Bits and pieces

There is something appealing about a jar full of bits and pieces. This one sits on the garage window sill. When I find something small and interesting, it goes in the jar for the day when it might be useful for something or other. The lightbulb serves as a lid.

Also on the garage window sill are these three pieces of crockery found in the garden. There’s a sailor wearing a three-cornered hat, playing the hornpipe, a woman outside a cottage, and a pennant design. Does anyone know anything about this porcelain?

Old secateurs make a crooked line-up. Hanging to the side of the door below the weed hooks, those iron claws are an old pair of crampons from Emei Shan, China, on which my companions and I slid on ice as we attempted to climb the mountain (unsuccessfully – the crampons wouldn’t stay on). The mosaic below is made of bits and pieces of tile.

House maintenance tools make another bits-and-pieces corner (pun intended). The red pole used to be a roller towel holder. It now supports the corner of the shelf above.

Then there’s the museum of Dad’s old tools on a peg board – alongside the anachronistic swing ball bats which have been idle since the pole broke.

From my childhood, there’s a wooden-framed tennis racket in a press. I remember putting protective tape along the top edge. Below it is my old canvas and leather external-frame tramping pack. I’ve walked many tracks with it, from Stewart Island to Abel Tasman National Park. The damp-damaged block-mounted prints have been kept simply because they are more interesting than the blank, unpainted garage wallboard!

There are people who make works of art out of bits and pieces. In November 2000, I bought this sculpture called Orville’s Dream. Can you identify the bits and pieces?

Orville’s Dream by Neil Ensor
Metal Assemblages from Found Material

Plus one!

The reason I went around the garden looking for flowers to photograph for my previous post, was this:


In April, my sister and my nephew helped me to dig up some lawn and extend the vegetable patch. I planted a lime tree and sweetpeas, and curly kale, rainbow chard and cauliflower. This is the first cauliflower in the new patch. I’ve been inspecting the plants regularly – while I hang washing out – and there it was, suddenly, already rather large. Magic!

More than just a few signs of Spring

Some interesting flowers are appearing in the garden. The bay, which grows in a large pot, has these lovely flowers.

Bay tree

The rhubarb is flowering. These would usually be cut straight away, but there’s little threat to the prolific production of edible stalks which have continued throughout the winter.


The cabbage tree – ti kouka – is producing flower stems.

Ti kouka – dancing leaves

Below this, the broad beans are flowering.

Broad beans

The curly kale, which has provided greens for salads all winter, is producing flowers – aka going to seed – aka bolting.

Curly kale

The salad greens are bolting – and birds are enjoying digging in the soil around them. Behind this, you can see borage and forget-me-nots in flower.

salad greens

Bees are busy in the rosemary.


Birds are loving the kowhai.


The cherry blossom too, looks wonderful against the sky.

Cherry blossom

Apple blossom is appearing.

Apple blossom – Sturmer

The blueberry is covered in flowers.


And, hiding under the leaves, the first strawberry flowers.


The garden is full of flowers and that fresh, lush green which only Spring can produce, even as the weather fluctuates from hot days to biting winds.