So Out in the Park became Out in the (Car) Park, as part of a much bigger event, Cuba Dupa.
And our Bee-Loved stall was there, under one of these gazebos, thanks to my qi gong teacher, Fan, who contributed some – very popular – plants of her own. And to Tasha Haines, whose lovely eye and generous heart are always valuable to have around.
We also advertised qi gong and sold some women’s film-related things.
And Anna Keir’s quirky crafts.
It was fun. And good to talk with visitors, share the plants and the accompanying handouts.
Until a Wellington gust lifted the row of gazebos. Twice. The gazebos were dismantled and we went home early.
I was proud of my plants, from heritage seeds, in their biodegradable Fertil pots from France, in their organic compost and growing sturdily: alyssum, two kinds of basil, bergamot, borage, calendula, coriander, parsley. Many flowering or about to flower. All attractive to bees. All going to provide seeds that their owners can use next year.
Now it’s time to prepare the garden for winter. There are still bumble bees in the lavender. And the anise hyssop is flowering. But daylight saving ends soon.
Tomorrow, with assistance from lovely mates, I was having a stall at Out in the Park, Wellington’s Queer Fair, down the road at the harbour’s edge. For the first time, I was going to sell bee-loved plants. I even have this big (A0) vinyl poster, logo designed by Maeve Marama Lonie, the daughter of one of my oldest friends.
There’s a coldish southerly tonight, so I brought the plants inside for the last time, sad that they’re going. Each biodegradable pot holds alyssum, two kinds of basil, bergamot, borage, calendula, coriander, parsley, all grown completely organically and without neonics. The idea is that people get to know these plants as they grow and flower, attract bees and then seed. And because the plants all come from heritage seeds, buyers can collect their own seed for next year.
The plants loved it when my qi gong teacher spent forty minutes giving them qi, on Tuesday. ‘They’re happier’, she said afterwards. BUT last night some little organism got to the large basil – the fino verde is fine – so that happiness didn’t protect them.
And now the fair’s been postponed till Sunday because of that nasty southerly, whoosh! in from Antarctica. Irritating, because my driver isn’t available that day and the day’s timeframe for the fair may change, too.
But the extra day gives me time to replace the munted basil and to better organise the other, film, side of the stall. There, I’ll be selling items that aren’t at risk from the environment in the same way plants are.
Pure cotton tea towels from my Development project. All the same size, unlike the bergamot, for instance.
And Complex Female Protagonist military caps. Three colours – black, white, khaki. All standard, unlike the greens of the plants. Here’s the poster–
I’ve been too timid to open the carton they arrived in– what if I hate the caps I ordered, military-style, as befits a ‘campaign’?
And now there’s lots of time to do that tomorrow. And to enjoy the sunflowers. Even if it’s raining.
I might even walk along the zigzag to our local park, formerly a monastery garden. Traces of the garden are still there – brick walls, a huge pear tree, some herbs. But most of all, I love the mature pohutukawa trees. The bees love pohutukawa too, when it flowers in December.
Bees & Bee-Loved Flowers. A Global View From New Zealand.