I moved to a family owned property in a semi rural location up north in late 2016 .
Generations of my maternal side of the family were raised in the house, the last to live here was my Grandfather and his elder sister, my Great Aunt - the Matriarch of the Whanau . Both passed away prior to my arrival, and are laid at rest in the whanau Urupa ( family cemetery ) on the property.
my Granddad was a veggie gardener with a little plot to the rear of property near the citrus orchard, My Great Aunt was a Heritage flower gardener with a humongous flower garden full of prize winning blooms, ranging from easy to find ones through to the harder to access rare variety's, and even a small native forest she planted herself.
When I arrived here, it had been vacant for over two years due to maintenance work needing to be done first, and everything was dead or dying after a severe drought.
In fact the only things thriving were the invasive weeds- and the Kikuyu - which was so long it actually covered trees .
I had NO idea about gardening as had no experience whatsoever. But it felt wrong to allow the gardens they cherished to continue to decline, and so I started to learn using books and googling everything.
It began as a duty I was doing in my Aunts memory, and somewhere along the way became a passion I was indulging in for myself.
its been a fascinating and wonderful journey , with a lot of healing for the psyche.
long way to go but there is massive progress on both the garden and my soul .