It is a great honour for me to be in the October issue of NZ House and Gardens. It has come at a very interesting time for me, I have been thinking a lot about New Zealand and my past this last week or so. I read that my boarding school is going to be knocked down and a new town is going to go up in its place, Wesley College was my home for seven years, it was a great time in my life and I have to say I feel a little sad about this news. Not that I have gone back for old boys day but if the school was in a different place I would not go, it would not be the same. We humans like our past to stay how it was in case we want to revisit it.




I have now grown the best carrots that I have even grown and it was great to see just how good they are today when we started to get them out of the ground. It is a carrot called ‘Danvers’, a nickname given to me by Ben here at GD, that is why I wanted to grow them. I gave him the first one. Kyle got me the seed from ‘The natural Gardening Company’. Kyle, I will be ordering the seed again it does very well for us.


Perfect day

It is almost two weeks since I had a whole day to spend up in the vegetable garden and it was a perfect day. The day started with a tour from Perry, it is also good to look at the crops and talk them over with Perry. While up there Perry said I had to get all the blight tomatoes out of the garden and on the fire. I had two guests to lunch, one Louise and the other a student who wanted to talk about gardening at GD, Matthew. He is the son of one of the great Horticulturist of Britain so it was great to have him here. After lunch Matthew asked if I would like any help in the garden. Of course the answer was yes and the tomatoes where the top of the list to get out. We got all the tomatoes out that had blight and all good fruit picked. What a perfect lunch guest, I need more like Matthew, young, strong and enthusiastic. I now know what dear Jose rated him so highly.



Our side of the contract was signed today, it really is great news for me, it has taken a few weeks for both sides to be happy but now I think we all are. I went up to London yesterday to the Phaidon office to look over all the photos that Andrew has taken and what still needs to be taken and was able to meet some of the staff, what an interesting team. Victoria from Phaidon has the copy, I hope to get some homework soon. Once a date is set you will all know it.


Turks turban

I think that the gourds are going to be ready to lift in the next week. I hope the boys that planted them can come over and help bring them in. I wrote a few days ago that I think we would have an Indian Summer I should have written that we would have monsoon rains this autumn, the rain has not stopped. I would like a week of sun to dry out the gourds and pumpkins before I bring them in.



The tomatoes have blight, it was only a matter of time till they got it. For the first time I am very interested to see what is going to happen up there. Jonny got me to get this new tomato that has resistance to blight, ‘Crimson crush’, and the test is now on to see how it is going to stand up to blight all around it. So far so good, before I wrote this blog I did log on to the ¬†Sutton Seed website and ordered some seeds for next year, it is an F1 so I will have to get new seeds each year but will be worth it if it does not get blight.



We have a new North America student, Susan ( the name of the Queens favorite Corgi). We took her to see the Marc Chagall windows at the little church near Tonbridge. I love looking at the colour he used. While there I also got myself a new bible, well the first part of it. The bible has illustrations by Chagall in a very dream like way, perfect. We took the back roads home and on the way I took a few photos of an orchard that I have watched over the past 16 years decay, I have always found it a very special place. The best time of the year to see it is in spring when the trees can only push out a few blooms but there is still hope in those old trees.