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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 10 (January 1, 1936)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.

Bounding that corner of “garden” was a wall—not one of mellowed brick, lovely to the eye, restful to the spirit as the green of lawns and fringe of flowerbeds—not a wall at all, in fact, but a fence—a utilitarian monstrosity of corrugated iron, baldly supported on the inside by posts and battens, available on the outside for the production by means of sticks, pencils, hands, of the cacophony dear to the ears of the young. This love of sound, by the way, should be disciplined, developed—percussion bands, perhaps, in our schools.


The space enclosed by the aforesaid fence bore a fine crop of grasses, “Almost sufficient,” remarked Joyce, “to support one angora rabbit, or even two. And I hear that some people do well out of collecting grass-seed. It's a pity we haven't a canary.” —Which elicited from Bob a dissertation on the feeding habits of rabbits and canaries. Joyce having been reduced to helpless laughter, Bob proceeded to survey his future kingdom with a gloomy eye.


That was three years ago. At first Joyce considered painting that eyesore of a fence, but decided to let Bob carry out his plans for the garden first. After the ground was cleared and deeply trenched, a late crop of potatoes was sown. For some time after that Bob's gardening seemed to consist of hoeing, weeding and earthing up, the family motto for the moment being “Death to weeds.” Labour had its reward—a good crop of tubers and a fairly clean soil.

Strenuous activity with shovel and wheelbarrow enabled Bob to give the ground a gradual slope up to the fence. The sloped part, about three yards in width, was to form a flowerbed. The rest was prepared for a lawn.

Joyce's, interest revived at the mention of flowers, and there were earnest discussions over nurserymen's catalogues as to the right size of shrubs or perennials for the background “to hide the fence.” Seasons of flowering complicated matters, as did the necessity for graduated sizes towards the front of the garden. Border plants were chosen, and Joyce claimed the spacès immediately behind the borders for groups of annuals.


Summer visitors to the Joyce-Bob ménage now prefer afternoon tea on the lawn— “So delightfully private, my dear—and those clumps of flowers against the greenery—so charming!” and no-one even notices the fence, which, after all, was the prime mover in the planning of the garden.