Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Thoughts

The garden is my happy place, no doubt about it. A place to unwind and reflect but also a reminder of future happiness. To plant a seedling or tend to vegetables is setting up the expectation that you will reap the rewards. Gardening represents the future, hope and nourishment. The fufillment it brings me is immense and as a couple Mr Fox and I enjoy the spoils of our labour.

In addition veg does taste better freshly picked...homegrown carrots are so much sweeter. Hehe every time we eat homegrown carrots I exclaim.."These are so much yummier than the supermarket". Mr Fox tends to agree, all be it with a suppressed laugh! But they do taste better and I am hoping this year with successive plantings we won't have to resort to getting supermarket carrots very often.

Violets, Primulas and Geranium

After being inside painting yesterday I popped outside to feed the chickens and empty the compost bucket. Like so many times before I stooped to pull out a weed that caught my eye and ended up weeding for an hour. As I pulled the weeds I relaxed. I thought about Sister Fox in Melbourne celebrating her birthday, hoping she had a good day at work. We chatted on the phone that evening. She had a spontaneous night planned (A night out too "Wicked" the musical). I miss her so much and it was great to hear how excited she was.

I thought about how happy I was to be tending our own patch of soil and how fortunate we are to be improving our already cosy home. The chickens were clucking in their wee coop after producing some delicious eggs and Lily the cat was exploring the garden. The violet patch looks and smells divine. The patch of tiny pink violets from Mum have established and are spreading slowly. The white ones are yet to flower but are holding their own.
Recent evening sky

The weeds this year are less than last and certainly easier to remove. I thought about how each year there will be a smaller battle with weeds and more diversity of flowers. There are hundreds less slugs now that the overgrown lillies are gone and the piles of rubbish along the fence has been removed. The birds do a great job; they can get amongst the plants and find the pests.

I planned where to plant the precious plants from my parents home in Southland. Pa Fox has sent up two boxes of plants from their garden. It is helping me heal so much from Mum's passing. To be able to tend and enjoy the very same plants that she did is wonderful. I think about how her hands would have quickly pulled away weeds before they smothered them, how she would have picked the blooms and foliage to arrange in the family home. It is comforting to continue the cycle and I do believe that these boxes of plants are the most special packages I receive in the post.

Zoodoo compost arrives this weekend to nourish the soil and give our vegetables a boost. We got some last year and it was excellent. They deliver for free and help employ people who need a Second Chance. It's also fun to think that we have elephant poo in the garden! I am looking forward to receiving the compost and getting on to the garden.

 As my hands worked in the soil I thought how improved it was from the clay when we arrived. It is still gluggy in the wet but more friable and rich than it was. We have a new compost bin too. The previous one was full and can now decompose as we fill a second. The addition of the bedding and floor sweepings from the chickens has boosted the rate at which the compost decomposes so we are hoping to have more compost than last year to help our vegetables grow.

I thought about the herbs drying in the hot water cupboard and dreamt up a few recipes to use them in when they are ready. The cupboard smells so yummy with the fragrant Rosemary and Sage drying. This in turn made me think about sustainability and how heartening it is to be buying less at the supermarket and gathering more from the garden.
Miss Lily in one of her favourite spots

Mr Fox started a new job and I am on leave. One income down I feel richer. How grateful I am that we have the choice to have a parent at home to raise our future family. To grow as much food as we can. To be able to be out in the Spring air with cublet stirring inside me, to cook a meal that isn't from a jar and has homegrown vegetables for Mr Fox. How grateful I am that we saved really hard and made sacrifices to own a home in the tough property market that is Auckland real estate.

I am so happy that weed caught my eye. In that hour spent weeding I decompressed and relaxed. The stiffness in my shoulders from rolling on paint faded away. My paint splattered hands become covered in dirt and i felt at invigorated. It was just the tonic that my body and soul needed. I felt recharged. Oh I do love my garden.

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