Sunday, September 17, 2017


I have had enough of rain and cool temperatures... roll on summer! A time to pick a few flowers for the vase, stroll to the shops without an umbrella, and have a natter to someone without a shower or gust of wind blowing my hair about. 

It looks as though Craig is making a point about the navel orange. Not too sure what it is, but it  looks serious....... ☺

I feel a baking mood coming on..... Apple crumble for starters. 

This is how they looked last season. Can you ever have too many fruit trees? Absolutely not! It is amazing how much can grow on a small section. It doesn't take a paddock!

Blueberries do very well in tubs and with just three, we have masses of them every year. However, I finally decided to take out the boysenberries before any more escaped ... They were coming up everywhere! I had visions of blackberry bushes and the problem of getting rid of them. An overreaction maybe, but better to be sure........

Well, just what is happening weatherwise? A trip into town, shopping list ready and bus due any moment and darn it! Grab the umbrella, throw on a jacket and tear out the door with seconds to spare. Once there, pushed along by a tail wind, battle with umbrella, handbag and composure and all I can think of is roll on summer!

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Newly planted strawberries hanging from inside the arch in individual beds. After a steady shower this morning I dashed out and poked several holes in the pockets to allow drainage. It will be interesting to see how well they do.

Sewing six pockets each side and a hem in the middle to hold it up was easy to do. The tarpaulin came from Bunnings and I bought two at the time. Before sewing the next one, I must buy some good sized eyelets for the drainage.

The leaves on the lemon trees are yellowing a bit and need Epsom salts. Apart from that, the trees are healthy and thriving in the compost.

Nectarine in blossom... Hopefully, following the copper spraying program, there will be a successful harvest this year. The final spray is due after petal drop.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Replacing the rusty sections of the flue with stainless steel brings all the maintenance up to date and will be done once spring arrives. The do-up has involved many weeks and quite an upheaval. Decluttering and disposing of things was a drag... with little time lost in the process. Everything is in place now with cupboards and drawers neatly stacked. Knowing where things are is heaven.

New carpet and vinyl planks are proving to be practical and should not date. Lifting the ceramic tiles was an all-day messy job and completed steadfastly by a man of few words. He was amazing! Just wanted to get it over and done with!

Thank goodness we ordered plenty of firewood. It hasn't been particularly cold, but there's something about putting a match to the fire. Homely living and comfort are pretty high on the agenda here.

Here's Kit looking rather pleased with himself and with good reason perhaps. He has two new cat friends. Possum strolls over from next door and they chase after one another. But recently, Kit has been sending her off back home. Maybe it's just a territorial thing or sharing leftovers scattered on the lawn is not to his liking.
  Birds flocking in for their share is bad enough so chasing after them is to be expected. Possum may be treading on his paws with her shared interests and sending her packing is what any self-respecting cat would do.....

Mabel is his other not-so-little friend. Isn't she lovely? Like Possum she weighs a ton. Don't know what they're being fed... Certainly, they are very well looked after.

The nectarine has been sprayed twice already with Liquid Copper and the last spray will be after petal fall.

 Kit with the cobweb on his head... so funny!

Friday, July 28, 2017


Five pumpkins from a few scattered seeds are looking pretty good. After last year's flop which ended up with all being tossed out due to being watery and tasteless. It seemed like a good idea to string them up to dry with air circulating around them... I guess the proof will be in the eating.

Sparrows wait patiently for scraps, bread and so on. Starlings, mynas, and finches join in the daily feeding frenzy while blackbirds pluck worms from under garden scraps... All settle down happily at the end of the day after their last meal.

Thank goodness the flowering narcissus heralds spring. It has been a wet and wild winter, but cosy inside by the fire. We are fortunate to be in Tauranga away from the slips and floods. Other parts  have not been so lucky. Climate change is a serious issue.

Violas and pansies with the occasional strawberry plant find a space wherever they can. If it is a case of the survival of the fittest they are all pretty much on a par.

A blueberry underplanted with violas is still dormant, but soon enough the blossom will appear followed by loads of fruit. Three tubs in all and never disappointing.

Kit can't seem to make up his mind about whether he should stay by Craig or dash out and chase off the birds.

This week I will remove dead flower heads and sticks from the hydrangea which will mulch down nicely here and there. With a hot summer ahead of us, all the plants roses and so on should cope well.

An example of dried bits and pieces including bark from the grape vines ensure a healthy environment and encourages earth worms. Everything flourishes in this situation and stays lush throughout the summer months.

Time to rake up the camellias and toss them around. As for the slate in front of the deck... apart from the fact that I like the look of it... falling on it when stepping up to the deck was not one of my better moments. Being carted off by ambulance to have stitches in my wrist hadn't been on the agenda either, but was a timely reminder to keep an eye on the ground instead of gaping around.

Still a few navel oranges left on the tree, some mandarins and a good crop of tangeloes yet to ripen. Meyer lemons still a way off.  Refreshing when squeezed into drinks.

Cheese scones are so easy to throw together. Fifteen minutes or so in a hot oven and they are ready. Flinging a few ingredients together with surprising results makes baking interesting rather than a chore, and of course, there are always birds just waiting to swoop down on anything from the kitchen...  including the odd baking failure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


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.

Golden delicious 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


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


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.