Garden Lore: “Touch the earth lightly”

“Touch the earth lightly, Use the earth gently
Nourish the life of the world in our care
Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender
Trust for the children tomorrow will bear.”

Verse 1 from the hymn “Touch the Earth Lightly” by Colin Gibson and Shirley Erena Murray (1991).
Photo0084 - Copy
Photo0072 - CopyReally it is the first line I like – “touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently” but I added the rest of the verse to give it context.

We went to a funeral this week which we do not often do, I admit. But in this case we both wanted to honour the late George Fuller. George was probably best known in this area as long standing curator of our main central city gardens, Pukekura Park, and as a defender of trees. In this role, he was more successful than we have been recently. His personal passion and his international reputation was in the field of orchids – hence the orchid display at his funeral.

To die at the age of 86, surrounded by a large, loving family and to leave behind a worthwhile legacy is to be celebrated. The selection of the hymn seemed particularly apt for such a gentle, humble man.

What a wonderful epitaph, or indeed a principle to live by – touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently.

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