One garden, two houses, some lessons from the past and hope for the future. A look at life in New Zealand, a bit of history and a Morris jig or two.
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September 15, 2014
Time for a break, time for a night away in Kaikoura...
No prizes for guessing that it was to hang out with Morris dancing friends.
Marlborough Fayre is a new and enthusiastic women's side with years of combined dancing experience, based in Blenheim.
Nor' West Arch is one of two Morris sides in Christchurch.
Although Kitty and I arrived early on Saturday afternoon and the dancing finished roughly twenty four hours later, the gathering managed to cram a lot into the time, including a dance workshop, dinner together, and public displays in town, at Donegal House, the Whale Watch forecourt, and the always poignant and delightful, historic Fyffe House on its whalebone piles.
Of course I keep my gardener's eye open especially with spring enlivening the landscape. I spotted this odd pairing of cold climate flowering cherry harmonising with the bold spires of pride of Madeira, which thrives in frost free conditions all along the Canterbury coastline.
Before setting off for home, Kitty and I discovered this viewing wall protecting an information panel in South Bay. The whole structure, which included a toilet block, was very stylish and pleasing to the eye.
Rather than taking the two hour route home along State Highway 1, we made a longer detour inland via Mt Lyford, new territory for Kitty and me. When I was child, droves of sheep on the road were a common sight around North Canterbury, but as lowland farming has turned to wine, venison, and dairy production, it's rare for us to see a sight like this. The sheep were only one of the spectacles along this route, which is threaded with mountain streams, wide shingle river flats, and dramatic gorges carved out of loess and rock. The kind of country that you feel needs another visit...
Flowering cherry Prunus sp
Pride of Madeira Echium candicans Photo of sheep near Mt Lyford: Kitty Jamison