Out at the bach, I love wandering along the bush paths and observing what is springing into life.
The hen and chicken ferns are waving soft new tendrils, their stems stretching back like dancers paying homage to the morning sun.
Then there are the renga rengas, perking up and putting out fresh white flowerlets. In the city, I wouldn’t bother growing them because of the way they are attacked by snails, but out at the bach the land is snail-free. I planted a bare bank with renga rengas that were propogated by my friend Colleen on her bush block, and now they are spreading, flowering, and dropping seeds that quickly grow into good-sized plants.
There are also the nikaus. A friend planted one, many years ago, but the others have all grown from seeds that have fallen in bird droppings – probably from keruru (wood pigeons), that love to feast on the orange berries.
I love the play of light and shade amongst the nikaus, and the basket-weaving patterns of their leaves.
This year the cabbage trees (‘ti’) are flowering profusely. I enjoyed this group, tucked away in the bush, having a conference of flowering heads. The Maori always predict a long hot summer if the ti is abundant in its flowering. Who knows how it will be?
For now, the green and white life of the bush gives me all the pleasure I need.