30 January 2016

Abundance and lakes

It's the height of summer here: close to 30oC most days. The garden is loving it, with free food all over our front and back yard. Cucumbers, zucchinis, salad greens, herbs, tomatoes, berries, plums, and flowers for the bees. The grapes are hanging voluptuously, but are still hard and green. It's a good feeling when our preparatory garden work bears fruit, literally. (Not sure what happened to the beans this year - I'm trying hard not to think about their disappointing crop.)

Hawera plums
Luisa plums
(note the insect-damaged leaves, but the fruit are wonderful despite it).
The oregano flowers are usually covered with huge bumblebees.
Poppies and alyssum for the bees, with a young tamarillo tree
Luscious blackberries ripening on our driveway fence.
The vegetables would be pretty sad if we weren't watering them, although the fruit manages fine. It's the kind of weather that makes us do outside jobs and exercise either first thing in the morning or after dinner, and fall into the (neighbour's) pool at about 5 pm.

The heat and humidity drains me. So last weekend I packed up the car and took the children, plus a friend, camping at the Rotorua Lakes. Just an hour or so of driving later we were at the gorgeous blue lake, surrounded by verdant bush and cool blue water. The air was several degrees cooler, as well. So we swum, and swum, and swum.

Evening swim at the Blue Lake.

Lake Tarawera - I love that volcano looming in the background.

While we were there, we took part in some Falconry at Wingspan - fascinating!

A female New Zealand falcon

20 January 2016

A summer visit to the Tree Church

If you live in Hamilton, or find yourself visiting here, I highly recommend a trip to the Tree Church. How beautiful it is!

Just a 10 or so minute drive from town out towards Ohaupo we turned into a property on a rural road - the type that you find plum stalls on - and indeed they were good plums.

The entrance gate to the church.

Up the driveway we came to the Tree Church. It was created by a man who loves to relocate mature trees, and who has traveled the world and taken note of the architecture of a lot of churches. He combined his passions by planting trees that are growing up and over a metal frame that one day won't need to be there, because the trees themselves will form the framework.

It is creative, immaculate, peaceful and enchanting, and we loved it.

It would be a magical place to have a wedding (although not cheap at $2-3,000). The bride would walk through this grove of trees. I think they are silver birches, but they are surreal ones. Does the owner polish the trunks, do you think? I've never seen such clean, tidy bark!

At the alter would stand the groom awaiting his bride. But it's not just any alter, it is a looming, impressive alter that seems ancient.

The guests, while deliciously shaded by the leafy roof, might notice the roses entwined in the trees around them. (If it rained they would need umbrellas.) 

The reception, or the first phase of it at least, would take place under this magnificent canopy.

The guests could also stroll in the surrounding gardens, which are also gorgeous.

Best of all, there are chickens there. I took no photographs of them though - I know, what was I thinking?

There are huge spreading trees with picnic tables under them, and visitors such as you and me (not wedding guests, I suppose) are encouraged to bring a picnic to eat in their shade. Visiting times are from October to May, Sundays and Tuesdays from 10-4 pm. Admission is $10 per person, although I think I overheard the girl at the till saying that it is $5 for children under 14. 

For up to date information, check their website: http://treechurch.co.nz/

Enjoy this fairytale place!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...