In a world gone mad, there are flowers

The cheerful yellows and oranges from the summer borders

I was going to finally get around to tabling three books that recently came in to my life, but I found I was too distracted. It is a weird feeling to be part of history unfolding minute by minute in this strange new world in which we are living.

In a country that is 95% eligible fully vaxxed – 96% eligible first dose only – and tens of thousands choosing of their own free will to get a third dose every day, the motley crew currently occupying what used to be the lawn in front of our Parliament and dominating our airwaves and social media just seems … bizarre. To have swastikas, nooses, talk of Nuremberg 2, guillotine imagery, even, on display with declared intentions to kill politicians, media, health practitioners, civil servants and – extraordinarily – architects and engineers all sentenced to execution in their absence – it is all too bizarre for me to process in my brain.  What have the architects and engineers ever done to that mob? And how many of us actually believe that our Prime Minister eats the foetuses of babies? Alas some do, though nobody in my personal circle, I am pleased to say.

Really? I mean really?

Try getting over 90% of New Zealanders across the political spectrum to agree on anything and yet that number of us chose to get vaccinated and to wear masks and physically distance to keep others safe even before widespread mandates  and vaccine passports were introduced. Far from being a divided nation, I have never seen us so united; the loud messages from the disaffected few just don’t compute for me.

I am, however, greatly amused at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, first ordering the sprinklers on Parliament’s lawn to be turned on overnight to drench the protesters who are defying the trespass orders served on them. Then last night, he ordered speakers to be set up blasting the music of Barry Manilow (sorry, Barry!), the Macarena and Covid 19 vaccination messages on a 15 minute loop to annoy protesters. I am surprised he didn’t include Rick Astley on that irritation tape but I love living in country with a sense of humour.

The blues and whites currently in flower in the Wave Garden

In the face of all this and a wet day, I made a couple of flower flat lays. Ephemeral these may be, I find the gathering of flowers and laying them out in pretty sequence is very soothing to my troubled mind. Maybe it is a shame I don’t do Instagram?

Aster novi-belgii ‘Professor Anton Von Kippenberg’ looking how it should

Gathering all the blues and whites from the Wave Garden, I could not help but notice – again – the sorry state of the dwarf blue aster which goes by the fearsome name of Aster novi-belgii ‘Professor Anton Von Kippenberg’. It should be a uniform sea of blooms covering the foliage and dancing with bees and butterflies. Alas, it is falling apart in the middle. It should have been dug and divided immediately after flowering last year when it was starting to show the first signs of splitting. It will be done this year and put on a two yearly cycle. We will dig the lot and replant about one third of them at the most.

But pull the camera out further and I am ashamed to admit this is how it is looking this year

The thing about learning to garden with perennials is working out by plant variety which ones need individual attention, be it staking, dead heading or dividing on a regular basis. Some do not improve with age at all.

You will find me hiding in the garden. It is balm for the soul in these times.

14 thoughts on “In a world gone mad, there are flowers

  1. Paddy Tobin

    The Covid situation brought out the crazy people of the world and they get airtime. The regular people behave in normally but that doesn’t make for interesting news!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      We didn’t get the crazies until very recently – well until vax passes were introduced and mandates became widespread which is only the last six weeks or so. But we did get wall to wall hard luck stories from individuals – not all well founded – mostly challenging our border quarantine which is what has kept us safe. That was bad enough but the nuttiness is worse. We currently have the remnants of a tropical cyclone hitting with torrential rain and tearing gale-force winds but the crazies are declaring this is the government controlling the weather to try and force them out. It is called Cyclone Dovi which, they declare, is an anagram for Covid!!!!

      1. Paddy Tobin

        Ah, you’d have to laugh at such madness! Dove – Covid! Beyond belief! We, in this household at least, are having similar “beyond belief” moments at present. Our government and health advisors are telling us all is well; all restrictions may be relaxed etc etc while, at the same time, they report around 10,000 new cases of Covid each day! It’s “only the Omicron variation”…”only 80 dying each week”…” we need to open society again” etc etc.

      2. Abbie Jury Post author

        We don’t have that level of cognitive dissonance from the government. It is coming from some prominent people in the business sector and at the hard right of the political spectrum but the government is holding firm. It seems that the reason Omicron has not skyrocketed here as predicted – at least so far – is because even though there are very few restrictions on the vast majority who have vax passes, most people are exercising huge caution with masks, distancing and limiting exposure. It seems most people in this country have an abundance of common sense and caution after all.

  2. Thistles and Kiwis

    Oh I so agree with everything you have said about the protests in Wellington! Small businesses are suffering, an egg was thrown at a 17 year old girl because she was wearing a mask to go into the supermarket….well, you know the stories….The bus we take from town to where we live goes past Parliament, so it is hard to avoid what is going on. I had hoped the rain would drive them away…. Anyway, yes you should do Instagram with those flower flat lays and those asters are lovely.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      But but but… freedom! That is MY freedom and the devil take everybody else!
      Instagram is largely based on mobile phones and I don’t use one at home – mostly because we have been in a mobile blackspot from the start. I see reception is improving, even to the point of my cheap phone getting some now but I am not sure I want to change my habits and get into carrying a phone all the time.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      One thing I am deeply grateful to our government for is managing to keep the loons, nutters and conspiracists at bay for the first 20 months of the pandemic. We watched them surfacing overseas much earlier than here but there wasn’t enough to mobilise them here but we are catching up fast! I won’t comment about your government except to say that we watch with some astonishment.

  3. Janet Francesco

    I love the honesty of your pull back photo showing the full story of your plant that is not ‘perfect’. I enjoy your well written, insightful and stimulating blog. Please keep well and yes, our gardens are a haven amongst the strangely crazy world around us. Happy gardening.

  4. Ann Bell

    Your weekly letters and garden data are a tonic. Thank you so much. i also like the laid-back way our government is dealing with these deranged & .gullible protesters. But I fancy that France & Canada might be forced to take more Draconian action..

  5. HILL, Catherine (KINGS COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)

    Go on then, what’s that beautiful creamy yellow magnolia?

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