Monday, December 28, 2015

LOOKING FORWARD TO A DECENT HARVEST AND GREAT NEW YEAR


It has been another good year for boysenberries, but they are coming to an end now; Meanwhile, the Vine Hopper nymphs have taken over throughout. Easy enough to control with soap spray and it is necessary to control them at this stage.


I see a little spider has made himself at home on the apple tree. We are expecting a good crop of these reliable cooking apples. Great for freezing once stewed up.


The is a climbing rose called Westerland . It has really taken off in the few months since it was planted.








Bantry Bay flowers for months on end and lasts reasonably well inside. Another reliable climber.




There are plenty of pumpkins growing all over the place. Training them up over every available space works well and this year we decided on Buttercup.

It has been hard to drag myself away from my new toys.... Laptop for one. The place is far less cluttered since moving the desktop out of the lounge and all those annoying wires have gone at last.

Well, this year has got off to a good start and I think we can look forward to a great year. Wishing everyone all the best for a happy and prosperous 2016.




Monday, November 30, 2015

TIME TO UPGRADE



Strawberries producing in dribs and drabs and hopefully, after adding fertiliser, they will do better. Taste great straight from the garden.

Well, it's been an interesting few days. After much excitement over the new laptop and mobile I am still having difficulty syncing everything. I am very lucky to have a great neighbour who reconfigured my bungled attempts and finally got everything online. Boy! she makes short work of it! Anyway, I am still having problems with the password. Can't figure out why. Does it really need to be so pedantic?

The laptop is an Acer something or other.... 8G should be enough data to keep me out of mischief for while. The Samsung 6 mobile is fantastic... and once everything is behaving, I will be off and away and not much else will get done.

The idea was to disconnect the landline having Naked Broadband instead which works out cheaper and gets rid of the clutter. We went to Harvey Norman for a look and got caught up in all the excitement! I get so much pleasure out of the computer.

Craig says it's an early birthday present as well as for Christmas........... Lucky me!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PLENTY TO DO BEFORE SUMMER


Bantry Bay is one of my favourite climbing roses. The blooms last in the vase for several days and make a wonderful show clambering over the gazebo. I do not need to spray any of the roses due to the health of the plants. Most of the kitchen scraps end up around them as well as compost and rose fertiliser.


 Today I popped this apple, rhubarb and passionfruit crumble into the oven for dessert. What is left over can be frozen. It was handy finding passionfruit from last season in the freezer.


Craig is enjoying  his crumble at the moment... "It's nice" he says. I think he probably means Yummy! No sugar at all added to the fruit and just a handful of brown sugar in the crumble. Once again, Sugromax sweetener is the answer in avoiding those extra calories.



We sweeten lemon drinks the same way and can enjoy them without worrying about those extra kilos. We get through so many lemons it was necessary to buy another tree. It's good to see plenty of blossom on the new tree.


Three tubs of blueberries well covered and ripening soon. Considering the cost of a small punnet from the supermarket, growing our own is effortless and produce copious amounts of berries. This one is Tasty Blue and has large berries. I cannot bring myself to thin them out despite knowing they would be even larger.


With boysenberries just starting to colour up, it will not be long before they are ready. The growth is rampant and they do escape the tub and crop up elsewhere in the garden. I don't mind this at all.


Well, the blackbirds are regular visitors to the garden and I am sure they are only too aware of the grapes coming along. Each year I wander around with a broom and bang it on the pergola as we eyeball each other. Hoping they will take the hint and buzz off doesn't work...........  they just keep returning.


It is interesting to see how the new apple tree is performing. This one has three varieties. Splendour, Golden Delicious and Royal Gala. There are two espaliers growing against the back fence... Splendour and Ballarat. Having a large cooking apple is ideal.


As for the plums, there seems to be a glut of them. Santa Rosa, Burbank, Black Amber and Omega. It's amazing how much can be grown on a small section.............. no need for a paddock! When they reach full production we can sell them at the Farmers' Market.


Why on earth did I throw in a whole packet of Buttercup pumpkin seeds? They're coming up everywhere. Oh! Well! I'm sure they will come in handy and store well hopefully. They might end up at the Farmers' Market as well.


 Westerland is a new climbing rose I bought online from Wairere Nurseries a few months ago. It is growing alongside another climber called Schoolgirl, which does not flower as prolifically, but is exactly the same colour. I couldn't resist buying others as well and ended up with Dublin Bay and Crepuscule climbers.


Mary Rose is another old fashioned variety and flowers year round. So reliable and a favourite of mine. It has been in the garden for several years now along with other David Austin varieties growing here and there.



White Carpet Rose growing in a tub. Flowers for ages and brings light into the garden. There are a couple of pink ones growing somewhere and I guess they will end up in tubs.... when I come across them.




Buff Beauty has a gentle fragrance and flowers for months on end alongside Graham Thomas. Both are David Austin climbers. I think growing up against the heat of a wall in full sun has a lot to do with it with their prolific growth.



Buff Beauty and Graham Thomas flaunt their beauty amidst a carpet of petals. The blooms do not last as well inside so better left to get on undisturbed.


Well, we scraped through winter by the skin of our teeth as the firewood dwindled away all too soon. To overcome the problem, we ordered six metres a month or two ago. It's outside in the open drying off. Not enough room under cover for all of it, so will have to cover it with something before the April showers... Time to put the thinking caps on.


Bantry Bay and Archiduc Joseph have a good relationship and head up hand in hand across the gazebo. Reaching out towards them is the espaliered Ballarat. They seem happy enough living alongside each other. No doubt about it, intensive planting works well.


A closer look at Archiduc Joseph. Such a beautiful colour and well worth popping in somewhere. I have put in four Dublin Bay climbers as well. Three are growing along the fence around and behind the gazebo, the fourth will head up in front of the house through the pergola. Like all keen gardeners, I can't wait. The wonderful thing about Dublin Bay is the ongoing flowering. The blooms stay on for a long time and great for the vase.



Well, it has been a good while since putting up another post. After upgrading to Windows 10, the computer would not download photos from the camera. I huffed and puffed.... muttered and grizzled until finally, after much fiddling around...... stumbled on a solution. Eureka! Thought I was going to blow a gasket for a while there............




Sunday, June 21, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK!



Hope you're having a great day.



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

GARDEN REGENERATING OVER WINTER...



Leaving the lettuce plants to go to seed ensures an ongoing supply of seedlings which continue to come up throughout the year. Ours do well growing in tubs under cover and by the back door where they are sheltered and warm.


Easy enough to divide them up and soon enough the thriving little plants will be ready. As much as I like the crunch of Iceberg I prefer to pick a few leaves here and there when needed.


Looking at the Burbank it's obvious were are in for a good crop of plums this season as the tree is well covered in fruiting spurs. I still have several bags of frozen fuit from last year and when making jam prefer to make a couple of jars only at a time.


It has only been months since planting this flowering gum and it's well and truly on the move upwards. We are looking forward to seeing Tuis and other nectar feeders scrambling about once it starts flowering not to mention the shade it will provide in the hot summer months ahead.


The last of the grapes provided a veritable feast for many waxeyes as the cooler weather set in. We held off pruning until the onslaught of sparrows joined them in pecking from one bunch to another..




Still a while before the tangelos ripen along with the other citrus planted nearby. As always, the navel oranges drag the branches to the ground under the weight of the fruit. Not quite so many this year which I think is probably quite normal .




We get through so many lemons it was necessary to put in another tree. My favourite is Meyer because of the soft skin. We have fresh lemon drinks daily using four lemons at a time and sweetening with Sugromax before filling the large jug with water. So refreshing and provides the Vitamin C needed. We have not had colds or flu for several years now and put it down to this..


With so much lavender and other flowers to attract bees and other beneficial insects, growing plants in mulch ensures a lush environment. Adding dried clippings, straw and so on, works a treat. I usually toss all those tall grasses that come up over winter across the cobblestones to dry first. As recommended, it is a great way to keep the plants moist and save water at the same time.

Happy gardening everyone...