Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bird's eye view of Roland's Wood

Take a look at Roland's Wood from a vantage point you'd never usually see!  Click on this link : 

Glenn McLelland has created a short video tour of Roland's Wood in winter using his "drone" helicopter.  The video was shot mid July, taking us along and over paths and then up high for a unique bird's eye view... 

Thanks, Glenn, for sharing this on the blog, and I hope you can do more filming to capture Roland's Wood through the seasons! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kate, Milo and Pepper - and not forgetting Chip

It was great meeting Kate with her adorable elderly dogs, Milo and Pepper, and borrowed bundle of energy little Chip.
Kate has been bringing her dogs to Roland's Wood for over a decade and has seen it develop from an overgrown wilderness with just a single track - which Leroi Ford tried valiantly to mow, avoiding rocks as much as possible, to the fantastic woodland garden it is now with various routes and areas to explore...

Here Kate is sitting with the dogs on Nancy Pickmere's bench - Kate remembers Nancy bringing Roland's dogs here (after Roland died) and with a friend, playing Scrabble up sitting at the table near the entrance while Roland's two ancient fox terrier dogs fossicked around and investigated interesting things...

Milo and Pepper are good at sitting and waiting and wagging tails,  whereas Chip is FULL of energy and raring to run...

John Horrell, "green-thumbed superhero"

I'm nominating John Horrell for New Zealand Gardener of the Year, a competition run annually by the NZ Gardener magazine, for his enormous contribution to the maintenance and development of Roland's Wood, not to mention initiating the Kerikeri Garden Safari, and his and Judy's own prize-winning garden which is open to the public.  While many people are involved in making Roland's Wood the great community resource it is, we know that John Horrell is a key driver, spending many, many hours working there, planning and organising...

Go to the NZ Gardener link for full details if you'd like to add a nomination or let me know if there is anything you'd like to add to mine.  Entries close at the end of August, finalists are announced in the October NZ Gardener and then the winner will be announced as a result of a public vote in December. 
From the website :
NZ Gardener, in association with Kiwicare, is searching for NZ's green-thumbed superheroes - send your nominations now!  It's time to find our keenest pair of green thumbs. Our annual search for unsung horticultural legends, now in its seventh year, is back with more prizes than ever!
$25,000 worth of prizes.   
Send nominations to 2013 Gardener of the Year, NZ Gardener, PO Box 6341, Wellesley St, Auckland or email

Gardener of the Year

Poetry of Roland's Wood by Sophie's owner

I was sent this collection of poetry anonymously with no message, but presumably to share here on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and as it says on one page, as "a tribute to Roland's Wood & all the volunteer workers from all the furry friends and their owners who enjoy the seasons and nature of Roland's legacy and gift."

Roland's Wood
Like confetti thrown on the church-yard forecourt,
Roland's Wood scatters a carpet of autumn leaves.
Colours of the earth;
auburn reds and oranges, rusty browns and bronzed yellows.
Oak trees in skeletal form, gnarly and silhouetted.
Amongst the seasonal carpet jonquils poke their heads out releasing their perfume.
Ginkgo trees fan the muddy pathways leading through the English woodland.
Sophie bounds ahead, white tail wagging in anticipation.
Blue spruces, oaks and copper beeches,
rhodo's beside tiny pink and white flowered magnolias.
The late afternoon reveals the shadowed contours of the surrounding hillsides.
Arum lilies with bright yellow stamens contrast against the rocky edges of the cloudy pond.
As we walk the steep incline I scan the tops of the tree-lines balding as the cool days pass.
I admire the decorative bark which now takes pride of place as the leaves
fall from their dwelling.
This season fills my soul with a peacefulness; ,
the same feeling of serenity and calmness that the sea offers my being.
The scent of mildewed foliage and damp grass reminds me of the approaching winter when
the walks will be earlier and the nights longer.
The winter offers sanctuary to ponder and rejuvenate before the rebirth of spring
when the scented fragrance will fill the air in Roland's Wood
as the bulbs of spring will brighten the muddy corridors of Sophie's daily trail.

(First poem here, two more to come in later posts.)

Magnificent magenta magnolias

Beautiful against a blue sky, the deep magenta magnolia buds emerge, along with the fresh new leaves...

Such intricate, varied, surprising shapes and colours - fuzzy and smooth, ridged and dimpled, fragile and robust,  in purple and green, bronze, silver and gold...

Three generations enjoying a winter walk

Three generations of the Dawson family enjoying a winter walk - and one getting a ride...

(and they hastened to mention that the flowers weren't picked, just picked up!)

Daffodils and Scouts

There are swathes of jonquils in Roland's Wood now, and a couple of weekends ago the first early buds of daffodils were opening up...

 and now they are well in flower, catching the sunshine in pure gold
this one complete with small jumping spider...

This year, hundreds more daffodil bulbs were donated by Daffodil World (ph 09 407 1508) and planted by many helpers including the willing Kerikeri Scouts who have lent a hand with planting for the past three years.