It’s that time of year when growth in the garden is slowing down, slugs appetites are speeding up, bananas aren’t ripening (outdoors) and flowers are bursting from trunks and branches of the kohekohe tree – which by the way, is just stunning!

This is one of those rather lazy posts where I’m short on words but let the pics do the talking (well nearly).


The kohekohe tree is native to NZ and flowering in our forest, providing a nice winter nectar source.


Ouch, our young chickens have started laying!


My lovely lavender with our one and only grapefruit ..


An Orpington chook stepping out in our backyard the other morning … she shouldn’t be here by the way 😉


A zucchini from summer and while those bananas don’t look particularly appetising, the chickens enjoy them immensely at breakfast time. Smart girls!


How good is beetroot straight from the garden, sliced and popped into the juicer … tastes divine.


Flowers from the yacon plant which is in the asteraceae family .. the root or rhizome is sweet tasting and low in calories, which makes it perfect to throw into the juicer in the morning. Best time to dig them up, is after they flower.


Habanero in an array of colours and heat – all ready to be dried in the oven. Bill where are you?


I love this shot, it looks like some mad wilderness (it is). It’s time for Mr Bonner to bring this hand inside to ripen.


Milk bottle slug protection? Is it working? No it isn’t! I’m out at night with a torch picking those suckers off …


My garlic is finally in the dirt, the leeks are looking tall and those slugs are hammering my brassicas (a long story – next post) .. but I’m loving my garden and why wouldn’t I?

Happy gardening 😀

79 thoughts

  1. Lovely seasonal photos there Julie. Particularly loving the chillies and the bananas (palm and bowl) and of course the beautiful hen must get a mention, even if she is being a wee bit naughty.

    • Hey Rom .. good morning Miss. Fingers crossed for another beautiful day. Glad you like the pics .. that kohekohe tree is special. Time to get some food together for those chooks .. have a great day 🙂

  2. Love you photos! That one egg looks a bit on the large side. You have your night critters to fight in the form of slugs. While mine are gophers, we both battle them at night. Do you get company or help from any other wild creatures, monsters or ghosts? I get company and occasional help from great horned owls, coyotes, porcupine, raccoon, La Llorona and chupacabra.

    • LOL Tim .. the only help I get is from my dog Dan, who loves chasing the light of the torch. However a bucket full of soapy warm water is rather helpful too! Damned slugs .. Now if there is an unexpected noise then that’s another story. That is when I remember that I am actually scared of the dark! ha ha

      • Laurie and Tristan won’t go out in the yard at night because we have too many monsters on the property, I deal with them. It does get a little unnerving when we are sitting on the deck at night and the canes start shaking and we hear lots of growling as some unseen, but well heard, beast makes its way through our forest of black bamboo just feet from the deck.

      • Hey Tim, that would absolutely unnerve me .. We have possums here that make a hideous noise, which given the size of them is amazing! Ah the joys of turning off the light! 🙂

  3. Indeed why wouldn’t you. You must live in a lovely climate to get bananas. Good to hear that those garlics are in. Lovely photos as usual, alive,sending the love you have or the garden and chooks. Who is Mr Bonner and what does he do wit his hand???

    • Ah, Mr Bonner is hubby .. and a great bloke too! He loves this place as much as I do … I still can’t believe that we can grow bananas at this time of year, but they are in their very own microclimate – tucked in next to our forest (which is just gorgeous). Yep, so pleased about my garlic and about time too! 😀

  4. I like how you say your one and only grapefruit! Recently I bought a grapefruit tree, (which has to live indoors in the winter), for something ridiculous because it was quite poorly. It dropped all the fruit and I was glad because I’ve managed to bring it back to a dark green majesty. No idea if it’ll ever have grapefruits, but, whatever, I’m in it for the fragrance of those blossoms anyway.
    Slugs…ugh…not much works here, except the odd beer trap, (which they figure out after the first ten or so die, and then all I get is a bunch of happy slugs tottering round on their one slimy foot), but you can always nail them with the weed wacker! Too violent? Yeah, I know. But that lavender looks beautiful. Do you ever make lavender wands? Super easy and a lovely gift, as well as a beautiful addition to the lingerie drawer. If you like, there is a nice tutorial on my website, but you probably know all about lavender wands you clever girl you. 😀 x

    • That beer trap isn’t working for me either! Shame on them .. LOL I go out at night with a torch and drop them into a bucket of warm water or the beer trap 😉 They can be so damaging .. Ow, I’ve never made lavender wands they sound fabulous. I’ll check out the tutorial on your site. And it is our one and only grapefruit too – how hilarious! I go and check on it daily .. LOL Have a great week Veronica!

  5. Hi Julie about the bananas try the brown paper bag trick also put a piece of ripe fruit In the bag and put them in the warm, the bench in the garage , where we put the peaches. As usual the photos are just great , can’t wait to come back and see it all for real . Weather improving here ,but more rain later in the week . More clearing garden today will send pics. Lol Bill.

    • Hey Bill that bag trick is a great idea – I’ll let the boss know (LOL). Good to know that the weather is improving. Surprisingly the last few days have been very nice … Keep up the good work in that garage 😀

  6. You might not think those bananas look appetising but for anyone who just has to buy bananas they look fab. Lucky chooks. My beetroot are almost ready to start pulling up – just another week or so and we can have first ones. Hurrah!

  7. I still like your articles, they transmit to us the simple joys of gardening. There has such opulence in your garden, you can not be qu’emmerveillé . With us there is also full of slugs this year, but I confess that I am never out at night with my flashlight to catch him and to prevent harm 😉 Have a good day

  8. I remember the battle with slugs! They loved to invade the strawberry patch. I was doing the same, removing them by hand. Other wee creatures were more welcome company, however. I had two pet spiders living in the patch. They were very sweet. I used to bring the neighbourhood children over to pick strawberries and feed the spiders.

    Exquisite photos. So many feelings and sensations evoked. I was mesmerized by the beautiful feather pattern of the naughty Orpington chook. Ah and the lavender shots are absolutely majestic. I used to have a lavender plant in my old garden. I can smell it now. Every image here leaped out at me with such life and vim, even as things begin to slow this time of year. So beautiful there in your lovely frog pond farm.

    Always such a delight to visit through your blog. Best wishes,

    smiling toad

  9. To harvest one’s own bananas…can life get any better than that?! Then the eggs, the veg from the garden. You’re one lucky girl, Julie, but I guess you know that already!!! How come that I’ve missed that tree when we travelled NZ? Happy gardening to you too 🙂

    • Hey Annette .. Hello! We are so lucky, and so are those chickens 😃 ah that tree, you would just love it .. They aren’t very common, so it is a treat having one in our forest .. Happy gardening to you too lovely

  10. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Although that picture of the Scotch Bonnets melted my monitor screen a bit 😉 And the bee on lavender photo is sublime! Cheers, Ben

  11. Bananas? How cool is that? I have to get some Orpingtons after that pic of yours. Just gorgeous. And congrats on the new egg layers 🙂

    • I know .. how cool is that! It never ceases to amaze me what you can grow. Although they are in a very special place protected from any frosts. Go on Dan, get some Orpingtons, they are just lovely, so nice natured and real characters! 🙂

    • Hello Bob .. hope you are good. Glad you like those colours .. everything is big lately. Just wish I had planted more beets 🙂 You take care too, always great to see you at Frog Pond Farm

  12. Hi Julie. It is interesting how over a relatively short distance the climate can change. I don’t think I’d have much luck with bananas down here in the swamp. Having said that maybe I should try. Your chillies look fab too. I have used them in so many different ways this season, but I am trying a fermented sauce with my last ones. I’ve never done that before so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
    As always your wonderful photos make your garden look glorious.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

    • I’m with you totally on the climate over a short distance .. it is quite amazing. But then the soil type can change significantly too can’t it? It still amazes me we can grow bananas .. nice to have something here which I think as subtropical. Go on give them a go, if you have a spot that has its own micro climate and is relatively protected from the frost you are away. That fermented sauce sounds very interesting .. good luck. Cheers Miss

  13. You definitely should be living your garden, Julie. It looks spectacular 🙂

    Really pleased you are getting eggs from your young hens…

      • Seems odd to me that you have this problem in winter but then I guess your climate is too warm to make them go away 🙁

      • Hey Miss .. in summer they hibernate as such or should I say, keep a very low profile – too dry and hot. Winter time is their forte, and they come out in droves enjoying my plantings and more. I wish they would go away … 🙂

      • Of course, they would prefer the damper, cooler weather of winter… Maybe you need some of the weather here – cool and dry. I have hardly seen any so far this summer.

    • Thanks Miss .. glad you like the pics. The Kohekohe tree is just amazing, this one is huge, hubby thinks it might be about 10 metres. It is a Maori name … and is as lovely as the name sounds 🙂

  14. There’s a sense of freshness that’s so integral to all these photographs. This is what you want to see first thing in the morning 🙂 Thank you for giving my day a great start!

  15. Hi Julie. Your place looks fabulous as always. And your photos are really superb. Infused with color and light and life. Awesome! Keep it up – and keep sharing. Thanks! 🙂

  16. That is a big egg! Poor chicken! Ohhhh bananas, that photo just makes me want banana plants more – planting them is on our list. Thankyou Julie ☺

    • Hey Mr Nock … I really like the milk bottle too! Funny how something so daft can look rather cool. I just wish they were working. Great to see you here – how is your blog going? Or is it 😀

  17. Envious of your bananas! And the kohekohe looks exquisite. Slugs….I haven’t had any for a while. I think the hedgehogs, the blackbirds and several weeks of frost have temporarily dealt to them.

  18. Oh Jules your beautiful garden satisfies my gardener’s soul! As always love all of your gorgeous photos. Still plenty of produce at your place. Enjoy! Glad you got your garlic in and did you find your new rooster yet?

    • OH thank you Robyn .. I love your comments they mean a great deal to me 🙂 Still munching on stuff from the garden. Nothing beats home grown. And I’m still patting myself on the back for getting that garlic in. No haven’t got a lad for the girls yet .. But i will! 😀

      • 😃😃 I love your garden and all that youre doing Jules. Clever girl 😜 Ive been looking at Orpingtons for here too, although Ive decided not to get any chookies for a while we are travelling back and forth, so later on I think. Do you find your rooster boy locally?

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