The colours of summer

Does much change in your garden from year to year? Seems that many things are much the same as they were last year at our place! What a surprise …

  • I dug up a garlic the other day and found nothing at the end. In fact, if it wasn’t for the garlic smell I would have thought it a puny leek. No bulbs in sight. It was hard to believe that I had spent hours and hours, snipping and binning leaves covered in rust or spraying various organic concoctions, all to no avail. So it seemed only fitting that I spat the dummy and hauled out all the garlic. Good! Done and dusted and not a tear in sight
  • The heritage tomatoes are in the ground and looking healthy – no fungal nasties yet
  • Our salad garden is looking amazing! We could survive on lettuces for weeks. Well I could, hubby isn’t a big fan of those green leaves. The bossy feverfew is still flattening the lemongrass while the lemon balm is still squashing that oregano
  • Our runner beans are on steroids …  a delight to see them grasping the trellis. We will be enjoying beans soon
  • The spuds have been lifted just in time for Chrissy – Liseta and Maris anchor. Yum!
  • All my garden beds are now planted with an array of veg, herbs, flowers and the good old self seeded stuff, think calendula, nasturtium and cucurbits

The orchard is an interesting one ..

  • No quince or figs (I feel cheated)
  • The pears are looking good
  • There are fewer peaches than ever
  • We will be enjoying lots of plum jam and chutney (hint hint Bill)
  • The wooly aphid is alive and well again on the heritage apple, but not for long, I shall be out first thing tomorrow with my neem oil! And yes, we will be munching on apples and it goes without saying that so will the wild turkeys
  • There will be an olive harvest next year … but a few trees are suffering from peacock spot (another nasty fungal problem). So after harvest a serious prune will ensue

Can you believe this is a gardening blog? Where are the pics Julie!

Another jumble of photos …

Muriwai beach … those fisherman never cease to amaze me

His favourite place … iPhone

Eric cute and dribbling

Ignoring me … typical

And for a special friend .. a couple of pics of the Auckland Flower Show

Hobbit house post box

My sort of shoes!

Happy gardening

95 thoughts

  1. Who needs garden shots when you can have beaches and furry animals! Your orchard seems to be in the same cycle as ours. It’s a pear year. Every fruit has it’s time. Love those planted shoes too.Merry Gardening Julie.

    • Hey Francesca .. I think you are right about the orchard. No pears last year, but we will be dining on them this year! Yep, every fruit has their day .. I rather like those shoes too .. perfect for Campari consumers! Lol

  2. Julie another informative blog from the bonnerville outpost of civilisation. Good work ! Love and hugs Mr Bourke

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. I enjoyed this great post and the beautiful photographs. I gave me a warm feeling in this cold part of the world. Wishing is was summer overhere… 🙂

  4. I love your photos, Julie. Particularly the potatoes… ha ha. They look so fresh! Now I want to go to the farmers’ market next week. 😉
    Do you know what happened to garlic? So interesting…
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. Fantastic summer pics! We are quite frozen out here. You have been busy. Your black kitty is sooo cute, and the other kitty is quite beautiful ignoring you. Muriwai beach has black sand? Very cool use of shoes.

    • Hey Tim .. so good seeing you at Frog Pond! It is so hot and dry here .. Eric the black cat is so cute .. So is Grace and doing a grand job of ignoring me too. Yes Muriwai is black sand … makes for some interesting photos. Love those shoes 😄

  6. What is that gorgeous red flower? I love it! And I’m feeling slight twinges of envy as we enter winter here. If I am offered one more root vegetable, I think I will scream :-).

    • Ha ha … love that! One more root vegetable and you will scream! That gorgeous red flower is a dahlia. We have them in pots on our deck. I couldn’t resist racing indoors and grabbing the macro lens. 😀 I’m rather happy after our wet winter and spring to have some hot dry weather … although would you believe we need some rain!

  7. You do sound busy in your garden – although the disappointments are hard to take. Just reading a great book The New Farm by Brent Preston about small scale organic farming – seems to be a tough but rewarding life.

    • Hello Miss … yes so busy in the garden. It’s that time of year. And you are so right – disappointments are hard to take, especially when you try like crazy to rectify something. I have since read that rust is almost impossible to get rid of (garlic that is) .. and I tend to agree. Organic farming is rewarding indeed … tough but rewarding 😀

      • Don’t lose hope. I didn’t have as much rust this year – I couldn’t say why apart from the fact that the summer was dry. But then, you say you are having a dry summer now…

  8. Finally caught up with your last few posts (I am ashamed to say) – and this most recent one had such wonderful pics!! Love all the colours and the wonderful ideas around your garden. And absolutely adore the canine and feline shots. Merry Christmas to everyone at frogpondfarm!!!!

    • Hello Brenda! So good to see you here .. has been ages! Glad you enjoyed the pics .. what a summer we are having. Mind you, winter and spring were crazy wet. I too love the pet pics – Eric was the only one into posing. Ah Dan, time to dress him up for Christmas, and how he hates that! Merry Christmas to you and Pat. Hugs

  9. You have a harvest of beauty upon which to feast! No apricots here, not a single one. No nectarines and possibly no feijoas! But the spuds are great, and the blackcurrants, too. And for the first time, I have a dahlia. Sadly, we are also in need of rain. Pats to all your gorgeous animal buddies.

    • Oh thank you Gallivanta! Gosh, no apricots, nectarines for feijoas! I have loads of the latter which I didn’t even mention. It has been a great start with the early spuds, looking forward to enjoying digging up more. I have never grown blackcurrants .. but gave up with the raspberry which kept popping up everywhere! Oh a dahlia .. aren’t they wonderful? That’s the flower in my post … they make the best models. Pats to all the animals for you. An eye to the sky for some much needed rain! 😀

      • A little drizzle today which was so welcome. BTW did you see my comment on the ToiToi facebook page about a lovely item on Radio NZ featuring one of your wines?

  10. Well, it sounds like you’ve been very busy leading up to the Summer, Julie. Don’t worry about the garlic. There’s always the greengrocer. 🙂
    Lovely shots as usual. Plum jam and chutney sounds nice, hint hint. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. This is so beautiful dear Julie, especially there are two things I fall in love with them, one is CATs the other one is the shoe with plant… You are amazing. I loved your summer colours. Hobbit village is there, isn’t it? I mean the movie had been filmed in there. It should be so nice. All your photographs are so beautiful and your dogs so lovely. You are in summer, we are in winter… bu strange winter. Up and down in temperatures… Thank you dear Julie, have a nice day and new week, Love and Hugs, Blessing and Happiness to you all there, nia

    • Hello Nia! So good to see you here … I knew you would love the cats! That Eric just loved having your photo taken .. such a poser. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the colours of summer. We went to the Auckland Flower Show and they have a Hobbit house displayed there .. it was the most popular display with loads of people milling about. Yes the movie was filmed in NZ .. 🙂 I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. We are having the most amazing summer, super hot and dry! Enjoy your week dear Nia!

  12. You are amazing Jules – in the garden, in the kitchen and behind that camera. Young Howj is sad he doesn’t have a garden anymore and delights in visiting yours. Love your photos. Have a great Xmas AB & J 😘

    • Ah shucks, thanks Claire. Really appreciate your comment. I do love the garden, and my camera – and have serious competition in the kitchen now. Andrew is a wicked cook! Young Howj should be here now, the weather is amazing … A great Xmas to you all. Lots of love …

  13. Well, young lady: it’s about time you gave us an update! (smile)
    The gardening situation is sounding good — give or take some quince, fig and that puny garlic. And kitties, doggies and flowers also seem to be in good shape. Good to hear from you.

    • Hey Cynthia … I know, I have become the phantom blogger it seems! LOL … I have every intention of lifting my game! The garden is great .. and I do love messing around in the dirt. The seasons certainly vary the fruit. Last year no pears, this year pears! And as the my garlic, it got nailed by the rust last year and again this year. Not fair! Looks like the greengrocer for me … The animals are all wonderful. Always good to hear from you lovely

  14. Hi to you both. Well we are in the biggest cold spell for many years. O I’m looking forward to getting to the summer. Julie as usual your photos are just so beautiful. Make sure that you’ve ordered the jars. And I will fill them as usual. I’m glad your recycling your old shoes 👞! They make good flower pots! Good to see the animals looking so well. Dan looks great. Sorry about the garlic. But seeing as lm not allowed to use it it won’t bother me. I’m sure my visits to my various food outlets will be able to meet my needs! I might take to hiding the said bulbs! just for my use only!
    Lots o f love to you both and will see you soon . Bill xxxxx

    • Mr Bonner … a very big hello from hot dry Auckland! I’m sure you are looking forward to some warm weather, sand and loads of fruit to preserve! LOL … So pleased you enjoyed the pics 😀 And yes I will order those jars. The animals are all looking great indeed .. and what about Eric? Such a handsome boy. Can you imagine my horror when I spotted the start of the rust again? I couldn’t believe my eyes .. So that’s it, no more garlic (well not for several years that is). Oh and I do agree, food outlets for you for those special culinary needs. Best you hide them .. good idea! Lots of love to you Bill xx

  15. This is a fabulous post Julie, so much variety and you really won’t go hungry will you 🙂 I can’t understand being excited about runner beans, but the other veg, salad and fruit is perfect.I hope those guys are fishing for fun and not work, with the size of those waves it looks a bit risky. Cute pets and the Auckland show, what a treat for us all x:-)x

    • Hi Gilly .. thanks Miss, I’m pleased that you enjoyed your visit. The garden is coming along nicely … runners included 😉 Those lads are fishing for fun – amazing ha? No way would you catch me out there and I love fishing. Great to see you at Frog Pond

  16. Looks fab Julie. We had very few quince this year but an abundance of plums and pears, so I’m not complaining. I would be complaining if I was expecting figs and had very few though. A welcome blast of colour and sunshine.

    • Hey Anne … so nice to hear from you Miss! Yes I’m surprised about the figs .. disappointing. But in saying that we have we have more than enough fruit for the two of us! Hope you enjoyed the blast of colour and sunshine! 😀

  17. Hi Julie, think the garden is never the same from one year to the next especially the veg garden and orchard. The wet weather you had may give you more trouble with fungal diseases but I guess better wet than too dry. Having said that we had a good bit of rain and I’m pleased to say our pond is full again. Happy to see your pooch in good form. Love your pics – look at those clouds, awesome! Read a book recently called ‘Photographing landscape whatever the weather’ (not that I needed much encouragement 😉 ). It not only inspired me to go looking for clouds more often but it made me much more aware of them. Thank you for sharing the flower show pics. Pity, you were disappointed. Is this an independent one to the one in Christchurch or is it replacing it? Love to you all xx

    • Hello Miss .. yes the garden is ever changing that’s for certain! Especially the orchard … No pears last year, pears this year. Loads of peaches last, not many this year. Ah the list goes on. Garlic and rust at our place seem to be consistent though! So that’s it, I’m not growing it anymore 🙂 Auckland is so humid – the perfect environment for fungal nasties. I’m a cloud girl as you probably know … I just love them. They always catch my eye! I just adore takings pics of them .. you should see our sky today. Divine white puffs against a bright blue sky. Pleased to share those pics with you, I just wish I had taken more, of the show. 😀 Not sure, but I think that the Auckland event may well be independent. Love back to you xxxx and hugs

  18. Those roses, tho!!!! I can almost smell them! Gardens are funny things, aren’t they. Last year I couldn’t get carrots to grow at all – this year, I’m the carrot queen! But. Tomatoes were a flop. Never had that happen before. But what can you do? Just go with the flow and see what next year brings. Or doesn’t bring, I guess. In my case, I think there will be no garden next year – we are selling our place and planning a-new. Thanks for sharing the garden show photos. Who doesn’t love red shoes!?! Puppies and kitties – they help us all to stay focused on what really matters – such as a tummy rub. Great photos, Julie!

    • Oh yes, gardens sure are funny things. I’m jealous … you are the carrot queen! The last time I grew them I was so disappointed – they are hard work. Although, you have inspired me to sow some seed and try again. Thanks Janet! 😀 Yes go with the flow is a good idea. But I tell you one thing though, I won’t be growing garlic again, it is just devastating to see them covered in rust and all my hard work and TLC was for nought. Shame. Glad you enjoyed the garden show pics … and what about those shoes! Puppies and kitties … our wonderful furry friends. Thanks so much for visiting Frog Pond. Super to hear from you.

  19. Hi Julie, what amazing summer photos! Your little paradise looks so nice. Our garden now is dormant but we enjoy some cakes with the plums that we have harvestet and frozen in late summer. Winter sunshine today! Have a great time! 🙂

    • Hi Josephine … thank you! We are having the most amazing weather .. hot and dry, although we had rain last night at last. Yay! I bet those plums tasted super good – nothing like homegrown! And winter sunshine, perfect! Great to see you at Frog Pond 😀

  20. … besides all of this talented gardening (I am happy to buy the right tomato) 🧐 … I love your images of landscapes, Julie. You always capture the right moment and mood. And with all these cute models you will soon become a famous wildlife photographer. Happy days. Reinhold

  21. Hi Julie and Andrew
    We love the photos yet again, Christmas is here again,we flew out of London on Saturday afternoon , just in time to miss the snow 😬 In Perth for a few days of cricket then over to visit Callum on the Gold Coast for Christmas .i see Bill is not far from some warmer climates, we hope you all have a lovely Christmas and more great pics to come,
    Martin and Esther , Croxley green x

    • Hi Martin … great to hear from you as always. Amazing to think Christmas is only a week away .. and you are already no doubt enjoying the heat of Perth! Yes Bill will be here early Jan, I suspect he will be keen to escape the cold. Wishing you and Ester and family a wonderful Christmas! 😀

  22. I was here a long time just drinking up your images, one by one. Your precious animals are a heart throb, and I especially Loved the pics of your black cat, who is adorable! Color …. oh yes color and I thank you! Beach and ocean …. oh yes! Thank you! Those fisherman are amazing. Here I look out my window and see white and then I come here and drink in color ….. ahhhhhhhh …… LOVED this post, Julie. THANK YOU! 🤗

    • Hey Amy … so nice to hear from you 😀 I know you are a cat person … Eric the black cat was having a ball posing. Made me laugh. Yes it sure is summer here – hot and dry. Those fishermen never cease to amaze me, they are often out even when the seas are sizeable and the weather inclement. Glad you enjoyed the post Miss 😀

      • Oh I did I did!! This white is already well, gee, it kinda goes like this. I LOVE color! LOL I’ll be popping in over here to drink in color and flowers and such from you! Meanwhile you can enjoy the white I have for you! As for Eric … I have some cats who are hams in front of the camera. Too funny!!! 🤗

  23. Love the gardening photos and, of course, all your furry friends. The beach – to die for!! So jealous.

    Oh. And I love the hobbit mail box!!

    Merry Christmas, Julie 🙂

    • Hi Julie … glad you liked the pics! The beach is to die for! And this is a summer like none other …. Rather a fancy mail box 😀 Hope you had a super special Christmas – sorry for the late reply!

  24. Just catching up on your last two posts Julie and I certainly loved all your wonderful photos. It seems you have gone from wet and cool to sunny and hot. Even though it is winter, here in Florida we have lots of color and warmth too. Best of wishes for a lovely Christmas to you and yours. 🙂

  25. Julie,

    those spuds look scrummy! we grew Russian Blue potatoes this summer and they produced an even bigger and better crop than the previous year (some weighed 1/2 lb!) as for garlic, we’ve never had much success with them, either. onions are only a little less mediocre for us. our big (perennial) winners have always been blueberries and raspberries. the squirrels made off with all the apples, so no fall harvest this year. 🙁

    and oh look — cute furbabies!! lovely spontaneous captures. 🙂

    Merry Christmas!

    • So nice to hear from you … sorry about the late reply 🙂 I hope you had a special Christmas. Bet you ate potatoes! Those Russian Blue sound fabulous .. I haven’t heard of them before. We don’t have squirrels here, but loads of possums, who treat the orchard as their supermarket 🙂 So pleased you enjoyed the photos!

      • thank you, Julie! no problem! you were probably very busy with Christmas celebrations yourself. 🙂 hope you had a good one. 🙂

        we kept a small number of the Russian Blue potatoes harvested for planting next year, plus, they also actually produced potato seeds (!!), so we may get some another different kind of potato next year. 🙂

        We used to get possums here, too (our only native marsupial!), but not in many, many years. they are useful critters because they eat the ticks that cause Lyme disease. 🙂

        Have a Happy New Year 2018! 🙂


  26. i am a New Zealander living in Australia, and have started my own blog mostly concerned with trying to keep a garden surviving in our harsh climate. I love your photos. Wish we had your rainfall… here we stagger from one rain event to the next, and they can be very far apart! the photo of the dogs on the beach and the island on the horizon is such a familiar scene to me. I spent many summers on the Coromandel peninsula!

    • Hi Jane … yes Australia does have a very interesting climate for gardening, that’s for sure. We have had the driest summer I can remember in years. We had such a wet winter and spring and now no rain! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics. Ah Coromandel, a very special place. Thanks for stopping by …

  27. I missed this one in December. What a lovely summer in your part of the world! So many good things coming in from your garden.

    Happy new year to you and your family, and all the kitties and pups!

  28. Fantastic beaches and surf. Glad perhaps you are able to take a break from the garden work! Sounds good though apart from no quinces. Ours just grow without any help and not much water on the edge of the finca. Guess if I tried to grow them like my apricots I would not succeed. Fungi on the Olive sounds bad. Good luck with it all.

    • We normally get a nice crop of quince, but not this year. Although we have 3 young Chinese quince trees fruiting for the first time. I think what those olive trees need is a massive haircut, but we will wait till after harvest. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: