Despite my best intentions, my gardening skills are sorely lacking. I love flowers and regard people who are good gardeners with much admiration. They are like the All Blacks for me.
I want to be a good gardener. But I'm not.
When I plant a garden, I overplant. I want instant results. I don't plan and it shows. Plants that grow in my garden are special. They thrive on neglect. They battle with the weeds and they win.
I often buy plants and they die before I plant them.
I guess that's what happens when you leave them in their plastic pots for weeks and forget to water them. I just get a bit side-tracked sometimes...
My garden is full of weeds.
I should be out there now in my gumboots, dealing to them but I can't - I'm writing a blog post instead...
Sometimes I garden in my dressing gown.
It's true. I get side-tracked again. I've just hung out the washing and I spot that weed that's been annoying me for weeks. The metre high one.
Next thing you know I'm out there, weeding away in my dressing gown. I've accepted that I do this and bought a green dressing gown so I can sort of blend in.
Despite my obvious shortcomings as a gardener, I am trying to grow more flowers.
I'm in love with the idea of creating a gorgeous bouquet with flowers and foliage, freshly picked from my garden. If not from my garden, from gardens close by. I want to use flowers grown by good people who love what they do - who take pride in the quality and freshness of their flowers.
I want to keep it real.
And so in recent weeks I've planted stocks in gorgeous pastel colours, white ranunculas and anemones (I'm training myself with that word, having said anenomes all my life) ornithogalums, rubia, sea holly, echinops, nigella and mignonette. I've got feathery kowhai, geraniums scented with rose, peppermint and orange, dusty miller and deliciously furry lambs' ears.