Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Winter Gardening

No, we haven’t dropped off the planet, nor indeed off Stewart Island. We’ve been busy, heads down bottoms up catching up on all sorts of chores after our last guests at Kowhai Lane & Sails Ashore left.

Island Pessimism

Islanders have an inbuilt pessimism about the weather, and on more than the odd occasion over our wonderful hot and dry summer I heard the refrain “we’ll pay for this” and so we did. The drought broke with a vengeance in February, and since then we’ve not had a huge amount of rain, but lots of wind and grey days. Often too wet and horrible to be outside. And that makes Iris grumpy, as she likes to get her four gardens “put to bed” for the winter. And although Iris is never happier than when she’s sitting in the mud with plants in her hands even she said enough. But sneaking out whenever possible has seen a lot done. Several corners have had a real “clean out” and in total I’ve taken 7 trailer loads to the local tip, and probably at least 2 more to go. Lots of trees and shrubs have had a severe haircut, and a couple pruned down to ground level, opening things up a lot.


Sails Ashore, Stewart IslandIris with her new toy. Note secateurs in”Quick Draw” holster.
If you believe in re-incarnation, and want a long second life you  really don’t want to come back as
a weed 
or  a tree with lots of branches in Iris’  garden

Hand sawing quite large branches was getting to be a chore, and I wouldn’t let her use the chainsaw, which in any case wasn’t really suitable for a lot of what needed cutting. So we bought a builders sabre saw. Works a treat, and I’ve watched Iris eyeing up all sorts of branches.  I’ve already used it to install a new exhaust fan at Kowhai Lane. Cutting out nailed timber was a doddle, compared with how I would have done it.

Sails Ashore Stewart Island

First Frost

The last couple of days have been fine and calm and this morning we woke to our first frost of the season, and now we have a lovely day, with the forecast saying much the same for several days.
Sails Ashore Lodge, Stewart Island

The wet autumn has seen lots of fungi appear in our garden, but the lawn is still growing, if a bit slower. And yesterday I took 3 catcher loads of clippings off, and at quite a high cut level.