I found myself stood for a few minutes the other day and swear I saw the landscape growing up around me. What was previously a wet and sagging lawn has turned into a green beast beating its chest and demanding attention. Just as well we’ve just had a long weekend that included Labour Day – aptly named since it’s traditionally the time of year when kiwis flock to garden centres and start to spruce up their gardens. We were no exception focusing our efforts on replenishing the beds in the kitchen garden and planting up two new herbaceous borders.
Living in the country you can’t have a pristinely cultivated landscape so trying to tame nature in our garden is a futile goal. Our dreams of a croquet standard lawn long abandoned as are thoughts of wildflower meadows. Instead we push on determinedly to have something resembling a residential garden around the house and a potager style kitchen garden that feeds the soul as well as the stomach. Each year we become a little older and wiser and with it that sense of being overwhelmed with the enormity of it all is only an occasional emotion rather than a daily despair.
There is of course plenty of natural beauty to admire, especially as you walk the forestry tracks close by where the hedgerows and verges are bursting with new growth and drifts of spring flowers.
Aside from the horticultural bias of the weekend, New Zealand was firmly focused on the Rugby World Cup Final played on Sunday evening. The whole nation was feeling the pressure and it’s hardly surprising that this took a toll on the All Blacks who had to face not just another Rugby Team but be the guardians of national pride and morale. I was reminded of watching England play in the same position eight years ago. And like England then, the All Blacks kept the nation on a knife-edge from the first kick and last pass of the game. A few days after the big match I feel it’s only now possible to reflect on how good the All Blacks are as a sporting team and enjoy their achievement rather than curse them for putting our nerves on edge rather than romping home with the cup. If you want to get a sense of how it was for us all here, take a look at this video. A brilliant short film of the pain and joy of being a rugby obsessed kiwi.
Nature is testing us more as we endure the wild winds of a Wellington Spring, no sense in trying to tame the gusty gales which dominate at this time of year. Just like the All Blacks we just need to dig in and defend our territory as best we can!