Monthly Archives: January 2012

One man’s pest is another man’s pleasure

As summer progresses I see in my garden that there are two pest plants busy flowering.

The first is Montbretia, an escapee from over the fence and into this Choysa Ternata in my garden. Every year I pull out as many of the bulbs as I can but Montbretia is tenacious. I see on a website that comes out of Auckland that this plant is a pest plant. It certainly wants to colonise my garden and I would be happier to see it growing elsewhere despite its bright orange colour that seems to match the glaring light today.

It can be useful in some remote places for helping to hold sand dunes together.

The other plant that is marching every onward in my garden are the agapanthus. These are beyond my resources as they not only seed off these luxuriant heads but spread by suckering roots from the mat of roots they establish.

I like to see a massed display of these flowers on long farm driveways or along stretches of motorway rather than the dominating feature in parts of my backyard.

Here are two plants which are bringing me great pleasure in the garden today:-)

Feverfew or Pyrethrum daisy

The Garden of wisdom

This piece was read out as part of a speech at our recent family wedding. There are many versions of it and different titles for it and the original source seems buried in the mists of time. But the advice is relevant and useful to all our relationships.

Plant Three Rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Plant Four Rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Plant Four Rows of Lettuce
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be patient
Lettuce really love one another

Plant Three Rows of Turnips
Turnip with a smile
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another

We must also have Thyme
Thyme for each other
Thyme for family
Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with affection. There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow!

Global readers

Early this year WordPress.com sent me a report on my blog for 2011. I was really interested to learn that I had had at least one person in the following countries read my blog.

New Zealand, Australia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Italy, United States of America, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Columbia, Ecuador and Brazil.

So welcome to my blog and thank you very much for reading it. I will be very interested to see whether I have reached people in different countries at the end of 2012.

Two small flowers

You may remember my post about allowing my brain to get to work on the crochet flower pattern while I went out into the garden. Well here is the result. A small crocheted flower, made out of embroidery thread, for a wee knitted tunic.

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I have since made a second crocheted flower as “neurons that fire together wire together” meaning that the more we practice a skill, the stronger the connections in our brains and the easier (in theory) things become. My second one is a little different to the first one so I have not polished my skills on this pattern yet.

The other small flower is on the Fuchsia procumbens, a native plant to New Zealand. I have this low growing pretty plant growing in a mass under the Melia tree.
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The flowers came out in December and are delicate red and yellow. In autumn large pink/red berries form on the plant. It is an evergreen with pretty round green leaves.

The people who owned this house before us were very keen gardeners and planted some unusual specimens. I think this is one of those.

New Zealand Christmas trees

The Pohutukawa is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree because it flowers around Christmas time and it has bright red flowers against green foliage.

There are various comments made about the flowering period. It is said that if the Pohutukawa flower early then it means a long, hot summer.

This year the Pohutukawa in my area are flowering abundantly right now. Everywhere I look there are trees bursting with red flowers, while some have a pink toning and yet others flower with yellow flowers. It is the brilliant red ones that are so striking.

Pohutukawa trees grow particularly well in New Zealand, especially near beaches but also in urban gardens, parks and road sides. Our native birds love the nectar in the flowers, the honey bees adore them and I learnt last night that Monarch butterflies feast on these flowers. Nature meets many needs at the same time putting on a magnificent display for us to enjoy.

On Saturday I took some photos of Pohutukawa. I hope you enjoy them.

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Growth opportunities in 2012 e-book

I have a special gift offer for you today. It is a free e-book “Opportunities for personal growth – Grow and Flourish in 2012”

My friend and colleague Marian Kerr has collated, edited and published this e-book. No easy task to encourage and cajole contributors to meet mid December deadlines and then to put the e-book together in time for the early new year.

Around 15 different writers, coaches, leaders, educators have contributed their thoughts and wisdom on personal growth and ways to facilitate this. I hope you will enjoy the e-book and feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think would enjoy it or benefit from it. There is no cost or charge attached to it. It is simply a gift.

For those of you who have been following my blog ( and thank you for doing that!) you may read my pieces and think “this is familiar”. You would be correct. With a family wedding on 24th December I had no spare time to write fresh material on personal growth so Marian edited some blog posts of mine as my contribution. I think she has done a great job on them.

If you would like a copy of the e-book emailed to you please contact me: qdeckchapman at clear dot net dot nz

I will also post information about the e-book on the “New” page on my blog.

Grow well!!

Hearts hit home

I was so touched by this post by Ruth in Christchurch that I am reposting it here on my blog ( with Ruth’s agreement). Evie Harris deserves a huge pat on the back for convening such a caring and creative project.

Please click on the link to see the photos and just how many hearts were stitched by people from all over the world. In a world where we hear so much bad news this exhibition warms the heart and reminds us of the goodness of people and how something as ordinary as stitching fabric can display such emotion and care. Please encourage others to look at this amazing exhibition via Ruth’s blog.

8 January 2012 by realruth

Hearts for Christchurch, an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum, moved me to tears. There are more than 4,000 stitched hearts which have been sent from all over the world to show that people care about us. The project was convened by Evie Harris in Napier, and people were asked to send two heart shapes, sewn together, stuffed or not, embellished, embroidered, quilted, plain or fancy, felt or fabric. The hearts were sorted by colour, and will hang in the Museum Visitors’ Lounge until 22 February.

Hearts for Christchurch, More hearts for Christchurch and more…….

Some sent quilts:
This one reads: “Our hearts wrapped in tears for you on butterflies wings of hope”

What an absolutely beautiful idea this was!

“So many people sent a heart.
I’m deeply touched by this stitched art.”

Posted in Central Christchurch, Earthquake | 4 Comments »

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