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Anzac day is a day where we commemorate all New Zealanders killed in war and honour all the New Zealand service Men and Women that have returned to New Zealand. But the date itself is the anniversary of when the Anzacs landed on the Gallipoli peninsular in 1915.
I recently popped down to Baradene College to see the Tread Lightly Caravan (TLC) in action. TLC is an award winning, mobile environmental classroom that aims to show students how our everyday choices, what we eat, how we travel, and what we buy, can all make a huge difference to the environment.
So of course it makes sense that upon arrival, I soon found myself huffing and puffing on a bike as I tried to generate enough electricity to power a kettle, two light bulbs, a heat gun, and a sander. And as I started to sweat in the midday sun, I in no way felt embarrassed as a bunch of students watched and laughed as I struggled and gasped for air.
Often over winter your deck or patio can be lacking in colour. Try planting a container with several layers of spring bulbs, which will fl ower from winter through to spring. And with the addition of cyclamen planted on top, it's sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood!
As a gardener I find growing Swan Plants, the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly's caterpillars, to be a weird though satisfying experience. From stripy caterpillars to graceful Butterfly, there is no time during their lifecycle where they don't look amazing.
Kings Plant Barn has been a proud long-time supporter of this festival, and this year we're lucky enough to have a stronger than usual connection; a garden that belongs to Takapuna staff member Lyndell Shannon and her partner Mick Roberts. Which was thankfully enough of an excuse for me to get away from the hustle and bustle of being in-store and spend some time in this beautiful and delightfully cool, award winning garden.
It can be incredibly disheartening when the plants that you have invested time, energy, and love into get ravaged by insects, hit by disease, or just generally start to struggle. And I suspect that many a new gardener has been turned away due to these sorts of disasters.
But while some failure is unavoidable, most instances can either be dodged or stopped with the application of a bit of know how and perhaps a touch of elbow grease.
I had lots of plans for what I was going to grow in my new veggie garden. However a wet spring, and the need to remove a sprawling matt of bamboo roots from my garden, meant that some of my plans have gone awry. So in a fit of desperation, I've even started eating flowers.
As somewhat of a country kid, the crowds in the run-up to Christmas often leave me somewhat terrified. So to make my Christmas less stressful, and to help me avoid the rush, I decided to come up with some simple handmade gifts to give.
And to hopefully make it easier for you, I thought I'd post a new gift idea each week in the run up to Christmas.
Despite the occasional bouts of fine weather, and the fantastic growing conditions, I've found myself way behind in the garden. In fairness, this isn't my fault; my left arm recovered from a dog bite just in time for me to to sprain it. But on the bright side, it's encouraged me to garden vicariously and read about the trials, tribulations, and techniques of other gardeners.
For years I felt that salad was basically pointless. Despite the weird and wonderful concoctions created from my parent's garden, the very word, Salad conjured up crisp, tasteless supermarket lettuce and watery tomatoes. An association that I assume came about because I'm vegetarian, which meant that whenever I had food at an omnivores house, I was invariably served up this sort of salad by people unused to catering a meal without meat.