This was actually meant to be a birthday post for Bill! But true to form, my blogging skills are sadly lacking – this post is decidedly late. Happy birthday Mr B.

More to the point, I have another summer without Bill! Needless to say, the kitchen just isn’t the same without him (nor is the larder). I miss his banter with hubby, his commentary while watching cooking shows and the tips he sends my way when I’m in the kitchen. The green tea consumption in the house is way down and the fridge is lacking the wonderful assortment of goodies it boasts when he is here. Still all is not bad,  I have started preserving kicking off 2019 with a zucchini relish and I’ve also pickled some peppers. Good!

Frog Pond Farm

So a long overdue jumble of photos of our veg garden and Frog Pond Farm looking rather green – there is nothing like some summer rain to brighten up the place.

Salad splendour

Cosmos cheer

Cherry toms

We are munching on the usual array of summer veg – lettuce, spring onions, zucchini, beans, spuds, rocket, cherry tomatoes and herbs loads of fresh herbs. The corn is growing like mad and the first cucumber of the season has been picked.

I’m going to plant some more potatoes too, but I need to get cracking on this as January is sliding by, plus I need to plant more fennel. I’ve given up on carrots and onions .. too hard (please don’t say you have loads of success with these veg) and I have decided that this year I’m going to grow garlic again (my fingers will be crossed). Oh and by the way Bill, some things just don’t change I’m afraid – you still won’t be allowed to use the garlic when you do finally get here! LOL


My garden is calling me, I need to prune back broken branches in the orchard thanks to those thieving possums, cut back lavender which looks bedraggled and unloved, rip out some kikuyu grass and lastly haul the bindweed off the fence we are sharing with a neighbour I loathe the stuff.

Agapanthus in the morning light

I’m sad to say goodbye … our lovely pet sheep Lucy died last week. You will be missed beautiful girl, Frog Pond Farm doesn’t seem quite the same without you.

Happy gardening

106 thoughts

    • I like that shot too … the morning light was so special! The kitchen is still stocked with an array of preserves! Very happy about that 🙂

    • Oh thank you .. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. And thanks too for your kind words .. greatly appreciated 🙂

  1. That’s so sad that you lost Lucy. She was so cute. Who’s the pretty kitty? Everything is so green and lush. It’s cold dry and barren out here in the middle of winter.

    • Sure was sad Tim … she was such a character and had been with us for years. Ah that is our kitty Grace, she was looking rather cute that morning! So green and lush … be my turn before I know it for winter though … thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Hi Julie. Your post makes me smile every time. Thank you. Your stories and photos are a joy. Big hug for Lucy. Xx

    • Hey Sue … lovely to hear from you Miss! And thank you .. nice to be blogging again 😀 Hugs to you guys

  3. You have so many different things growing in your garden, and it’s great that you have flowers like Cosmos, Zinnias, Agapanthus among the edible crops. They look great, but remind me that I need to wait three more months before starting our garden over here.

    • I’m a huge fan of flowers in the garden … they also encourage the good bugs. The aggies aren’t in the veg garden though – they are too bossy 🙂 Great to see you at Frog Pond Farm!

  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Julie. I am sure Lucy always felt loved and that is what the only thing we need in life. Today I was working many drawings and went to print the blueprints and met with a customer and then take a bus and trying to finish more documents for tomorrow. I say all this as a thank you for share with us the peaceful time of your summer. I feel a smile contemplating the garden fruit of your care and dedication (and I suspect it invisibly shows how much time you require to work it so probably you are in much more rush than me xP); specially the grass, an infinite green ^_^ Greetings from the other side of the summer, Julie : )

    • Hi Francis … I always enjoy your visits! Lucy sure was loved .. I appreciate your kind words. It’s so good to be able to share our summer with you … Take care and don’t work too hard! 🙂

  5. So sorry to hear of Lucy a well loved friend, so hard when they leave you.
    But what a wonderful life she had with all the love she must have felt, so remember the good times I am sure she will.

    • Hi Roy and Ruth … thank you so much for your kind words. She sure was a much loved friend .. we have loads of lovely memories too

  6. I was missing your lovely dear Julie… You took me there again. How beautiful the flowers, and nature and farm… Colours in nature always great. Happy Birthday to Bill, Blessing and Happiness to you all. I know the summer days are going to be end there and will start in here… How passes the time… I am sad too for Lucy. will be in our memories and photographs… I love garlic and I use in my meals… I love garlic and tomatoe mix… delicisous taste… Good Luck for your plants… It was so nice to be in your farm and in your beautiful land, I wish to see you more but I know you are busy. Thank you dear Julie, have a nice day and enjoyable farm days, Love, nia

    • Hello Nia … I always enjoy your visits to Frog Pond Farm! It’s so good to be able to share our summer with you … Thanks for those birthday wishes 😀 We have been having a beautiful summer. Thanks too for your kind words – there are many lovely memories. My hubby is a wonderful cook (just like Bill) and he uses garlic often. Enjoy your day and thanks as always for your lovely comment

    • Hi Nia, thank you for your birthday wishes. I hope to be back at Frogpond later this year. Can’t wait.
      Thanks again, best wishes to you. Bill.

  7. Dear Julie I have so missed not being at Frogpond for the second year. But your beautiful photos have reminded me how wonderful it is. I’ve already comisorated about Lucy, she I know had the best life a sheep could have had. Yes hopefully this time next year. I will be in your kitchen fixing a few meals, and buying my own garlic! I’m sure that the special supermarkets have taken a drop in profits since my not being there!
    Well the house is coming on . New kitchen being installed. So with a bit of luck, I might be in by the end of February. Did you fix the hosepipe? Or have you still got soggy feet?
    Lots of love 💖 to you both .
    Bill xxxx

    • Mr Bonner … always special to hear from you! You are right, Lucy had a wonderful life and was much loved. Can’t wait to see you – spring or summer, miss you lots. Think I just might let you use that garlic too btw! LOL And yes, you are right – still soggy feet. 😀

  8. Hi Julie. Thanks for another beautiful post. But so sorry to read the sad news about Lucie. Please cherish all the heartwarming memories of her.

    • Hi Herman … I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post, it’s so good to hear from you. And thank you too for your kind words, I have lots of lovely memories of my woolly friend.

  9. Firstly, belated birthday wishes to Bill from me as well 🙂 Sorry to hear about Lucy, but no doubt she was the happiest sheep in NZ. Your wonderful pics make me long for spring and summer although to be honest, I’m quite happy we’re still in the middle of winter as I’m hoping to finish my new book before the gardening seasons starts again. I don’t grow carrots because of our clay soil and we only do spring onions, but your veg is such a success in every way that I wouldn’t be too bothered if two things fail. 😉 Happy summer days in your paradise, big hug, Annette

    • Hey Annette – Lucy sure was one of the happiest 🙂 and much loved. I’m always pleased to hear that you enjoyed the pics. We are having an amazing summer – it’s nice to be able to share it with you. Another book – how exciting! I bet you have lots of beautiful pics for it too. I’ve given up on carrots – I used to be able to grow them. I don’t know what has happened! 🙂 I won’t mention the red onions either (LOL). Big hug right back at you

    • Thanks for your kind words .. she was a great girl and much loved! Thanks too for those birthday wishes … 🙂

    • Thank you for my birthday wishes. I usually spend them at Frogpond. So hopefully my next one. And using as much Garlic that I will have to buy! Poor Julie hasn’t had much luck of late.
      Very best wishes to you. Bill.

  10. Julie, your posts make me smile every time, too 😉 Agapanthus- in- the- morning- light is stunning! Belated Happy Birthday to Bill. Come on, let Bill use garlic; he may come to visit sooner 😉
    Looking forward to reading your next post (hint, hint). Have a great day!

    • Hey Helen .. glad to make you smile! Good 🙂 I love that pic of the agapanthus too. The morning light was something else! Thanks for those birthday wishes 🙂 I laughed when I read about letting Bill use the garlic … of course I will! LOL 😉

    • Hi Helen ,thanks for your birthday wishes. Julie and I have a Garlic thing! Apart from one great year. It hasn’t grown,so it’s my job to find another supplier. Let’s hope the next lot are ok. If they are she will hide them.
      Very best wishes to you. Bill.

      • LOL. That’s why Julie wants to hide them. I thought it was because you used too many cloves of garlic when you cooked 😉 Thank you so much for letting me know. Have a wonderful day.

  11. Gosh! Where do I begin—Happy Birthday to your father-in-law….I hope he gets to come out next summer. Your world is beautiful, your green thumb amazing and the plants incredible. I am so sorry you lost your wonderful friend, Lucy. Our animals are so much a part of us to lose one is to slice off a piece of our selves. 🙁

    • Hello Linda … always great to hear from you! I’m hoping that Bill will be here in spring .. can’t wait it has been so long! Our world is beautiful isn’t it? I think I have my father’s green thumb 🙂 – I’m very lucky. Thanks for your kind words, our animals are so very special and much loved.

    • Hi Linda , thanks for your birthday wishes. Yes with a bit of luck. I will be there to take in the wonderful Frogpond that they have created. I did help in the early days. Very best wishes to you. Bill.

  12. Julie, I’m so sorry to hear about Lucy. I remember she wasn’t in the best of health when we last spoke. Your last photo from Muriwai is uplifting.

    I don’t know Bill but he obviously has a big impact on your lives, and particularly your kitchen. I hope you get to see him again soon.

    Frog Pond Farm is looking beautiful and green. You’ve clearly been busy but still more to do no doubt. 🙂 Lots more chou chou in your pantry I would assume. I hope you’re having a lovely Summer.

    • Hello Mr Draco … I always enjoy your visits! I’m busting to see Bill and missing him like mad in the kitchen. Probably as I made a damson jam today and poached some plums. Yes we are having a lovely summer – with showers here and there keeping the place looks fresh and green. Thanks for your kind words, even though she had had issues over time, it still came as a surprise. Glad you liked that last shot – the gannets were fun that day!

    • Hi Mr Draco. Yes it’s alwat good to visit Frogpond. They’ve turned it into a beautiful spot in New Zealand. In the early days I did my bit too. So hopefully I will return and once again be able to help. Either in the kitchen or making preserves.
      Very best wishes to you. Bill.

    • They sure are beautiful summers .. today is just glorious! Time to get out of the kitchen and get gardening. Thanks for your kind words …

  13. I am sorry for the loss of your dear Lucy. She looks like such a sweetie in that photo!

    It is beautiful where you are. I love those half-barrel planters. I do that here where I can, too.

    • Hi Lavinia – I always enjoy your visits. I think it’s beautiful too, especially at this time of year. And of course, the garden is growing like mad. Those half barrel planters are super … I have all sorts of plants growing in them. Heritage tomatoes, horseradish, herbs, flowers … I just need to keep up the water to them. Thanks for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated :).

    • Hi Andrea … it’s that time of year when the crops look at their best. Something to do with sunshine and loads of TLC. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind word, my woolly friend is greatly missed.

  14. So sorry to hear about Lucy. In my younger years I had a small farm with about 40 ewes and we would always retire our older ewes to the farm house yard for grass mowing duty. You do get attached. I say grow what suits you, its your garden go with your gut. And, Bill it’s a pleasure to meet you and a big Swedish “Grattis på födelsedagen!”

    • Hi Ron, our sheep are pets – much loved woolly girls. And yes you are right, you do get attached. I agree too, grow what suits me and go with the gut feel. You are absolutely right! Thanks so much for your kind words Ron, and the birthday wishes for Bill 🙂

    • Hi Ron thank you for your birthday wishes. It’s alwy good to get Julie’s blogs . The photos are such a beautiful representation of New Zealand. And if I’m lucky I will be able to spend a couple of months there.
      Very best wishes to you. Bill.

    • Hi Karen hope you are good! Thanks so much for the birthday wishes … He sure does have a wonderful smile! The gardens are looking fab, something to do with sunshine of loads of TLC 😀

    • Thank you for your birthday wishes Karen. Hopefully I will be there later this year.
      Very best wishes to and your family. Bill.

  15. Wow what a wonderful shot of summer. It seems like I haven’t seen any green for some time now. Pass on the best from the Canadian Rockies to Bill on his birthday. Your gardens look wonderful. Loved your double faced cosmos. If you let those go to seed you will never have to plant them again. Regarding the pickled peppers, if you have an abundance of hot peppers, may I suggest candied peppers. I have made them a couple years in a row now and they are a big hit. So sorry to hear about Lucy. It sounds like she had a wonderful life. Take care. Bob

    • Hi Bob thank you for your birthday wishes. I’m looking forward to later in the year getting back to Frogpond. Very best wishes to you. Bill.

  16. Bob! Hello … we are having a super summer! The garden is looking amazing … Nice to be able to share some of that green with you. I sure will pass on your best to Bill! I love cosmos for the fact that they are so good at self seeding – wonderful stuff! I have never made candied peppers before … must get the recipe off you 😀 Thanks for your kind words about Lucy – she did have a great life and lots of love.

  17. Such fun, Julie, and it’s good of you to begin with a tribute to your friend, who looks SO full of joie de vivre. Purple peppers, cool! And the cosmos are lovely, so happy. I like the distant view with the rolling hills and the trees out there – and that one give away that we’re in N. Zealand left of center. Am I right? I love the zinnia, too – they are a childhood favorite. Your writing always has such an immediate feel to it – I am right there with you. All those action verbs! Maybe I would get exhausted! 😉 I’m sorry about Lucy, but she looks old and I suspect she had a really great life with you all. Happy gardening to you!

    • Hey Lynn .. that tribute is to my father-in-law who is a great guy! And a fine cook too 😃 .. lucky me. So pleased you enjoyed the pics … I was wondering what tree you thought that might be? Ah zinnias I just love them too! So pleased you enjoyed my banter .. always lovely to know you stopped by. And yes Lucy had a super life!

      • A slightly late reply…regarding the tree, i was just talking about what looks like a palm tree of some kind in one of the photos. When I see palms mixed with evergreens and deciduous trees, I think of places like New Zealand, but really, I don’t know what I’m talking about!! 🙂 Have a great week…

    • Sorry late replying … 🙂 thank you! I bet our garden is very different to yours. I’m looking forward to autumn (can’t believe I’m saying that … LOL). Always good to see you at Frog Pond!

  18. Beautiful photographs Julie, it looks so lush and green in the Summer light. So sorry to hear about Lucy and so grateful to know she had such a loving home with you. Belated happy birthday wishes for Bill too – I hope he will be able to join you at the farm again soon! 🙂

    • I’m pleased you enjoyed the summer pics. And thank you for your kind words – she sure did have a loving home. Missing Bill my father-in-law who just happens to be an amazing cook and awesome at preserving! 😀

  19. Oh these greens and the beautiful gardens and your tender narrative ☺️ all so wonderful dear Julie ….we’re in a deep freeze so this was exactly what I could hope to see….take care of you ❤️ smiles Hedy 💫

    • I always enjoy your visits and your comments Miss Hedy 🙂 Wouldn’t mind some of that deep freeze right now – today is hot!!

  20. Belated happy birthday, Mr. B! I know Julie misses you, and not just for the preserves and laughter. Those are great photos, Julie: especially Bill’s laughing face, the sheep, and the kitty.

    • Hey Cynthia … oh you are so right, I do miss him! I was only chatting to him yesterday and updating him on my preserving status 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the photos – always lovely to see you here.

  21. Beautiful to see your photos, so lush and summery! I am told that carrots are difficult and I’m still trying because I am stubborn but gave up on the onions! No sign of carrot roots yet, planted in November but some leaves. As for parsnips, not even leaves! Happy gardening too the rest of your produce looks great and sorry to hear about Lucy.

    • I’ve grown carrots before with success and then nothing … so I have given up on them! Shame as homegrown are particularly yummy. As for onions, I’m with you! Oh dear, those parsnips don’t sound good – although I believe they take ages to grow. I’m pleased you enjoyed the pics, it’s not so lush now we are in desperate need of rain. Lovely to see you here ..

  22. A wonderful garden you have – so glad I came along to visit! I am sorry about Lucy though. Losing dear friends is part of life, but tough. So lush and so many lovely shots. Love that Agapanthus in the morning…and the cat. And really, all of them. Last summer was a disaster here – everything dried out and fires raged. Looking at your green, green farm makes me long for spring – and New Zealand again.

    • Hi Leyla how lovely to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. Frog Pond Farm sure was lush when I took these shots .. it’s been relatively dry since, although it rained today which was much needed 😄 So pleased you enjoyed my photos ..

    • Hi CybeleMoon … oh I’m so sorry for the late response. How lovely to hear from you … Thanks for your kind words. And yes it sure is a wonderful like that we have here … 😀

  23. oh that’s sad about lucy. always hard to take when a beloved pet dies. love all your photos. they are really beautiful especially the agapanthus or is that agapanthi?:) cheers sherry

    • Hi Sherry … it was so very sad losing Lucy but she did have a wonderful life here. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. I grinned when I read your comment on agapanthus .. Thanks so much for stopping by and sorry for the late response

  24. Thank you for the tour of Frog Pond Farm. What a beautiful place to live. I’m sorry to see that Lucy has moved on, but I’m sure her life was wonderful. Thanks for liking my post. I’m thinking a lot of NZ these days.

    • Thank you! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos 🙂 I still have one tomato plant on the go – just! It’s the end of our season .. Great to see you here!

    • Hey MM .. how good to hear from you. I love the shot of the agapanthus too! Yep I think it still might be a little slice of paradise. As always so good to share it with you! Great to see you in the blogging world again!

  25. Very sorry to hear about Lucy ~ and this post of yours shows how beautiful life is within your world and Lucy was quite lucky to be a part of it. Your touch with the camera and lens is really something else, it brings a great feeling of peace with your photos.

    • How nice to know that you dropped by … thank you for your kind words! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos .. I do need to get out more with my camera, maybe today is the day! 😀

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