From veggies to Japanese garden
‘‘Japanese gardens have a special magic about them.’’
Philippa Graham developed a love for gardening after helping her mum grow a veggie garden.
Spending an hour a day on her own plot, she now knows what’s involved when it comes to a successful garden.
Graham is one of many who will give their garden some TLC this month, when National Gardening Week begins on October 6.
The week aims to get everyone into the garden, whether experienced or just starting out.
Starting off with succulents while flatting, Graham’s gardening expertise has expanded to include citrus trees, wild strawberries and flowers.
Working at Kings Plant Barn in Auckland only fuelled her love of gardening. She saved plants from ending up in the tip and instead gave them another chance at life.
Now having two young sons of her own, Graham is ready to pass on the watering can.
Two-year-old Kal likes getting out in the garden, but it’s more like getting ‘‘the snails and the worms’’, Graham said.
In her backyard she built a play area for the kids, which she said took a bit of work taking out the grass and filling the area with stones. A circle of tree trunks double as seats or stepping stones.
All that is left to do is scrape off the fungus that’s growing and wait for the sun to come back out.
But despite being a novice, Graham’s dream is to have a Japanese garden in her backyard.
‘‘Japanese gardens have a special magic about them,’’ she said. ’’Probably stemming from all the anime I watched over the years.
‘‘It feels like there is always a meaning behind what is used in their gardening.’’
One of Graham’s favourite things about her hobby is the surprise it brings - especially when there’s weeds around, she said.
‘‘Everything just starts popping up but it’s amazing what you find underneath all that. I am a gardener that puts [seeds] in and then I forget about it and I’m surprised when it does come up.
‘‘Whatever mum has of seedlings left over I just chuck in the garden and if they grow, they grow.’’
National Gardening Week returns on October 6-13. Courtesy of Yates, Hamilton Press has a gardening starter hamper to give away valued at $100. To enter, email your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close October 8.
Philippa Graham’s dream is to have a Japanese garden in her backyard.