The Keeper’s Diary

Eating grapefruit iceblocks on the kitchen porch. Left to right: Wendy, Stephen and myself

My name is Trudy Lane and I grew up on the farmland of Miranda, trying to keep up with my Dad’s long, lanky steps as he fed out hay to the cattle or gave me little tours of the shorebirds by the beach on our land. Shorebirds who had migrated from the other side of the world he said, in a voice ringing with a sense of marvel.

I would later grow and travel to live on that other side of the world for much of my adult life, working in digital media design in the US and Croatia.

After returning I came to look after this land for the family, when my brother moved to Australia. This change of scenery also brought many changes to my outlook, and it was through an accumulation of small, everyday revelations. Things like finding you have dug up a strangely still, milky insect – or nearly stepping on a giant green moth you thought was a leaf, and that it couldn’t possibly be a native. All these things come from taking the time to observe, talk and learn about world around us. A mental space that we often struggle to maintain in our modern lives.

A cicada nymph, unearthed while gardening. From this I discovered that New Zealand cicadas live underground for seven years. Some US cicadas live from 13 to 17 years underground.

The prefix ‘eco’ comes from the Greek word oikos, meaning home. In this way ecology can be understood as the study of home. The many layers of any one place – social, historical, geological, cultural, etc – make up a complex web of interconnections. Through the attentive observation of these many different layers, and by extension their very different literacies, I am interested to know deeply this one place, as an example of how we can come to deeply know any place.

During 2010-2011, this observational (and conversational!) practise supported the development of the concept for House of Wonder concept which involved the successful prototyping of a series of retreats, creative residencies and dinner/dialogue events held at the house in Miranda.

During 2012–2015 the focus is on developing Wonderlogue events and an online shop for House of Wonder while living in Auckland. This is so to raise funds for the renovation of the house as a retreat space, and to organise for further developments in the land to complete the concept.

However as trees take 20 years to grow, and I’ve only just begun to embark on that lifetime journey that is learning how to garden, the work on the garden and surrounding land will be continuing, and with it the Keeper’s Diary. The goal is to create outdoor spaces here worthy of an elegant and restful country retreat, and with this will be this log of the discoveries that that work brings.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.