Thursday, 8 October 2015

The honesty plant stall and spring in the garden.

I love growing plants and I love gardening, so instead of growing plants just for my garden, I started to sell my surplus plants at the beginning of our drive in my up-cycled plant stall.
The plant stall was an old book case from the recycle center and I painted and decoupaged the stall and transformed a Dutch clog into a honesty box so my customers can pay for the plants. 
I must say it is a slow process and up till now I haven't sold that much yet, but then I only started a few weeks ago.
My plant stall

The honesty clog
Now with readers not familiar with a honesty stall, in New Zealand many roadside stalls have a system were the customers leave money behind in a honesty box and buy from the stall what they want without seeing the owner of the stall.
There are many roadside stalls selling fruit, veges, plants,flowers,eggs and often the stalls are in the country side.
Most people are honest and leave the correct money behind, but sometimes there is a little less, but that happens not that often.
I find it special that the honesty stalls are still part of the New Zealand culture and I hope they will be there for many more years to come.
My sign
Spring has arrived and the trees in the orchard are slowly coming into blossom. The almond tree was the first to blossom, a darker pink and now the cherry and the pear trees are a cloud of pale pink and white.
Our garden is taking shape, Henk has done a lot of pruning and cleaning up and  he nearly finished the chook house and the run.
This weekend our 4 new girls will arrive and they will have a great place to call home, the orchard and a doghouse  remodeled into a chicken coop.
New Zealand Kowhai flower
I will be selling the surplus eggs in my roadside stall as well.
This week I started visiting Jack Inglis, a local hospital and rest home in Motueka with my dog Ollie as part of the Canine friends therapy organisation in New Zealand.
Ollie is wearing a bright red scarf  printed with the Canine friends logo and looks the part with his black shiny coat and cute border collie face.
The cherry tree in front of the cottage
On the first visit, Lynn the activity coordinator showed us around and we greeted residents in the main lounge and Ollie and I went round the room saying hello to everyone. Ollie was a little hesitant at first, but then gentle touched hands with his nose.
One of the nice encounters was with a gentleman lying on the bed in his room staring at the ceiling.
We asked permission to enter his room and if he liked to meet Ollie.
After only 5 minutes he was giving Ollie treats and Ollie did his "high fives" and he was telling me about his own dogs.

Magnolia tree near the garage.
Today on my second visit in one of corridors a little lady walked past us with her walking frame and she went straight to Ollie and started talking to him. She bent over to pat him and Ollie went to her and to my horror gave her a lick on her nose. I apologized profusely to her for Ollie "kissing" her face. She looked up to me and with a big smile said: "Ollie can kiss me any day".

Two mosaic tiles inspired by my garden

I just love pansies
The nurses loved him too and Ollie got a lot of attention, but after a hour he got tired and started panting, so time to leave.
The rest of the afternoon Ollie slept and that is  unusual for my active dog.


  1. Oh my gosh the stall is adorable!!!! You always put such a beautiful unique touch to things, so nice to see you back in your element. Can't believe how gorgeous the garden is in spring... So gutted I won't be able to see it this year!

    1. I hope you can come in December to look after Ollie and then the lilies will be in flower and my wildflower garden in front of the cottage.

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  3. Wat is een ""Dutch clog"", Ik zoeken op translate en natuurlijk een KLOMP ;-)
    O, de magnolia, die vind ik zo mooi!!!!! Hier is alles geel en oranje en bruin aan het worden en straks de kale takken. Wanneer ik jouw foto's zie dan herinner ik me de lente zo goed.

    Ik kan zo goed begrijpen hoe Ollie mensen opvrolijkt en blij maakt.

    Geniet maar heel erg van de lente en alle prachtige planten in jullie tuin.

    Liefs vanuit Holland, Geri

  4. It's all looking lovely Marijke :-) I have just read the article about you and Ollie in the local paper. What a lovely dog he is, as are you to be such a help to the old people. Love the 'nose-lick' story!


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