Tuesday, March 28, 2017

GETTING THINGS DONE...

Autumn is upon us and there is plenty to do. Apples and pears produced a small crop with grapevines in need of pruning. I found a large weta tucked up under the pergola yesterday. Hopefully, he won't come inside when it cools down.



Granny Smith and Royal Gala apples are ripe with just a few on the young trees. I toned it down a bit when putting in this season's tomatoes with considerably less than previous years.

We seem to be on top of the Green Shield Beetle problem for now. Regularly removing by hand before disposing of them is the only way it seems.


Once all the leaves are off the nectarine I will spray the tree thoroughly with Liquid Copper to control the curly leaf. Another couple of sprays later in the year before and after blossom should ensure a reliable crop. Spraying times are essential.  Last year there was only one nectarine left on the tree with lots of small shrivelled fruit and dead leaves falling to the ground.


After yesterday's heavy downpour Kit was pleased to be inside. He is more settled now sleeping away most days before roaming around outside at night. Needless to say, landing home with a few battle scars is not unexpected.

The decorators are busily painting throughout. New carpet, recovered chairs and drycleaned drapes and blinds will bring the place up to scratch. What an uplift this will be!










Sunday, January 1, 2017

THE START OF ANOTHER YEAR...



Just taking it easy today. Kit has had a bad time lately after two or three fights with a cat that always gets the better of him. A large white cat is hanging around at the moment and we are wondering if he may be bullying him. Needless to say,  keeping Kit inside at night is not to his liking, but preferable to the nasty wound he came home with last time. 

As for sprawling comfortably up on the table...  Hopefully, he won't get too used to the idea. Of course he is being really fussed over by Craig with a variety of treats landing in front of him. In fact, so much so, some of those treats lie in wait.....

Our summer jumps from hot to cool at a moment's notice and we are not the only ones noticing it. The strawberries, in particular, are not doing well with other berries lagging also. The fruit trees got off to a bad start with poor pollination, probably due to so much rain and a shorter period of time. Bumble bees work on, but there were not enough of them. Other pollinating insects kept under cover somewhere and by the time the days were clearing up, it was too late.

On the positive side, I guess the rested trees and vines will be at their peak next season. Well, here we are into another year. Wishing everyone the very best for a happy and prosperous 2017.



Monday, December 19, 2016

TEN GREEN BOTTLES.........


Craig headed off down to the supermarket after making his list of things to get. Being methodical, he keeps ahead of things and we never seem to run out of anything. So much so, that we have a considerable surplus of most things......... which is really convenient even if a little over the top.

Recently, we started singing 10 Green Bottles which is always good for a laugh. Such a happy home and fun place to be.


Down to nine.... with the last bottle in the dishwasher at the moment.....


Only six of these.... Better top up. As for toilet rolls and packets of coffee... They always make their way on to the list and there are packets of them everywhere. 🙂

We are expecting a few showers this afternoon so making the most of today was worthwhile. A nice time spent picking a few flowers for the vase before getting on with pruning back some of the roses. Isn't it amazing how they can reach out and lunge at you with their thorns. Beasts of things that they are, but I love them all the same.


Excuse the messy bench... I have been busy dealing with priorities...



This little kitten is so adorable and cute. She is well loved and doted on by her new family who live opposite us. Craig has a good hold on her much to Bernie's amusement.






Saturday, December 10, 2016

THINGS GETTING BACK TO NORMAL...



Strawberries and rhubarb from the garden and a few apples to go into the shortcake. The strawberries seem to be appearing in dribs and drabs and I wonder if adding more fertilizer has caused the plants to throw up more growth than fruit, They need potash so a trip to Palmers Garden Centre next week is on the list of things to do.

Mind you, the only tripping I will be doing this time will be by bus. It's been a month since that heavy fall on to a concrete path followed by another fall a couple of weeks later. This one was onto the flat slate slabs in front of the deck when I missed the step up and landed unceremoniously across them, resulting in a deep gash to my wrist. A trip by ambulance to the hospital and several stitches before we caught the bus home in time to catch up with our favourite programmes.

Now that the stitches have been removed and infection cleared up things are back to normal thank goodness.

There have been so many things happening one way and another. John Key has stepped down and Bill English is taking over the reins. With Paula Bennett as deputy the transition will go smoothly I am sure. All done with the minimum of fuss.

Things seem far less straightforward in the States. The President-elect will be well challenged with a mountain of paperwork to wade through for one thing I imagine, and goodness knows how many aides and advisers surrounding him, for another. Perhaps he will simply end up throwing the toys out of the pram before stomping off.....


Rhubarb and Apple Shortcake just out of the oven and smells delicious. Having the new oven and cooktop has made a difference. So reliable with great results and I do not miss the gas hob at all. Clean pots and the smoke alarm isn't going off all the time. The oven is a pleasure to use with the pyrolytic cleaning feature keeping it clean.


Both are Smeg appliances and once you figure out how to use them they are fantastic. I found by following the instructions carefully and doing a bit at a time it wasn't so difficult to master.


Mmm.....  Time for a cuppa.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WARM DAYS OF SUMMER




After so much rain spring has finally arrived bringing many birds into the garden and colorful blossoms abound. We are still lighting the fire at night, mainly due to my love of comfort and, before long, opening the door to cool down.


This blackbird is a regular visitor and waits patiently for the leftovers. He's not the only one of course and soon shares the bounty with a variety of birds. Sparrows in particular fight among themselves and give the starlings time to clean up.





It is good to see Monarch butterflies making the most of the nectar from the nectarine and just fluttering about in general. Their quick movements have kept them safe as they steer clear of Kit.


He is on the go all day heading off all around the place visiting. Masses of energy and plenty to do. He doesn't even settle down to sleep throughout the night and has Craig backwards and forwards letting him back in.


Does Craig mind?....... Not one bit. He just makes a great fuss of his cat.



How does Kit feel about all this? ........... I think he would rather tear up and down a few trees...






Friday, August 12, 2016

ARBOR CARE TO THE RESCUE...


It's that time of the year once again to clear out a lot of surplus growth.  Arbor Care arborists Daniel and David working well and doing a great job.



This Yellow Sunburst Gleditsia shades the garden thoughout summer with many birds fluttering about among the leaves.



Our Agonis has stood its ground here for several years and a much needed trim back and reshaping has not come too soon. Next year's citrus will benefit with more sun as will the roses nearby.




It is good to see new buds on the fruit trees. The nectarine should produce its first crop this season. Pears, apples and plums should have bumper crops.

Last year, the grapes did not do well at all for some reason and as for the pumpkins... they were a
complete disappointment. Probably due to the wet season.

Our firewood is on its last legs after a pretty cold snap. Hopefully, it will see us through and with spring around the corner and warmer days ahead we should be alright.

What do they say about things coming in threes? Well, the oven packed up and left us with an uncooked lasagne. Our new oven and cooktop arrive on Monday. The good news is that it is a pyrolitic model which should take care of the cleaning and we are replacing the gas cooktop with a ceramic one. No more blackened pots!













Friday, March 18, 2016

SHOWERS AND COOLING DOWN




So much for weed spraying today. The oxalis will have to wait and staying inside today probably makes more sense.

Yesterday was busy with a couple of bus trips to town for a wireless mouse, down to the supermarket and a visit to the Vet Clinic for flea treatment for the cat before the usual rounds of... 'Catch me if you can.' Kit goes to lengths to dodge this indignity and hiding behind the frig was the latest. Craig heard his unhappy wails as we walked in the door and soon retrieved him. Needless to say, a short reprieve was needed and agreed upon.

I can hear the vacuum cleaner flying around downstairs and take it as my cue to ready myself for the spray mop, being my part of the bargain. Oh, blow it! It's not even 10 am yet.

Our Ultra Fast connection is not too far away with holes dug and underground cable shunted through. Some of the brick paving was taken up to make way and the men did a great job. Everything put back as it was and a roll left in readiness for the final connection in about three weeks. I quickly flung a batch of scones into the oven for their morning tea break before setting off for a mid morning appointment.


Yup......... Just remember what we agreed on!