Birds and blossom

The weather over the weekend was sensational .. blue skies, cloud puffs, warmth, birds, bees and happy chooks. I threw open the gate to the chook paddock and out they marched, disappearing over the hill.



Do you have a secret garden? Years ago I went on holiday to Australia and came back to find a vege garden installed near our forest, miles away from the house and devoid of water. Oh dear out of sight out of mind – get the picture? Needless to say I was shocked if not mildly amused when I stumbled on it.

Anyway, over the years it has grown yakons, spuds and pumpkins for us although the yields of the latter have been diminishing each year thanks to very dry summers. So with this in mind, I opted not to plant those from the cucurbit family, but instead shoved some Cliff Kidney spuds into this space.

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I had the usual amount of fun prepping the garden too! Weeding, trimming resident geranium, gloating at the garlic which is self seeded and grows on the ‘outside’ of the garden and enjoying the wildlife that was watching my endeavours.

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Hubby had previously broad forked the bed as it was compacted .. I’m not a fan of disturbing the soil, but sometimes it is necessary. Our ATV close by was loaded with coffee grounds, planting mix, Rok Solid fish / seaweed fertiliser and the contents of a well pickled Bokasi bin which gets tossed into holes in the garden and buried.

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What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday .. getting grubby in the garden and wiping my hands unceremoniously on my pants. Who cares, I do the washing ..

The spuds are now safely entrenched in the soil, coffee grounds and fertiliser have been strewn about … and to top it off, it rained last night, how good is that? While this bed doesn’t get all day sun, I’m hoping that we may be removing the odd potato in time for Christmas. More on that later ..

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Golden Queen with some rain on the horizon ..

I love the way the garden wakes up after winter .. our orchard is a mass of blossoms providing tucker for bees and bugs and a promise of fruit to come.

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With my camera (also slightly dirty) not far away, I took loads of photos .. loving the magic that the weather has created.




Quince blossom

Seeds have finally gone into a tray and are currently sitting in the garage on a heat pad.

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And at last I have finally preserved some lemons and thrown some blanched broccoli in the freezer.


Did I say that I have also patted myself on the back?

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Happy gardening

69 thoughts

  1. You really deserve that pat on the back, Julie! I love the idea of a secret garden, and fortunately for the garden, you have found it and can now offer it some TLC. 🙂
    Do you have a good recipe for preserving lemons that you can share? I always seem to have an excess of them and the one recipe I have tried wasn’t all that great. Your jar is looking good, with cinnamon sticks, peppercorns and a bay leaf from what I can tell. 🙂

  2. Wow, what a great blog this month, it looks beautiful and the shots are fantastic. Very thoughtful images, I like the out of focus background and the subject in just the right spot nice and sharp and bright. The jar of Lemons is gorgeous. I want that jar on my bench. Nice work Julie.

  3. I very much enjoyed all your photos Julie. Carl and I were particularly taken with the kereru pics. Gorgeous colours of spring at your place!

  4. Beautiful photos! I love the chickens, and your pigeons (I think?) are so colorful. Your blooming and all our plants are thinking about winter.

  5. How fabulous is your Springtime post! I was just thinking the other day that t’s time Julie did a big fab post! Gorgeous and inspiring. Love our garden and countryside Miss Kiwi. Getting down and wiping dirt hands on pants, dirty finger nails, love t all.

    • Hello Francesca … Your comment had me grinning. I’m a shocker for wiping my hands over my pants, t shirt whatever. Always have dirt under my nails including now! LOL Oh I do so love this time of year when the wind stops and it isn’t raining (ha ha). I’m so pleased that enjoyed the post. I think that keyboard may have died! You are hilarious … Next time I’m in Melbourne, I’m coming to see you! 😀

  6. There’s nothing better than wiping hands on ‘I don’t care’ pants, and you should be patting yourself on the back– that’s some mighty fine looking compost. Thanks for sharing your lovely spring.

    • I do wipe my hands on my pants .. naughty me! LOL That’s planting mix and I can’t take credit for that one .. but you would love our homemade compost, it is fantastic! So pleased I can share our spring with you 😀

  7. Oh well done! You so richly deserve a pat on the back. I love spring too. Love seeing the blossoms and bees, hearing the birds…it’s all so magical. Such a load of work in the garden though, isn’t it? Who put in that little dry garden by your forest? How odd. First thing I though of is putting a water butt near by to catch some rain water. Seems a shame to go to all the work of planting and have it too dry later in the season. Love how the chickens march right out of the enclosure. When the caretaker came to the meadow in OXON, she’d let the chickens out and they’d disappear into the tall meadow grass and just be gone…lol. 😀 Good thing they came back when they were called. 😀

    • Hello gorgeous! How are you V? ha ha .. love that expression ‘pat myself on the back’. Sometimes I try too! LOL … Yes loads of blossoms and bugs and bees – the garden is alive. Yes lots of work indeed. Ha, hubby put in the garden – sneaky. Waited until I went away and then put it in the strangest place. He loves planting trees and putting in gardens! I should endeavour to get some sort of water catchment here. Get cracking Julie! Oh yes those chooks love it when they are allowed out. Gone! Love them.

      • I’ve been just fine but a little quiet on the blog! Not like ol’ motermouth me! But we’re working very hard to get a few home projects done before R has to return to the UK for two months, so yesterday we laid down some insulation in my studio walls and roof (100 yr old house) and I had to crawl into small attic spaces with the itchy pink stuff, so to avoid contact I got out the Halloween box and wedged my bum into my 16yr old self’s bell bottoms, a safari shirt and a black bobbed wig! Blog post coming LOL.

  8. Whoa Julie!!! Everything looks awesome! You must be thrilled. Loved the picture of your raised beds. So well kept, I could learn a thing or two. As usual, wonderful photos and report! Enjoy your Spring, it looks like it just jumped up! Take care. Bob

    • Bob! Hello .. everything is looking very awesome. I can’t help standing by and going wow. Yes those raised beds are a treat – positioned on a hillside. Glad you enjoyed the update .. took me a while didn’t it? Oh I am enjoying spring Bob .. loving it. You take care too and always so good knowing that you have stopped by 😀

  9. As well you should – hubby too I imagine. Looks like you have been quite busy but then seems you are always occupied with this or that. Bravo!

    Great photos, as always!

    NZ and Australia thoughts are creeping back in… Nothing concrete but something’s brewing…

  10. Hi to you both happy aniversary. As usual great photos, I see your preserving is coming on! I won’t have much to do when I come as you will have it all in hand! Really looking forward to seeing all the new planting. Whoever it was said is that lichen on the tree you have to move quickly not to get it on to your self, especially when you are lining up shots! You have so much in the to garden.
    LOL Bill xxx

    • I know happy anniversary to us! Glad you like the pics Bill. I was so pleased to finally get a jar of lemons preserved. More to come. Much more to see since your last visit .. Loads of lichen at our place .. that’s for sure! HUgs

  11. Julie you always make things look so magical. Spring is such a beautiful time and if you allow yourself to get caught up in the busyness of it all then you miss it. I a glad for your dirty camera, so you can share your wonderful images.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

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