Thursday 19 October 2023



It was a first for this coming summer season – we put the umbrella up out on the deck.  The sun was almost too warm to sit outside in, and I appreciated being able to sit beneath the shade of the umbrella.

Millie and Mittens enjoyed being outside with me.

The garden is also showing signs of First – this is the first time my iceplant has flowered for me.

The first of the strawberries are beginning to ripen.

And the first of the grapes are beginning to show themselves.

I am still struggling with health issues, so my apologies for not visiting blogland very much. It takes so long to get to see a doctor these days (unless you are a medical emergency and can call the ambulance), and I still have a week to go before I get to see mine again.

At least the sun is shining 😊



Sunday 8 October 2023

Te Parapara


Last Wednesday, when I went for a stroll through Hamilton Gardens, I mentioned I visited a few of them.  One was Te Parapara, the Maori kumara garden.

This was the entrance gate to the garden.

Outside the enclosure was this building.  It is a pity that there is not more signage around, as I would have liked to have known what its purpose was meant to be.

This building, built to sit above ground, looks like a storehouse for the kumara when it is harvested.

The ground is currently being prepared to be ready for kumara planting time, when that arrives.

This photo, taken in 2020, shows what the kumara look like when they are half-grown.

I’m not sure what this building represents (it may be another type of storehouse), but it is obviously tied up with fertility!

These carvings look to me like they are there to protect the crop.

Around the outside of the garden there is a planting of native plants.  I believe these are to represent the food that was gathered from the wild, as opposed to what was cultivated.

Our weather today (Sunday) is misty drizzle.  Hopefully, this coming week will bring some more lovely sunny days with it.

Stay happy 😊




Thursday 5 October 2023

Chinese Scholar's Garden


It was such a sunny day yesterday that I visited the Hamilton Gardens for a walk. 

I especially wanted to visit the Chinese Scholar’s Garden (also known as the Garden of Retreat-in-Flowing-Happiness) so I could see the wisteria in bloom.

This garden follows the Taoist tradition and portrays a miniature of the cosmos (mountains, lakes, cliffs etc), where scholars could relax, meditate, write poems, play music and so on.

A short walk leads down to the Blossom Court where one can enter the Arbour of Lingering Fragrance.  Jasmine grows freely over the arbour frame and the scent can be heavenly.

Exiting from the Arbour through a Moon Gate, the Moon & Lily Lake and the Wisteria Bridge come into view.

Unfortunately the wisteria was not in bloom, although it was in other parts of the garden.  I am wondering if perhaps it had been severely pruned this last year and was still in recovery mode.

I found this photo, taken in 2019, to give an idea of what it can look like.

The walk continues over the Wisteria Bridge and on to the Island of Whispering Birds (don’t you just love all the names?) before crossing the Willow Bridge and entering the Bamboo Walk.

At the top of the hill, can be found the Celestial Turtle of Taihu Lake, presented to Hamilton by its Chinese sister-city, Wuxi.

Nearby is the Golden Pavilion, a great place to stop for a while before heading back down to the garden’s exit.

I also wandered around a couple more gardens, but those can wait for another day 😊



Tuesday 3 October 2023

Morning Tea For One


Crackers with cheese and some kind of relish.  This has become my standard mid-morning snack (sometimes I add a piece of fresh fruit as well) and seems to be doing the trick.

My doctor wanted me to eat smaller meals more frequently and so that is what I have been trying to do.  It isn’t easy!

Old habits die hard, and I have found it difficult to eat less for my main meals and increase my daytime snacks.  But the results are showing the effort is worthwhile, and my digestive system is coping much better.

Not that you want to hear too much about my digestive system!!

Our weather continues to be typical springtime.  From gale force winds and rain overnight, today it is much calmer and the sun is even shining at times.  Tomorrow morning, they are forecasting near-frost temperatures for us.

Nature takes it all in her stride.  The birds continue nesting (the sparrows have fledged now) and the plants and lawn are growing apace.

Keep smiling 😊



Sunday 1 October 2023

The Orchid Show


The National Orchid Show (named Orchids & More) has been here at Hamilton this year, so I took the opportunity of visiting it.  

Orchids may not be my most favourite bloom, but I was impressed by the variety available and the richness of so many of the colours was amazing.

Each individual Orchid Society had their own display – some of them quite impressive – and there were also stands selling plants and pots and fertilizers etc.

It did not take me very long to see everything, but I will say I really enjoyed my visit.

Margaret 😊



Wairere Falls has the distinction of being the highest waterfall in the North Island (153 metres) and is found in the Kaimai Ranges near Matamata.  It is visible for miles around, and after heavy rain can look quite spectacular.  There is a track that leads to the top, involving a steep flight of steps at one stage.  Although the walk is quite picturesque, it can also be quite challenging for the unprepared.  The views from the top are what makes the trek worthwhile.