As soon as we got home from Aussie I dived down to the garden for a quick look at my seedlings. I had put them in the part of the glass house that leaked like a sieve and hoped that would suffice in our absence. The smell as I neared the garden however nearly knocked me for six. Whatever had died was BIG to create that bad a smell. I knew it wasn’t Paddy and thought maybe one of the hens?
I opened the hen house door and peering in counted six on the perch. All present and correct. They shuffled around a little unsure. Last time this happened we had come in and shut the door behind us. Always ominous if you are a hen with bad eyesight in the evening dusk, however super easy to pluck them off their perch, give them a wing trim on one side and that’s the end of their escapades.
Hmm…I would have to check in the light of the day I thought as I retreated indoors. Next day I wandered around sniffing and ended up in the veg patch where it seemed to be the worst. I found a bucket full of something so stinky I thought something must’ve fallen in there? Expecting a rat, I’m mystified until I grab a stick and stir and find its fish guts. I remember now Tux giving us fresh fish, Gilbert gutting and me throwing it in a bucket, rapt that I will be able to make fish guts fertiliser. I’d heard it was awesome on the garden, but hard on the nose. I hadn’t realised quite how hard.
The lid must’ve been blown off in the storm. It had been weeks and weeks so I decided to water it down, use it and get rid of it. The neighbours will probably ring me up and ask what died I thought with a smile. My huge bucket made gallons and gallons of it and I was feeding all the plants I could find when Monie arrived with the kids.
“Sorry about the smell” I said as she came in the gate. “Jeepers, is that you? she asked. I was checking my shoes and the bags I was carrying to see if I’d stood in poos or picked up something gross. Flip that’s bad Mum”. The kids all held their noses. I was straining it as I went so no actual bones or guts went on the garden. The kids were keen to help so I got them to hold the sieve and help with the pouring. “Watch out it doesn’t go on your clothes, your Mother will kill me” I laughed. It did splash onto my trousers and my gloves but no problem, I’ll just biff them in the wash I thought. I threw the last bit onto the compost heap and covered it with the day’s clippings, prunings and a layer of dirt to keep the smell at bay. “Hope it rains soon, I said to Kahu as we headed in to lunch, so it washes all that into the soil”.
We went inside but the smell however followed me everywhere even tho I had changed my clothes. I kept sniffing my arms, was it there? Is it on my legs. I smelled worse than a public long drop. Monie and I were going to the local cafe in ten minutes to finalise some catering for Gilbert’s sixtieth and there was no way I could go smelling like that, so I told Monie I would have a quick shower. I dived in and hoped like hell I would be able to get rid of it. Finding a bottle of body scrub I rubbed those fine granules into my skin till it was almost raw. I probably came out a kilo lighter, but at least I didn’t stink. That was a relief. I thought I might smell like the man that owned a piggery that used to pop into work and even in his ‘nice’ clothes smelled like pig shit. I came out of the bathroom and asked Monie if I stink, and was more than a bit relieved I was ok. No more fish guts I decided. We’ll stick to worm tea which has always been awesome and easy.
After Monie and the kids were gone I wandered around the garden catching up with any changes. I always used to think of mid winter as being a bit bleak but now I love the many bare branches allowing the garden to shine in a different way. There is so much in flower now but we don’t really appreciate it tucked inside, out of the cold. The fairy blush pink magnolia thick with buds about to burst and the ruby red one Renny made me buy has its thick petaled flowers opened wide to the winter sun.Then there’s a Michelia Doltsopa and port wine both of which are deliciously sweet perfumed with the Doltsopa’s flowers providing a pearly gleam at night reflecting the moonlight when I put Paddy away.
The camellias, and there’s a few, have carpeted the ground in pinks, whites and reds in the various spots of the garden now on show and the sasanqua hedge in white has just finished in the semi circle. Even after the quick prune it will probably give me a second spring show. The last of the roses have fallen with the red hops waiting for their pruning and the Rosemary is full of vibrant blue looking great against the newly barked area. I’m so glad I did a whole bed of it. Just need another climber on that wall. God I love my garden, even when it stinks!