The beach

My garden is doing really well thanks, I just don’t have any photos of it though, how bad is that? So much for this being a blog about gardening.

The truth is, while I am devoid of pics of our place,  I have loads of pics of our local beach, all taken recently.


run in the sun-1250385

beach glow-1250391

seagull Muriwai-1250370

late afternoon beach walk-1250435

The question is, am I spending too much time at the beach hence no garden pics? LOL

sand dune magic-1250425



So you may wonder about our garden – does it still exist? Yes indeed it does! I have a bed now which is having a break this winter – it is currently tucked in with a blanket of hay. I was going to sow a cover crop here but I just couldn’t remove the zinnias from this space even though they were in the throes of dying.

I had planted some peas in this bed, which were meant to grab hold of the trellis near by and haul themselves skyward.  Did they? Not a chance, so I removed them the other day in disgust. It never ceases to amaze me what will grow in abundance one year and do zip the following. Does this happen to you?

My salad and herb bed is doing brilliantly. Sure there might not be any lettuce in here, but everything else is growing nicely. Loads of herbs, beetroot, spring onions and celery .. and flowers, we can’t forget the flowers.

Our garlic is showing off in another bed with some fine greenery – I’m due to mulch these soon and give them a good splash of my homemade smelly fertiliser (think very smelly) and some Julie TLC.

The chilli bed needs removing so more garlic and walking onions can go in here, and as I’m short on space I’m going to dedicate some of this rather large bed to broad beans (I must be nuts as they are inclined to topple when grown – but hey I’ll try anything once).

Brassicas are in and growing with more due to be planted in the next week.

I gave my raspberries a mini trim, which means no doubt they won’t fruit next season … ah the joys of loving my secateurs and being hopeless with raspberries!

The sheep are still chunky and in need of a diet … fat chance now I’m afraid. Our chooks are laying which is surprising given the daylight hours … or should I say lack of!

Dan is much better and hubby is on the improve too .. thanks so much for all your kind words of encouragement.


Pic taken with iPhone

 Promise next post there will be pics of our garden .. and I hope you are happy in yours!

winter view

77 thoughts

  1. I love your beach photos! I just can’t imagine your garden gets as dry and brown as ours does in the winter. It seems like you have some kind of crop growing year round.

  2. These are lovely photos, Julie. Glad to hear you’re busy and enjoying life.
    You say your garden is short on space – huh??? I’ve seen your photos. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Mr Draco .. how nice to see you at Frog Pond! Always busy, that’s a given. I laughed when I read your comment about ‘short on space’ (cough cough)! Glad you enjoyed the pics .. love sharing with you 😀 Julie

  3. Hi Julie beach photos just great. Walking onions again I thought you weren’t planting them any more! Dan looks good after all he’s been through. Diet for your sheep is long overdue they like your chicks just have a luxury diet if folks knew what they eat they would come and stay in Choock Towers! How’s the culinary arts going? I bet you can’t wait for Andrews sling to come off! Just kidding. The weather here is back to April showers again I’ve been trying to get the front garden hedge taken away but the weather is against me. Lots love to you both. Bill xx

    • Mr Bonner … how lovely to hear from you! 😀 Walking onions .. I know I wasn’t going to but I want to continue keeping the seed, so more planting required. They are so tasty too – just a bit of work to peel and slice 😉 … I know that diet for the sheep is well and truly overdue. And yes those chooks get the menu every morning. LOL We have been cooking together believe it or not … but yours truly has been doing most of it. IN fact, I think we might go out tomorrow night! Good luck with that front hedge. Julie x

      • Re the walking onions if you Rember I used to soak them and there easier to peel. Good luck with them! Xx

  4. I miss living near the beach… I wouldn’t blame you for being there more than in the garden.

    My dad was fascinated by walking onions as a kid, so I’m looking into getting him some.

    • Hey Helen .. we are so lucky having the beach close by. It is a regular thing going for walks, regardless of the weather. And more often than not the camera is swinging from my shoulder 😀 So your Dad loved walking onions? Wonderful things and so very tasty. Great to see you here

      • I think if you live by the sea you appreciate it differently from an occasional visitor.

        Now, I rarely see the sea – a year gone Easter I think was the last time.

  5. Would it be fair to say that it is the beach (plus coastal air, plus seaweed) that makes your garden as gorgeous as it is? So by showing us beach photos you are showing us some of the essence of your garden! LOL…..just trying to help you out here with a justification for your beach photos, although no justification is actually needed. 😀 Glad the guys are on the mend.

    • Hey Miss I sure would say that the seaweed has a lot to do with our garden. Such a luxury being able to haul it home … I’m busting to get some shots of my garden, but I can’t get the timing right with the weather. Raining again now … or should I say drizzling. Hope you are good 😀

  6. What is a “walking onion”? And how do they differ from the static ones? We’re being battered by weather here in London, which is annoying as two weeks ago my garden was looking worthy of the Chelsea Flower Show, and now all the gorgeous blooms have been deadheaded by the rain.

    • Hi Fiona … an Egyptian walking onion. They grow a top set at the end of their stalk and these when they topple to the ground (stalk intact) will take root and another plant is formed. Hence ‘walking onion’. Mine however never get a chance as I remove them. They are such wonderful tasty onions – looking much like a shallot. Sorry to hear about your poor battered garden – I nearly fell over the other day when I found the wind had hammered a brassica. Shan’t be eating that one! Take care ..

    • It is a beautiful beach … about a 5 minute drive from home. Perfect .. the drive is all country views which I love. What a spoil! Funny about crops isn’t it? Yes, the joys of growing (or not 😉 )

  7. Being at the beach is always so peaceful and restorative for the soul. Your photos are lovely, and have helped me until I can get to Hawaii in a few months 🙂

  8. Your world is stunning. I am learning so much from you–your photography with the shades and shadows. I must try some shadows here. Your garden is still lush. If we were in winter we would be done. Everything over. Finished.


    • Oh dear Linda … my shade and shadow was overboard this week. I need some sunshine! Shadows and reflections are fun though aren’t they? And editing in Lightroom is such a bonus. That garden keeps on growing in Auckland – how lucky are we! Hugs

  9. The beach is gorgeous and is that your dog? Your garden is very productive, over here everything is getting eaten, this year its the chuggy pigs getting the strawberries, grrhhhh!

    • Yes that is our pooch Dan. Such a great dog! And it sure is great having a beach close by. We are so lucky with our veg garden which does it thing all year round. Pigs getting the strawberries! LOL …

    • Hey Miss … you think so? 😀 I got really excited when I took it .. you can get some seriously great shots on the iPhone! Glad you like the beach pics .. yay! Yes lucky me the boys in the house are on the improve!

  10. Always pleased to see extra beach shots Julie. Your garden sounds luke it’s at the same stage as mine..things are happening but they aren’t very photogenic in winter. Broad beans are wonderful things to plant in spare beds. .nitrogen fixers, and if you get too many, the chooks love the leaves.

    • Hey Francesca … oh you are so right – my veg garden looks so unexciting in winter – and trying to get a day when the sun is shining and my camera is near at hand is a toughie. Broad beans sure are wonderful. I dug out our last bag from the freezer. Ah, so the chooks love them do they – darn, wish I had known that sooner! Great to see you hear Miss 😀

  11. Hi Julie, the beach looks lovely at this time of year. Such wonderful blues and golds. If I was there I would ask to borrow Andrew’s surfboard, even though I’ve never surfed, I’ve always dreamt I could. Must be all the Tim Winton books I’ve read. 🙂 You take wonderful photos! Good to hear your gardens are getting along fine and Dan and Andrew are recovering. Take care. Bob

    • Hey Bob … now if you were here we sure could drag you off to the beach and you could go surfing in the very cold water! LOL .. and then we would drag you back for a home cooked meal and a glass or two of Toi Toi. Then you could grab your camera and give me some lessons with night photography! Perfect .. Yes the lads are recovering well. 🙂

  12. Nice shots Julie. I am in the middle of England so the sea is 70 odd miles away. I go quite often, but not as often as I like. So it is nice to see the sea in your photos. Maybe I’ll have to jump in the car on Sunday and go visit it 🙂

    • Ah, that happens to me too when I’m in OXON. Miss the sea like crazy because in Vancouver, I’m only 9 city streets away.

    • Hi .. I always enjoy knowing that you have stopped by. Gosh I couldn’t imagine living that far from the sea … my hubby and I have been fortunate over the years with having the sea in close proximity. Bonus as I love hauling the seaweed home for my garden!. Go on, jump in the car on Sunday – and take that fab camera of yours with you!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous! You are shooting “life’s garden” and it is beautiful. We have just returned from an OS trip and my husband for the first time didn’t take an SLR, used his iphone camera all the time. VERY impressed with the results. Your pics are beautiful indeed, thanks for sharing.

    • Oh thank you and so nice to see you here! It is life’s garden isn’t it? We are so lucky living here with the beach 5 minutes away. iPhones are amazing .. I never cease to get a surprise when I see the pictures they take. And they weigh a whole lot less than the SLRs. 😀 Love being able to share …

  14. I don;t have any problem at all with these beautiful photos of your beach Julie. I love the beach! And I know you’ll post the garden soon. Good news about Dan and hubby. Two less things for you to worry about. My raspberries are June (spring) fruiting, which means they grow in two seasons. A fruitless cane the first year, which then fruits the second, then dies after fruiting. So those are easy to prune. Don’t touch the new growth and completely cut out the old fruiting growth after you’ve picked all the raspberries and given the leaves a chance to power the plant for the new cane growth. I don’t grow the autumn fruiting ones, but was just watching Gardeners World on BBC via Youtube, and the trick seems to be that they grow in one season, so, completely cut to the ground each spring, they shoot up, grow, fruit, then you completely cut them down to the ground again. 😀 Obviously, you NEED to know which kind you have or disaster may ensue.

    • Hello V .. LOL so you like the pics of the beach – I wasn’t sure about all the colours and tones. I do so love the beach though, so good for the soul. It sure is good news about the boys in my life. Phew! It was touch and go with Dan. Raspberries are the bane of my life. I nailed them a few years ago and still can’t seem to get my head around the pruning, probably as they aren’t fruiting properly either! ha ha I wonder why! I ones I endeavour to grow, aren’t autumn but do their thing in summer. Hope you are well lovely … always so good seeing you here!

  15. As much as we all enjoy watching your beautiful gardens grow, we all love a day at the beach. 😀 I hope Andrew’s shoulder is well on the mend.

    • Hey Karen … we all do love time at the beach don’t we? We manage to get there regularly .. which is great! Dog walks and lots of fresh sea air. Andrew’s should sure is on the mend – thank you!

  16. Julie, beautiful scenes from the beach and tales from the garden! What a wonderful winter post from New Zealand! Yes, the winter is a great time to catch up with many things. We are in the full swing of summer here now, and running like crazy.

  17. As the next beach is quite a bit away, I don’t mind looking at your beautiful images at all, Julie. Glad your four-legged friend is better (ours got over her leg injury as well, I’m so glad as I’m always down when my baby isn’t well). Missed the thing about your hubby? Hope it wasn’t too serious. Take good care, best wishes 🙂

    • Hey Annette .. oh I missed your comment, so sorry. I’m so pleased to you enjoyed the images. 🙂 Not good when our four-legged friends aren’t well … Dan is a box of birds now. Amazing! Andrew had a shoulder reconstruction which is on the mend. You take care too .. great to see you here Miss!

  18. Too much time at the beach? HUH? Eh? Does not compute.

    Elated to learn that your dashing garden is as lively as ever and that Dad and Hubby are much improved.

    Those waves, as always, are BEGGING for a wee, unassuming toad to hop in for a wee surf session. Sublime. I am absolutely infatuated with the fourth image, of the seabird…what a glorious capture. Although, I loved them all and crave more.

    All the best to you, with jubilant cheers,

    smiling toad

    • Hello Smiling Toad .. big smiles your way. Yes Dan and hubby are much improved 🙂 I laughed when I read about the waves and surfing. They sure do beckon if you are game. Not me! So pleased you liked the pic of the gull, he was low flying and very handsome. Great to see you here – always is !

      • Haha the wilder the surf, the happier I am. Waves are rarely kicked up here, but when they are, I am thrilled to be churned around like a rag in a washing-machine!

        The pic of the gull is fine art. What a beautiful moment so well-captured. I adore your briny shots as much as I love your scintillating garden captures.

        My regards to the hound Dan and to hubby. Cheers,


  19. Love how this post of ‘the beach’ morphed into a treatise of your garden after all!

    Haven’t dismissed the seedling of an idea of a visit ‘down under’. Still noodling the possibility… 🙂

  20. Hello Julie .. yep the beach did morph, I couldn’t help myself. But I sure was devoid of garden pics.
    Good to know that you haven’t dismissed the idea of a adventure in NZ – the scenery my friend is just stunning 😀

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