A few days ago the usually peaceful atmosphere here was drowned in a turbulence of chainsaws roaring through tree trunks and tree limbs. When we bought this property last summer it had been neglected for a long time and from being an “English Country Garden” it had become an overgrown but still beautiful, mixed jungle.

Because we have a firm philosophy of edible landscaping and sustainable living, not only for humans but for all creatures, we had to think hard about what to do with the inherited jungle. It is not a pleasant thing to have to cut out trees. I almost physically feel the pain of the trees because I just cannot not see them as living, breathing things. However, I reason with myself that humans die in order to make room for fresh life and sometimes die before the natural life-span is completed and that is just how life is on the macro-scale.

The birds disappeared to the neighbouring properties and up high in the bush-clad hill above us for the day which I found wise and very understandable. The charming young men who came with their knowledge and their chain saws and tree-scaling ropes and spikes, worked extremely hard and with such good- nature d tolerance of some of our more challenging requests and the break-down of their chipper, that it is no pain to pay the NZ $1034.00 bill for the day’s work. They achieved in a day what it would have taken us a couple of weeks to achieve with all the wood cut up into winter firewood lengths and (when the machine was fixed a couple of days later,) the rest chipped into wonderful mulch. The pile of mulch will need to sit for a couple of months before we can use it and the day after it was placed beside the driveway i could smell an extremely strong smell that resembled rotting fruit and it took me a while to realise it was the smell of the mulch heap doing its “maturing” thing! The smell is now gone as have the mini-clouds of steam and the pile is just sitting weathering and should be ready for use before the dry weather comes, thus helping the remaining trees to retain the moisture around their roots.

Water is either over-abundant here or we are searching the weather forecast and the skies for rain for weeks on end, to ease the need to water the gardens. It is amazing how, no matter how well we water, the plants always seem to almost jump up out of the ground with growth spurts once the real rain falls.We are blessed with a good stream beside the property from which we can take water for our gardens and a spring for household water. When I hear my friends and relations complaining about their eye-watering water bills, I feel so grateful that our water is free and pure without the use of chemicals, and our grey water goes to water the trees.Image