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.
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.
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?
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.
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.