6 Spiritual Lessons of Kikuyu

Hi Yellow Leaf,

Our property has just had its 'turning' weekend, as in turning from summer to autumn. We cleaned gutters, made many things with feijoa, ate the last of the fresh corn, caught our first mouse, picked macadamia nuts from the prickly trees, and watched the lorikeet pair that come spend each winter here on our property.

Pumpkins are in, yesterday we dug most of the potatoes and cleaned up some of the summer chaos garden beds into ready for autumn. For all of those jobs, that means weeding kikuyu.

If you've never met kikuyu before, it's a grass that grows by the metre in long strands. It is drought tolerant, and any small piece of root left behind equals a new plant. It is not possible to get all the roots. Hay cut from kikuyu and used as mulch equals more kikuyu. In other words, once you have it, you have it.

Kikuyu was new to me 4 years ago, and it's taken me some time to learn from it. In the process, I've had veggie beds swallowed whole, and had to roll round to the chiropractor every season because I tried to pull too much at once and my back protests.

The outdoors is a teacher, not just by beautiful sunsets, but by interacting and witnessing its power to grow STUFF- stuff you want to grow and stuff you don't necessarily find useful, like kikuyu and powdery mildew. Below are my reflections on the grass that has played a huge role in defining my gardening experience in the last few years.

Kikuyu has given me hours of opportunity to reflect on her lessons.

6 Spiritual Lessons of Kikuyu

1) If you ignore it, it becomes impenetrable. Kikuyu will choke out most small things you'd like to grow in dirt.

2) If you fight it, you lose. The fighting energy generates a lot of action, but it is unsustainable. Kikuyu is patient and persistent, it just waits for you to quit paying attention.

3) It does not recognize boundaries, but boundaries help you manage. Boundaries are not for kikuyu, they are for you to stay clear about exactly where is the space that you tend.

4) Focus is best. Focusing down to specific space or a single strand of kikuyu is the most effective in the long term. You can't manage everywhere at once.

5) Sometimes nipping off the tops is the best you can do. You gain some time to deal with it better later.

6) You can ask for help.

Kikuyu managing is best done together, allowing for conversation, stories, and connection as you work. It makes the effort easier on many levels.

Replace the word kikuyu with the name of a trying person in your life. What is she teaching you?

Replace the word kikuyu with a habit that seems to haunt you. What can you learn?

BE kikuyu. She teaches that way too.

The qualities that Kikuyu teaches for co-existing are the same as the qualities that she herself exhibits.

Patience, persistence, clarity, desire, and acceptance

Isn't kikuyu amazing?! She teaches.
Isn't your annoying relationship amazing?! She teaches
Isn't that crazy habit amazing?! She teaches

Be Patient
Be Persistent
Be Clear

All for now, Kikuyu.

With Respect, Bex   


"Kikuyu is a hardy, creeping grass common in coastal areas of New Zealand. It is often considered a weed in home gardens as it is very fast spreading and can quickly invade existing lawn or garden beds. Kikuyu can make for a very hard wearing lawn if it can be kept within a desired area." Kiwi Care
About the author

Becky Cashman

Founder and Product Maker ~ Goodbye NZ

Goodbye makes certified natural, water-free products that take care of skin outdoors. Established by Becky in 1999, the key message has been consistent from the beginning.  Outdoors is good. We belong outdoors. It's better outdoors. Being outdoors is self-care in it's most natural state.

Alongside this message of wellness outdoors is the ethos that we take care of what we love. When you are connected to your environment, you naturally take better care of it.

Becky is the product maker for Goodbye products, sometimes development takes years. As a former outdoor guide, she has remained focused on bringing performance and portability to genuine natural products.

Her products are a good reason to keep showing up to the conversation about a life lived better outdoors.

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