Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Get Growing



I write for the online "magazine", Get Growing. This week, I featured Giant Himalayan Lilies, Cardiocrinum giganteum. You can read that article, and others I wrote for this week's publication, right here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From the photo drawer

Seeds of Cardiocrinum giganteum

Night primrose

?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Drove to Nightcaps, made kites.

When I was a boy, I made kites from thin strips of wood tied with string, and newspaper glued with a paste of flour and water. Today, I showed Nightcaps' children how we did it back in the day and here's the result. It was the first time they'd flown a kite, they told me.




Leaving town, I saw this pine tree, illuminated against the grey sky.

Pine, sky, photographer, road.

Sunrise with cloud blanket



Friday, August 19, 2016

Glorious sunset in the South


Chem...no, vapour trails, over Riverton!



We don't often see jet aircraft in Riverton airspace. This one was flying west to east, quite low in the sky, I thought. I could hear it roar.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Afternoon poultry check





Yep, everyone seems fine.

Mmmmmmashua!



It's time to lift and re-deploy these babies. Mashua is a root crop that's well known in South America but only beginning to attract a following here in New Zealand. I've several varieties, including a slender white, but these fat fellows are the best, in my view. I like how they look, especially in the afternoon sun, piled up on my veranda ready for tomorrow's plant out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Not a hazelnut


Winter is signalling it's imminent departure through the behaviour of the birds in the trees of my garden; they're singing a different tune in the evenings and it's one I recognise from spring's passed. My propagation beds are not as full as I intended them to be due to unexpected business and I'm feeling foolish for not having focused better on collecting cuttings from the things I want to have more of. It's not too late though, as the plum blossom hasn't yet burst, so I'm doubling down on my efforts to collect from afar for the near. Today, I planted a dozen rhubarb crowns given to me as a reward for pruning the apple trees of a woman who couldn't do them herself. As well, she gave me handfuls of gooseberry prunings which I've pushed, individually, into the soil of the beds. The three English Greengage seedlings I was given last week are now settled into the soil of the orchard park across the way and I'm planning to sow the seeds of the native broom, Carmichaelia odorata tomorrow, so I'm in catch-up mode and making some good progress. I'm becoming very enarmoured with gooseberries and will visit each of the rare specimens I already have growing here, thanks to thoughtful donors from all around Southland and Otago, and snip the tips of those to further populate the cuttings bed, so that I can increase the presence of those old favourites, the goosegog. It's a prickly business though, and I'm nursing several punctures. No matter, it has to be done and every morning is warmer, lighter and more filled with bird-song than the one before. Oh, and hazelnuts! I wanted to plant a hundred of those but haven't done one! I'm determined to find a cache and plant them post haste. Hist whist!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Guest post on The Standard



My "Grow the Commons" column has been posted on The Standard today. The comments are very encouraging. You can read them here, if you so choose.