Christchurch kids remember

book coverNgaio and Ray, even the names suggest a difference. These two completely different people have written fascinating accounts of growing up in Christchurch.

First Ngaio Marsh. Is anyone called Ngaio these days?  Queen of crime, she grew up in Christchurch, attended St Margaret’s College and lived here for a significant part of her life. As well as her international fame as a mystery writer she contributed to local cultural life with her passionate involvement in theatre and her support and advocacy for young acting talent.

Her biography, Black beech and honeydew, evokes an Edwardian childhood amongst the well off families of Fendalton and Cashmere. Gardens were large, ponies and tennis courts available, the Avon River a playground.

Ray Columbus on the other hand is a child of the 1940s, growing up in a large  family in working class Woolston. His book, The Modfather, describes  after school jobs and selling bottles to raise money for  a treat like going to the pictures ,   wearing homemade clothes and walking everywhere.

book coverI’ve read and enjoyed both these books. Somehow when I think of Ngaio I think of hills and trees and green, when I think of Ray I think of the other Christchurch, hot and flat and hard edged with concrete.

Can anyone suggest any other autobiographies of growing up in Christchurch? Childhood memories of a place are special.

Time to spring into your garden

Spring is a great time to get enthused about your garden. Regardless of the size of your section, balcony or paddock we have load of gardening resources for you.

If your soil is still a bit cold for such things as tomatoes, you can start planning what goes where, and when to plant. Some frost-tender plants can be started in glasshouses, cloches or on your windowsill.

Vegetable gardens are very popular in spring. Start putting nutients in your soil now while you decide what to plant.

Before outdoor summer entertaining, you could renovate your courtyard or garden room, or make new garden furniture. How about garden sculptures?

Got no room? Container gardens  can thrive in a small space. Got loads of room? How about planting an orchard and  large trees and hedges.

Through the Source you can access Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture. A collection of more than 100 journals focused on key issues in gardening, landscaping, and other areas of horticulture. You can access it with your library card number and PIN.

Don’t have a PIN? Ask at one of our libraries or call us. PINs allow you to access your library account information and place holds on items through the online catalogue. Your PIN also gives you free access to  the Source — paid services the library subscribes to.

What are you growing this season? Any good tips to share?