Nature’s supermarket

The sky is bright blue today .. a fringe of cloud puffs dot the horizon. It is hot and humid, but there is a good breeze which is doing a splendid job of banging the blind against the open window .. I’m ensconced upstairs in the garage.

This is the time of year that the wildlife enjoys spending time in the orchard – their summer supermarket.

There are those furry critters that visit in the dark of night scampering up trees, greedily biting into unripe fruit or snapping branches that are laden. I’m sure they hurl down fruit to their buddies waiting below. Then there are the feathered daytime visitors who are quite blasé about their indulgence.

Caught in the act!

Without surprise my lunch today was stewed plums, the fact that many of them weren’t exactly ripe when cooked is irrelevant, they were topped with a rather delicious yoghurt making an interesting tart combination. It appears that I am single handedly endeavouring to freeze, eat or giveaway our fruit.

Then there is the garden …

  • why did I plant around 30 bean plants, what was I thinking!
  • the cucumbers and zucchinis are machines, I’m making pickle tonight (pics to come)
  • for some strange reason the sunflowers are shorter than the corn which is now showing off its tassels
  • the self seeded pumpkin or whatever it is, should never have been left to grow!
  • I have fennel which needs to be picked and sliced into a salad with red onion and orange segments
  • it seems I have become a vegetarian indulging in the odd salmon meal
  • I’m blanching and freezing things (go girl)
  • my garden is a mass of sassy flowers in a variety of gorgeous hues
  • I have become adept at squishing copulating green shield beetles
  • oh and then there are the chooks … who are happily laying about 10 eggs per day

Purple king beans

Proof of hard work!

Duck pond

Thanks so much to all you wonderful friends and bloggers who left such lovely get well wishes for Bill. Your kind words meant a great deal to him.  Needless to say, I miss him and hubby, the kitchen just isn’t the same without those boys.

Happy gardening and for all those in NZ, happy summer.

82 thoughts

  1. Fantastic photos. I love that bluebird. It’s very interesting. The critters do love to partake in nature’s supermarket.

    • Thank you very much Mr Price 🙂 That bluebird is a pukeko or swamphen. They are handsome birds with a very cute white bottom. And they do so enjoy our place. Perfect for them with a pond and the orchard close by. Always great to see you here!

  2. Once again Jules a very entertaining blog and stunning pics. Hope Andrews dad is on the road to recovery and look forward to seeing you over here sometime soon, with love and best wishes

    • Hey Lee .. so good to hear from you again. And glad that you enjoyed the post 😀 Good news, Bill is on the road to recovery. Looking forward to seeing you again too Miss. Thanks for the love and best wishes. Hugs

  3. The photos of your garden are just beautiful….green, leafy, cool and abundant. Mr Pukeko looks as though he’s ready for a feast!

    • Hi Jane .. it is very very green and leafy. And given this hot muggy weather, the garden appears to be on steroids. As for Mr Pukeko, they are opportunists, no doubt and who can blame them with a variety of fruit to choose from 😉

  4. Gorgeous Julie – You’re one talented gardener – How your father would have been impressed. Maybe he is looking down and guiding you.
    Xxxxxclaire

  5. This is great garden and gardening, I admire and fascinating me too. Thank you dear Julie, thank you because you took me there too, I can feel how amazing to be in this beautiful garden. Blessing and Happiness dear Julie, Love, nia

  6. Happy summer from NW England! Sassy flowers sums it up perfectly.

    I like the way you have infused the headiness of summer in the shots. You have a lovely way of seeing things.

  7. Hi Julie you’ve captured Frog Pond just as it is. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to visit I can assure you that it’s paradise. Julie I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many wind falls. The vegetation is in abundance! Glad you’re getting on bottling so as to keep the winter store going. Then some of the bottles will make perfect gifts. There will be a few disappointed folk back in the uk this year not to receive our jams and pickles! I finally read all the replies took sometime but at least I’m reading again. Hi to the many friends that I pass this onto please now and again give Julie a short or long reply,she woul d love to hear from you. I send them all over. America Spain France and all over the UK.
    Julie thanks for the latest news makes me feel as though I’m there with you. Lots of love and kisses. Take good care and don’t go climbing until Andrew is home Love you .xxxxxxxxxx
    Ps say hallow to all in Valley road.

    • Thanks Bill .. and you are so right, there has never ever been so many windfalls! The place is so lush, electric green. You will be pleased to know I made some pickle today. Woohoo. You do a better job of marketing than I do .. no doubt about it 🙂 Lovely to send you news Bill. And I promise, no climbing up the ladder in the orchard. Hugs and loads of love

  8. Well Julie once again you’ve captured Frog Pond in all its glory. For those of you who have never had the experience of visiting. It’s just like the beautiful photos show. As you approach down the hill towards the valley and suddenly it appears. The expanse of pine tress that surround it on a very steep hillsides. Many years ago I could attempt to climb but not now. Julie I’ve never seen so many windfalls. It’s looking very lush . Hope the olives go well. Well chocks are laying well it must be that fist class dinning Menu! ,!!
    Hi to all that I pass this onto Julie would love to hear a few words from you. Just read comments, put your email and name writes few words,then post comments.
    Well they are getting me out of bed. I’ve got to learn to walk around albeit with a frame gradually getting there.
    Well Julie glad your starting the production line. Good for winter and giving as gifts. There will be few disappointed folk here this year without jams and pickles!

    Julie give my best wishes to all that know me in N Z and your Brother and family in Australia. We all go back so many years.
    It’s was good to talk yesterday we don’t feel so far apart using the I pads .
    You will be fast asleep now so something to wake up to.
    Lots of love and kisses missing you. Bill xxxxx

    • Hey Bill … oh yes it is so lush! The olives are actually looking very good, although they are in dire need of a prune. Boy are they going to get it after harvest! LOL Good to hear that you are getting out of bed Mr B – it won’t be long before you will be at the gym! It was super talking and seeing you too .. Missing you loads Mr B 😀

  9. What a stunning garden post, Julie… all those beautiful pics and your summer to enjoy!! You are really such a gifted gardener and photographer. A great time for us to celebrate the fruits of your labour and to share this joy with you! Happy summer! 😀

  10. hi julie.so glad to hear bill is getting up and about now,you really are busy at summertime, do love the bird shot, not sure what breed it is ,all our love , martin and esther,croxley green.

  11. Beautiful pictures, Julie. My mouth was watering from seeing the first photo to the last. I am totally understand why you have so many uninvited guests 😉
    Have a great day.

  12. What beautiful photos. I used to dream of a garden like that and when I finally got a decent patch I was beaten by advancing years and ground as hard as concrete. The swamphen is beautiful. GWS Bill.

  13. Isn’t that pukeko fabulous? Such brilliant colours, which match your garden so perfectly. It all looks so lush and green, though I don’t envy you dealing with all the zuchinnis.

  14. Your photos are gorgeous. I know it is hard work but all the love you put into the garden shows. This post reminded me so much of our apple orchard in New Hampshire…the deer, turkeys, ground hogs and porcupines used to love feasting in the orchard and garden.

  15. A lovely series of photos, Julie. It sounds like you have been busy.
    You have become adept at squishing copulating green shield beetles – the mind boggles at our cruelty. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. Times of plenty, Julie, I could look at those pics forever…such a contrast to our own situation (rain, grey…) but I won’t complain with the woods brimming with snowdrops and sometimes on a mild day I can feel a hint of spring in the air! Still at a distance but I know it’s there. Your vegetable garden looks undecently happy, bet so are you when you’re harvesting these masses of veg and fruit! 😉 Wish I could come over and give you a hand. As always your pics are stunning but the corn with the house in the background is my clear favourite today, delicious bokeh! Hope Bill is better. xx Big hug

    • Hey Annette, the veg garden is incredibly happy! I have been watering it daily, talking to it (of course) and throwing around fertiliser. How I wish you could give me a hand! I liked that pic too of the corn. You should see it, really showing off. Bill is on the improve too which is great! Big hugs back at you x

  17. You’re garden is so abundant Julie, no one near you needs to grow a thing and the wild creatures are well provided for. It’s hard work preserving and freezing, but will be so worth it in the winter. For me, just seeing your bright canvass of colour is wonderful enough, I can imagine the scents and flavours. 🙂

    • Hi Gilly .. oh year the wildlife is well provided for 🙂 Preserving and freezing is a mission. Hubby brought in a mass of plums yesterday – oh dear! Super to share colour with you, the air is heady with summer scents.

  18. Julie, I thoroughly enjoy your descriptions and photos of your beautiful New Zealand farm and your life there!

    I hope Bill continues to get well, and you will enjoy his visits again soon.

  19. Hi Julie, I have finally got around to making a comment on your blog after Bills nagging! I thought I must after your lovely comments on my dear friend Bill on your previous blog, we all hope he gets better very soon. As always your pictures continue to be of great interest and a lovely insite to your New Zealand way of life. Much love Sheila xx

  20. Hi Julie, good to hear Bill is feeling better. Please pass along my best. It sounds like the canning and preserving is up to you this year. Remember, I always have a jar or two of Huckleberry Grand Marnier Preserves set aside for trading. 🙂 Your pictures are wonderful. Your garden looks like it is really chugging along – you are going to have to start a roadside stand just to keep up with the produce. Take care. Bob

    • Hi Bob! I sure shall pass on your best! Oh dear the preserving is all mine. You should have seen the quantities of plums that Andrew hauled in last night. Frightening. I could have run out the door. Now that Huckleberry Grand Marnier sure sounds worth trading. Might be coming over to Canada this year – be great to grab a jar off you! Yes the garden is chugging along – having a summer to remember. I could do that roadside stand now I’m unemployed. Missing your blog btw x

    • Hi Sabine … thank you! 🙂 Sorry to hear that your weather hasn’t been good. We have had an amazing summer … a bit damp lately, but the rain is needed. So pleased that you enjoyed the pics. And thank you for the get well wishes. Good to see you here ..

  21. Oh my goodness, Julie, one image is more beautiful then the next! How busy you must be yet stopped to do this post! I’m impressed! I know how hard gardening work is!! That pic of the pond I can just about see the fairies dancing about. That is one very magical place and one in which I would just love to visit. Thank you for the scrumptious and gorgeous images from your corner of the world. I don’t know how you do what you do. And I really mean that!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  22. The expression of your photographs that tell about the intimate way you know and grow your garden. In your words I feel long days, a marvelous summer indeed (and a bit hotter than usual in this other side of the world) I hope the longing has not need to be and you and your dear ones are fine. Thank you, Julie. : )

    • How I enjoy getting your comments Francis. And thank you! I do love my garden and am very passionate about it. We are all well thanks 🙂 and I hope all is well with you too. Missing your blog as always …

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