Surf and Turf

I guess to anyone that reads my blog it is understood that I’m a bit of a nutty gardener, who adores her chooks, loves composting, worms, growing soil and smelly homemade fertiliser brews. I don’t wear heels anymore, but live in my gumboots.  I’m super passionate about photography and can now admit that until only recently I was a complete bore and shot in auto! That was then … LOL


As it happens I also love fishing. My brother has a holiday home at a town called Whitianga. It’s a gorgeous seaside location on the east coast of NZ. One of those beach holiday destinations that during winter is quiet and full of locals, but over summer months, the place is frantic with holiday makers, tourists and Kiwis like myself who enjoy a spot of fishing (I’m not too bad either, I just need to stop squealing when I have a biggie on the line!).




View of  the Firth of Thames and the Coromandel Peninsula in the background  … just lovely

Ah, but back at Frog Pond Farm .. we have been busy. We are enjoying a gorgeous summer which means watering gardens daily (thank heavens for our duck pond). So standing with hose in hand day dreaming, I will spray veges and flowers alike, not the cucurbit or tomato leaves mind you, no point encouraging any fungal diseases and believe me with Auckland’s humid climate that is always on the agenda.


Morning light at Frog Pond …

We have been removing zucchinis daily .. and wondering at their ability to grow so darn fast, snapping off French beans, enjoying eating those lemon cucumbers which I suspect we will be doing so for quite some time. I have also opted this season not to spray against powdery mildew something I have always done with homemade organic concoctions. I have come to the conclusion that while it may help to reduce the fungal spread – it doesn’t stop it, so I have decided that removing infected leaves is the way to go. Watch this space 🙂


I’ve also sown more beetroot and lettuce seed which have germinated and now the seedlings need to be pricked out. Oh I’m enjoying this succession planting .. and don’t mind patting myself on the back either.


Florence round eggplant …

Spud greenery seems to be everywhere and at last those lovely painted lady heirloom beans are boasting lovely green lengths.




Chook yoga

Sally is still clucky and jumping on the sheep backs daily – she has turned into a nutty tyrant, who seems to delight in zooming around the yard screeching. Andrew dispatched our oldest chook the other day who was incredibly unwell (and no we don’t eat our chooks). I was so sad to say goodbye but suffering isn’t on my list. Her closest buddy a lavender Orpington spent the day grieving something I haven’t really observed before ..


A line of pines


Our neighbours baled hay the other day, a big job. There is such sense of community in the country with people ‘lending a hand’. Think, sneezing, laughing, grunting, dirt, hay in boots, but good times with people that matter!



Happy gardening

58 thoughts

  1. Maybe you need some high heeled gumboots to keep a sense of fashion. Beautiful photos. You are going to have to put a story together about the chicken and the sheep. Our next door neighbors are living in NZ for a year. I haven’t heard anything from them, which I take as having a great time of it. During our summer, we can easily get overrun with zucchini if the squash bugs don’t get them. One year we planted a 6 pack of cherry tomatoes. Those 6 bushes about took over the garden, and those little tomatoes were real work to pick. Everything looks very colorful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ow, high heeled gummies sounds flash! Glad you like the pics. Ah the chicken and sheep .. I suspect fingers crossed, that once she stops being clucky that she may well leave the sheep alone. It is hilarious watching her antics … thankfully the sheep don’t seem to mind too much 🙂 … I have a cucumber which is on steroids and taking over .. thanks for stopping by.

  2. Such a full and busy life..Just wonderful and stunning photos… Way to go girl! So what kind of fish do you fish for.. I have only tried catching trout… Love the flowers and everything else…

    • Hey Bob! Oh I’m glad you think so .. Ah, you like fishing do you? I just love it. 🙂 Yes I need all the luck I can get with those zuccs. I think even the chickens are started to tire from them! Thanks for dropping by … take care. Julie 😀

  3. Wow I wouldn’t have thought chickens would grieve when one another dies – that is beautiful and shows how very little we know about these abundant birds. Great semi silhouette (last photo) on the tractor. You have an eye for photography – I am not surprised you enjoy it.

    • Hey Sarhn … no I would never ever have thought they would grieve but I saw it myself. Just amazing behaviour, she was so out of sorts all day. Oh you are so right, we don’t know enough about these wonderful feathery buddies of ours. Glad you like that pic and thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀

  4. Absolutely stunning photos Julie! And it helps to have stunning subjects. We used to have a chicken (oops…chook) who would hitch a ride on the back of our sheep. Must be a thing. Let us know how your no-spraying, leaf-removing experiment goes!

    • Hey Sarhn … no I would never ever have thought they would grieve but I saw it myself. Just amazing behaviour, she was so out of sorts all day. Oh you are so right, we don’t know enough about these wonderful feathery buddies of ours. Glad you like that pic and thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀

    • Dan … oh I’m so pleased you like them. I so enjoy your blog. And yes it helps to have stunning things to shoot! Oh my, you have had the chicken and sheep thing before … we never have, it’s a hoot! The no spraying is receiving big thumbs up so far. Mid Feb I’ll report back!

  5. Oh Julie — lovely, lovely, FABULOUS photos!

    You do so deserve a pat on the back! Just this morning – after looking through some old photos and happening upon some with fresh, green springtime hues – I’m starting to daydream myself of warmer temps, green grass, gorgeous blue skies and the colorful beauty of flowers!

    Nice post 🙂 So dreamy!!!

  6. I love the photo of the birds at the start of your post in particular. Very hard to get a shot like that.

    I think picking off leaves rather than spraying is indeed the way to go😉.

  7. oh you sure do have a slice of heaven there Julie. I like the reel image – very good use of DoF – and the “Line of Pines” – an unusual composition and it works great here. MM 😎🐸

  8. Hi Julie, Just catching up with your lovely blog and the year that has turned busy. Beautiful pics of the sea and a glimpse of my favourite spot- the Coromandel peninsula. Your garden looks so productive and lush. One year when we had some fungal issues on the zucchini, I sprayed the leaves with a mixture of bi-carb soda and soap or oil to make it stick. It worked and slowed the spread, but had to be re-applied a few times.

    • Hey francesca .. Ah, so you know the Coromandel peninsula. Isn’t it magic? I have used all sorts of concoctions including bi-carb, but you are so right, it needs to be applied a few times. So far, the leaf removal is working … I’m going to spray all their leaves this weekend with seaweed brew which is good for changing the pH. Thanks for stopping by lovely 😀

  9. Oh I do enjoy your posts and your wonderful way with words – Chook yoga – Love it! You make me feel so at home 😃
    Your photos are gorgeous and Auto no more? You go girl!
    Always love hearing about all youre doing Jules!! xx
    Now Im off to check Mono Madness to see if anyone I know has posted yet.
    The One Four has me playing catch up.. who knew? 😜😜

  10. My one acre plot of dirt where I live is only about a ten minute drive from the beach, so I completely understand you love for the sea, Julie! But my heart still belongs to the dirt (so to speak!) If I had to choose between the two, I’d be sad to lose either, but the earth would ultimately win. Your garden is looking so lush right now and the community you live in sounds brilliant! 🙂

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