Monday, April 16, 2012

Annoying privet

We finally had one of our fabled beautiful Bay days - stunningly sunny and not a breath of wind, and for once I wasn't working. 

I managed three loads of washing onto the line, and sprayed the troublesome jasmine again. The forecast is for rain again this evening and lasting through tomorrow. I am, of course, back at work the day after that so I imagine the weather should clear up again at that point.

I rang the regional council again about the enormous privet in the neighbouring garden that overhangs our fenceline almost to our roof guttering. That house has been empty for the ten months we have been living here as it has not sold and the owner is not keen to rent it out after his previous bad experience. I've never met him as he lives out of town and I don't even know his name - hence my call to the council.

Privet, while a very attractive tree, is a banned tree in New Zealand because of the high incidence of hayfever and exacerbation of asthma requiring hospitalisation that it causes. The tree has gone through its beautiful but asthma-inducing flowering stage and is now covered with seed-bearing berries. Once they fall or are taken away by birds there will be countless new privets germinating and the cycle continues. The jasmine has also apparently spread on the other side of the fence and is gaining a good hold judging by the way it is climbing up the privet. With no one living there to keep it in check the jasmine has gone feral.

As often happens when dealing with government departments I got an answerphone. I left my name and number and very nicely explained the situation again (I think this is my third phone call and in the last one six months months ago at least I was told the tree would be gone within three months). I don't think I'm hounding them. Three phone calls in ten months? When I have had to use my inhaler every single day as opposed to my usual usage which is only when I have a cold? We don't have air conditioning so our choice is to wilt from heat exhaustion with closed windows, or sneeze and cough and wheeze our way through the day with the windows open.

On a brighter note, my daughter and I have been invited to our neighbour's home for dinner. So lovely not to have to think what to have for dinner and to not have to cook.  

Joy !!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A stroll around a little plant nursery

Finally a stunningly beautiful day and I slept through most of it following my night shifts. Such is life. Hopefully the fine weather will continue and I can catch up on some gardening and the mountain of washing which has accumulated.

These photos were taken a few months ago at one of my favourite garden nurseries. It is such an informal tiny nursery in the yard of the house where the owners live, but it has such a fun vibe.

Old claw foot baths are now so popular that they are well out of my price range. But I do like them in a garden setting.

I'm toying with planting ornamental grasses for their low maintenance value.

I love Nikau palms, but they grow absolutely enormous (and can be a bit tricky to get going)

This pony tail palm must be very old. You don't get a true sense of how big it is in this photo, but let me assure you it was BIG. I had one that was growing very nicely until the cats discovered its teeth-flossing benefits. After that it never stood a chance. I like them indoors, with their gracefully flowing fronds.

I'm rather taken with this. I have no idea where I'd put one though. Must work on it.

Are they Security, do you think? They look fierce enough!
I like the way the pumice has had a hole chiselled through the centre. Seeing another plant through it gives it a whole new dimension. We have pumice a-plenty lying on the beaches here, so this would be easy to copy, perhaps when I am stuck for a gift idea.

This colours did look a lot nicer in person. The photo makes it look very drab.

I'm not sure if these grow naturally like this or whether they have been clipped into balls   
This was at a different garden centre and made me a bit sad, I have to say.

Saturday, April 7, 2012