I used to earn pennies as a gardener and am familiar with the sometimes seemingly ruthless tasks gardeners face.

.Every year for the past 4 or 5 years I have threatened to cut down, rip out, remove the wisteria. And every year, before  I’ve pruned it back to a tame and tidy twig of its former self, it flowers! And I haven’t the heart to be ruthless. Also, it’s not in a position that I can tackle without help (someone to call the paramedics if the ladder slips), so when The Man had a spare day…

This was Petrea volubilis  and Wisteria sinensis slugging it out for possession of a 20′ palm tree. Between us, we must have cut and dragged metres and metres of tangled vines. And then….drum roll….I spotted this…

Now, in non-tropical climes wisteria flowers in early-to-mid spring. September-October. Then we gardeners can sweep up the spent flowers, prune it back to short lengths of the just-flowered shoots and wait for the next year’s purple glory.

Here? It doesn’t seem to have the faintest idea of seasons and calendars! Being a softy concerning wisteria I called a halt to the savage reduction. I’ll get back up the ladder when the flowers fade. I promise!

And, having taken out some half-dead and weedy shrubs, I’ve been striking cuttings of this, that and the other to fill spaces. This means, of course, that I’ll have little pots of this, that and the other tucked in the lee of the carport til after Cyclone Season.

I took a short break to check on some glue…all good, so  here are some more yawns   gorgeous shots from my garden. With a couple borrowed from next door. Hey! I’m the water carrier so I can claim some credit!

Platycerium  Elkhorn

Borrowed from the neighbour, Heliconia rostrata, a hanging lobster claw.

The acalyphas (and other things!) are being turned into lace by “very hungry caterpillars” and an assortment of insect gourmands. For the most part, I don’t bother about it, but I do get cranky when they chew through buds of roses, lilies and tomatoes.

An un-named day lily (Hemerocallis), the last of this season. We’ll miss their sunny greetings every morning.And no, we do not eat them. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to sacrifice them to the palate!


Hibiscus ” Ritzy”

Over the fence again, this time for a hibiscus. Not as big and blousy as many of its kind, this has a wonderful glow, especially when the sun is low. I think I’ll get a couple and group them with this…

sometimes called a blue ginger, it’s a Dicorisandra thyrsiflora.

Getting fed up? Tough! I have more!

Yesterday, I took a load of garden trash (stuff that’s too big for the compost bin) to what our local council is pleased to call its “green waste facility.” I came home with a splendid rhinocerous!


…in with some new.

I’d been cruising through the WordPress collection of styles for a while, looking for something more streamlined, easier to navigate and easier to use.

One of the features I wanted to retain is the ability to change the header.*.But I also needed an archives section, both for myself (memory not quite as sharp as of yore!) and for any reader who might wonder what other drivel scintillating lit-wit I might have penned.

And WordPress does have a packed catalogue on offer! But it was when I was helping the girls set-up their blog that I decided I’d switch to the same theme.

It’s been running for a few days now and no one seems to have noticed so it must have segued painlessly from your side, too!

I’d also had in mind to set aside certain days for posting on certain topics. But I don’t think I can manage that, given my haphazard approach to most things! I do want to post more drawings and photos so maybe I could have a Pictorial Day.  But old magazine experience tells me that some readers will only come by on the day I post their favourites!

One of my aims this year is to “sharpen my quill” and get back to writing. It’s been a long time…


When I stumbled into the kitchen on Sunday morning I thought I saw a faint purplish smudge in the area of the pergola. But it was still barely daylight and I’d not yet had my “heart starter.”

By the time I’d cut some mangoes, mopped up the juice and made the coffee it was light enough to see…

wisteria! Crazy thing is flowering and flinging new canes out with gay abandon. So much for all those earnest garden writers who warn of pruning at the wrong time and sacrificing the next season’s (that would be Spring, by the way) blooms. After suffering drought and searing heat for months the recent soaking rains have given it a boost.

With some more tender plants I might be concerned that it is approaching death and needs to set seed before it goes. But look at the damn’ thing! Does that look like something about to expire?

The French call it La Glycine. And I don’t care if it is out-of-season – I love it!

I may have mentioned, once or twice, that I am in awe of those paper engineers who construct their masterpieces from paper and card. Pop-up books have always fascinated me. I have even attempted a couple of modest hinged lifts myself. And when I was a little girl I had a Meccano set. So it’s easy to see why this caught my eye:

Oh! Just a note to the Dobson girls – don’t expect anything on this scale, okay?

I’ve had a noisy day and wanted some soothing sounds. So… not head-banging rock. And the way I play the piano meant that was out, too. But I do have some lovely CDs and this is such a delight I went Youtubing so that I could share it. I suggest you pour a glass of something smooth before hitting the play button. Enjoy!

*Currently, it’s a crop of my photo of Mahurangi River in Warkworth,NZ. See the Flickr list >>>