Hot and lush

This is one of those l-o-n-g posts boarding on being boring ๐Ÿ˜€

We have had so much rain over summer Frog Pond Farm is looking lush โ€ฆ very unusual for this time of year.

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Those thieving possums have beenย paying nightly visits to the orchard munching on an array of fruit, while the turkeys are gathering in numbers window shopping. Hubby netted a couple of trees, while Bill my father-in-law has pegged some paper bags over pears (interesting to see if this works). Frankly anything to keep the wildlife away is a bonus, trust me!

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Our peaches are ripening in a hurry and are just delicious. There is nothing much better than standing in the orchard biting into a peach and having the juice dribble down your chin. Heaven!

The Damson plum is laden with fruit, as are the apple and pear trees.ย Our persimmon is boasting fruit this year and the figs are coming along nicely. The only tree whichย appears devoid of fruit is our quince tree. So no paste or jelly this year.


Bill has been so busy in the kitchen. Pickling garlic, green beans, poaching plums and drying peaches in the dehydrator. How lucky am I?

Itโ€™s funny, do you ever brag about things?ย Our olive trees which were laden and yes I was bragging, have lost at least half the crop thanks to the wind .. it will be interesting to see what we finally harvest.

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As for our veg gardens. There are plants spilling over beds and self seeded curcurbits crawling along paths and through gardens shouldering other plants out of the way in their quest for garden dominance. Why am I letting them do this? Good question!

From having no pumpkins lastย year (okย about 4) it looks as though we will probably be able to open a shop that sells only pumpkins this year. They are loving daily waterings plus my homemade fertilisers, needless to say the bumble bees are loving their flowers.

The state of eatingย affairs at our place: –

  • ย  Tomatoes – oh I love Black Krim and they are just delicious
  • ย  Cucumbers – loving the tendergreen variety that I have grown this year
  • ย  Loads of zucchinis and beans (the runners are delicious)
  • ย  Herbs – the salad bed is chocka with them
  • ย  Strawberries – sharing these with the wildlife
  • ย  Fennel – these are divine and currently resemble sumo wrestlers
  • ย  Eggplants – only just flowering now (oh dear)
  • ย  Chilli – always slow starters but we have been munching on a couple
  • ย  Spuds – we dug some up for Christmas and I planted more just a few weeks back
  • ย  Beetroot – we hauled out a monster beetroot the other day which is going into the morning juices
  • ย  Bananas – our chooks areย loving them and we have several hands on the way
  • ย  Eggs – mini production line about 6 per day
  • ย  Walking onions – I harvested some the other day, nice size too
  • ย  Spinach – thrown over the fence for the chooks waiting impatiently on the other side

Needless to say, the veg garden is full of flowers (which we donโ€™t eat) as I am a huge fan ofย companion planting and encouraging those beneficial insects into the garden.



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As happens at this time of year the insectย pests arrive to have their fair share. Entrance – green shield beetle (I hate these suckers), they are loving my beans and happily sucking the goodness from my tomatoes. I wonโ€™t mention the rodents!

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Dan our borderย 

Pull up a chair and grab a coffee or vino. I did this video just before Christmas, it was a grey, windy day and itโ€™s old news now, but hey .. I hope you enjoy.

Happy gardening

138 thoughts

  1. Julie, I was mesmerized by this post. Yes I watched the whole video and truly was astounded by all you take care of. I don’t know how you keep up. Everything looks so well tended, LOVED, and organized. I was getting irritated by the man who was interviewing you who kept pointing out what was wrong with this and that rather then focusing on the incredible job both you and your husband are doing and how healthy everything is! My hat is off to you, my friend. Your second photograph took my breath away. What you portrayed here is otherworldly and IMO sums up what Frog Pond Farm is all about. How you even have time to blog is beyond me!!! The gardens I have are nothing in comparison to yours and I KNOW the work I put into mine. I so totally Loved this post and I thank you so much for posting it. You are one very very amazing woman!!! You give HOPE to this world, you and your husband. I’m with you regarding certain insects. Grrrrr…… In fact, just today because our weather has been so mild, hubby and I are already talking about what to use for the aphids that I KNOW will be out early and in great numbers that can actually destroy a rose bush. Great job both with this post and for organic gardening. <3

    • Hello lovely Amy. Oh you are gorgeous. Rob who was the presenter was actually my horticulture teacher LOL. Such a great bloke. We did differ to agree on a couple of things though. Thank you for taking the time to watch it, it is a long video. You are such a great girl. Yes we do work hard and sometimes I too wonder how we do it. But it is such a wonderful place to be. Hugs to you

  2. Nice post, Julie. I’ve shared this with a gardener friend of mine. Hope you don’t mind. She’s happily planning this year’s garden as we patiently wait through the winter. Love the shot of the sunflower and your beach photos of the dog. Haven’t watch the video yet — next up! Enjoy your day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Julie. The second photo is incredible. All the photos are fabulous, and I love the video – you have a delightful accent. Those critters โ€” it sounds like your possums are as bad as our raccoons about stealing fruit and vegetables. The ferrel turkeys that visited us last summer went for the grapes, but left everything else alone. We had enough grasshoppers, seeds and other bugs in the mulch to keep them busy. You grow quite a nice variety of fruits, herds and veggies. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Tim .. I’m so pleased you like that pic, I took it this morning and thought at the time that it was a goody. Ha, you like my accent do you? It’s a mix of Kiwi and Aussie .. LOL Yep we have all sorts of pests stealing fruit and veg. Feral turkeys also hammered a friends grapes last year – greedy! Thanks for your wonderful comment … brilliant ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Is your mixed accent from living in Australia at some point or having enough Aussies around to mix up your accent? The sweetness in your voice must be the Kiwi side of the mix? (no offense to Aussie’s I love Australians’ accents, and I love Australians. The Aussies I’ve met have that wild west side to them that suits me very well).

  4. There’s nothing boring about this post, Julie! I loved reading every minute of it, thinking to myself that you are living my dream life, tending your garden, preserving your foods, and your climate isn’t as harsh as ours here, so that helps too.

    And then….what a treat – a video!! It’s so good to hear your voice, (although I expected a stronger NZ accent ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and your house is superb! You are a wealth of knowledge and I have saved your video to refer back to later, especially the sections on chooks and olive trees. Olive trees I have only one of, and we pruned it last year, so nothing exciting has happened there this summer. And the chook pen is a dream as yet, but I will get one one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh I’m blushing … thank you! We are so lucky with our climate .. and this year it has kept up the water from above. Ha, did you pick up the Aussie / Kiwi twang? ๐Ÿ˜€ So pleased you enjoyed the video. Our olive trees are in for a serious prune this year – trust me! I adore my chooks – does it show? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Definitely, for both questions!

        There are kiwis who have been living in Australia for ten years who still have more of a NZ accent than you do…lol. ๐Ÿ˜€ You have certainly found your ‘slide of heaven’ over there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. That’s quite a video. I had no idea you have such a fancy spread.
    We’re half a world apart, so you may not know that the part of central Texas about an hour and a half west of Austin is known for its peaches:
    I wish you more peaches and fewer possums.
    What is that prominent rock in the sea in the 8th photograph?

    • Hey Steve … I wish to eat as many peaches as I can, bottle, freeze and giveaway the rest! LOL Damned possums. Mind you, there are other pests enjoying our orchard. That prominent rock is Oaia Island. Thanks for taking the time to view the video … did you enjoy a coffee with it? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll watch that link and thank you

      • No, no coffee with it.
        I don’t believe I’ve heard of Oaia Island. I looked on the map and found that it’s offshore from the Muriwai gannet colony, so perhaps I saw it and just don’t remember.

  6. wow, that video was great- Julie you are a star! We watched it twice so that Mr T could get some inspiration for the jobs that await him and I can get out the whip. Everything looks so green and lush, such a contrast to the lands of Nillumbik ( aboriginal meaning no good, shallow earth) where we live. The olive trees look really healthy and productive too. I guess the pests come to remind you that not everything can be so lovely in life. Fortunately we don’t have possums but the rabbits, wood ducks, kangaroos ( in summer), cockies, parrots and other aerial invaders are our curse.
    Do you rent out Bill???

    • Hello Miss … ha you liked the video did you? It was taken on a windy, grey day and seemed to take forever to do. So you made Mr T watch it did you? LOL I laughed when I read about the whip. It is green and lush .. we have had so much rain. The olive trees are out of control … after harvest they are in for a serious pruning. No possums but you have all the other invited guests! No can’t rent out Bill LOL … can’t wait to see you

  7. Hi Julie, Fab photos, and I agree with all above – it’s obvious how much work you do there. Haven’t had time to watch the video yet. I have to agree with you about those wretched possums and green shield beetles grrr. Can you send Bill up North when he’s finished there lol.

    • Hi Anne … so pleased that you like the photos. It is a lot of work, but so very rewarding. Our property has changed so much over the years. Gosh don’t worry about watching the video – it’s epic ๐Ÿ˜€ I would love to send Bill to you .. LOL he sure is a handy bloke in the kitchen

  8. How delightful to taste everything from your farm!! Beautiful photos! I so enjoy your video! Thank you for sharing with us, Julie! We had a few peach trees before we moved here, I know how delicious and juicy they are… ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜…

  9. Hi Julie! Wow! This is a wonderful post with great photographs. I pulled up a chair, grabbed a coffee and enjoyed the tour of Frog Pond Farm. Thank you! I’m sure it’s a wonderful place to be.

    • Hello Herman. So pleased you enjoyed the post. ๐Ÿ˜€ Glad you pulled up a chair and one of your special coffees and viewed the tour. Was that gorgeous cat with you? So nice being able to share our place with you ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. As usual Julie great photos. I see you with your camera taking shots of any and everything and sure pays off! Don’t think I will be around for damson harvest this year, so you will have to dig out the jelly bag and have a go yourself! They make the best jelly. You’ve both given me the longest and best Birthday ever. Love love Bill xxxx

    • Bill … wonderful comment. Thank you! I know you will miss the Damson harvest this year. But what I have decided to do, is freeze them so that when you come back next year you can make some jelly! LOL Glad you enjoyed the birthday festivities .. it was so much fun! Hugs

      • Why don’t you send them to the UK and I will make said jelly and jam! But unfortunately because of your maff rules won’t be able to bring it back! Xxx

  11. Your photos continue to delight and I often get worn out just reading about all the chores you have. Great video and gives us an even bigger appreciation of how you live up to your organic lifestyle. Very impressive!

  12. My gosh – I just adore your posts – your photos are always so awesome. I thought you just picked the best bits to photograph, but looking at the video – the whole place is just perfect. Awesome, you defintely have green hands, never mind green thumbs. thank you so much for sharing that video to give us a better understanding of the layout of your lovely place.

    • Hello so nice to see you here. As always thank you for your kind comments. Laughed when I read ‘green hands’ I have definitely inherited these from my Dad. So nice to be able to share this with you ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hey Celi .. oh thank you! Sometimes I do let the work load get on top of me .. but it is so rewarding when jobs get done (you know ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Ha ha my accent .. a bit of this and a bit of that. Hugs to you

  13. I loved the tour Julie! You have a real slice of Eden- and I can think of a little dog who would be very happy to help you with the possums ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have a wonderful vision now of Frog Pond and its wonderful residents!!!

    • Hey Miss .. oh I’m so pleased. I so enjoy your pics it is wonderful being able to share some stuff with you. I think it is a Slice of Eden as well. If only you lived closer that little dog would be most welcome ;). Wonderful comment

  14. Loved your video Julie, and we are definitely coming to visit very soon, can’t wait to take a wander around your gorgeous gardens, love Sue xx

  15. Hey, Julie Thanks for the tour. I loved seeing your beautiful gardens and orchards thriving in all that green. A real treat for my winter weary eyes.

  16. Utterly delightful tour of your property. Who was the clever photographer? Are mosquitoes are problem around the pond? I am feeling much more kindly towards my comfrey now that I see how you use it around your fruit trees. I have a herbal/wildflower/clover ley around my fruit trees but maybe I could squeeze in some comfrey. It tends to be bossy like the borage though. ๐Ÿ™ Again, I love the video. Please do another some time.

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour Miss. Clever photographer? ๐Ÿ˜€ No thankfully, no mossies around the pond, but they appear when least expected. Oh I’m so pleased you are feeling better towards your comfrey. It really is amazing stuff to have in your garden. I could rave on about its benefits. Herbal leys are just wonderful – I have them in the orchard also, especially in one area. So pretty and brings in those beneficial insects. Yes comfrey is bossy – but borage takes centre stage LOL … Oh I’m so pleased you enjoyed the video – thank you so very much

  17. Loved the video, especially the chance to put things in their place. Now, when I see your photos, I have some idea of how they all fit together. We had a bumper crop of damsons this year, which I adore, so I made loads of jampote (as it sounds, a jammy compte) which we’ve been eating all winter. It brings a little late summer cheer to the table when it’s grey and dismal.

    • Hey Anne … glad that video has put things in their place. ๐Ÿ˜€ I adore Damsons too, they are just divine in jam and jelly. Your compote sounds divine. I have threatened Bill that I will freeze them and get him to preserve them when he gets back next year! ๐Ÿ˜€ Nice to share some late summer cheer

  18. Great video and lovely to go on a walking tour of your garden – you’d love the veg beds at Wisley(RHS) over here…. and the chook palace is a gem. Thanks for posting…!

  19. Julie, just have to fully endorse the comments of Jo Mottershead and Amyrose. That is neither long nor boring and provides a great look around the magic of Frog Pond Farm. A great bit of showcasing and we all love it. I watched the whole video and the time flew – loved seeing Chook Towers and be guided around the empire. Just wonderful and you gave a real feel for what the place is all about. Hats off to you and Andrew. Do you mind if I reblog this on my own site as anyone following my stuff should turn their heads to your own creation if they have not already done so?? Just let me know, John / MM ๐Ÿ€

    • Hey MM … gosh I have a red face I believe! Thank you so much for your comment .. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the tour. I think it might be an empire too ๐Ÿ˜€ Sure do love this place. I read out your comment to Andrew too MM. If you would like to reblog this I would be honoured. ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Well, I was just about to start gushing about your photos – which are breathtaking, as per usual! Then came the video! Ho-ly! Paradise, my dear. Pure paradise! Thanks for the tour. Boring? I don’t think so! Of off for a second look. (And maybe book a flight to NZ) Thanks, again. ….. Sorry about the quince…….

  21. Lush is definitely the right word!! Your place reminds me so much of my mother-in-law’s smallholding in Shropshire ๐Ÿ™‚ I just love it up there! We came back from hers after Christmas with several jars of her damson jelly which I LOVE!

  22. Hi Julie, wonderful photos and report. The garden, flowers and fruit trees sound and look like they are thriving. I am envious of your summer bounty! Pickled garlic is my favourite! If we were down the road from one another we could trade. Looks like Dan enjoys watching the other dog fetch sticks! All the best to you, Andrew and Bill! Take care.

    • Hey Bob … our orchard is pumping out fruit. We have never had such a crop! Ah, so you are familiar with pickled garlic? This is a first … I’m thinking about freezing some too. Oh how nice that would be to trade stuff … Dan has never been interested in sticks or balls, only dogs do that! LOL … All the very best right back at you. Julie

    • LOL … you were wondering about the title! ha ha you’re funny. Now you mention it. Glad you like the photos, we are always busy it seems. But the rewards are so worth it. Thanks for stopping by Mr D.

  23. Really enjoyed your video and it’s really brought your place to life for me over here in Spain. Plenty of lichen on my old olive trees and they are tall. We did prune some one year but these are all from abandoned olive groves. The main crops for olives in Spain now seem to be small trees in extensive fields. Those chickens look cuddly!

    • Hello .. so pleased you enjoyed the video. Gosh we have so much lichen on so many trees – the jury is out as to whether it may be detrimental. The olive trees are huge and in dire needs of a haircut – they are in big trouble after harvest ๐Ÿ˜€ Great to see you here

  24. Lovely! It’s snowing outside my window here on the other side of the world…I will enjoy returning to live in your summer…if only for a few moments. Happy gardening to you!

  25. This is a brilliant post Julie! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with your gorgeous pics as always. It’s been so hot here, there hasn’t been much to photograph. Everything’s dry and crispy!! Loved seeing how lush it is over at FPF ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    Your video is wonderful. Was it for marketing or Tele? It’s so informative and so well done. Your area do expertise. Loved and learned so much ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  26. Beautiful images, Julie! The second one is a treat to the eyes ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for taking me on that little trip to Frog Pond Farm. It’s simply fabulous! Kudos to you for keeping it in that shape!

    • Hi .. glad you like the images. The second one if my fav too. I too it the other morning at the beach. Thank you so much for your great comment .. we sure do work hard but it is so worth it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hi Josephine … oh I’m so pleased you enjoyed the video. It was shot on a grey day – such a shame as the place looks so different on a sunny day. I think it is beautiful though, regardless of the weather. Thank you!!!

  27. Just loved seeing your lush gardens. How lucky is right, I’m very envious. ๐Ÿ˜€ We are still waiting to see if we can get landscapes to remove the construction rubble that was left in the ground around are new home and replaced with soil that I can actually have things go in.

  28. Oh Julie. What a wonderful post, gorgeous walk, thank you so much . Found your lovely piece of heaven Sunday morning. What a brilliant start to the day. You are a beautiful lady in a beautiful place….( and so are those chooks absolutely gorgeous, what a cuddly bunch they are) Hugs xxxxx

    • Hello Miss. I’m pleased you enjoyed your walk and that it was a nice way to start your day. That’s special. Oh my what a lovely thing to say … thank you so much for your wonderful comment Gill … Hugs right back at your x

  29. And here I am, Julie, already with you in NZ!!! Blogging opens all sorts of doors and I’m delighted to have met you here ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, your pics are always great but the one with the magical light and the trees is just awesome (what kind of trees are they?). The film is lovely too, I’ve enjoyed it so much. It’s great to get a real sense of your home, work and to see you in person. Your farm is impressive, productive and one can see how passionate you are. I almost dropped dead when the organics guy advised lime-sulphur-treatment against lichen! Gosh, lichen is a sign of pure (!) air and doesn’t do any harm whatsoever. Looks pretty too. Has that fatal olive tree disease arrived in NZ? They’re having big problems in Europe right now. Keep up the good work and happy harvesting ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey Annette … yes you are right, blogging opens up all sorts of doors. It is so lovely to be able to connect with people this way and share. I think those trees might be macrocarpas – I just loved the filtered morning light. So pleased that you enjoyed the video ๐Ÿ˜€ I am passionate .. can’t help myself. Really love my garden! The lichen does look pretty – I know that it is a sign of clean air – but I’m worried now that it is becoming invasive in my orchard and seems to be prolific on trees which are struggling. Oh dear. No heavens no fatal olive tree disease that I have heard of .. Thank you for your lovely comment Miss. I was only talking the olive harvest today! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • You don’t have to worry about the lichen as they don’t affect the leaves and they do the photosythesis. Don’t go near the sulphur otherwise your beloved bumbles will die. For the time being I’d suggest: just enjoy the pure air who knows how long it’ll last with the speed at which we’re destroying this planet. Passion is a great thing and keeps us alive, keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Reblogged this on meticulous mick and commented:
    I don’t tend to re-blog, as most of you will know. However, I thought that I would be doing you all a favour by re-blogging the latest post from Frog Pond Farm ๐Ÿธ, down in the land of the kiwi. Julie is a superb blogger and has given us a peek into her own little paradise that she and her husband, Andrew have created. So go watch the video at the end of her post and be enthralled and amazed and if you are not following already, my I make a little suggestion…..

  31. Great post. Lovely photos – oh, for that sunlight coming through the trees. And, as for the video, how do you find the time to maintain all that? FABULOUS!

  32. Reblogged this on Cynthia Reyes and commented:
    I’m in Ontario, where the weather outside is — freezing! and I’m dreaming of warm weather and fresh fruit and veggies. A talented photographer, farmer and blogger shares scenes of her home with us and helps me daydream a little. Do take the video tour as well. Congrats, Julie!

  33. Hello, Julie – I found my way here via Cynthia, and I just wanted to say thank you for your enthusiasm, enjoyment of what you do and your photos. It was lovely to visit on one of the coldest days of our Canadian winter, and revel in the lushness. Wishing you more food than the critters steal…

    • Hello Margaret .. what a lovely comment. Thank you for stopping by. I do so love what I do here and get much pleasure from taking photos. I’m so pleased that you could revel in the lushness .. what a summer we are having. And thank you, there is loads more fruit than those critters can steal ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. You have here a slice of life that is simply inspiring ~ beautiful lush farm, and very much enjoyed the video and the view of life on the Frog Pond Farm ๐Ÿ™‚ Incredible. There seems to be an endless about of life and creativity within this post – and of course the photography. Wonderful.

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