March 16, 2011
Gardens, secret and otherwise, are a constant source of solace to me in these troubled months of death and destruction. While in Wellington over the weekend, I stayed with Dyk and his wife Noreen at their home in the cultivated wilderness of Kelburn. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Lady Mondegreen to meet Welly Jewell. Dyk set up his Blog in July 2007 to keep his family and friends around NZ and across the world up to date with day to day activities. It continues to play this role, but has evolved an extra layer, which I particularly like, of observing and describing the natural world around Wellington, seasoned with snippets of local history. For me, one of Dyk's most memorable postings was his account of seeing a New Zealand falcon, karearea, (Falco noveaseelandiae) with a tantalisingly blurred photo as proof, in the Wellington Botanic Gardens (2 September 2007). Maybe Dyk has a knack with photo-blurr, because his best-ever photo (in my opinion) is a superb action shot of our friend Andy playing Tarzan (27 December 2010). The photo captures the tranquility of the woodland setting as well as Andy's boyish spirit.
Dyk has created his own woodland walk - although it is more of a scramble - on reserve land behind his house. He is gradually clearing invasive weeds and re-establishing native plants. I noted matipo, karamu, kawakawa, rangiora, karaka, ti-kauka and ngaio to name a few. But in his own back garden he plays the tidy gardener.
As well as Dyk's hospitality over the weekend I am also greatful to him for a new addition to my library:
Nature Guide to the New Zealand Forest by Rob Dawson and Rob Lucas published by Godwit
Karamu Coprosma robusta
Karaka Corynocarpus laevigatus
Kawakawa Macropiper excelsum
Kohuhu Pittosporum tenuifolium
Ngaio Myoporum laetum
Rangiora Brachyglottis repanda
Ti-kauka Cordyline australis