Oh it’s December ..

It was the most gorgeous day yesterday but I was desperate to get this post done .. so I was indoors busily typing. It’s time for another Garden Share Collective update, where a group of global garden bloggers put pen paper to share their veg patches with all those interested. If you get a chance, pop on over to Lizzie’s blog from Strayed from the Table … she is the girl behind this beaut initiative! Thanks Lizzie …

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So what’s happening at Frog Pond Farm. Lots!

Our gardens are coming along nicely .. there is plenty of growth in those salad beds. Nice plump lettuces, sorrel heading for the sky, I have even started taking the laterals off the tomatoes. The zucchinis are now sporting long green shafts and big happy yellow flowers, the potato plants are spilling out of their garden, the beetroot is sporting plenty of greenery – here’s hoping there is action in the dirt too!

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I thought that some 4 legged critters had eaten all the bean seeds that my brother had planted in situ a few weeks back. Seems I was wrong .. the seeds have germinated and some of them have already grabbed the trellis and are hauling themselves upwards. Fabulous!

It goes without saying that the Egyptian walking onions are doing famously as are the red onions sharing that same bed. And yes, I hauled out most of the self seeded stuff from this space.

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Moving down to the orchard .. sadly the majority of our peaches aren’t doing terribly well, six trees in particular. I’m not sure what the problem is, but the trees are not looking happy and have lost a lot of fruit. The pears also aren’t sporting much fruit this year, although they are looking very healthy. Our gorgeous quince tree has lots of furry fruit attached and the Damson plum is loaded. The Luisa plum has lost lots of fruit which is a shame – something to do with the spring winds no doubt. And even more disappointing are our olive trees. I’ll be very surprised if we have much of a haul next year, and to be honest, I have no idea why. Certainly not from lack of TLC – they get loads of that. I haven’t checked the apples, persimmon or the figs, but the feijoas … oh my we are going to be eating them in everything. A bumper crop!

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Damson plums –   Whoops this pic is of Luisa plums sorry 🙂

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Bon Chretien pears

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Quince

The sheep are looking very glamorous and cool in their new outfits …. Our chooks while missing their buddy Collin, have settled down and the pecking order has resumed. Surprise, surprise we have another clucky hen, which means performing the usual meal time ritual, lifting her from the nest while she squawks indignantly. Gladys is doing a terrific job with her 6 chicks. It is looking like we have 2 roosters and 3 hens. Not bad! I have also been letting them out for a run around the backyard which they relish … look out flower garden!

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Too much fun being a chick

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Harvest

The salad garden is providing us with lettuces. We have rocket growing in a pot by the back door and this is particularly yummy stuffed with some salmon in a sandwich and don’t forget the hummus. Spring onions and herbs always make the plate and as I’ve been cooking a lot of Asian food lately, our lemon grass has a starring role. I have a wonderful array of herbs growing, all the old favourites of course and others like horse radish, chervil, marjoram (growing in the chilli garden), garlic chives and Vietnamese mint.

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The garlic will be hoisted from the dirt in the next month. While it is showing rust (something to do with the volumes of rain we have been having) and is slow to send up the flower stalks, I have checked a few of the bulbs below the soil and they are coming along nicely. Yay!

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Garlic flowers …

Of course, we are still eating last year’s garlic – just, and there is also a few Egyptian walking onions sitting in store. I have been missing out on the odd strawberry as something else appears to have been helping itself.

To Do … here is the list!

  • Fertilise the veg garden
  • Weed
  • Tie up the tomatoes and remove the laterals
  • Throw about more mulch in the raised beds the birds have been having a ball chucking it about
  • Rip out more of the wandering jew which is eagerly attempting entry into our forest
  • Do the same with the bind weed, which does a brilliant job of wrestling our canna lilies to the ground
  • Keep an eye on the cucumbers so they don’t clamber over other plants in the raised beds (fat chance I have over planted)
  • Trim the chooks wings to stop them flying over the gate and into my veg garden
  • Spray my roses with seaweed fertiliser and swear that I will never grow roses ever again in Auckland, the blackspot is out of control already
  • Watch out for turkeys making themselves comfy in the orchard
  • Crank up the weeding
  • Start thinking about Christmas
  • Stop spending time in my garden just staring at the flowers
  • Grab more green shield beetles from their hiding places and feed to the chicks (they love ‘em)
  • Find a really good recipe for muffins (hint hint)
  • Tidy up the bananas and give them lots of TLC and fertiliser
  • Make sure that the yacons don’t overcrowd my pumpkin as they are sharing the same bed
  • Stand back and watch the worm wood grow it appears to be on steroids!
  • Find those slugs that are munching on my heirloom beans …

There is lots to do … and I wouldn’t want it any other way! I’m a sucker for punishment.

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My brother left yesterday. I shall miss him. He is such a special person and a great bloke into the bargain.

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I hope there is lots happening at your place, and that you enjoyed your visit to mine!

Happy gardening!

60 thoughts

  1. I can see why you like to just spend time staring at the flowers! Your garden is stunning. Sorry to hear that your peach and olive trees are not doing well this year. THe others sound like they will make up for it. have a wonderful month (a busy one by the looks of your list!)

  2. Wonderful update! You live in a beautiful place. Everything looks splendid and green! It’s been awhile for us, and winter seems like it’s just taking hold. The zucchini plant is coming along nicely. I can see a small zucchini forming in the background, pretty soon you won’t be able to keep up with them. Wonderful light on the hen and chicks. I envy your lettuce greens, I’d pay dearly for some of those know. We had green beans from the garden tonight, of course they have been frozen and stored in our freezer for the last few months, but still delicious! I bet you didn’t have to plant that red poppy, they reseed year after year. All the best in December. Don’t quit staring at the flowers. Take care.

    • Hey Bob … thank you!!! It is so green probably because we have had so much rain. Yes those zucchinis are machines 🙂 We have so many lettuces I have way over planted! I’ll happily send you some over if I could (plus a bottle or 2 of Sauv Blanc 🙂 ) And you are so right, I didn’t plant that poppy, they self seed and pop up everywhere. Gorgeous things!!! You take care too Bob …

  3. Your garden looks fantastic and is SO productive!!!! Please don’t mention bumper crops of feijoa’s – that is so unfair!!! Love the chicks – gosh they grow quickly!! Ummm, errrrr ……… does Andrew have a list too ????????? 😉

    • Hi lovely … thank you! At last the garden is growing … might be something to do with all the rain we have been having. Ah, so you like feijoas? LOL … honestly I can’t believe the crop that we will have. Bit scary … 🙂 Yes those chicks are getting big and driving Gladys nuts! Andrew always has a list (ha ha) I just never get to see it!!

  4. I love your photos Julie, all of them, but especially that one of Gladys with her two chickens next to the forget-me-nots. Such a story book photo. I also like the listentry which says to ‘stop spending time in my garden just staring at the flowers’. You must not stop doing this. Gardens ( and chooks) are about meditation and what a great way to do it- just stand there and stare and before you know it, you are relaxed.
    Your quince are at the same stage as mine. I have neen netting the branches I can reach. we have the nastiest birds here- they don’t eat quinces, they come and sample the lot and throw them on the ground.

    • Hey Francesca .. thank you so much. Gosh I thought I had replied and realised I hadn’t. Shame on me 🙂 I love that photo too … it is lovely even though they were causing havoc in the flower bed. Don’t worry I shan’t stop flower watching. I just love having them in the garden. I find gardening so incredibly relaxing, even weeding. There must be something wrong with me 🙂 Aren’t quince the best? I love watching them grow. I must start netting trees soon too. The wild turkeys have developed a taste for our quinces – they wait until they are starting to ripen. Smart birds. We have had other wildlife too that has been chucking fruit on the ground. Such a shame. Great to hear from you Miss 🙂

  5. What a stunning yard you have, all those flowers so pretty. Your vegetables are going great too and its sooo green. I am in love with Gladys your chook – so pretty.

  6. Stop spending time just staring at the flowers? Really? Is that I why I would starve if I depended upon my garden for sustenance? But honestly – you better strike that item from the list and keep staring. :). Sorry to hear about the olives.

    • Jim … LOL I will never stop staring at the flowers. I just love them – nearly as much as the bugs do! I have as many in my garden as vegetables! Yes, not good news on the olives. Not sure what the problem is … never mind 🙂

  7. Visiting your blog is like taking a summer holiday at the moment (and I’m beginning to need one…), all that sunshine and the flowers. Have you grown yakon before? We’re tasting it for the first time here and have tried it raw and roasted so far… the flavour’s good, but I don’t like that it turns brown so quickly once cut.

    • Hi. Summer holiday down under … brilliant! Yes I have grown yacon for several years now. Such an easy plant to grow that needs no TLC and other than the odd slug is pest free. I juice ours. But our neighbour is a huge fan and has it in salads and boiled/roasted. Yes it does turn brown quickly doesn’t it? Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. Wow you have been busy and everything looks really healthy. I realised after reading your long to do list that i forgot to include one on my post. I dont intend to do much other than coast along though…..

    • There are a few things that don’t look so fab, but that’s thanks to the copious amount of rain we have had. Silly to do list … but you know, I always need one 🙂 Love the idea of coasting along … enjoy

  9. Wow. I got all tuckered out just reading your To Do list! (Start thinking about Christmas. Stop spending time in my garden just staring at the flowers. — HA! These made me laugh!!)

    LOVE the photo titled Harvest. What a happy and full life you lead Julie. Absolutely bonkers! GOOD for you!!! 🙂

  10. My gosh, you’ve been busy…as usual! Love the pics…as usual too but my favourites are those of the hen and chicks, look like paintings! When winter gets on my nerves, I shall return to you and your summer pics. 🙂

    • Hey Annette .. LOL the time of year to be busy. Glad you like the pics .. yes my favs were certainly the chickens, although they were digging up my garden when I too the pics 🙂 Glad to know that you can enjoy our summer too!

  11. Your chickens are so pretty congratulations on the birth of the newbies. You have so much growing! How lovely to have the Egyptian walking onions being successful from year to year and your garlic is very welcome. The fruit looks fantastic from here. I hope you get to enjoy many peaches and quince.. Some summers are better than others I have noticed with fruit trees but yours are divine 😀

    • Hi Merryn .. thank you! Yes there is loads growing – thankfully. Something to do with the copious amounts of water we have had lately. I love the Egyptian walking onions they are little stars. And the garlic too of course 🙂 Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

  12. I’ve just planted a damson plum in the Nuttery. Do you make much with your plums Julie? Sorry about your peach trees. My greengage was terribly disappointing last year but I’m hoping it’ll fare better this year! Always optimistic! 🙂

  13. You bet I enjoyed my visit! I always do 😀
    Now if I could only climb through this window into your garden… 😍
    Dont ever stop staring at the flowers. You know you have to.. hehe
    Our orchard has had a rough year this year too, although the cockies havent been in droves yet. Love the Damsons. I must replant some. The cows thought our young trees were great. We’ll have plums I hope, but we’re getting lots of wind and storms this year and the Oct snow broke a lot of the old trees. Need to tidy up now.
    Love your garden always and all that youre doing Jules!!
    How did it get to be December already? Crazy!!

    • Hey Miss … would love it if you could climb through that window, then I could get some photography lessons 😀 Can’t help myself with those flowers, I was only thinking the other day I don’t have enough of them. LOL … that pic BTW was of Luisa plums … whoops! Love love Damsons – they make the best Vodka around. Oh don’t talk about cows in orchards – not a good mix! We have had plenty of wind too – and thankfully no snow! 🙂 Glad you love the garden, so do I! Nuts it’s nearly Christmas …

  14. Don’t stop spending time in your garden staring at the flowers. While I shiver and see nothing happening over here, it makes me happy to think of you over there reveling in beauty.

  15. Your garden is beautiful! I love that last image – are those your sheep in the background?
    Baby chicks are fun to watch, I love it when their Mama calls them to food and they all run over at a spectacular speed 🙂

    We had our first ever home grown peach on the weekend…we planted the fruit trees only this Autumn so I didn’t expect anything, but the peach set three little fruits, which have grown nicely and the one we ate on the weekend was simply divine. I’m really looking forward to when the tree is a more decent size and (hopefully) gets many more fruit on it!

    Hope you have a good week,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah … thank you! Yes those are our rather plump sheep in the background. I adore watching the chicks .. such time wasters. I’m so impressed eating your first peach .. wow! Ours are still very firm and being eyed keenly by the wild turkeys. Oh dear! You have a super week too and thanks for stopping by.

  16. Hi Julie. Your garden looks fabulous, it looks effortlessly wonderful – like a duck gliding across a lake, but we all know that those little feet are treading water frantically unseen under the water. Cheers Sarah : o )

    • whoops … hit the send button 🙂 Go on get some more chickens Dan. I love them .. such time wasters. No I don’t have a photography background. But a good friend is a fabulous photographer and an inspiration. 🙂

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