Today has been a huge day in the garden in more ways than one. I put in some hard yakka, but there was also an emotional edge to my time with my hands in the soil.
Last year I asked the family to dig me a flower garden for mother’s day so I could fill it with loads of pretty things that smell nice. However it has nearly been a whole year since the soil was lovingly turned by my blokes and it turns out flower gardening is just as much work as a veggie garden with all the weeding, watering and dead heading.
It hasn’t been too much of a disaster as I have some pink cosmos, and some dahlias languishing in the remaining warmth of a weakening sun. Then there is a pink plant that its name escapes me right now, but it was my nanas and I inherited when she moved into the old folk’s home. I feel blessed to have it in my garden as she is no longer with us.
There is also hiding beneath the soil some gladioli bulbs that I hope will grace us with their presence this year if I promise to stake them so they don’t end up with all their faces in the mud. I honestly didn’t know that would happen… they looked so strong.
But this morning I looked out at the garden and despite the splashes of colour all I saw was weeds and I couldn’t have that – not today, so I spent a good couple of hours scrabbling about in the dirt ripping out weeds, without damaging the existing plants. Shame prevents me from showing you the before photo as it really was a weedy mess that no one would be proud of, especially after the effort that the boys went to, to make it a nice garden for me in the first place. I managed to haul out a large pile that I sent off to the compost pile.
The next thing I did will bright my day in months to come. I planted my spring bulbs. I planted 40 daffodils, 40 tulips and 20 ranunculus. It should be an amazing display. I have to say it was really nice to have somewhere to actually put them in the ground this year, as in the past I put them in buckets with holes drilled in the bottom as our ground is too damp to put them in over winter as they would just drown. My flower garden has been created on higher ground so no chance of rotting bulbs. I am so excited; I can’t wait to see them.
The final thing I did was more of a tradition to mark respect. Today is ANZAC day and it is a day where we all stop and remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom. The day always makes me feel really emotional. They did that for us! They didn’t even know me. Here we are in a tiny country at the bottom of the world and when we are needed, we step up to be counted. We, as a tiny country in the bottom of the world, paid a really high price in World War 1 and World War 2 and wars since and we are still stepping up to be counted today. I am so proud to be a kiwi.
The Flanders Poppy is a symbol of that sacrifice and a wonderful way to pay our respects is to sow the seeds today, then when they flower in the summer we can think of that amazing sacrifice all over again. We all scattered seeds into my freshly cleared flower garden and then stood for a minute to remember. It is always really moving.
Come again soon – there is still loads of stuff to sow, grow and harvest in the veggie garden.
Sarah the Gardener : o )