Hello summer

There is much happening at Frog Pond Farm … Sally has gone clucky and is storming around the place ambushing the sheep and performing circus acts on their backs.


The chicks who are now mini hens have been discarded by their mum Gladys and are now having to ‘tough’ it up in the chook world. Our garden is on steroids which I guess may have something to do with all the homemade fertilisers that I chuck liberally about. And that ‘to do’ list is growing …


What’s more, it is Garden Share Collective month the first for 2015 … a beaut initiative where a group of global bloggers share their veg patches. The trials and tribulations of gardening. Pop on over to Lizzie’s blog from Strayed from the Table and meet the crew!

So what has been happening … oh dear how long have you got?

A variety of nameless sprouting spuds have been poked in trenches in a raised bed lined with comfrey leaves (think of a soft green potassium / nitrogen blanket). This bed was prepped with a host of things, coffee grounds, food scraps, home made compost, sweet smelling and crawling with worms, rok solid, wood ash.

As I’m a twit and over plant I learnt a nasty little lesson a week ago. Whilst ferreting about in the allium garden, I noticed with horror that our red onions were starting to rot in situ and some of the Egyptian walking onions were doing the same. Some quick action was required other than to grab a hanky .. so I hauled out those red alliums and thinned those EWO so they could breath and enjoy the air and sunshine.

I’m removing laterals from my Cherokee toms and propping them up as they flop about the place. But they do look so very happy planted amongst basil, coriander and marigolds. I’m a firm believer in flowers growing with my vegetables.



Cosmos planted in the salad garden

Needless to say, I have been sloshing about volumes of seaweed brew and comfrey tea. Questionable as to whether I wear as much as my garden does.


‘His and her’ farm vehicles

I even zoomed around the orchard the other day spraying seaweed brew over those fruit trees … and yes the possums are back!



  • Purple heart and Cliff Kidney spuds – I have decided that I will leave them in the ground and we will dig them up each day as needed. Are they delicious? You bet
  • A few bird pecked plums
  • Lettuce – lots of them and I have been juicing them as well
  • NZ spinach – over the fence to the chooks and into the juicer
  • Herbs – our garden is bursting with them
  • Spring onions – enjoying sharing salad bowls with the lettuce
  • Red onions – as above
  • Egyptian walking onions
  • Garlic


  • Beetroot – a juicing ‘must have’ and I will start roasting them when I remember
  • Lemons
  • Sorrell – into salads and sandwiches (oh divine) and over the fence to the chooks
  • French dwarf beans
  • Tomato pot variety which should never have been planted in the same bed as the cuc!
  • Our wonderful eggs


Dwarf tom – pot variety


Scoresby dwarf

To Do

  • Throw a rock at the rat that keeps stealing my strawberries – nice to know the netting is not working
  • Net more fruit trees this is an tedious task
  • Glare at the wild turkeys waiting around the orchard
  • Get hubby onto the possum problem
  • Weed, feed and water the garden, pots and flower beds an endless task
  • Preserve more lemons
  • Lift Sally off the nest morning and night and give her a cuddle
  • Grab more comfrey leaves for fertiliser tea (not the teapot kind)


  • Stop gloating at the size of the red onions
  • Get ready for the onslaught of family visitors and get out the work clothes! LOL
  • Wait impatiently for the last bed of spuds planted to shove aside the soil and get that greenery out
  • Prop up Scoresby dwarf tom as it tumbles over its neighbours
  • Keep trimming back the NZ spinach it is choking stuff


  • Watch the painted lady runner beans sway in the breeze their blooms promises of lots of green lengths
  • Plant the Blue Dawn blueberry
  • Feed the cutting celery
  • Get ready for the invasion of green shield beetles I have spotted and squashed a few nymphs
  • Stop grumbling living in Auckland means black spot on the roses
  • Wear gardening gloves my hands look atrocious!
  • Get a worm farm
  • Thin out my carrots big time!



I’ve never been great at succession planting, but there is always a first time for everything isn’t there? So I just happen to have a tray of chioggia and Detroit beetroot plus a variety of lettuce seeds by the back door.

There is much activity in the orchard too …


Crab apples

Doyenne-du-comice pear-1100606

Doyenne du comice pear


French sugar fig


Fluffy Turkish quince


Luisa plum


Unknown plum variety ..


More bananas are on the way


Orchard madness


Thanks for stopping by


Happy gardening!

67 thoughts

  1. I know there are different seasons between northern and southern hemisphere, but this garden is so luscious compared to our rain and freezing temperatures. I can look at all this and dream about warm sunshine while shivering.

    • Hi Beth … I know it seems odd to think that you are experiencing winter while we are enjoying blue skies and sunshine. Still it is nice to know that we can share it with you! Take care and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Great photos and writeup. While we’re freezing on our side of the world, you are enjoying your summer. The chicken on the sheep reminded me that I had a pigeon a long time ago that was in love with our big old tom turkey. It would strut around like the turkey and was always with the turkey. We butchered the turkey for Thanksgiving, and the pigeon was heartbroken, so it took up with our chow chow dog, Sandy. The pigeon would coo to Sandy and rub all over her. Sandy would act embarrassed if we saw the pigeon loving up to her, but Sandy tolerated the pigeon’s affection and never snapped at it the I saw.

  3. My goodness, everything looks so good! I hope you have plenty of folks to feed. I can vouch for the Detroit beets. They are worth planting if you can find room. They will do good in your fall. It looks like you are having beautiful days and you have the hang of the new camera. Lovely post! Now you better get busy thinning those carrots! Bob

    • Hey Bob. Oh the garden is great, except for the cucumber and NZ spinach choking things. I’ll let you know how I go with those beets too. Beautiful, hot days .. and I’m loving my new camera. At last I’m off auto! LOL Glad you liked my ramblings. And yes, I do have lots of thinning to do. Take care 😀

      • Hi Julie, that’s great to hear about the new camera. You will have to tell me more about it. If you are shooting on manual don’t be afraid to shot on the + or – side of your light meter. Take care!

  4. Stunning photos Julie. That is a mighty fine to do list. I really need to work on my to do list, the change over from summer veg to autumn veg is crazy. It is just so overwhelming at times. Hope you had a wonderful New Year. Oh and nice harvest pics too.

  5. Wowsers! so much going on. I love visiting your garden each month. Sally is hilarious, although maybe the sheep doesn’t agree! Stunning images of your wonderful garden to drool over 🙂 I must remember to wear gloves too. It is so easy to duck outside to do one thing and end up a couple of hours later still out there with stained and dirty hands but that is the joy of gardening isn’t it? Happy New Year Julie. I look forward to seeing your garden again next month.

    • Hey Krystie .. I’m so pleased you enjoy the visit. 🙂 And yes Sally is hilarious. Gosh I can’t imagine someone wanting to ‘drool’ over my garden .. I know the pests do LOL! I’m a shocker, I forever have dirty nails, and hands that look like they belong to a bloke. Oh dear. Happy New Year to you … I so enjoy my visits to your garden too!

  6. That’s quite a “To Do” list! I agree that flowers should be grown amongst the vegetables – I think it makes both more interesting. At present we just have bare earth and frost on the ground in the morning so it’s wonderful to wallow in your beautiful and vibrant garden.

  7. Good to see your summer is in full swing, here in Crete we have high winds rain and and slips and tomorrow a forecast of snow at low levels so your pictures for us are a ray of sunshine. RR.

  8. Julie, your farm leaves me breathless in awe and eny- it is so inviting. And the list of jobs, starting with your strawberry stealing rat! One year we had a rat living in the strawberry patch, and occasionally went next door to munch on low hanging tomatoes. Maybe a trap or two? I also have tow silky hens to move- but the question is not when but where! I can see your pine trees in the orchard photo. Maybe they provide a wind break? Trying to be positive here. I love the idea of lining the potato beds in comfrey and using comfrey tea. Back in old ( hippy) days, now I am giving away too many clues re age, I used comfrey for all sorts of things. And also Yarrow- which is meant to activate compost. Time to return to these days- must acquire a comfrey plant. And as for teh purple onions- just too good to eat.
    You may have a few pests but your garden doesn’t seem to show it.
    Happy Gardening Madame Kiwi.

    • Hello lovely lady! Gosh I love your comments. Thank you so much. I’m so pleased that you enjoy Frog Pond. Our little slice of heaven. Yep, I’m going to nail that rat, damned thing. Cheeky too. I think traps are on the agenda. Ah, you saw the pines .. those are a small stand, but the bulk of them are on a hillside. Must pop up a pic for you. I’m still trying to be positive with them. Although I did plant a blueberry today and they love acid! LOL Yes do line the trenches with comfrey the spuds love it. In fact, 2 have shoved aside the dirt already. I was shocked! Pleasantly mind you! Ah, so you used lots of comfrey .. Great stuff. And as for yarrow, I would love to grow some as it will certainly crank up the compost! Francesca .. you my dear are a treasure!

      • Not to mention that Yarrow plants aslo have fabulous flowers in white, red and yellow, and look so lacy amongst the veggies.
        I noticed that my last comment had more than its usual quota of typos. No, I am not drinking Prosecco at 9.30 AM but am still struggling with the fact that these wordpress comments don’t come with a spellchecker! And my fingers don’t seem to work in harmony with my brain.

      • Ha ha Francesca .. you sure about the Prosecco? LOL No I know they don’t do spellcheck damn! Sometimes I see with horror what I have typed and posted on other sites. Oh yarrow does have pretty flowers too doesn’t it? You take care Miss .. great as always to chat

  9. Julie your garden is looking delightful for January. Your Beetroot and tomatoes are superb. You are so lucky to grow crab apples, pears and those dleicate carrot fronds peeping through the earth are a lovely green carpet. You have been busy and your garden is a credit to you. Don’t you love comfrey!? It is such a versatile plant, from fertiliser, to chook food to a home made salve for bruises.

    • Oh thank you so much. I do love comfrey, wonderful stuff and it makes the best fertiliser tea as well as heats up the compost. I have never used it for salve, but I believe that it is good for that too! We are very lucky with what we grow, I just wish I could stop over planting things 🙂

  10. Hee hee! I can relate to having clucky hens! Cluck Cluck 7 was found on a secret nest hidden in some long grass. She was guarding 16 eggs! The Figlets put the eggs in a wheelbarrow, got distracted and wondered off. You guessed it. Cluck Cluck 7 hopped in the barrow and carried on with her job! Love chickens and love your garden 🙂

    • ha ha ha … oh that is hilarious! I can just see that happening. So funny! Sally was at it again. I was falling around the place laughing this morning. She was scratch, scratch jump back and look while standing on one of our sheep’s back and then she sat down as the sheep started walking off – a jockey chicken! LOL
      Glad you love the garden – so do I 😀

  11. All this lushness, just adorable, Julie. You must be in heaven! And your own bananas…think I may have to consider moving to NZ. Just nominated your blog for the One lovely blog award, my dear, and hope you’ll accept it. You can find the details in my latest post. Best wishes 🙂

    • Hello lovely … I think it is heaven too! I think you would enjoy living here! 🙂 Hey Annette, just tried emailing you through you website with no success. I am absolutely honoured and flattered that you would think of nominating me. I hope you won’t think bad of me if I decline though Annette? I just cant commit to this at present. So very sorry, but thank you so much for thinking of me it means a great deal indeed! Your blogging friend Julie

  12. Wow!! A humungously (did you like that?) wonderful post!!
    Everything looks amazing and phew, so much to do.
    Did you throw the rock? – if not our pears will do the job 😉 They still produce fruit, but are old and rock hard – always.
    The orchard is very old though.
    Hope you are both enjoying your well deserved spoils Jules.
    Have to laugh at the animal antics – they’re always such a hoot to watch aren’t they?

    Please forgive my tardiness in arriving. Somehow life got busy all at once and even our holiday was busy with a house full.
    Back to work Monday, but I need a holiday 🙂
    Once again, Happy New Year Jules xox

    • Hey lovely … gosh now I feel bad. I shouldn’t have said that – but I missed you 🙂 … Still to throw that rock, but your pears sound perfect! 😀 Happy New Year to you bubbly girl. So nice to see you at Frog Pond as always!

  13. You have an inspiring blog Julie – I feel like I have just had a lovely holiday in the country (and I live in a semi rural location in Australia). Thank you for sharing – I am now following. 🙂

  14. Wow. A lot of wow’s! I can hardly imagine having a to do list like this that co-incides with holiday to-do lists. Fantastic over-view though of what’s to come for us in the other hemisphere… dreaming and sitting around on our arses. I just had fun ordering new seeds and my greenhouse is clean and ready to start new little plants:)
    And the bananas! how cool is that.

    • Hey Wendy … so good to hear from you. And thanks for stopping by. Yep a nutty to do list – way too long. No playtime allowed 🙂 Oh I love ordering new seeds and getting everything ready for the new season and planting. Yay!

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