Sunflower surprise

February 22, 2020

Green shoots appeared in the vegetable garden.

At first I thought they were zucchini.

They grew bigger.

I thought they might be pumpkins.

They grew taller.

They were sunflowers and neither my farmer nor I had planted them.

How did they get there?

Could birds have dropped seeds?

New Zealand’s biggest producers of sunflowers for birdseed operate in North Otago. BIrds eat a lot of seeds before harvest but the nearest paddocks were miles away and the plants weren’t even in flower.

Then I noticed the chocolate lab we were dog sitting sniffing close to the sunflowers and starting to dig.

That reminded me I’d had a lot of salad left over from our staff party in December and when it got past using I dug it into the garden.

One of the salads had been sprinkled with sunflower seeds and a few of them must have germinated.


365 days of gratitude

August 17, 2018

Sticking with the garden theme, today I’m grateful for camellias.

365 days of gratitude

August 16, 2018

Yesterday it was daffodils. Today it’s a rhododendron.

This one was transplanted by my mother-in-law from the garden of her parents-in-law.

It survived successive droughts when the only water it got had to be carried to it in a bucket.

It’s also survived frosts and snow.

Tonight I’m grateful for the lesson from nature’s resilience, and for a garden where the plants hold stories of generations past.

365 days of gratitude

April 3, 2018

The leaves on the trees are just beginning to change colour and summer flowers are fading as autumn makes it mark in the garden.

But the Japanese anemones are in full bloom and I”m grateful for them.

365 days of gratitude

March 10, 2018

It’s not a large garden but it was very, very weedy.

I started dealing with the weeds yesterday and finished today.

I wasn’t aiming for perfection, and didn’t get it but I can see where I’ve been and that the garden looks much better now than it did before I started and I’m grateful for that.

366 days of gratitude

December 10, 2016

Stinging nettles are the exception to the rule that weeds are just plants in the wrong place.

The wet spring has encouraged far too many of them and I spent much of this morning pulling them out.

Today I’m very grateful for thick garden gloves.

Quote of the day

November 24, 2016

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. – Frances Hodgson Burnett who was born on this day in 1849.

She also said:

Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.


When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn’t said afterward. There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in–that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies.

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