An eye to the sky …

An eternity seems to have slipped by since I last did my last post (ok 6 weeks at least)! The calendar says Spring is with us but I have my reservations, the weather has been an extension of winter with rain, rain and more rain.

Nothing seems to stop the weeds from growing though – that’s a given. I have wandering willy endeavouring to sneak under the radar, onion weed that propagates like crazy, acid loving creeping rotten buttercup and to top off the scenario or should I say ‘tie it up’, there is convolvulus which is alive and well at Frog Pond Farm, guaranteed I’m choked up!

While the weather hasn’t been brilliant, I did manage to plant some Liseta and Maris Anchor spuds into a raised bed, which was lovingly topped up with composted horse poo, coffee grounds and Rok solid fertiliser. The residents have grown like mad and the bed is full of spud greenery. Did I say I’m proud!

I have also finally prepared my summer planting plan, which I’m particularly pleased with. I have allocated beds for

  • Salad veg, herbs and general mayhem
  • Potatoes – early variety already in the dirt (sharing the space with some salad stuff)
  • Perennial beans sown direct and sharing a bed with late variety spuds (once the garlic is removed)
  • Chillies and lots of them with some heirloom tomatoes
  • Three sisters – corn, beans and cucurbits (with my addition of sunflowers) all planted direct with the exception of the cucumbers
  • Red onion seedlings busting to get planted


Honey bee enjoying the forget-me-nots

Peach blossom

I think you know by now, that I’m a fan of planting flowers in my veg garden too. I adore the sassy way the flowers mingle in with the veg, like tango dancers, flashing their colour and cheer. These show offs will include, marigolds, zinnias, alyssum, cosmos, cleome, bergamot, salvia and no doubt calendula and nasturtium.

I’ve been productive too, sowing beetroot, a variety of flowers and heritage tomato seeds which are now teenagers and growing in our garage. Pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini are due to be sown any day now. I’ve decided that thanks to the inclement and unsettled weather that I will be planting summer crops later this year … no surprises here.

Living on a lifestyle block obviously isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I must admit, that sometimes I think I’m nuts, given that I enjoy racing around in gumboots, have a tendency to wipe dirty hands on my clothes, or that I can spend hours on the ground ferreting about in the mud removing onion weed.


Maori Bay

The gannets are back

Do you have help in your garden? My brother who lives in Australia spent about five weeks with us – opportune as hubby was away surfing in the Maldives (ok for some 😉 ). Sadly all good things have to end and he has returned to Melbourne taking his green thumb with him. The garden is so quiet, no yesteryear banter, silly jokes or chatter involving weeds and weather. I shall him! Thanks Milt …

Are you wondering about my garlic crop? Let’s just say more hankies are needed the rust is back!

Happy gardening

PS Excuse the jumble of pics .. I done seem to have many!

Backyard visitor!

100 thoughts

  1. Love the photos Julie. I especially like the pheasant – we seem to have a cheeky few on our property at present – or just one very vocal one! Let’s hope the warmer weather is just around the corner!

    • Hi Cathy .. so nice to hear from you! 🙂 I really like the pheasant too, he was so handsome and not particularly fussed by me either – most unusual. I love seeing them strut about. Oh yes, please bring on the warmer weather!

  2. Inspiring as always Jules – think I’ll get out in my garden this afternoon, if you can call it that. At this stage all I’m doing is bush bashing but it’s great fun 😂

  3. Hi Julie, a delightful post and fantastic photos! It looks gorgeous there. So glad to hear everything is progressing despite the rainy weather. Good to hear the tomato, cucumber and zucchini plants are ready to go in the ground. Make sure those cucumber plants don’t get rained on too much, they hate that over here. Despite a smoky summer our garden was fantastic. Spuds, tomatoes, carrots, beets, squash all over performed. My wacky tobacco (good for trading) even out did itself. Good to hear you still prefer the gumboots over the high heals. Once you go country you can never go back. Take care. Bob

    • Hey Bob .. I’ve missed you! Hope you are coming back soon .. How is Bishop? 😉 Glad you enjoyed the pics and post. You did have a smoky summer .. glad to hear the garden performed .. yay! Looks like we’ll be eating spuds for Xmas 😃 And you are so right, once you go in the country, you can’t go back, it’s gummies for me!

  4. Some very bright and beautiful Spring photos, Julie. Nice to read your lovely and interesting post… must be lots to do this time of year.Have a wonderful season and a great week! 🙂

  5. Oh boy, those weeds! I feel your pain with that rotten creeping buttercup and bindweed. You know, I remember reading that bindweed is the only weed which has colonised the entire temperate world. So it looks like everywhere gardeners have to deal with it. At least we’re in good company. I always love looking at your garden and I was so thrilled to see your new post in my email! Oh, and, we may be approaching winter at a rapid pace round here, but I still have calendula in the garden. We both have calendula in our gardens. 😀 Makes me feel a little closer to you. Big hugs.

    • Hey V … Oh it is so good to hear from you! I have been thinking of you. Ha ha I feel the pain too! Bindweed is a nasty as it is very happy to creep along the ground as well. It really is a choker! Your cabin post made me realise that winter is knocking on the door for you … Good to know that you have calendula is your lovely garden, it is one of my favourites. Big hugs right back at you 😀

  6. Beautiful feelings you give us with your amazing farm photographs dear Julie, they are all so beautiful, I wished to be there now, especially while the winter is soon in here. Thank you dear Julie, Have a nice Spring days, Blessing and Happiness, Love, nia

    • Hi Nia .. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos. It would be lovely to have you here .. although today looks like rain yet again 🙂 Yesterday was divine, a beautiful spring day. Happiness and blessings to you too lovely.

  7. A pop of your blue sky and brilliant flowers is very welcome as our day length is getting shorter and everywhere starts to look a little grey and dull. As ever, your garden looks fabulously productive. We’ve just had to pull out all the leeks as they had a nasty little bug eating them from the inside out, so our garden looks very bare. I shall miss not being able to pop out and dig a few leeks for supper.

    • Hi Anne! So nice to see you. Glad to share some floral colour and cheer! The garden is growing like mad, something to do with the volumes of rain and some spring warmth. Did you find out what was munching on your leeks? I loathe losing veg to bugs or rust for that matter 🙂 I have decided not to grow garlic anymore, the amount of time I have dedicated to saving the crop is nuts … Oh the joys of gardening!

  8. Sorry to learn about the bad weather, Julie, but at least you don’t have to water. Very dry here, my pond is near empty and my water lilies don’t approve one bit. Glad you had some help in the garden. Hope your sweetheart had a good time in the Maledives. Mind you he probably didn’t as you weren’t with him! Thanks for sharing those beautiful pics. We visited the gannet colony in Muriwai years ago which was fab. Bon courage for the battle against the weeds 🙂 PS. Do you really wipe your dirty hands on your clothes? Can’t believe it! 😉

    • Hello Annette! How nice to see you … Gosh wish I could send you some of our water, imagine! Not good to hear that it is so dry. It was fab having my brother here, I just hate it when he leaves. Yes Andrew had a wonderful time in the Maldives as he always does, it’s a boy trip, so I wasn’t missed one bit! 😀 The gannet colony is amazing, I’m waiting for a sunny day to zoom down with the camera. Oh those weeds, the bane of my life. I spend hours on them … And yes my dear friend, I do wipe my hands on my pants … with delight! Hugs

  9. Hi Julie
    As usual beautiful photos. The place certainly looks green and lush after all the rain. Well the weather is still ok at the moment. In the south but up north there getting frost. The time is flying by and that means I shall be flying too. So get the sunshine out please. Love to you both Bill xxx

    • Mr Bonner .. how nice to hear from you! It is so green and lush, I just glanced over my shoulder and it is literally a sea of green. Yes time is whizzing by and I’m looking forward to your visit. You will be pleased to know that I’m cooking more too! 😀 I have put in an order for some sunshine for you – fingers crossed. Lots of love right back at you xx

  10. Your beautiful photographs make me already long for spring in this part of the world. Unfortunately, winter is waiting for us…

  11. Arrgh to the horror of convolvulus ! I found some creeping buttercup on the roadside berm, and picked a bunch of little buttercups to put in a vase. They are so pretty. I don’t have any in my garden, thank goodness. Perhaps there is too much competition from other weeds! Glad you had a good time with your brother. Whether they help in the garden or not, it’s good to have a brother in residence. 🙂

    • Oh you are so right, arrgh to the horror of that stuff! It takes no time to haul plants down to the ground, it even gives flax a run for its money. As for that nasty creeping buttercup, we have so much of it .. eek, another horror. I wish I found the flowers pretty, I used to love them when I was young. I had a wonderful time with my brother, it is so good having him here! Hugs

      • Julie, it seems the City Council feels the same way about buttercups as you do. I went to pick some more buttercups and daisies and found that the berm with all its weeds and wildflowers had been cut.

    • A frosty morning? Did you get out with your camera 😀 I miss your blog! Glad to see you at Frog Pond. And yes, that pheasant sure is a handsome boy and didn’t seem to mind posing for the camera ..

      • Garden and rain means photo opportunity. I don’t have a garden, but small 10 X 10 feet green patch and I have done tons of pictures there! 🙂

  12. OH! You have pheasants! They look just like our pheasants! Your Spring is lovely…I could just feel the heat and smell the smells. I wish I were there grubbing around in the dirt with you!

    • Hey Miss, yes we do have resident pheasants! They usually scurry off as they are super timid, but this one really wanted his photo taken, so I had to oblige. Our spring had been damp, but when that yellow orb appears it is just delightful. Oh yes, lots of wonderful smells and colours. And I would absolutely love to have you grubbing around in the dirt with me!

  13. I miss “my” tree ferns. How good to see some in the first photo. And later Whitianga, where we got trapped at the end of our trip when both roads off the peninsula closed due to heavy rain. It looks like you had no such trouble.

  14. hi Julie, we’ve never met but Bill sends on your blogs and photos and every time I am transported to another dimension: everything looks so beautiful, even and may be because of the rain at the moment. We’ve just hit shorter days and darker evenings so it is really great to hear about all the new growth and potential coming out of Frog Pond. Hope everything that you want to grow grows and that the weeds are conquered. Have a great Spring! jo

    • Hi Jo, lovely to hear from you! Bill is such a treasure sending on my posts .. I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Frog Pond 😃 I’m sure that all the new growth is thanks to the rain and some warmer weather. I’m working diligently on those weeds .. Cheers

  15. OOOOOO The peach blossom took my breath away, Julie! As for being nuts well … to me there is no greater satisfaction then having my hands in dirt and tending to my gardens. I honestly don’t know how you do all you do. We have a weed here, I forget its name, that is a vine and it just destroys everything in its path. I’ve declared war on this thing. It’s killing our grass! And it creeps into my gardens which I take a lot of delight in finding that main vine and pulling that &*^*(&((* thing out!! LOL I’m staring at the beginning of winter and you are in spring. We had our first wee snowfall yesterday, going from 70’s last week to snow this week. Brrrrrr ….. Surfing sounds real good to me right about now. Lucky hubby. Sorry to hear your brother had to return to Melbourne. Distance sometimes really hurts. Cheers and happy gardening! 🌿🌸💞

    • Hey Amy .. I really like that peach blossom pic too 😃 I’m so with you, I really enjoy having my hands in the dirt, and that’s exactly what is planned for this pm! Yay .. I wonder what that vine is that you have? There is pure joy ripping them out .. no doubt about it. Gosh your first snowfall .. brrr is right! Yes distance sure is tough .. a trip to Melb to see him and friends is on the cards! Thanks for stopping by Miss always great to see you here 😃

  16. I don’t know most of the weeds you’ve mentioned, but convolvulus, we call bindweed is a menace. Never mind your place is looking lovely, such abundance and the California poppies are wonderful. Happy Friday dear Julie, it’s good to see you!

  17. Absolutely radiant, Jullie FP, beautiful, resplendent images. I so adore your world and each moment I get to dip into it through your blog. Gorgeous!! Greet the gannets for me, please.

    smiling toad

  18. The photos are beautiful, Julie! Your summer season is coming up soon, and I am enjoying reading about what you have growing in your gardens. All the best to you and your family. 🙂

  19. Welcome back! I am sorry you have been beset by the weeds of spring, but I know you’ll give them what-for. Here is where I return to living vicariously – – through your blog as we will shortly head into winter and you, the summer. Love all your photos, and the thought of you allocating beds for your plantings.

    • Thank you Cynthia! About time I did a post … Honestly you wouldn’t believe the weeds! I was hauling out wandering willy again today and ripping out bindweed which was casually binding itself to a fence. Please do stop by .. I’m more than happy to share the summer when it gets here with you 😀 Lovely to see you at Frog Pond

  20. Beautiful pictures and sentiments! I love that as our garden is winding down, yours is gearing up. I envy your ability to plan…I’m afraid my planning consists of looking through the seed catalogs at the bright and shiny pictures, ordering too much, then trying to figure out where to plant them all. Our garden is usually a cacophony of chaos by the end of the season 🙂

    • Hi Benjamin … ha ha, I used to order too much via those seed catalogs too! A global problem 🙂 … I like to rotate my beds, hence the planning is good. Mind you, it has made no difference with my garlic, which has been hammered by rust yet again. So pleased you enjoyed the pics!

  21. Good Morning Dear Julie, it is so nice to see your smiling face, and your lovely words. Thank you for your visiting my blog. You are my sunshine. I wished to be able to visit you and your farm. Have a nice summer days, Love, and Hugs, nia

  22. First off, I must comment on your handsome backyard visitor. What a stunner!

    As we barrel toward a Midwest winter, I’d forgotten to consider your spring is just getting underway. 🙂 It’s colder here than usual and the winds have been fierce. I try not to complain as I enjoy every one of our distinct Iowa seasons.

    Question 4 U: You wrote ‘Living on a lifestyle block obviously isn’t everyone’s cup of tea’. What do you mean by ‘living on a lifestyle block’? Is that a farming / gardening term or a way of speaking in your neck of the woods? I’ve never heard that phrase before.

    • Hi Julie … I know, that backyard visitor was a stunner alright. And posing for the camera too. Today is a gorgeous spring day .. it has been so slow to start. Ah, a Lifestyle block is a Kiwi thing … I guess you would say a hobby farm.
      Hope you are good – great to see you at Frog Pond.

  23. I love a dirty woman. My wife enjoys working in the garden, too, though our soil is not conducive to such a wide variety of flowers and produce. I offered to build a raised bed but she decided against it. But I enjoyed your pictures. What a beautiful place you call home!

  24. It must be the busy time for you and so much maintenance. I need a helping hand, certainly at key times. We once looked into having WOOFers, and some friends on their organic farm in Ireland have become experts at it. It is full board in return for 5 hours a day! Hope your weather settles a bit and am wondering when you harvest the Olive trees?

  25. Wow!! Another batch of outstanding photos! I’m with you – love having my hands in the dirt. 😁. So much!! And your passion certainly is represent d in your photos! Sigh…..
    I’d happily offer an extra pair of hands in your garden.

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