Give me spots


 “Hey farmer, farmer

Put away that DDT now

Give me spots on my apples

But LEAVE me the birds and the bees


Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

β€˜Til its gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot” 

~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi.

This Ti Kouka (Cabbage Tree) is one of the very first trees we planted at Hou Ngahere. It is now a magnificent specimen and hard to believe it’s only 15 years old. Currently it is heralding the arrival of summer ablaze with flowers and the sound of the bees. The bees are gorging themselves  in it and the neighbouring flax  – the honey will be delicious!

I marvel at the intricacies of all these delicate connections and at how clumsy we can be with pesticides and other chemicals, all in our desire to make food cheap. 

I’m with Joni, I’d rather have spots on my apples!

11 thoughts on “Give me spots

  1. Agreed! I refuse to use any chemicals in my garden in case it harms the bees (or cats!). Lost so many plants to caterpillars but that’s nature. Plus it’s a sad fact that children these days don’t know how many fruit and vegetables are supposed to look naturally.


    1. Thats so true – and they always taste better without the poisons in them! I was taught as a kid that its always good to share so I don’t mind if the birds and insects have some too (but maybe not all if them!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joni had it right! Thanks Ian, for your advice on the painting of Eccle, the old red setter sitting in the back seat of the Jag. I am so glad I started over and ended up with a much improved work thanks to you.


    1. She did indeed! But we’re still spraying everything with no understanding (or maybe care) of the collateral damage 😩.
      I was so excited to see the transformation in your painting, did he like it too?


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