Some of you may have been following the discussion in the comments a couple posts back about our huge man-eating stinging nettles. I remarked how boggled I was to find nettles that had grown to be, effectively, small trees.
It turns out we don’t just have out-of-control nettles. We have bona fide New Zealand native tree nettle. I kid you not. One of our friends who came to the party works for DOC (Department of Conservation) as a weed specialist (Melanie — we took a botany hike with her in a local reserve a couple months ago.), and had a lovely time padding around the garden in her socks, pointing out this and that. She warned us against being too butch with the nettles.
“They’re only occasionally fatal,” she assures us. The people they’ve killed have been people who’ve been all “Bah, I’m tough ! I can handle some nettle sting !” and kept pushing into them and getting stung again and again, instead of leaving them alone and going and putting something on the stings like any sensible person. Luckily, neither Stephen nor I suffer from testosterone poisoning to the point that we feel the need to fling ourselves naked into the tree nettles to prove our butchness (we’ve got the gorse for that, hah hah).
New Zealand, incidentally, also has daisies and fuscia — and of course ferns — that come in Tree Size.