Why it’s im­por­tant to tie your gar­den down this month flower


NZ Lifestyle Block - - Country Smile -

It’s a frothy, fer­tile and colour­ful time of year. There are so many plants bud­ding up, un­furl­ing, flow­er­ing and burst­ing forth in lux­u­ri­ant growth. It’s time to give my­self over to the joy of the irises, pe­onies, sweet wil­liams, clove pinks, granny’s bon­nets, solomon’s seal, tulips, and the last of the for­get-me-nots.

It’s not just flow­ers. The ferns are send­ing up del­i­cate new fronds, the trees are push­ing forth fresh leaves and ev­ery­where the colours are bright and in­tense.

I like to look closely into a flower and see the in­tri­cacy and del­i­cacy. It makes me won­der how they are so tough.

As al­ways, a good spell of fine weather is on the wish list. Storms are part and par­cel of how Pa­p­at­u­anuku/earth works and, keep­ing that in mind, it’s worth tak­ing a good look at the gar­den and be­yond. Whether you be­lieve in the line of thought that the weather is be­ing ma­nip­u­lated in un­pleas­ant and poi­sonous ways, or you nod ami­ably at the state­ments of main­stream me­dia, or some­where in be­tween, it’s ir­rel­e­vant when it comes down to be­ing on the ground in a storm.

Prac­ti­cal­ity and com­mon sense – which I’m told the bu­reau­crats need re­mind­ing of – make life eas­ier in both flower and food gar­dens and fur­ther afield. Ev­ery now and then I have a look around our place and have a think about the safety of the land, the plants and con­se­quently the peo­ple and an­i­mals who live here.

• Is the stack of cor­ru­gated iron, or dry­ing tim­ber well tied down?

• Are any trees likely to cause a dan­ger, as op­posed to a prob­lem, should they fall

in the oc­to­ber

or drop a branch?

• Will I get stuck in the mud af­ter a month of rain?

• Why have my gum­boots sud­denly fallen into holes?

While I per­son­ally think desk-bound bu­reau­crats have gone over­board when it comes to health and safety, be­ing aware of haz­ards is part of life. When our teenagers were off out the door, a com­mon farewell was “love ya, man­age the risk!”

When it comes to plants, flow­ers and veg­eta­bles could be smashed flat in a big wind so I have a va­ri­ety of sup­ports such as num­ber eight wire, old bed ends, manuka stakes and hay bal­ing twine. Some­times just ty­ing plants to­gether helps them mu­tu­ally sup­port each other, as does close plant­ing.

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