What a dismal day it was here in Ōtautahi the other Sunday. Raining and cold. I really did not feel like going outside and working in the māra. However, the day was clearing and I had my Pirita to sow.
In an effort to boost diversity and bring native birds back into the city, Christchurch City Council have launched a Citizen Science Project. The Backyard Mistletoe Project is a city wide project that encourages people to sow native mistletoe in their backyards. 9000 Pirita seeds have been harvested from Banks Peninsula and distributed to 450 eager Christchurch gardeners.
Each gardener has registered with CCC and has committed to sowing and monitoring 20 seeds. With a success rate of 5% we will be lucky if one plant germinates from 20 seeds.
My friend Sally and I registered. She collected our seeds from the Botanic Gardens. They had to be sown the following day. So out into the cold, wet garden I traipsed looking for bare branches of appropriate host trees to sow these tiny taonga.
Meanwhile, my devoted little gardening pal Buddy Boy elected to remain inside. Curled up tight, asleep on the bed.
Although seed sowing registration has now closed, anyone interested can still register online to follow the projects progress.