Winter light

I needed some kaffir lime leaves for an Asian recipe I was cooking for dinner the other night. Whizzing outdoors with torch in hand, it quickly became apparent that the gardener at Frog Pond Farm needs a good talking to. The said tree was sporting yellow leaves, a good sign that it is mineral and TLC deficient. So I scribbled a note on the ‘to do’ board feed lime which made me feel somewhat better.


The tree has since been fed lavishly with worm juice, seaweed brew, epsom salts, dolomite lime and a sprinkling of wood ash. It will either come good or I will have successfully managed to kill it with too much kindness.


Snapped on the iPhone

For all you cat people out there (you know who you are) we have a gorgeous black feline named Eric .. he is such a lovely boy, big and athletic, but suffers from ‘scared cat’ syndrome. Is there such a thing? He has opted to live outside for several years now, tired of being harassed by our female cat Grace (who likes wearing the kitty pants in the household). So with the fire burning in the hearth the other night and curled up on the sofa a black cat was plonked down beside me … I don’t know who was more surprised, him or me, or Grace later on when she waltzed in to see we had some unexpected company. This will be a work in progress …

I suspect that I have gloated one too many times. While weeding my prize garlic yesterday, I saw with horror, rust on some of the greenery.  So today yours truly was out snipping the offending greenery and binning these while busily spraying with an organic brew of thyme and rosemary, which I have never used before … . Am I worried? Absolutely …

Do you have chickens?



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Chicken feed time at our place … sparrows galore



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Not all is bad though, we are just loving munching on our violet Sicilian cauli – which tastes as fab as it looks!

At last, hubby stopped the car so I could get this picture


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Beach walks

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Happy gardening …

77 thoughts

  1. Beautiful photos. Eric is a lovely kitty. Too bad he’s scared. Your chickens are looking great, as are your flower and purple cali. I love the rays from the cloud shot and the ocean spray.

    • Hey Tim … he is so lovely. It is too bad he is scared. And there doesn’t seem like much we can do to change this either. Shame … Always great to see you here. So pleased you liked the photos Tim … 😀

  2. Well photos just stunning, those lessons from Vicky sure paid off! (Just kidding) Good news about Eric he looked very comfortable on the settee with you the other night. What are you going to my garlic, it looks like I’m going to have to buy it again when I arrive, more trips to Farro! Well August tomorrow getting nearer to my trip. All for now love to you both Bill xx

    • Hey Bill … ha ha thank you! It is good news about Eric. Andrew brought him in last night and he fled through the cat door. Only to be brought in again .. and then made an escape when AB let Dan in. We’ll get there! You just might have to buy garlic when you get here – I have a horrible feeling. Yes August tomorrow, you will be here before you know it. Big hugs xx

  3. Glad he stopped the car: that’s a fantastic and epic view :O !!! It gives a nice contrast to the calm beginning with the tree.
    Quite enjoyable, Julie. Thanks for share it with us. ^_^

      • Thank you, Julie. ^_^ It seems things are a bit complicated around here. I purchased a camera from an Australian online store, but seller changed his/her mind and well, then I got other things I needed to replace. Thanks for remembering me, I take with me the world you see and the paradise you do with your hands. : )

  4. Again I am amazed at what grows in winter, such vibrant purple and orange, and a lime tree! Your cloudburst is stunning and I really like the second last beach photo.

    • We are so lucky with what grows in winter .. hardy plants that don’t mind rain, wind and limited sunshine. How good is that cauli? The purple is amazing … I couldn’t bring myself to show pics of the lime tree. Poor unloved thing. Glad you like the beach shot. 😀

    • Ha ha Middle Earth – I like that! My fault about he lime – maybe it is payback for its vicious thorns 😉 It is the garlic that is a bit worrying. Maybe I have been taking it a bit easier! Always good to see you Mr Draco 😀

    • Thank you Francesca! So pleased you like the shots of the beach. I ventured into a new place with my camera – hence different view. I really like the sun bursting through the clouds too. Wish we saw more of it! LOL … Oh you would love that cauli, trust me it tastes amazing! And I love purple ..:D

  5. I get rust of garlic and onions but didn’t realise it could be a problem. Perhaps because it only seems to happen once the plants have matured. Anyway, I hope you can save your crop as well as the line. Nice to read that you, too, use wood ash in the garden.

    • I have never had it on my onions before – but on spring onions just recently. My garlic does get rust later in the season, but never this early, hence I’m worried. It may be ok .. I have my fingers crossed. Yes i do use wood ash. Such a good amendment and while not as strong as lime, has to be of help 🙂

      • I’ve never used lime but have a ready source of wood ash from a friend with a wood burner.

        Re rust, after reading your post, I did a quick internet search, and fortunately onion rust isn’t supposed to be damaging in Britain (RHS advice). If you have an equivalent organisation in NZ, maybe they will be able to give you information about what’s going on?

        I’ve only just started to get rust, which could be perhaps due to the fact that I grow so many more alliums now than I used to. Sigh!

      • I suspect that fungal problems are alive and well in our garden as Auckland is humid. This winter had a mild start with it only turning cold lately 😃 Thanks for looking into that for me.

      • My pleasure, Julie. Yes, it tends to be humid here as well, so it’s amazing my garlic didn’t show signs of rust till summer…

    • Hi, oh he is so timid. Crazy so. I’m sure his own shadow gets him. Poor kitty. I love the light too … I couldn’t think of a name for the post and hubby suggested Winter Light. It sure is different Maybe it is lack of sun 😀 It is a wonderful place to live, just a bit wet at this time of year. Good to see you!

  6. Your photos are always outstanding. I always feel like I am right there. Love your black cat…I think everyone, including Gracie, should have a black cat!


    • Hey Linda … oh is is an adorable cat. Just incredibly timid. He used to be quite rough with Grace when she was young … then one day she turned round and swiped him. Since then, she has had him totally bluffed. Glad you enjoyed the pics Miss. Hugs

  7. Hi Julie, “It will either come good or I will have successfully managed to kill it”. Your pragmatic statement really gave me a laugh. 🙂 Absolutely wonderful colours in your photos. Beautiful calendula photo. I bet you didn’t have to plant that one. It is always nice to read your posts. It looks like those rocks above the ocean are a little slippery. Be careful it’s the wrong time of year for a swim. Take care. Bob

    • It’s true though Bob, it will either reach for the stars, or curl up its toes! LOL … truth is I have neglected it. Might be something to do with its vicious thorns. Glad you liked the colours. What aobut the caul? Nope, that calendula was self seeded as they all are in my veg garden. Best flowers ever. I’m so pleased you still enjoy reading my blog – I do wonder whether it bores people or causes an attack of the yawns. Yep those rocks were a tad slippery I was worried about the camera – no doubt about it. Not a good time to go for a dip! You take care …

      • Your purple cauliflower is magnificent (if a cauliflower can be such). I have trouble growing cauliflower and broccoli, because we have a short season, but hot, so they tend to bolt quickly. I would like to try that purple variety though. AND for the record, judging by all the wonderful comments, I don’t think you have to worry about your readers stifling yawns while checking in at Frog Pond Farm! 🙂

  8. Such scenes and words rich with life ~ the photos amazing like always, the first one is simply perfect. The great thing about raising/growing much of what you need is that it does leave only one person(s) to blame 🙂 Have a great week ahead.

  9. That cloud photo is amazing, as is the purple cauliflower. We have a cat just like Eric, she is so easily scared, yet she is the biggest of the 3 cats we own.

    • Thank you so much! That caul is super purple which happens to be my fav colour. And it tastes amazing .. something to do with all the food it gets and the TLC 🙂 .. Isn’t it a shame when the kitties are so timid? Our boy is just beautiful, like a panther – but so fragile. Thanks for stopping by

  10. All your photos are magnificent. A visual treat.

    I love the photo and description of Eric, the big black feline. Isn’t it fun how distinctive cats personalities are? I am a huge animal lover and cat person…. So I teally enjoyed reading about the ” battle of the cats.”

    Beautiful purple cauliflower. Wow. And beautiful sky photograph. You sure are talented!


    • Hey Peta … thank you I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics. Eric really is a champ – but so timid. Cats personalities can differ so much … if only he didn’t allow himself to get bossed round by our female kitty. She has him totally bluffed. Believe me the battle of the cats has seen fur flying! I just love that cauli and purple is my fav colour – bonus! Gosh funny isn’t it, I don’t really think I’m talented at all .. but thank you again 😀 It sure is something I enjoy ..

    • Hello Reinhold … love it when you stop by! There sure is amazing light at this time of year .. last night it was yellow, the light was bizarre. I can’t wait for spring either – bit over this rain. Thanks so much for your comment 😀

    • Hi Steve … ha ha I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes Andrew and I are the only ones plodding along the beach .. when the wind is howling and the waves are crashing. Interesting! 😀

  11. Absolute cracker photos, just stunning! I was going to suggest epsom salts for your lime but I see you are on to it. Are the chookies Welsummer variety, they are beautiful. Try as hard as I do, I cannot get a pic rom iPhone that isn’t blurred, hate the thing! My husband only used his for shots on our last trip and he said he wouldn’t bother with the SLR again.

    • Oh thank you so much! 😀 I often resort to epsom salts with my lemons – but these poor limes have been so neglected. Bad me! Those chookies are mainly Orpingtons with a couple of crosses. Such lovely big birds .. I’m lucky with my iPhone, but then it’s a big one and easy to hold. Gosh, fancy not bothering with his SLR again .. wow! Great to see you here and thanks for stopping by. 😀

  12. I love the close up chicken photos, Julie. How thrill to capture these many flying birds. 🙂
    The winter light is stunning, say the least.

    • Oh I got some wonderful pics of the sparrows Amy – probably because there was so many of them. They fly in and steal the chook’s tucker. The winter light is amazing – it was yellow last night. Glad you like the chicken pics Amy 🙂

  13. The winter lighting is beautiful, Julie. Such gorgeous photos, and love the organic recipes for the garden ills. I am very interested in how your thyme and rosemary brew works. I have not seen rust on the garlic here, but the roses do get black spot in a cool, damp spring.

    • Hi Lavinia .. so nice to see you here. And yes the winter light is lovely. Glad you enjoyed the pics. The spray was given to me by my x horticulture teacher – he gave it to me for black spot on my roses. But I saw that it also did rust too! I’m ever hopeful. 😀

  14. Love, love, lovin’ your photos – the different points of view and that glorious light! My favourite is your chooky in the morning? light. Wonderful!!

  15. I was wowing out loud, Julie, especially your beach pictures. And that cloud picture is sooooooooo out of this world surreal. I’ve your black cat and would take him in a heart beat if I didn’t already have so many. He is gorgeous. It will be interesting to see what Gracie does. Fabulous post and I thank you. I got a kick out of the feet on beach picture. Love your imagination!! <3

    • Hello Miss .. I really liked those feet too. I’m sure the people were a tad worried about me though 😃 Yes Grace is going to be interesting. But Eric has decided as of late that he won’t be caught .. Shame, I just love having him indoors. The trials of kitties! So good to see you here and glad that you enjoyed the pics …

  16. Lovely photos. Impressive chicken. Good luck with the lime tree. But, of course, the beach pics are my favourite – especially the low angle shot.

  17. Hi julie and andrew.your photos are lovely,i love the one of the veg garden and duck pond,think from last post.havnt seen a violet cauli before , dont think we get them back here in the uk.?bill has posted me a link to see the bad weather coming in this weekend.i hope you are all keeping is the worm bath i helped bill to make when i visited last year ?also your new pond you dug out whilst i was there,i bet the ducks are enjoying themselves in there.looking forward to more great snaps,all the best,martin and esther.

    • Hey Martin … so good to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the pics. Oh that worm bath is doing just fine. It is crawling with those lovely slimies … thank you so much for doing this for me. You are right, that pond is very popular with the ducks. The area has been planted now and is starting to look special. No doubt the ducks will be raising their chicks here 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!

      • I love chickens and cats. One day I will have a place where I can have both! But I can’t have chickens where I live and coyotes would eat cats. Well, and the chickens! One day…

  18. I hope your lime appreciates your goodness and flourishes. I hope your garlic is OK. Beautiful sunset. And Eric. He is a handsome fellow. His plight reminds me of a proverb, “It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious wife.” I’ve never seen a cauliflower like that. Does it taste much different from the white ones? Love the texture of the chickens’ feathers. Almost looks like they’re wearing a bulky knit sweater. That’s a lot of sparrows, looks like a lot of competition for the seed.

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