Life is grand …

I’m gazing lovingly out the window. It is a superb sunny day, with bright blue skies and a light breeze. The bugs are chirping merrily away outdoors, relishing the gorgeous autumn weather. The grass thanks to the volumes of rain we experienced last week, resembles an electric green carpet. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly it changes colour and grows when the conditions are right.

gone to seed

My ‘to do’ list is also growing daily and as I’m passionate about pruning and it is top of the chores, I’m busting to get outdoors. It is only a matter of time and I’ll be sterilising my pruning equipment, hauling on some gardening gears and grabbing the pooch as I skip to the orchard.

Peaches and plums are on the agenda!

My garden is looking rather good I have to say! The corn, cucurbit and sunflower garden is just divine which is sharing a bed with stunning zinnias, chamomile, cosmos, zucchini and melon which are doing a fab job at attracting bugs, bees and monarch butterflies.

beautiful monarch butterfly

potted tansy

monarch butterfly

Never to old to change our gardening ways, I have decided from now on that I will plant my summer crops later .. which is what I did with my corn garden and probably why I am enjoying its colour and promises of produce now!


Each year we enjoy a visit to the Helensville AMP Show … and no I didn’t partake of the candy floss.


fairy floss

Bill has gone back to the UK, the house is quiet without him and the kitchen is devoid of those wonderful aromas associated with jams and jellies and chutneys.

home made produce

We ventured to the beach a couple of weeks back on a Friday night for some fish and chips. We plonked ourselves on the black sand, unfolded the layers of paper, poured a glass of wine and enjoyed the sunset with our pooch (who by the way always likes fish and chips!)

fish and chips on the beach

sunset at the beach

Life is grand isn’t it?

Happy gardening

97 thoughts

  1. Beautiful photos as always. Your Chutney and Jam took wonderful. Love the Monarch. And you have a real beach. 😉

  2. Life is certainly looking very grand there. Looks beautiful. We are still getting too much heat to get out in the garden, but hopefully autumn will get here soon.

  3. Lovely photos of your [pocket of paradise. I bet the bees are very happy in your garden, you could have a hive. Life is definitely good, especially with a beach like that! x:-)x

    • Hey Gilly … thank you. I think it is a pocket of paradise too. And it’s another stunner of a day today. The bees are having a ball in the garden .. We used to have hives – which a friend left with us and he used to come and tend them. I was very disappointed when he said that he was moving away. Thankfully a neighbour has bees and they adore our garden. We are huge fans of that beach! 😀

  4. Hi to you both. Well its certainly looking lush there beautiful colours. Your photos as usual are just stunning. Liked the beach fish and chips shot. Remember the last time we did that one time. And with my love of sand I sat in the boot and ate mine! The weather here is improving, but they predict the end of the weather in America is on its way for the weekend. Spring flowers are out, but the blue bells still haven’t flowered. I bet Andrew is out with the ride on cutting the grass! Lots love to you both, will be in touch . Bill xxxx

    • Hello Mr Bonner! Thank you … it poured for a week and now everything is so green! It is amazing .. The sunflowers are about 8tf tall and the bees adore them. I have more cucumbers too – I could open a shop! LOL Yes I do remember that visit to the beach with you … So pleased that your weather is on the improve. Today is a stunner .. Your son needs to get on that mower 😀 Take care and lots of love back at you.

  5. Well, someone is living it up and is not ashamed to boast about it. Good for you. 🙂
    One month to go and I’ll be hoping for good photographic weather when I visit Middle Earth. A shame I can’t get to the Garden of Eden, though. Are your chutneys and jams available for purchase in shops?

    • Mr Draco .. how I enjoy your visits! No I’m not ashamed at all .. bad me! LOL Only one month to go! How exciting … Watch out Middle Earth. 😀 Would be lovely if you came to the Garden of
      Eden, maybe next time. No the chutneys and jams aren’t for sale … I could send you some 😀

      • A dragon in Middle Earth. Who would have thought that possible? LOL

        I’m sorry this will only be a short trip, otherwise I would have continued on to the Garden of Eden. But I’m taking 4 weeks off later in the year and work might not have given me this time off otherwise. Hopefully we can meet in Queenstown if our schedules match. Have you installed the miniature train line yet?

  6. Gorgeous as always Julie and brings a smile to my face every time I see one of your posts – especially today as you know. Yes, life is good and you have made it so! xx

    • Hi, thank you! Oh you must be excited – what a lovely time of year to come here. If you are in Auckland you should pop out and say hello. Much to organise, but you will have a wonderful time.

  7. So beautiful dear Julie, so beautiful. As you say, life is grand. I loved all the photographs, your garden not only attracting bugs, for me too 🙂 And how romantic times at the beach… amazing photographs. Thank you dear Julie, have a nice autumn days, Love & hugs, nia

    • Hello dear Nia .. your comments are always so lovely, thank you! I love knowing that you have stopped by Frog Pond. And yes, the garden is full of bugs and bees … perfect! Autumn is just the loveliest time of year. Hugs 😀

  8. Oooohhh, I’m envious! Here in the Midwest United States we’ve had snow and C.O.L.D. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of what is just a couple months away for us.

  9. Your yard is beautiful! Your photography stunning…the romantic beach scene complete with wonderful furry friend, and the sharing of your delightful color all perfect. You are so right…every day I tell myself I LOVE MY LIFE! Yes life is grand!

  10. Yes, it is grand, Julie, at least for us and let’s cherish it while it lasts! Beautiful images, my favourite being the 2nd, lovely light and bokeh. How fab to enjoy a glass of wine on the beach with your pooch, it’s the little things I love most, these fleeting moments in time, so far away from reality in a way, a bit like living on an island…we do the same here, sip wine on a bench in the garden, just being grateful for our little piece of paradise. Love to you all xx

  11. Why didn’t you partake of the cotton candy? It looks delicious! Unless you were partaking of the even yummier looking jams! Do you by any chance market these in India? 😀

  12. It is rather grand Julie. Your garden is looking sensational. Mine is bedraggled and dry, yet still very productive. New Zealand weather is much kinder. Love the butterfly shots. What is that yellow button headed plant? Does it dry out well for long lasting arrangements? I would like to plonk down on that black sand with you and steal a chip or two and a lovely slurp of white wine.

    • Hey Francesca … always lovely to hear from you. I’m definitely into changing my planting habits, later is best. Hence I can enjoy the splendour of it now 🙂 Oh yes, NZ is much kinder. Spring and summer for us were damp and autumn also started out with plenty of rain. Ah that plant is tansy, it dries out very well. I use it from time to time with lavender in my nest boxes as it apparently wards off mites. I would love to plonk down in that black sand with you. Now wouldn’t that be a treat!

  13. “Life is beautiful” is said out loud here on a regular basis. I think it’s setting, appreciation, being close to 50 now (weird but great) and some letting go. Of course the current state of our US government gives pause to those good feelings at times, but we try to stay informed yet not let it dominate our outlook.
    I also appreciate you sharing your beautiful, inspiring world so far away.

    AND yes to patience- I’m starting finally after 20 years to plant later and sow directly in the ground when possible…. Like my peas. It’s worth the wait of only 7-14 days for healthier, more productive plants. And less time, expense and struggle for all involved!!!

    • Oh you are absolutely right! I love the fact that I keep learning more and more about my garden – the trials and tribulations! And I too, like sowing direct. Ah heading to 50 .. I’m well beyond! LOL Glad you enjoyed the beauty so nice to be able to share it with you.

  14. Lovely enticing photos needed so badly by one who longs for color. Thank you! And that beach, now that is a beach! Why is the sand black, curious minds would like to know? 🙂 <3

      • This Spring is coming in very overcast and wet. Oh yes, that color will be bursting soon and I can’t wait! Thank you about the iron answer. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what a mess that can be. Yikes! 🙂 <3

  15. I love your life! I was wondering why your corn picture looked like it should be (for us up here…) July, or midsummer. Then I read the part about planting it late. I am going back into my garden. We actually had RAIN this winter which means water. I want flowers again 😀

  16. Beautiful photos, Julie. And that beach looks great. Wish we had one here. Well, there is a lake (formed by Hoover Dam) but it’s never as quiest and clean as yours seems to be. What a life! Enjoy it!

  17. Good word! Your pictures are …. mwuah. 😀 I’ve been waiting for spring time here in Japan for oh so long. I can’t wait to get back out there. 🙂 We still have to deal with rainy days, but the silver lining is that spring is right there closing in. These images are a delight to our gloomy couple of days, esp. those beach pics. Thank you, Julie.

    • Glad you like the pics 😀 Spring is always so good when it arrives isn’t it? It’s nice to shake off the winter doldrums. I’m pleased to add colour. Thanks for stopping by 😀

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