Friday, 10 April 2015

Wildly Excessive!

Gather your washing baskets & your wool fadges, your buckets & your aprons....
we are in the time of wild excess!
 Such abundance,
overflow & extravagance!
The time has come to harvest, gather, savour & share the fruit of the land.
What a perfect time to celebrate Easter in the midst of plenty.
I have created a nature/harvest/Easter table on the front porch that is changed & rearranged daily (would someone stop eating all the figs please!) 
The bunnies tails we collected from near the sea. 
 The Myoga ginger is charming us with her ground growing blooms. Finely sliced they were a delicious addition to a recently prepared potato salad. Lightly gingery & nicely crunchy.
Layly is our guardian angel & friend. 
She is carved from African stone & very beautiful.
She was graciously given to us by dear, sweet loving folk.
 At our Farmer's market there is a charming French Chocolatier she is so full of spice & creative vim.
Her name is Anissa & she is a hand maker of organic fair-trade French chocolate. 
These eggs are so clever, filled with hazelnut chocolate; delightful.
 We found these cheery daffodils at the local Garden Centre. Carefully choreographed to enter the stage for our autumnal Easter pleasure...these little lovelies are entirely out of step with the seasons, but now I can plant them in my garden & they'll soon readjust themselves.
Our green friend couldn't quite believe his eyes either.
 Not sure why it's taken quite so long....after all, it's ivy we're talking about, but finally we have a heart connection.
I'm not certain that I remember seeing the seeds from a magnolia tree before. And I sure wouldn't have imagined them to be bright orange. Look at the possibilities...all encapsulated in one seed pod! When I look around our home & our garden that I can never quite bring to order or make tidy, I am now no longer can't go around opening your arms & your hands to hold & gather the proffered abundance of nature without making a mess!
 And so the table evolves daily, washed with gratitude & noted in admiration & awe.

When my gathering companion Ruth dug up box loads of spring bulbs & arm loads of spent hollyhocks I opened a new page & began afresh on Trade Me with my new trade name Sunshine Vintage. Well sunshine it has most surely been. Collaboratively, Ruth & I have been scattering our little nation with seeds, glorious, marvellous seeds..& bulbs & cuttings. We've sold bluebells, grape hyacinths, snowflakes & paper whites, we've dispensed foxgloves, granny bonnets, orlaya, hollyhocks by the cup full & cynoglossum too. Cynoglossum also known as Chinese forget-me-nots...I loved sending a cup full of seed to a bride so that she could give seeds as wedding favours to her guests....forget-me-not indeed! I've added Bishop's flower & orlaya to an order of pink nerines as the dear older lady wanted to grow them for Church flowers. She was delighted. I've posted Apple Blossom geranium cuttings to Waiheke Island & tweedia to Nelson to attract the butterflies.
Gathering, sorting, sifting, labeling packing & posting seeds & plants is very time consuming, but oh so marvellous! Ruth is a wonder...she is sending her share to The Voice of the Martyrs & feels empowered to do so by such vast providence.

Just on Easter we got away for a night.
And along the way we gather!
I adore these rosehips!
I plan on learning how to make rosehip syrup...just what we need for the winter.
I managed to catch an online, half price discount for our favourite hot pools at Wairakei.
And while there, we met the lovely man who looks after the pools....the Kaitiaki or guardian of the steaming, restorative treasure.
Just back up the road the Waikato river cascades in awesome power over the Huka Falls.
I have long been enchanted by the colour of these waters...that blue!
Since we were traveling home on Good Friday we took our time & stopped all along the way to forage. We gathered more rosehips at Tarawera & took the old track down to the hot pool.
There we met an old codger & his dog, happily freedom camping. The old guy said that he'd been coming to the pool for 50 years. On our return we met the Kaitiaki of this pool too & were able to thank him for clearing the track & cleaning the pool. But oh my, it was boiling hot! The pipe comes right out of the mountainside. I almost turned myself in to boy/girl soup!
Back at the car there were so many camper vans & travellers in the car park. This little traveler needed a bit of a breather in the fresh air too.
We found a wild apple tree along the way, on the roadside. These little golden delicious kind of apples are the most delicious apples we have ever tasted.
I so appreciate the wonderful advice & teaching of Susun Weed. I have been learning more about using & harvesting herbs every day. Rob very patiently & graciously stopped, yet again, so that I could harvest mullein (now renamed Marlain by the patient one). This stage, as it comes in to flower, is the perfect time for harvesting. Mullein is the best herb to strengthen & support the lungs. 
Isn't this violet cauliflower so exuberant. If after cooking it you add a squeeze of lemon juice all the glorious colours are enlivened & it tastes delicious. The Italian flat beans are lovely too...grown from seeds my kind mother sent me late last year.
Oh there you are Myoga...just wanting to pop in & show off her plumery she said.
Lucy was pleased to see us home again.
And put on her prettiest Easter bonnets for the occasion.

I'm glad I have a willing helper (Marlain's friend) to help me pick up the washing basket of feijoas (on the ground) in the morning, harvest the figs & raspberries & bag the walnuts that dear Ruth delivered this morning. And then there are the cuttings to take & the bulbs to plant & the seeds to sow. What a wonderful time of joy.
I hope that your week is filled with the glorious excesses of nature too.
Thank you for visiting me today dear friends.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. Myoga is interesting, Catherine, I hadn't seen/heard of it. your Easter escape looks enchanting, imagine wild camping there! I would certainly like to give it a go. Betty

  2. Hello Catherine, I think if anyone came around selling things or canvassing, they would see your Easter table in your porch, & completely forget what they came for. They would be so engrossed in all that loveliness. Just beautiful. I picked some fat red rosehips last week, I was waiting for a group to arrive & noticed them, so it was good to stand & snip them while waiting. When the group came, they asked if they were cherry tomatoes !!!! Seeing your little pumpkins you have reminded me I have some gourds ready to harvest. Thats lovely you got away for a night at Easter. Lucy looks as glorious as ever with all her Easter bonnets. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead Catherine, I am off to Hawera for Mums birthday. x0x0

  3. You sound very happy and abundant! The photos are beautiful, GK!

  4. A wildly beautiful full post! Your photo's of the falls reminds me of my years living in Taupo as a teenager and riding my horse along the river bank to the falls.

  5. A delightful and inspiring post Catherine!

  6. How exciting to be able to spread all those seeds around! I've searched the names of the ones unfamiliar to me & discovered many are ones I know under different names, I love that. snowflake & bishop's look the same to me? =queen ann's lace, granny bonnet = columbine(mine are budding right now!

    The headquarters for Voice of the Martyrs isn't far from me. How thoughtful to send some to them as well.

    That blue water - it doesn't look real!

    Mullein grows wild on my land. I need to read up on harvesting & using it.

    So much harvesting fun. I always read your posts slowly (looking up unfamiliar New Zealand words) & savor every bit.

  7. I have so enjoyed reading your post and looking at your photos. Lovely. Shirley

  8. A pleasure to see all this abundance. I will make a note about the hotpools and huka waterfalls.So beautiful. We are going to the North Island with my brother end 2016

  9. Dear Catherine, I really hope you never bring order to your home and garden it is just perfect as it is. Nature is a wonderful thing, and you are tending it with such loving care. Your photographs fill me with happiness. I tried to find Sunshine Vintage on Trade Me (Trade Me is new to me) but have had no luck so far, but will keep looking. Much love to you and yours. Barbara xxx

    1. Hello Barbara,
      Thank you so much for visiting me at An angel in the garden, once more.
      You are so very kind & I really appreciate your thoughtful & encouraging comments.
      Trade Me is our New Zealand ebay, on-line auction arrangement.
      I have popped back & put a link in the post.
      It doesn’t really show you that much as we don’t have a great deal of advertising leeway
      but here is the link anyway:
      Much love Catherine x0x0x


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! So sorry if you've tried to leave one & it hasn't worked. You are welcome to email me at instead, if you'd like to, much love Catherine♥

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