Monday, September 29, 2014

Garden Neglect...the explanation.

I’ve been known to make excuses in the past for why my garden’s looking a bit untidy or unkempt. But lately my garden has been looking the worst it ever has. In addition to the damage caused by a couple of mid winter storms this year the situation has been compounded by months of neglect. 

Observant readers of this blog may have heard me make subtle comments about the various distractions that were keeping me from the garden at various times, and more so probably in the last year or so. Up until now I’ve refrained from going into that on here, but now it's time to break my silence. 

Sadly, the reason is because my wife Izumi who I sometimes mention on here, has been battling cancer since Nov 2011 and despite the efforts of many good people to help her, she finally lost the battle on August 27th (about a month ago) and has now gone to rest.

Izumi loved the Garden, visiting it every day to seek out something for dinner or in more recent times to gather whatever was available for juicing, in an effort to keep her immunity strong. Believe it or not there are still some vegetables growing in amongst all those weeds...somewhere.

But I couldn’t possibly allow myself to do another blog post on here without first acknowledging her passing and crediting her for much of what I was motivated to do. In many ways she was the inspiration for building the garden in the first place, a huge project which took years of painstaking effort.

I got a great deal of satisfaction out of her reaction to everything I did. Without her encouragement it probably never would have happened the way it did. She took a great deal of interest in this blog too although she was adamant that she didn’t want her picture shown on here — at least not her face, probably because most of the photos taken of her in the garden didn’t show her at her best. But also because she preferred her privacy and was more comfortable staying in the background.

Many of the ideas we incorporated into the garden came from our visits to various parts of the country usually during summer holidays. Like the time we visited Russell in the far North of New Zealand which is where we got the inspiration to grow a Bougainvillea vine over a pergola.

Or there was the time we joined the Great Greenhithe Garden tour where we got lots of inspiration from the private gardens we visited. On that tour I also got this poignant shot of Izumi walking down a long tree-lined driveway into the distance. I never imagined at the time how seeing this less than a year later would bring home the deep sense of loss I feel now that she’s gone.

Goodbye Izumi — you'll be missed!

Now spring has arrived... closely followed by daylight savings, so it’s time to get back out into the garden and start tidying up — if only the weather would let me.


  1. Enjoyed your post Dave; although I know you are going thru tough times. My wife talked me out of planting garden this year. I like to prepare soil & plant; but wife had to take care of it after that. We're busy digging out old tree stumps currently. She did mention today that she missed the green beans. We had a lot last year & froze many bags. Take care Dave & stay busy.

  2. Thanks Charles, I appreciate your comments. I've had to give some serious thought to what I actually want to grow this year. Previously, no matter what I grew, Izumi knew what to do with it. Growing stuff in the garden's one thing, knowing how to make a meal out of it is quite another. Perhaps I'll start growing more flowers...

  3. Dear Dave, saw your name in the comments on a friend's Facebook. Turned out it wasn't you, but I got curious... I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful wife. Hope you found some inspiration on what to grow. Regards Jenn

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comments Jenn. I understand you are facing the same battle as Izumi. I wish you well in this and pray that you can face the future with confidence and hope. As for the garden, well it's now January 2015 and I still don't feel any motivation towards growing anything. I decided to just mow the lawns and look after the fruit trees. I got a good crop of plums this year. :-)

  4. PS: love your art.

  5. My brother from down under...I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a dear co-worker last year also due to cancer and one of our long time sisters is facing the same. I know it's been a long time since I been here but you and everyone I connect with worldwide are always in my thoughts. And I am glad you are keeping it strong with the garden, your art, and your photography which I had recently noticed. Stay strong my brother! You are in my prayers.

    1. Thanks Antone, I appreciate that. Somehow I missed this until now. I feel like I'm back on the horse now. It's taken a while and I couldn't have done it without the support of many kind brothers, sisters and friends. Thanks for stopping by.