Wednesday 14 December 2022

Neighbourhood gardening :-)

I'm pretty tired, as I haven't managed a good rest since all the busyness of the Devonport Ethical Christmas Market that Just Kai was at 10 days ago.  But, I did want to share one neat thing that's happened recently.

There's a vacant section on our street, where one day Kāinga Ora will build new houses. The people who lived there before were great gardeners, and a few weeks back I noticed a really pretty rose flowering in amongst all the weeds. Others on the street have already taken plants from the site (it's been vacant several years), so I was very surprised to see the rose still there.

I looked up how to transplant a rose when it's flowering (I didn't want to leave it - who knows when the land will finally be bulldozed!).  Accordingly, I gave it some fertiliser and cut it well back, then made sure it was well-watered until I was ready to transplant it.  The heavy showers we've had recently helped with that! 

I took the flowers from the pruned bits and put them on my dresser, alongside some glorious oxeye daisies from a berm in my street, and a lovely yellow kalanchoe given to me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Yesterday I showed up at the vacant section with my wheelbarrow, gardening gloves and spade, only to be greeted by my friend who lives in the adjacent house.  I told her I was there to steal a rose; she said 'go for it', and told me she's been wondering about scattering wildflower seed over the whole section to beautify it.  I hope she does :-)

It was pretty hard work to get the plant out of the heavy clay, but I got there in the end.  As I was heading back towards home, I noticed some intense blue flowers.  I don't know what they are - some kind of lily?  There was a very tightly packed clump of them.  On impulse, I dug that out, too, and took it home as well.

the rose is the tiny patch of green at the centre of the picture - it doesn't look like much right now!

the grassy new plants in their pots

I ended up dividing the clump into 6.  If they all take, I'll probably just keep one or two and give the rest away.

That done, I headed off on my bike to the Heron Park orchard, armed with a small pot of blood and bone.  No one seems to be looking after the trees any more, and they're in pretty awful condition, but last year I got a couple of quinces off the quince tree and decided to try and give it some TLC in the hope of more fruit!

The quince was absolutely covered in small fruit.  Hopefully the dose of fertiliser will help a bunch of them make maturity!  I also mentioned on the local Facebook group that the trees could all do with a prune - maybe someone else will take that up?

Looking around, I realised several of the apples had heaps of tiny fruit, too.  I had a fair bit of fertiliser left, so spread that between 3-4 more trees.  Maybe there'll be apples for the neighbourhood, too :-)

And then, quite unrelatedly, I wanted to share the pictures I'm currently looking at when I'm in bed.  The lithograph of the angels was made by my niece, Michaela :-)

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