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Garden report

August 2, 2011

It’s very temperate here in Auckland, New Zealand, and so even though it’s technically winter, my garden is getting all springy. I’ve been neglecting it terribly but thankfully it’s just kept on doing its own thing. On occasions I go through a pique of planting and then a few months later I return to find that some of my plantings have flourished; others have been devoured by tiger slugs.

I got into kale when I was living in the States. It’s not really common here even though it grows abundantly. It’s just so robustly green and when you eat it you feel like you are being iron-lined. One of my favourite ways of eating it is first blanching it in salted boiling water, then sautéeing it in olive oil with crushed fennel seeds and garlic.

I always keep flowers in a pot by my door because they cheer me up. And I have rogue irises in my veggie garden. Every year I think I’ve dug out all the bulbs but every year they spring up in greater profusion. Perhaps they like being culled. They are the iris resistance movement. Of course I’m not complaining.
This is my magnolia tree. I love magnolias. I like their furry little buds that might turn into Totoros. This variety is one of my favourites – pink on the outside, white on the inside.

My apple tree is still doing what it’s meant to be doing: forming buds for spring. We planted this tree a few years ago, shortly after we moved here. It was only a single stick; it had no branches. But now it’s got lots, sprouting all over the place.

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