‘Two bolts in a bag’ is a family idiom for making a small amount of progress on a project every day. It is a quote from a friend who was doing a long-term restoration of a classic car and said that he always made sure he did something towards it every day, even if it was just to put ‘two bolts in a bag’. I hope he labelled them as well.
Gardening at this time of year is just the same. Whether it’s your enthusiasm, daylight or warmth that is missing, it’s easy to avoid going out there all together. Of course once you’re there it’s much better than it seems from inside. Even if it’s just one bucket of weeds pulled, one fruit tree pruned or 20 broad bean seeds sown, it’s all progress. Or you could resort to some indoor gardening or order some seeds. You’ve still got time to contribute to the 4th annual ‘Garden Bird Survey‘ – you just need an hour and somewhere birdy to observe. What more encouragement do you need to put your feet up and watch the birds in the name of science?
There are glossier, bigger and newer books about pruning, but I always return to R. Sanford Martin’s 1944 classic ‘How to Prune Fruit Trees’. Not least because the man on the cover seems to be pruning wearing a shirt and tie and smoking a pipe. It seems things have gone dormant early this year, but I usually prune before the end of July in Wellington. I’d recommend you add the New Zealand cranberry or Chilean Guava to your fruit garden – hardy, decorative, prolific and of no interest to birds. Plus the fruit are delicious – about as close to a tropical flavour as you’ll get in Wellington.
If you’re a member of Wellington Library you can download digital audio books to your PC, iPod or a CD. Ideal for long car journeys in the school holidays. I’m currently listening to the delightful, hushed Canadian tones of Malcolm Gladwell reading his own book What the Dog Saw: and Other Adventures.