Go to the back of the block, sit down and stop

As any one with a large (or even not so large) garden knows, there are always jobs to do: extensive seasonal tasks like pruning and planting as well as weekend jobs such as raking and weeding. With so many tasks we are often left with little time and energy to simply sit and contemplate our efforts let alone the stillness and solace a garden can bring. So today, after we finished the mowing (well, Colin actually did that), the raking and the wheelbarrowing I have decided to spend some time at the back of the block, simply sitting and contemplating.

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Though quite rugged and unruly, the back of our block extends to the next street via a series of steps. Flanked by rhododendrons, emerging, acanthus it winds its way down and up the hillside.

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It can be a wild old place, this bush land but the newly mowed pathways help.

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These little moments of quiet in our frantic world seem few and far between. The habits of keeping busy, keeping time and keeping track suffuse those little moments when we allow ourselves to stop, sit and listen to the rustling of the leaves in the breeze, chirping of the birds and the buzz of the insects. That’s what I’m doing now sitting on these old chairs. Join me for the outlook.

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Here on the Mount it can be up to seven degrees cooler than in the city. The cool weather and the altitude can also impede our time outside. In my first few years here I used to garden in mid July wearing two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks – on my feet, that is! By the time Spring came along I could sit back and enjoy my hard work. Some of those rewards are still evident in this cold climate garden.

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The first iris of the season

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The clematis searching for sun
Sitting here in the sun, I am reminded that the garden offers us such peace if we allow it to show us how to slow down and discover what it wants to tell us. How does the garden speak to you?

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Share your gardening comments with me, I’d like to read your thoughts and suggestions for utilising both tasks and down time in the garden.

Antipodean Sunset

After a long day at work waiting for the weather to warm up, we arrived home and unexpectedly found ourselves in the garden. There were many jobs to do. Our Italian adventure had superseded all else and our garden was in need of much attention. Recent high winds had further added to our workload with our gum trees shedding bark, twigs and branches.

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Reassuringly though, the clematis had begun its short, yearly ramble over the tin shed. Easing our efforts were the flowering trees and shrubs with the magnolia taking centre stage in the afternoon light.

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After two hours, a quick interlude and glass of wine with the neighbours, were further rewarded with an ochre sunset. Daylight saving does have its rewards! This time two weeks ago we were roaming the streets of Verona – a world diametrically opposite to the one we inhabit. Where would I rather be? I’ll let you know!
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