Sunday, December 17, 2017


First of summer fruit. Black Amber plums starting to ripen along with second-year nectarines... with all of ten fruit only. But who is complaining... certainly not us.  😎

I will not be writing much this time with ongoing pain after fractured shoulder. Hopefully, just another four weeks to go. I will know more after the appointment with Fracture Clinic this Friday. If operation needed I guess that means more recovery time... just have to wait and see. Next post should be more interesting with so much happening in both garden and what's cooking in the kitchen.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope you all have an enjoyable holiday and definitely make the most of the glorious summer days ahead.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Lovely sunny day today listening to birds and strolling around the garden. This bumble bee has been pretty busy gathering pollen from the Hyssops. The thing I love about having these is that they self-seed and bring colour as well as cooling the garden down. Popping up everywhere!

Well, I am not sure that the birds are too happy about sharing their birdbath with the cuttings. Kit manages to jump up for a drink from the dish... not much fazes him.

We are feeling rather excited about the nectarines this year. Although many have fallen from the tree, a fair few continue to hang on... for now.

Hopefully, as the tree matures it will produce more healthy fruit. The copper sprays are certainly working well in controlling the leaf curl. I continue to pick off infected leaves as I go.

With several strawberry plants in tubs and here and there in the garden, we are making the most of them... and they are delicious!

These ones enjoy being tucked up in their little beds and quietly observe the beady-eyed blackbirds from under the netting. The funny thing is that a lot of the birds concentrate more on the scraps Craig throws across the lawn for them. Could it be that they have become complacent?

Westerland is reflecting in the sun as the little ones scamper up hastily to join her. A couple of warm days do the trick and, at the moment, there are gorgeous blooms everywhere. Such a joy it is to have them.

Not to be outdone, Schoolgirl flaunts her beauty. These two roses grow side by side to ensure the blooms continue for longer. As much as I love Schoolgirl, the flowers drop off early.

Crepuscule is another climber that will clamber over the garden shed. KAITERI GOLD CLIMBING ROSE is a must when looking for an excellent performer. The blooms stay on for a long period, my first one has been just perfect for a week already. It is a large bright lemon rose with well-formed petals. A strong healthy plant that never disappoints.

This photo does not do Kaiteri Gold justice.  I will put up a better photo when the next bud opens.

Craig is glad to have a sit down after another long walk home with a heavy load of groceries. He often walks two or three times a day. Fit as a fiddle! Kit adores his dad... it's not just cupboard love even though Craig fusses over him with many treats. Yesterday it was fresh fish nicely browned in the pan just as he likes it. It's a wonder he has room after all the grazing that goes on. Whiskers cat pouches and cat biscuits throughout the day... but just look at him! Not a bit of weight anywhere. Guess it's all the tearing up and down trees!

I digress. But, it's hard not to sit down in front of the computer and before you know it... a couple of hours have flashed by.

I don't know what happened to the mobile phone earlier today, but panic set in when I discovered it had frozen on something-or-other.... can't remember what it was! Thanks, Craig!  If he had not quietly taken it in hand and brought it under control I would have definitely been in need of a chill pill! Thankfully, it's behaving now and I can get back to swanning about. 😊

Dublin Bay is thriving in the sunny position as it climbs up towards the pergola. With repeat flowering, this beautiful rose adds colour and beauty for months on end.

Here is Kit checking out the comings and goings. Boy! does he enjoy life.

Cineraria flowers have sprung up all over the place. I wonder if they may soon be coming to an end. I will miss them, but there will be other plants to take their place.

Three of these little birds turned up in our Agonis tree a few weeks ago. I heard a strange bird song which sounded like a descending scale before dashing outside to see. It took a while to find them in the large tree, but soon enough, there they were. I watched until they fIew off before a Google check soon identified them after listening to it on a nature site. Whitehead Popokatea is a threatened species here in New Zealand and with a dwindling population in different parts of the country, the Conservation Department was keen to hear of their first reported siting here in Tauranga.

A few Cinerarias and Aquilegia in the vase lasted a few days. Very pretty while they lasted... short and sweet...

Not a lot happening in the kitchen today.... Hmm..... I think a Lemon Meringue Pie might be a good idea. Craig has got through so many lemons lately with all the drinks he has been making because of his cold. Feeling a lot better today.... but this hasn't stopped his walking.

A camellia and some citrus trees have reached out to form a garden arch. The balance of nature never ceases to amaze me. A wonderful gift we should never take for granted!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


What a handsome boy Kit is. He's certainly interested in something outside, or perhaps, it is his reflection.  There is so much for him to do each day and tearing up and down trees is great fun.

And these three handsome boys at the Auckland Airport waiting for the call to board.  Karl is off  back to Australia after a couple of weeks spent with us. Craig is standing to his right looking sad knowing it will be a while before he sees his brother again. Pop is proud of his grandsons and has kept us all up to date with his flying.

Both my parents would fly down in a Piper Cherokee right up until Dad was seventyfive. He would bring a stool to ease Mum down from the plane; she was a couple of years his senior and had all the faith in the world in his flying skills.

Here is Mum on another occasion at the airport; once again, seeing Karl off.  At the time, she had broken her wrist after a fall down onto concrete. Karl is raring to go but Craig is looking  a bit sad. Mum and I were chatting on as usual.

Here is a photo taken years ago of my three sons and young brother Ross on the left. Craig, Karl and Nick to his right. With little more than three years between Uncle Ross and Nick, they were more like brothers. Mum was pretty surprised at the unexpected, soon to be arrival;  Dad of course, was crowing with delight. At the time I  had just started work  and tore off to put a pram on layby... it was such exciting news.

I think the most amusing occasion was when my elder brother Graeme and I visited Mum in Campbell Johnston in Hamilton at 6pm, or thereabouts, and I was promptly ordered out by a nurse saying husbands only allowed on evening visits. With that; Graeme, a tall eighteen year old of six feet four, went on in without batting an eye while I stomped off and caught the bus home. The thing that annoyed me most was that I had worn a new hat and felt pretty grown up. 😋 So funny!

Another photo, taken so long ago, of Nick setting off for school. He was eight and very proud of his new bike.

Okay... enough reminiscing! Can't a cat have five minutes peace. All that muttering and worst of all... cursing that darned computer!

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. 

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.