Photo jumble

I did have an amazing summer garden, trust me. It’s just that I didn’t take many photos of it. Why? Absolutely no idea!

Silly eh ..

Proof, I did grow beans

We have a larder stuffed with jellies, jams, pickles, stewed fruit, plus a freezer stacked with bags and more bags of plums and peaches. Our fridge has jars of pickled home grown veg, green tomato pickle, pears in cider (oh you have no idea how good this is), chilli sauce in an array of colours and heat. Needless to say, the chillies are also available frozen or dried .. just take your pick. How good am I!

A huge thank you to Bill for all his hard work … he is a star in the kitchen and is No 1 maker of plum jam (watch out for the pips), damson jelly, plum chutney, pickled green tomatoes and pickled green plums. Btw his plum jam with cinnamon sticks is a winner and should be sold!

About the only fruit left to go now are feijoas, Chinese quince and figs .. trust me I’m completely over bottling and making jellies – although I made a guava syrup the other day which is divine, good on meat or ice cream. Another winner.

My brother Milt also stayed again with us last summer – thank you so much for all your help in the garden – it’s still looking pristine! Miss you lots …

So, a post dedicated to photos .. sounds good doesn’t it? Better than me rabbiting on about what I’m growing and who I have been annoying! Or the fact that our rescue chook Nola manages each and every day to escape and visit my veg garden, or even pop by the house. Ever get that feeling that you are being watched? By a chicken! LOL

A few snaps in no particular order from recent adventures and the place we call home, ‘Frog Pond Farm’.

iPhone Jan 2020 – TSS Earnslaw, Lake Wakatipu

iPhone – En route to Routeburn Track, Mt Aspiring National Park. Such amazing scenery

Somewhere near Routeburn Track

Bill and hubby stepping out at Routeburn Track – January

iPhone – Sunset in Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Nice ha!

Not to be missed, the Queenstown Gardens

Tairua .. magical sunrise early March

iPhone – Sailor’s Grave Tairua

Fishing trip .. the rewards! Wish I had been invited …

Nothing like a beach ride .. Miss Perdie

Jimi .. look this way handsome

How did I manage to cut off those lovely paws


Stay safe my friends

Happy gardening

90 thoughts

  1. Lovely photos. fantastic landscapes. I love the kitties. When cats walk toward you when you are taking phots of them, their paws get cut off. Always seems to happen.

    • Hello Mr Price … I always enjoy your visits. And thank you for you lovely comment! I couldn’t believe Eric was minus his paws – but I’m always slicing something off with the camera. 😀

  2. Great newsletter Julie. So good to read and see the world as we want it. Bright positive relaxed. Enjoy eating your healthy hone grown veggies and fruit.
    Stephen in Tasmania

    • Hello Stephen! Oh how nice to see you at Frog Pond. So pleased you enjoyed the banter. We sure are enjoying eating home grown – a larder full of it! Would be happy to share … J x

  3. Good to see you, Julie! It looks like you had a wonderful summer with many good things from the garden put away for the upcoming winter. The photos are beautiful, especially the kitties and Miss Perdie!

    • Hey Lavinia and so good to see you too! We did have a wonderful summer – long, hot and very dry! We sure did put loads away for winter … So pleased you enjoyed the photos. 🙂

    • How lovely to see you at Frog Pond Farm! I have just resubscribed to your blog. No idea what happened … Your garden looks fabulous by the way 😀 … Stay safe

  4. A glorious breath of wild, open spaces while we’re all keeping close to home. Wish I had your larder! Mine is beginning to look a bit depleted but hurrah, it will soon be summer and there are green shoots in the veg beds! A x

    • Hello Anne … ah most of these were taken early Jan and just before lockdown. Thanks heavens for Frog Pond Farm we are so very lucky. Our larder is amazing … Bill did a super job (I didn’t do too badly either 🙂 ) Wish you lived closer I’d drop in some jam and jelly! How nice to know you have summer knocking on the door. We had a summer to be remembered – long, hot and dry! Great to see you at Frog Pond

  5. Hi to you both, from a locked down Bill. Well Julie once again fabulous photos, and I had the privilege of being with you in some of them. Queenstown is just a beautiful place, and what a place to celebrate my birthday. Thank both very much for that unforgettable trip. It was also a pleasure to be back in my summer home. And being able to cook for other than myself.
    I’m just about to share your blog with all my friends, who have been missing it.
    Lots of love and best wishes to you both.
    Bill. Xxx

    • Hi Bill, I’m thrilled to see you’re well and that you were able to spend some happy weeks with your forgeous daughter-in-law and son. Stay safe and hopefully you’ll get your freedom back soon.

      • Thank you for your reply and good wishes. Yes after being away for two years, it was good to be back at Frogpond
        Best wishes. Bill

    • Ah Mr B, always wonderful to hear from you! And thanks again for all your hard work in the kitchen and those superb dinners that you spoilt us with! So pleased that you enjoyed Queenstown, it sure was the spot to celebrate your birthday. Thanks for sharing the blog Bill – I’m so pleased that your friends enjoy it too! Lots of luv right back at you xxx

      • Hi again Julie, you certainly made a lot of people in the Uk and other parts of the globe, very happy with your blog. I’ve had quite a lot of comments, and as I said we all needed cheering up. Albert was a producer I worked for on Grange Hill, and we still keep in touch. And it was loverly that Annette posted her good wishes to me. Keep up the good work with your camera, and looking forward to the next episode. Lots of love and best wishes to you both. Bill.xx

  6. Hi Julie, thanks for sharing these wonderful pics of places we’ve been to ages ago. Glad you’ve had a good summer and I hope you don’t have to suffer under the current situation. It’s very scary what’s going on and shows how fragile things we took for granted really are, like human rights. Let’s continue to share beauty in a world where apocalyptic views reign supreme. Love to you both, take care xx

    • Hello Annette always lovely hearing from you and thanks too for your message to Bill. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Gosh it was an amazing summer, I really can’t believe I wasn’t out there everyday taking photos! Silly me. Yes it is very scary what’s going on. It does show us how fragile things are and we do take so much for granted. It’s lovely to be able to share beauty .. Much love to you both too – take care xx

    • And thank you so much! Wonderful seeing you at Frog Pond Farm. Yes NZ does have some beautiful scenery – I will never tire of those trips to Central Otago. I too hope the you and yours stay safe, healthy and happy .. hugs xx

  7. So lovely to see you Bill. Very very fond best wishes WE must visit NZ it looks so lovely. Much love
    Albert and Jayne xxx

    • Hey Albert … thanks so much for leaving Bill your message! And thanks too for stopping at Frog Pond Farm. 🙂

    • Oh we sure did have a good garden season. It was a long hot summer and one to be remembered. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the pictures 🙂 Good to hear that you will be posting soon. You take care too, stay safe, and thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  8. Hi Julie. I hope our summer will be as good like yours. Your photographs are so beautiful. And there’s also another Jimi in your part of the world. Jimi on this side sends his regards!

    • Herman hello! I always enjoy your visits. I really hope you have a summer like ours – except that it was the driest summer I can remember! Glad you liked the photos 🙂 There is another Jimi – our adopted kitty! Give your kitty a big pat from me …

    • Hi Peter thank you so much. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed the photos. It’s autumn here and I just have to get outdoors with that camera! It’s great to be back ..! 🙂

  9. All those fruits and veggies and things you made from the sound great. Too bad some of them can’t accompany this post into our homes.

    It’s good to see you made it to Lake Wakatipu, one of my favorite places in NZ.

    • Hi Steve … yes the garden and orchard were very kind to us this year and the larder is well stocked! Shame some of those jams and jellies can’t accompany the post! Imagine 🙂 I’m a great fan of Central Otago – and always enjoy my time there (especially with my camera). I agree one of my favourite places too!

  10. I love your photo tour and your beautiful wonderful farm! I still maintain and believe you live in the Garden of Eden. A wee bit of Heaven on Earth, as they say. I, for one, would love your pears in cider recipe, if it’s okay to ask. And meeting the fur people a real treat.

    Thank you ever so much!

    • Hello lovely Linda .. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. It’s wonderful to be able to share them with you. You know I think you might be right about the Garden of Eden! Now that recipe, I’ll send you a link via email. It is absolutely delicious! Love those fur friends of ours .. Thanks so much for stopping by. Take care x

    • Oh thank you so much for your kind comment! Greatly appreciated … I hope that you and yours stay healthy and happy. And thanks for stopping by …

  11. Hi Julie and Andrew. What lovely photos you’ve shared with us. Queens town does look lovely , it is on my bucket list next time I get to visit NZ .great photo of Bill and Andrew , Bill said he enjoyed his visit to see you both , and help in the kitchen , he is so good at cooking . Hope you are both keeping well .
    Martin and Esther . Croxley Green .

    • Hey Martin … always great to hear from you! And yes you must put Queenstown on your bucket list. In fact, a trip around the South Island is a must. I really like the photo of Bill and Andrew too. It was super having him here after such a long time away. And as you can imagine, he is a star in the kitchen, we had lots of amazing meals. We’re well thanks Martin – hope you and Ester are too. Take care

  12. What a heavenly place to live. Everything looks perfect but of course we forget the risk of earthquakes! We have just booked a trip to Tassie for next year so it looks like NZ will be 2022. Are you entirely self-sufficient?

    • Hi Andrew thank you! We sure are lucky living here. Yes there is the risk of earthquakes but we are fortunate, they aren’t a worry where we live in Auckland. You will love Tassie, it is a fabulous place – hubby and I have been there many times. And you must come to NZ you will love it! Lots to photograph. No we aren’t entirely self sufficient, it’s a big job to do this. But we have a massive orchard, and a garden that always provides us with lots of yummy veg! Thanks for stopping by

    • And you too Miss! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you and the family are all healthy and happy. Stay safe!

  13. What a beautiful photographs dear Julie, these are a gift for me now in “lockdown” and in “stay at home” time… Thank you, I am also so happy to hear you and also to hear dear Bill! Be in safe dear Bill… You too dear Julie… I dream now with your amazing photographs… Love and Hugs, nia

    • Hi Nia it’s Bill . Thank you for your kind wishes. Yes it was good to be back at Frogpond, after two years away. And it was a pleasure to cook and preserve all the wonderful produce. I have still got seven weeks more lockdown.
      Very best wishes to you. Bill.

      • It is so nice to hear you dear Bill, You are welcome and Thank you again, Blessing and Happiness to you and be in safe… Love, nia

    • Hello dear Nia. I have been thinking of you. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos it means a great deal to be able to share them and know that they may bring a smile. We are safe and in lockdown too. You are special Nia .. Stay safe my friend and thank you for your wonderful comment!

  14. What a treat this post is, and what a fabulous summer you had, Julie. All those fruits and veggies (all that work!!!). Very impressive, and most of all, delicious I’m sure. I love seeing photos of all the places you went – I love seeing Bill too, and the cats, the fish, the hubby, all of it. Once again, I dream of visiting New Zealand…

    • Hi it’s Bill, thank you for your kind comments. Yes the trip to Queenstown was a joy especially as it was my birthday treat. And yes we had an abundance of fruit. And it was my pleasure to be able to preserve some .
      Kind regards. Bill.

    • Oh thank you! We had the most amazing summer. It reminded me of when I was a child. Mind you, it was the driest I can remember too! The larder is bursting at the seams (so is the freezer) – we are incredibly lucky, but nuts too for planting so many fruit trees! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos .. it’s great to be able to share them with you! Please do visit one day – you will love it!

      • There’s no doubt that I would love it. It’s just a rather long trip! 😉 But meanwhile, this will do. I look forward to your next post. Your posts always burst with good energy and enthusiasm (and what a treat to hear back from Bill!). Take care!

  15. Not taking photos and still doing something means that we really love what we do regardless if it is recorded or not, I am sure you would write as beautifully as you do even if there were (for some supernatural reasons) no readers. I was thinking in you when reading Darwin’s “The Origin of the Species,” it says that frogs are not found naturally in islands, as it was documented in New Zealand, and then I thought “in your time not but I know a frog pond farm there :D” I loved so much the colors in the Tairua sunset, lovely names, colors, photographs and happy to see you, Julie. Kind regards from the other side of the Autumn ^-^/

    • Hi Francis … so good to hear from you! I miss your blog btw .. but you know that 😀 I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos .. I’m super happy to see you too. Take care

    • Hi lovely to hear from you … Staying at home sure is a real gift when you are a gardener! Mind you, I’m way behind with my fruit tree pruning and and … 😀

  16. What an absolute JOY it was for me to come by to see your pictures, Julie. Those mountains! WOW!! Open mouth wonders!! My favorite picture was of Bill and hubby. The warmth and love and goodness bubbled up right at me! SO enjoyed your pics of your cats and your horse (didn’t know you had one!). You sound like you are in a good place. Stay there, my friend. Keep smiling and loving and living!! Much love to you! xo

    • Hi Amy it’s so good to know that you stopped by. Those mountains honestly were open mouth wonders! I couldn’t believe my eyes when we drove around a bend in the road .. Just beautiful. I love that pic of the boys too! That’s my neighbour Perdie’s horse. I used to own horses years back – but the fear factor has set in. I’m sure I won’t bounce anymore if I fall off! Oh we are in such a good place Amy, so very very lucky to be here. You keep smiling my friend .. much love right back at you xo

      • We here are in such a good place too, Julie! SO happy you know how to be in that good place! Hubby has worked so hard to provide for this house and his hard work has paid off. I’m with you about horses …. I’d love to ride Karma my next door neighbor’s horse but this back says no. You keep smiling as well!! Much love to you! xo

  17. such glorious photos. love the ones of queenstown. they bring back the memories of past holidays. hopefully one day we can get back there once Rona is over. damn that virus:-) envious of all your produce too! cheers

    • Hi Sherry .. so nice to hear from you. And I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the photos. Isn’t Queenstown lovely? We went there in January for Bill’s birthday. It’s hard to take a bad photo down there 😀

  18. oh no. my comment was eaten. just saying i love NZ and can’t wait to get there once the virus is over. love all your produce too! cheers

  19. Hi Julie, Bill sent us the blog as we certainly need some cheering up over here at the moment. Lovely picture of Bill and Andrew and I particularly like the sunsets but they are all beautiful and would be perfect for jigsaw puzzle pictures, one of my many hobbies whilst staying at home. It would be lovely to think that our summer could look as good and be as interesting but I definitely wouldn’t be able to capture it as well as you do even if it was.
    Sending you and Andrew lots of love, stay safe and well.
    Wendy & Edward, Abbots Langley

    • Hi Wendy how lovely to hear from you! I really like that photo of Bill and Andrew too. It was such a beautiful day.. Ah pleased too that you enjoyed those sunsets – they sure would make a great jigsaw puzzle! Sending much love back to you and Edward, stay safe and happy! Hugs from NZ

  20. Wonderful post and photographs. Good to hear you had a good summer. Fresh fish and a larder full of preserves; it sounds like you guys will be okay regardless what the world throws at you. 🙂 Seriously, take care, I have read NZ has taken extreme precautions against the virus, and it is paying off. That’s good. Bob

    • Morning Bob! Thank you so much … We had the best summer ever. Reminded me of when I was a kid. Our larder is jammed full of homemade produce. Wish you lived closer 😀 Yes we sure are lucky here Bob – Jacinda locked us down quickly and I too think it is paying off! All the very best to you and Lisa – stay safe, well and keep on sending through those garlic reports – damn I’m jealous! LOL

  21. Hello my other-side-of-the-world friend! After reading your comment on my blog about getting yourself organized, I laughed when I read this post about the surplus in your larder. I dream of a larder such as yours! And that Bill of yours, I’d love one of him in my kitchen. Ooh, and that black-eyed beauty, Miss Perdie–think I’ll name one of my chicks after her. Thank you for sharing these spectacular photos!

    • Hello Julie .. it is so good to see you here! It has been ages. I was so pleased to see your posts!! Everyone needs a Bill in the kitchen! 😀 That black eyed beauty is Jess .. photogenic isn’t she! Great to know you enjoyed the photos …

  22. What a lovely photo story, Julie. I’m salivating at the thought of all those jams and jellies. Pears in cider sounds like a late night decadence – I’m jealous!

    It seems you spent a bit of time in and near Queenstown. I was all set to go there this year but 3 days before departing your govt announced all arrivals had to go into 2 weeks quarantine/isolation so I had no choice but to cancel. Doubtful Sound was on my list. I’m guessing isolation for you is no different to a normal day at home with hubby on Frog Pond Farm. You’re so lucky to live where you do.

    I’m glad you had busy and wonderful summer, with family. Stay safe.

    • Hello Mr Draco .. I’m late replying. Shame on me! Yes you would love those pears – they are amazing. We only spent a few days in Queenstown, but long enough to get about and enjoy the amazing scenery. Gosh I don’t blame you for cancelling your trip … I’m yet to get to Doubtful Sound but it’s on my list too. You know what, you are absolutely right – isolation is no different for us at Frog Pond Farm, we are so lucky to be here! Stay safe, always great to know that you dropped by.

    • So good to see you at Frog Pond Farm. Today was our first day … no new infections! You take care too my friend 🙂

  23. Wow, Julie. Stunning pictures. And how nice to see Bill again, and your handsome husband, of course. Does Bill plan to make preserves again or just cook some great dishes?

    • Hey Cynthia .. thank you! So pleased you enjoyed the pics. It was lovely having Bill here again after two years! And as can be expected, he was amazing in my kitchen. He pickled green plums (something I would never have thought of doing) which are fabulous if you are a curry fan. So nice to see you at Frog Pond

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