Bring on the blossom

Wet, cloudy, windy … perfect spring weather! I knew I should have escaped the office on Friday and got out into the garden when the sun was shining. Damn! But that’s just the way it goes. I have loads to do in my garden and orchard too, so some nice weather would have been a help. Needless to say, I’m not known for my patience.


There are loads of blossoms out now (ok on a couple of plums and a Paragon peach) and the almond tree is looking just spectacular, don’t you think?


We are huge fans of oven baked salmon which we enjoyed last night yet again. It is baked with grated ginger, sesame oil, soy and mirin. Just delish! To accompany this, a salad of finely sliced spring onion, Thai mint and carrot straight from the garden, plus cabbage, tomato, paw paw and a couple of our own eggs – hard boiled of course. This salad is divine drizzled with a dressing of sesame oil, our own olive oil, lemon juice and fish sauce. Ah perfect! Oh and I can’t forget the home-grown dried habanero chill – which I rehydrated, sliced and threw into a small bowl of soy sauce (just wish I hadn’t rubbed my eye while prepping …. )

Juicing – yes, I’m still hauling curly kale out of my garden – hence that bed is yet to be cleared of veg. I wish I was more organised. Plus I’ve also been juicing our yacon tubers which add sweetness without the calories.

Things to do

I still need to haul out a couple of beds which I had earmarked for cover crops. Needless to say, I don’t think the green manure crops will grow in time so I might just leave the greenery in these beds until the summer plantings are ready to go in. Think mid – late October. I hate leaving the soil bare so this sounds like a plan.

Some of those olive trees were lucky and escaped the hair cut (not to say I can’t snip off the odd branch when I’m on the vicinity mind you) and I’m STILL behind in giving those apples and pears a mini (small, think minute Andrew) prune.

We need to mulch the orchard, fertilise those trees, convince them it’s spring so they should get cracking. I would love to ply them with lime to sweeten the soil, but I know this won’t happen, there is just too much on.

The veg garden is due for more fertiliser, whether it is my homemade seaweed brew (the smelly stuff) or a nitrogen tea of sheep and chook poo which the garden just loves (I love a cuppa but I would seriously pass on this one).

What’s happening


Pepper and eggplant seedlings  …


Zinnia .. skyward bound!

Those seedlings are doing just fine. And so they should be given they have been relocated to our kitchen! So much for our greenhouse. It faces west, sits amongst trees and only the roof and sides allow the light in! Guess we didn’t know what we were doing when we had it erected.

The garlic is growing as you would expect given it has been in the soil now for 3 months. The Egyptian walking and red onions are looking good, as is all the self seeded stuff that suddenly appears and smothers the residents. Garlic especially loathe being crowded so sadly a few calendulas had to get hauled out.



We don’t have any lambs of our own … shame, but a neighbour is feeding a Polwarth lamb, so I have popped in a couple of pics of this lovely little girl. Sweet isn’t she?


I thought this pic of fungus growing very happily on a dying lemonwood pittosporum was worth including, how good are the colours?

I’m sure next Garden Share Collective month that there will be lots more happening to report about. As always thanks for this great initiative Lizzie and for all those that do … Happy gardening!

PS Colin is doing just fine thanks! His dastardly ways have not improved! Let’s blame it on spring



52 thoughts

  1. Hello there, really enjoyed looking at your photos and reading about your place. I had a quick read ‘about’ you and read about the Toi Toi wine, we had a bottle of Pinot Noir last night! Very nice too it was 😀

  2. Hi Julie, Loved your blog this week, as usual 🙂 I’ve brought my mini greenhouse inside (hubby was unimpressed!) because I was impatient for my seeds to germinate. Yours are looking impressive – I have a bit to catch up! I recall reading a while back in one of your blogs that you have done some horticultural study. I’m interested in doing the same (some of the plant science courses at Lincoln look amazing). Would you mind sharing what you studied?

    • Hi thanks for stopping by. Ah, love the fact that you too moved your seeds indoors! LOL I did diplomas and certificates via Northtec. Horticulture level 2 & 3 and Sustained Rural Development Levels 2 & 3. Fabulous courses – I learnt so much. Are they courses at Lincoln or a degree? I can’t locate your blog either … shame!

  3. Yes the polworth lamb is gorgeous and totally precious. I know what you mean by erecting the hot house in the wrong location, it is always easier in hindsight. Great photography, as always and yes, you have to watch the chilli finger in the eye 😀

  4. Wonderful photos! It looks like everything is ramping up nicely for the growing season ahead. I’m sure you won’t miss those few calendulas. Here we are heading in the other direction, but that’s okay because fall has it’s own rewards. Take care.

  5. You’re in a sort of spring frenzy, aren’t you?! But it’s great to see that especially as things do get very relaxed our side as we’re into late summer. Your salmon recipe sounds fab and will be tried out in due course! Have a great week, Julie 🙂

  6. Hi Julie. Your spring sounds as busy as mine! I am determined to make some time to get out there and sow some seeds tomorrow or it will drag on and we will end up starving! The rain has been pretty full on where we are – set in all day. You are lucky you don’t have lambs though – think of us with calf clubs lambs that are still being feed at 9:30 at night – in the cold and dark and the rain! I hope you find the time to do what needs to be done. Cheers Sarah : o )

    • Hello lovely .. Oh boy I don’t envy you with the 9.30 feeds. The weather has been awful up here too. Loads of rain! Good luck with that seed sowing! At least you gave that wonderful greenhouse, mine are in the kitchen now 🙂

  7. Delightful read! You’re heading into spring and fall is soon upon us here in the Midwest. Score! My two favorite seasons.

    Oh and yes. That almond tree is simply stunning. Great photos — love the lamb! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. What a fantastic read! I knew you’d get your pictures… They look great 🙂
    We had a sunny weekend and most of the 1st day of spring! Pouring rain this morning!
    There is always much to be done on the farm in Spring. Our second baby arrived yesterday (calf), with many more to come 🙂 Busy busy. What a dear little lamb your neighbours have <3
    Cheeky Colin doing his job 😉 Love all that you're doing Julie. Always inspiring!

  9. Looks like spring has arrived early for you too. Spring rain is always welcome for us, its not often we get it (usually its the dry part of the year). The lamb is so cute, wish I had some that lived next door, we just have goats that occasionally break out and eat my plants. Happy gardening and see you next month.

  10. My husband says that NZ salmon is the best in the world 🙂 Those lambs are adorable and as always your pics are brilliant. Are you planning to move the green house?

  11. Yes, the almond tree is in magnificent array; what a beautiful emblem of spring. Lovely photo! I would love to revel there beneath its gorgeous frilled limbs and drink in the gentle spring air, fresh with that lovely invigorating perfume sailing in the breeze.

    Spectacular images, as always. A lovely post as spring begins to unfurl. Best wishes,

    Autumn Jade

  12. Love seeing your little seedlings starting out as those of us in the North begin winding down the growing season…The world tilts and turns and rolls along, taking us with it all willy-nilly 😉

  13. Always so much happening in your garden! I love oven baked salmon with ginger too, isn’t it the best?
    We’ve got sheep coming at the end of the month so I hope to have so cute pictures of sheep to share on my blog soon!

    Hope the weather clears up for you soon! It’s just perfect here.
    Sarah x

  14. Isn’t it nice to have neighbors that have sheep? You can live vicariously through them. Those mushrooms look like “wood ears” which are edible, but they normally only grow on dead trees, so I wouldn’t eat them.

  15. The almond tree does indeed look spectacular, the salad sounds wildly wonderful and Colin? Yeah. Well. He’s Colin – he’s cool and he knows it, eh?

    • Hi Jim … yes it does look good. The sheep get to the almonds way before we do! That salad is brilliant by the way – you need to get Firefox to make it for you. Colin, well he’s very cool and yep, he knows it too! 🙂

Leave a Reply to silverbells2012 Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: