a couple of branches low down but the whole tree is like this.

When we arrived here two years ago the tree was in need of a prune which we gave it.  In spite of this it has fruited well - just after Christmas - and the fruit has very kindly ripened in succession.

Let's just hope for another good crop this year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Where has spring gone?

I gather that in the Northern Hemisphere summer has returned.  We, however, started to get some lovely weather and it was even too hot to be weeding in the garden.  All this has changed in the last week or so and it turned very cold.

Not so cold today but heavy showers and strong winds with the forecast that a severe storm front could bring damaging tornadoes.  It seems as though winter has returned.

The other evening the sky went almost black and I took this photo from our lounge.  The sky doesn't look as dark in the photo and, in fact, the storm went somewhere else in that instance.

On the home front I have taken M. into a Rest Home today to give me two weeks respite.  I do hope that he likes it (or at least doesn't dislike it).  Even though I know it is necessary it is hard to get rid of the feeling of guilt.

Still he has accepted that I will be going back in two weeks to collect him.  Now all I need is some nice weather in order to do all the things I have planned.