Wednesday 22 February 2023

Ash Wednesday 2023

Today is the first day of Lent for the Western church (the various Orthodox churches - have a different calendar and start a bit later).  It's not something Baptists tend to observe, and it's not something I grew up with, but I've come to really value it.  It's 40 days (excluding Sundays) in the lead-up to Easter when we are encouraged to 'purify' ourselves.  It starts with Ash Wednesday, where you can get an ash cross inscribed on your forehead.  In the past I've done this at an Anglican church, where they say something like "Dust you are and to dust you will return" - a reminder of our mortality.  Today I went to our local Catholic church (mostly because I'd been hoping to go with a Catholic friend, but in the end I went on my own), and there they said "Turn away from sin and live out the gospel".


The ashes survived the bike ride home pretty well!

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Neighbourhood gardening update

In December I wrote about some gardening I'd done in my local area - here's a bit of an update.

This morning I buzzed out to Heron Park on my bike.  There's a surprisingly substantial wee orchard there:

I gave a decent dose of blood and bone fertiliser to all the trees that had set fruit - 4-5 apple trees, a pear tree and my key goal - the quince tree :-)

the quince is covered in fruit - click on the photo to see it better.

so much fruit!  Puts our quince tree to shame.  It's not much smaller, but has only set 3 fruit on the entire tree :-(  Most of our garden gets no light...

I then biked on to Rosebank Road, along to Patiki Road and back home along the Northwestern cycle way.  It was such a lovely day for a ride and it was such a happy thing to do :-)  There was absolutely no debris on the path, which was nice - maybe the storm didn't deposit any there, but more likely someone's done a decent job cleaning it all up :-)

Back home, I took a few more photos.  Firstly, the rose I transplanted back in December is doing so well - it's had near-continuous flowers for weeks now :-)

it's such a pretty rose!

At the same time I'd also transplanted (and divided) a clump of what I think is a tufted granite lily - an Australian native.  After transplanting, all the flowers died and lots of the leaves went black - but now all the plants are showing fresh green leaves, so hopefully they'll survive :-)