There and Back Again

I solemnly believe I have done enough driving over the last 2 weeks for a whole year. Until next time.

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Enough of unsealed gravel road. At times I felt like a rally driver. Very grateful that this car is AWD, better traction, could have slid off the road a couple times if the AWD had not kicked in. Took the car through a car wash after that.

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I’ll hitch a ride next time.

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From train station to train station. How hard could that be? Just climb on to the roof.

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Most of the holiday homes we stayed in are right by the sea. At night, the breaking waves lull us to sleep. Apparently living by the sea are very therapeutic and good for the soul.

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The wind does interesting thing to the trees. Nature’s pruner.

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During one of my solitary walks along the Southwest cliffs of Bluff. Bonsai on rocks.

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And flowers clinging to the ground enjoying the salt sprays.

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Little streams flow from the hills straight into the sea. There’s an abundance of water coming out of the hill at Bluff.

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The views down South are great. This is at the top of Riverton.

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And I found this puff ball in the community forest garden at Riverton. I’ve only seen this on River Cottage. I’ve got my hopes up. Hopefully some will show up in my garden. Should have took some soil home.

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The Catlins are another paradise itself.

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At the Cathedral Caves looking at the approaching rain.

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Double rainbow at the Nugget Point. They have just started investing in better infrastructure for tourism. I guess more and more people are starting to come here. Everything is very new.

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At the Southern most part of South Island.

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We are nearer to the South Pole than the Equator. Yet, the weather is rather pleasant, and humid. Which means sandflies.

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20km of unsealed gravel road to get here. Then another 20km back. Its worth it when you have sandfly protection. Lake Hauroko.

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Saw this book at Duntroon. Just what I need to accomplish this year’s plan.

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The view from my window back in Rakaia. I bought 4 blueberries from Diacks Nurseries in Invercargill, put a face to the name, met Caleb. Most impressive garden center I have ever seen. The range, the variety, woot! The plants camped out in the car for 3 nights before arriving home.

Till next week, some more updates, getting ready for ducks.

Pattern of Trio

It’s something born out of habit from don’t know when. Always visit the local botanical garden. In my younger days, the impinging reason is probably because it’s free. Nowadays, it’s for inspiration.


Like this planting of cabbage trees in Queens Park, Invercargill. It’s all planted in different pattern of threes.


In this planting, it features 2 individuals and a grouping of 3.


And 2 individuals and a group of 4.


One individual and 2 group of 3s.


A basic one here of 3 individuals.


One individual and a pair.

Different plays to the number 3. Adaptable to just about anything in garden landscaping. Mix and match and stack it with different types of plants. Just a soothing pattern that works.

A Radish is A Swede

As I looked at the still growing radish. I realized, it’s not a radish. It’s a swede. There’s no measure to how silly I felt, for calling myself a gardener, and being a Produce Manager, I have mistaken a swede for a giant radish. Let’s just hope that swede remain a swede and didn’t turn into a turnip.

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So far, I’ve learned to tell the difference between a Cardon and a Globe Artichoke.

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This is a Globe Artichoke.

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And this is a Cardoon.

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And while I was out there taking a photos of them. Here’s a look into the Mandala Garden from the street. I think I am going to keep the sunflowers coming every year.

I’m also having a very good run with the pumpkins this year. Must have something to do with the fresh compost.

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This is a spot of the Evening Sun Sunflower. Bronze, not over powering red. Good form.

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Like a cross between Evening Sun and Vanilla Ice.

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There’s a pair of bumble bees on the flowers. One of my neighbours has got a hive but I haven’t seen many of their bees in here yet. There’s a few odd regular bees but I think they are the native bees.

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Some Californian Poppies.

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I am more than stoked to see most of the berries have taken off. And a very well formed berries on this one. There’s a definite relationship between how well established they are to the form of their fruit.

All the Northern Highbush Blueberries are alive too, and not dying. To my delight, they are slowly coming away. I’m quite pleased with that as I usually don’t have much luck with them. I’m going to be acquiring eight different varieties of Rabbiteye Blueberries end of this season to be planted into the Mandala Garden, along with it some plums and plumcots.

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Globe Artichokes seedlings and a few varieties of Brussels Sprouts. I’ll check their roots at some stage and see if they are ready to be planted out.

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This is my strip of lawn. I have not mowed it for weeks. It is turning into a strip of meadow with a much healthier diversity than the regular mono culture lawn where people regularly poison off the broad leaves.

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One can find delight in the beauty of a bunched of chamomiles.

Somehow, I always find Summer a rather plain time in the garden. I’m more or less just waiting for the harvest. And eating the carrots and beetroots off the garden. The occasional weeding of whatever I found no longer desirable. The pinching off of new growth of the fruit trees once they reached a certain length. Collecting Caesar’s poo into the worm farm, not sure if there’s any worm in the farm. Training the tomatoes. And the Belgian Fence.

When Autumn comes, it gets busy again. It’ll be time to work on cutting back the Oregon hedge soon.

Side note, I think if we are to compare Caesar’s poo to mine, his will be more organic than mine as he only get fed K9 Natural and raw bones. He supplement that with the assortment of herbal stuff growing naturally in the Forest Garden. I don’t treat him for fleas and I don’t give him worming tablets. I’m sure, his poo is more worm farm friendly, than mine.