Saturday, 12 October 2013

How To Be An Explorer Of The World

Up the Garden Path, through the Woods, across the Summer Meadow or along the River Trail, which ever it is that takes your fancy, there's always an adventure to be had along that narrow winding track.
The winter waters have receded from our local rivers, leaving their annual silt deposits & new fertile riverside spaces that are quickly re-greening & bursting with new life. We walked around a corner & just a little bit further, on a recent walk & discovered this verdant, willow hung, shady trail that...
eventually burst out at a perfect swimming spot..if you're spring keen!
Lucy & the flowering cherry are happy friends.
I painted the top of these wee stools a cheery red. You never know when small friends might come down the driveway & need a perch.
The very red that I went to find to paint this old tin grater, that had seen previously sharper days, but was too friendly just to pass along as yet. And so I made a perfect little Lucy Christmas tree instead. 
A month or two ago a lovely fruity customer arrived to buy mandarins & also thrust a book into my hands saying "Here take a look at this, I'm sure that you'll like it too" and like it, I most certainly did!
 I have learnt to ask lots & lots of questions, through the years & to ponder things, every single day. I just want to KNOW about stuff! Mainly the things right in front of me, the issues & the gaps of knowledge that arrive right at my feet. For instance, I have been learning about fluoride recently, the stuff they put in our water supply here. All that I have discovered is not good & led us to start collecting our own water from a large tap right outside the treatment station..minus the hydrofluorosilicic acid. It was while I was learning about the nasty stuff that I found out about EZ water, but I'll tell you about that another time. It's good to ask questions & it's grand to be an explorer.
Sometimes, I think that we could all do with a fabulous pair of Enhanced Perception Googles so that we can easily spot "never before seen details of everyday life".
In the book I came across a project to find & befriend a tree. I knew right away the exact tree that I would write about, so off to the park I went & along the way I found white Dogwood flowers..
& heavenly lilacs.
This grand old sequoia has been a special friend to me since the winter I found it draped in over -wintering monarch butterflies. 

There is a seat at it's base that was made from the rubble from our 1931 earthquake that devastated the region.

People pause & rest right here, lovers rendezvous, some stop to read a while in the shade of these grand trees.
The bark of my tree is thick & protective.
I am a little sad that the park people have trimmed up the branches quite so high, in recent months.
There is a lovely vista from the stone seat.
The sequoia leaves are feathery evergreen & fragrant with a cedar-like scent.

Right next door, there is a kindly plane tree friend.
Do you have a favourite tree in your garden or a local woods or park?
I love this pretty combination of roses & cherry blossom in my back garden.
The flamingos are playing hide & seek amidst the rocket flowers.
I have also discovered that if you plant a buxus in a square pot you get square roots!
A serated fishing knife is brilliant for trimming the fibrous root ball (square).
I have repotted most of my buxus now. They last for years & years in pots if they're trimmed watered & fed along the way.

I have been keeping a very close eye on my lovely lily-of-the-valley.
The scent & delicacy of the flower is just like heaven to me.
If How To Be An Explorer Of The World appeals to you at all, you can find it on Amazon, Fishpond & at the Book Depository at a very reasonable price. I think it'll make a grand Christmas gift.
Thank you my friends for coming to see me.
I'll leave you with Joanna Wang...such a wonderful old song.
And what a voice!



  1. Hi GK! Lucy is SO photogenic, isn't she? Spring is looking beautiful in your neck of the woods!
    I do like Keri Smith and her writings. I had the kids at school do a "Wreck this Journal" activity. They liked it!

  2. This may be a duplicate as my comment went astray - I just wanted to say that I like the look of your book - it's so up my street - will take a look on Amazon, I do talk to trees and we do have a favourite in the woods - I will blog about it - I wondered if you sleep in Lucy just for fun? I hope so. Betty x

  3. Love this song, takes me back to my youth!

  4. Hello Catherine ... I have been saving your post to sit down with a cuppa instead of rushing through it like a crazed thing that I am most days!! And it was worth waiting for ... just adore the red on the stools, the wee shoes & the grater/tree. There is something so uplifting to the spirits about red I feel. Your book looks most interesting & worthy of a purchase perhaps. The tree in your park is magnificent - think I have told you this before but my Dad was a 4-year old in the Napier earthquake & remembered it vividly.
    Now your buxus ... do you trim them each year - several of my hedge has the blight & has died so I have big patches of nothing as it seems not worth replacing them. I love them in the pots also, yours look very happy & healthy. And your lily of the valley is just beautiful. Howling wind & gales here today - so cold I am contemplating lighting the fire. Happy week dear heart, Julie x0x0x

    1. That is so very kind of you to give me such full attention, dear heart. No, I'm not sure that you have said about your dad & the really must have been awful....far worse than Christchurch. Amazingly the house we live in must have survived ok, as it was built around 3 years prior to the big day.
      Yes I do trim my hedges each year. I wonder if that's the same as the Bay of Plenty blight I've heard mentioned? Ooh I hope it doesn't come here! The only thing I find that mine get occasionally is a little sooty mould. The dwarf one grows particularly well & heathily for me. Sing out if you'd like to try some cuttings. We could always check in with the old moon calendar first : 0 And there's also Koreana (Tide hill) it's small growing, a little brighter green & slightly more relaxed looking. Lonicera is quite a good substitute for hedges but it does need trimming an awful lot I find.
      Many plants grow so oddly or fail in my garden so through the years I have ended up using buxus to give the whole thing a little structure.
      Lovely seed gifts that you sent to Shane : )
      Much love for a happy week Catherine x0x0x0x

  5. Lucy looks so lovely in your amazing garden. What a treat it must be to walk around your property. Lily of the valley has to be one of the most beautiful perfumed and so graceful. I don't know why, but when I see that wonderful flower I feel so peaceful. Loved the book as well. All ways enjoy reading your blog Catherine. Hugs Shirley

  6. What a gorgeous post! I think I will have to keep an eye out for that book. Sounds like just my kind of thing. Your comment made my day last week - thanks so much for visiting and I would LOVE some old pegs. I couldn't find your email address anywhere, but if you email me at I'll reply to it. Lisa xx

  7. Hello Catherine, you have no idea how much I long to walk along that sunny path and dip my toes in the water!
    My little granddaughters are my 'Enhanced Perception Googles', my goodness the things they notice you would not believe. They would love this book, thank you for telling us about it.
    The colour in your garden is just beautiful and Lucy does indeed look happy under the flowering cherry tree. We have a weeping cherry (I don’t know why it’s called that – maybe because the branches hang down?) and I love it! It fills my heart with joy each spring.
    Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my recent post. You are very welcome to use the Foxglove hat shop picture and any others that take your fancy. Thank you for suggesting a link that would be lovely. Lots of love, Barbara xxx


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