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Gardening From New Zealand
by Gill Jackson
February 17, 2002

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Christmas and New Year have come and gone (thank goodness), and we are no longer being bombarded with all the hype and commercialism - people telling us to buy big expensive presents; to eat up large and be merry, and to party party party. The real reason for celebating Christmas was remembered by a few, no doubt, but it is hard to rise above all the other propaganda. 
I think it has been a good time for reflecting on mans’ inhumanity to man, and the intolerance that we humans have for anything that we do not understand. If we do not like something, we kill it or get rid of it; if we cannot understand something or someone’s viewpoint, we scoff at it and put it aside. No wonder there are wars - neighbours will not trim a tree for a fellow neighbour who is losing their view; folk think a particular animal species, or a bird, is ‘ destructive ‘ so they assume they have the right to poison it (and believe me, this goes on within our lovely village!); folk are frightened of a particular harmless insect, so they kill it. 
We have become increasingly intolerant towards the so-called ‘lesser’ creatures in our unrealistic desire for perfection. Our homes must be spotless, we must have the latest gadgets, our gardens must be ‘oh so neat and tidy’, and our bodies - well, we should all resemble movie stars and have no grey hairs, or laughter lines - and heaven help us if we have a blemish on our face!! 
Whilst we are striving to have fun and enjoy ourselves, can we spare a thought for the future of this wonderful planet - can we learn to live with nature and not fight it, can we learn to care for vulnerable creatures, and can we start focussing on the important things in life - admiring a sunset, enjoying a simple walk on a beach, and watching a proud mother blackbird teaching her brood how to feed and fly. 
As a Green Party spokesperson said - do we want New Zealand to be full of casinos, MacDonald’s and the like - or do we want New Zealand to be ‘pure’ New Zealand - green, clean and natural? Do we want New Zealand to end up like other countries where they have to buy in bees and insects, because, they, in their infinite wisdom, have killed every living bug (good and bad)? 
Clean, green and natural begins in our homes - in our own little backyard plot and unless we take serious measures to amend the harm that we humans have done to our world, to our own little backyard plot, the future of this fantastic earth is under serious threat. We can all cause a ‘ripple’ in the ‘huge pond’ by composting, recycling, returning to organic methods and nurturing this unique and beautiful planet. 

Happy Gardening! 

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