My Favourite Window

October 22, 2010

A Little Chaos...

Following my last post about flowery meads comes a reminder from NZ poet Brian Turner to look after the insects: a healthy and diverse eco-system depends on them. And we depend - though too many of us ignore this truth - on a healthy and diverse eco-system.

This Secret Garden, Lady Mondegreen points out to me, is becoming more and more important as a haven for invertebrates, birds, lizards and frogs as the surrounding land is drained and developed for housing. The hedgerows and meadowy verges of my childhood have disappeared and while older suburban plantings have matured and provide rich nectar sources and shrub cover, the trend is more and more to so-called easy care gardens: paved and fenced and planted with a limited palette of commercially available shrubs.

So, a new responsiblity is dawning here: to retain some chaos and make changes thoughtfully.

The spirea hedge is flowering now. Hedge? Once it was, and how I enjoyed the clipping of it as a child - the controlling gardener in the making. Look at it now spreading wide and rampant, taunting me as I wonder at its botany. Is it Spirea x vanhouttei, or is it Spirea cantoniensis? Whatever its name, it is a deep tangle for nesting birds and a rich food plant for pollinating insects as well as being heart-lifting to look at.

Brian Turner's distinctive love of language, his reverence for the places of his heart and his expression of the human condition can be found in his latest collection of poems, Just This, from the Victoria University Press, Winner of the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry.

No comments: