I thought it might be fun to fill you in on the little adventure I've had this last fortnight, on the road!
It all began with an invitation from the Diggers Garden Club in Stanthorpe, SE Queensland a few months ago, asking if I might speak to their members about our 'Garden Journey' (as a morning session), followed by 'Kitchen Gardening' during the afternoon. Then somehow as the word got out, it spiralled into a series of invitations and engagements across northern NSW, and before I knew it, I was off to Guyra, Moree, Guyra again and Coolah Creek....passing through all the towns, both large and small and vast landscapes in between. What a whirlwind....what a journey, a privilege and an adventure!
So clearly they weren't all dirt roads! I just can't help but take a romantic view and the one in the image above was a good one....on the way to Glenrock Gardens just outside Tenterfield, where like everywhere along the way, I was given such a warm and generous welcome.
We all know the country is doing it tough.....the drought relentless, but wherever I went, those country (mostly) women were filled with hope and optimism. They are strong, stoic, resilient and fun despite it all.....and I guess it doesn't hurt to see images of a garden in greener times than these.
The roads and landscapes were magnificent, despite being so dry, and luckily there was only one close encounter with a large grey roo. Expecting it from the outset, it's no less startling and unexpected when it does happen, and I've no doubt there are a couple of stark tyre marks on the Guyra Road where I came to a straight and steady halt at lightening speed last Saturday afternoon! Waiting for a thud that didn't happen by what must have been a hair's breadth, we both came to a grinding halt at the very same moment, and he turned. Phew!
I was so encouraged to feel the enthusiasm with which gardening stories were welcomed; to hear the comparisons made, the struggle shared...or by the end of each day, the resolve to begin compost heaps anew, try a new tack, a new method, a new plant, to simplify, amplify, or tackle a whole new project! From time to time, we all just need an injection of inspiration, and to know we're on a path that others also enjoy. If I was able to do that, then I'm tickled pink and look forward to hearing the results!
So I send huge thanks for inviting me in the first place and for looking after me so well, to Wendy at the Guyra Garden Club, Glennis at the Diggers Club in Stanthorpe (and Clint Kenny for being a fabulous MC - do you remember Clint on Michael McCoy's Dream Gardens on the ABC last year when we featured mid-Clint's new kitchen garden? What fun to meet him and his Mum Rosie!); to Gina in Moree (and lovely Penny at The Town and Country Club for her fabulous organisation); to Tina at My Rural Retreat in Guyra and my dear friend Jillie at Coolah....to all their helpers, club members and delightful 'other halves', for arranging my days, for having me to stay and spoiling me rotten....the opportunity to spend time with all of them was my inspiration.
It was a bit sad to point the car to the south east, but with another Richard Fidler Conversation or two and a few more rousing Classic FM arrangements, the Blue Mountains came into majestic view from the west.....and the long straight roads became my familiar twisting and turning ones....and then, I was home! To discover that sugar snap peas can join the winter menu!
I'll be back to more 'normal' newsletters very soon, but I just thought it fun to fill you in on this little adventure. There's exciting news coming on the horizon, so watch this space! Have a lovely weekend everyone and do pray for rain....we all need it so very badly.
With very best wishes
ps There are just a few spaces left at the Cornersmith Pickling Workshop here next Friday. I can't wait - first event of the new season! I'd love you to join us!