Spring bounce

You all know how much I love my veg garden right?

When walking past my herb and salad bed, I can’t help but stand back and admire the bustling veg within. Calendula and forget-me-not, oregano (which has doubled in size since the start of spring), rosemary, thyme, parsley which is going to seed (shame on you), pineapple sage, celery and those good buddies beetroot & lettuce. Ah yes, time to puff out that chest – I believe I must be gloating!

Goodbye winter

While I have prepared my summer planting plan there is much to be done. Beds to prep, fertiliser to cast about, seedlings to buy (organic only of course) and seeds to sow .. top it off with loads of TLC and the gardens at Frog Pond Farm will be underway. And it’s raining today! Perfect …

Do you grow brassicas? Honestly, you can’t beat home grown!  Truly they are divine. Power packs of flavour and nutrient dense. Sadly, thanks to the marauding possums, our broccoli and cauli spent the winter season jostling within the confines of cloches. Nasty experience for them, but it meant taste sensations for us and ‘zip’ for those night-time thieves.

In no particular order a long overdue garden update …

  • Winter was mild
  • Spring is seriously damned windy
  • No runner beans this year, the rust was horrid last season and let’s face it, I over plant
  • My garden is smothered in weeds, I neglected to mention that previously
  • Escapee chickens are good at digging up the spud garden – note to self, pea straw encourages chickens
  • Hubby has taken up sowing flower seeds in trays! Wow I’m still shocked
  • Don’t kid yourself – a solar electric fence won’t keep sheep contained indefinitely
  • One of my chickens is starting a new trend – her feathers haven’t grown back after moulting
  • Blossoms are out in the orchard and bud burst is well underway
  • Please lock the gate after collecting wood Mr Bonner
  • I’m excited! I have new fertilisers for the garden …
  • I have prepared jars of preserved lemon and lime – awesome recipe thank you Greg Malouf
  • For all you chicken fans, I have 3 Orpington and 3 Silver Dorkings on order
  • I have decided to grow cucumbers up the bean trellis instead. What a great idea!

Preserved citrus

Handsome as always

Dinner tonight … Vietnamese beef courtesy of hubby

Who cooks in your household? I’m rather spoilt as not only does hubby cook, but he is so good at it. Bliss.

Our neighbours very happy pooch at the beach with hubby

I loathe ending on a sad note, but our lovely sheep Poppy joined her buddy in sheep heaven a couple of months ago. She had arthritis and was doing it hard on the farm. Winter for an old sheep isn’t great, especially when you live on a hillside! You are missed lovely Poppy with that quiet sweet baa and gentle nature of yours. Sweet dreams dear Pop.

Apologies for the delay with posting my friends. It’s great to be back.

Happy gardening



75 thoughts

  1. Hi Julie. What an amazing set of photos. Super bee with lily shot. The foggy landscape is phenomenal. Your kitties are beautiful. Great looking Vietnamese beef dish. I’m so sorry you lost Poppy. Arthritis is so hard on animals. That’s a great ending photo.

    • Hi Tim … thank you so much! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics. Thanks too for your kind words, it’s always hard saying goodbye to our four legged friends.

  2. I am sorry for your loss of Poppy, Julie. It is hard watching our animal companions grow old. Yet how they enrich our lives with their presence!

    Everything looks beautiful on your farm as you progress solidly into spring! Wishing you a bountiful season. Our gardens are just about finished now as we are well into autumn.

    All the best from all of us here!

    • Hello Lavinia … always great seeing you at Frog Pond! Oh you are so right, our animal companions do enrich our lives with their presence. We had dear Pop for such a long time .. I’m hoping for a bountiful season too and shall be starting my planting this weekend. Looking forward to that!
      All the very best to you and Rick – enjoy Autumn

  3. how lovely to have your own produce. and it’s so satisfying to make your own preserves isn’t it? i love making worcestershire sauce and mango chutney every christmas. and boy is that coming up fast. happy Spring. sad about Poppy…

    • Hi Sherry ..there is nothing quite like your own produce! It always tastes so good 🙂 I thoroughly enjoy preserving – it is so satisfying. How brilliant making your own Worcestershire sauce .. I’ve never made it before! Now you have got me thinking. Happy spring to you too. Great to see you at Frog Pond Farm

  4. Dear Julie, long awaited blog, at last I can hear my friends saying. But as usual your photos of Frog Pond . Are just so beautiful. And your escapades around your veg patch, after the possums. Is still producing results. Glad to hear the fruit trees are doing well. Unfortunately I shan’t be there this year to help in preserving the results! I will miss that! But I’m sure you both will be sharing it between you! Don’t forget to order the jars and lids. Because they go very quickly when you are in full swing! And I won’t be there to remind you, unfortunately! Will miss my summer in the Southern hemisphere! Because winter is on its way here! And what with the viru. I think it’s going to be a long one.
    I’ve already said sorry about Poppy. But if ever a sheep had a good life,she certainly did! The way you both look after your animals . Is something to behold!
    Lots of love ❤️ to you both, and keep up the good work!
    Bill. Xxx

    • Hello Mr Bonner! What a super comment … I know about time I got this post out. I told you this morning that today was the day 😀 Glad you enjoyed the photos Bill, I need to get out more with that camera. Trust me you will be so missed this summer – I’m dreading the thought of all the preserving ahead of me. Honestly you should see all the blossom on the Luisa plums! Yes I shall order more jars and lids! Our Poppy did have a great life … she is sadly missed. Lots of love right back at you xx

      • Yes I will certainly think about all that fruit 🍎 etc. And all the bubbling that will be going on at Frogpond ! Just hope you don’t get the power cuts that sometimes you have in the summer!
        Well I’ve had some responses from my crowd! Will pass them on, as they come in.
        Again lots of love ❤️ and best wishes to you both.
        Bill. 😘 xxx

  5. Thanks for another great post and beautiful photographs. We’re heading to winter in this part of the world, kinda. It always makes me feel a bit down because I prefer spring and summer. Meanwhile I’ll find some comfort in your photographs… 😉

    • Hey Herman … so good to see you at Frog Pond … glad you enjoyed the post and pics! I really love autumn, just not so fussed on winter! I’ll make sure I post cat photos and some blue skies just for you! Give Jimmi a pat from me please … 😀

  6. Hi Julie, lovely to have some news from you guys. Pity, Poppy left you but then, she sure had the best life possible. We’re well into autumn and October has up until now hidden its golden side. My beans usually struggle because of the drought but I grew cucumbers on the supports this year and we had great harvest, actually there are still some! As you know Monsieur loves cooking too and is very good at it. Aren’t we both lucky to have found our hubbies 😉 . Thanks for your beautiful photos and for sharing life at Frog Pond Farm, a little paradise away from the world’s madness. Big hug for you both, xx Annette

    • Hi lovely, so good to hear from you. About time I posted right! I loved reading that you grew cucumbers on the bean supports – I’m looking forward to doing this! I just can’t bring myself to plant beans again this summer – the rust last year was awful. I sure do know that Monsieur loves cooking … 😀 We are both so lucky. Glad you enjoyed the pics Annette. It’s fab being able to share our little bit of paradise. Big hugs right back at you. xx

  7. Finally, you are posting again, with such a newsy post with superb photos. As our garden plot is winding down, it is good to hear that yours is thriving. Please keep on blogging!

    • Oh what a lovely comment – thank you. I can’t believe it has taken me so long! I’m looking forward to sharing our spring and summer with you 😀

  8. I always love our treat of a visit to your farm. I am so sorry about your gentle sheep, Poppy….losing our animal friends is always so horribly hard. Your farm is just LOVELY! Thank you so much for the blog post!


    • Hello Linda! Always so nice to know you dropped by. Thanks for your kind words – she was such a treasure and a special four legged friend. The farm looks great – must be this time of year 🙂 So nice to be able to share it with you .. Take care lovely

    • Thank you so much! How nice to know that you stopped by. The flowers and scapes are so lovely at this time of year – spring might be windy, but it sure is pretty.

  9. hi julie and andrew.
    lovely to hear from you again and what great photos.yes bill is right , its starting to drizzle with rain here and the nights are drawing in,
    take care both of you

    • Hey Martin .. so good to hear from you! About time I did a post right. Glad you enjoyed the photos … Ah autumn, my favourite season – enjoy 🙂

    • Hello – it’s so good being back! Especially when I hear from my blogging friends 🙂 I’m always pleased when winter departs .. funny though, we need more rain! Glad you enjoyed the photos. Take care

      • Yes, I think it’s just the rainy north west of the UK that’s getting its share, which is always more than East of the Pennines. Other parts here and in Spain seem to be getting less rainfall than normal.

  10. Hi Julie, Bill has passed on your blog as he always does and yet again so great to see all the lovely pictures and to hear all your news. Especially welcome in these crazy times when nothing else seems the same. Good to see that nature and animals remain unaffected. Andrews’s Vietnamese beef looks wonderful as well. Much love to you both. Wendy & Edward x

    • Hi how lovely to hear from you! Bill is amazing the way he sends out my blog – fabulous marketing manager 😀 It’s so nice being able to share our place with you.Ah, I’m spoilt, dinner was wonderful. Take care Julie …

  11. Hello Julie, I’ve missed you! It’s always a treat to catch up with events at Frog Pond Farm. 🙂 We have long-overdue rain here today too. (I’m sure I can hear the plants singing! 😉 ) My garden beds are virtually weed-free just now, although that may change after the rain. I have neglected my vege garden this winter, but once my university assignments are submitted I’ll be out there digging, planting and mulching. 🙂
    Happy preserving! xx

    • Hey Joanne … ah, how nice to be missed! Good to hear that you have had some rain … I bet those plants are singing. We haven’t had much rain at all – so yesterday’s rain was heaven sent! Wish my beds were weed free … lol Best of luck with those assignments, how wonderful to be doing this! Lovely to hear from you …

  12. It’s great to have you back! So happy to see a post. And I’m so sorry about Poppy.
    The cats are looking very regal and contented. And I am so envious that as we head in the fall and winter you are heading into spring and summer :-). Here’s to happy animals, plants, and humans all over the farm!

    • Oh thank you .. it’s great to be back! Ah my lovely kitties are very regal and contented … and much loved. How I agree, here’s to happy animals, plants and people at our place! Great to see you here 😀

  13. Hi Julie, lovely to read your newsy post! A garden full of homegrown veges… and great delicious meals to enjoy, what more can you ask for? 😉 Delighted all’s well with you and thanks for sharing.😀 Cheers! 🥂 Enjoy your Spring!! 🌻🌾

    • Hey Iris … oh so nice to hear from you! All’s well at Frog Pond .. you enjoy your spring too Miss 😀

  14. I would eat those yummy blues in the sky and the lush vegetation, they are sweet as cotton candy! I recall intensely the bond we make with our friends in the animal world; I am sorry for your loss, Julie; your words for Poppy makes me imagine long shared days and the use to see her. Wishing you a nice season from the other side of the Spring, Julie. Take care : )

    • Hey Francis … thanks for your kind words. Always wonderful seeing you at our place! I’m ever hopeful that you will post again 😀 Thinking of you my friend .. Take care

    • Your comment made me smile! Funny how some things are so darn hard to grow! I have huge problems with carrots and don’t get me started on garlic! Great to see you at Frog Pond ..

  15. what a beautiful photographs…. loved them so much. I am sorry too for your Poppy, it is always so sad to lose them… You are both so nice humans, Thank you for sharing with us, I miss your posts… Love, nia

    • Hello dear Nia … oh thank you. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. I always enjoy sharing them … Yes it’s so sad to lose our four legged friends .. Poppy was such a sweetie. Thanks for your lovely comment – I would love to post more regularly! Fingers crossed … Hugs

  16. So much to comment on, Julie!! SOOOOO good to see your pictures again. They have this aura of softness which I do believe is you coming through. Third picture down I gawked! Is that all your land? Exceptional composition and it made me feel as if I had fallen into a mystical land. Your pictures of your cats!!! WOW!!! I can just tell they KNOW who they are and they are not shy to tell everyone. Your chest should puff for all the work you and hubby do! My goodness I do NOT know how you do all you do! My hubby cooks too and yes yes yes I am spoiled! Some meals he is very good at and others they are well all right but I will not complain …. no sirree bob! Sorry to hear about your sheep Poppy and your dog looks like he had a blast at the beach. We all should be that free to kick up our heels to have FUN!! What a fantastic post all the way around! I missed your postings but man I understand how hard gardening is especially at the level you do it. And oh sorry to hear about those coons …. oh yeah we’ve had our share of problems with them and yes they are a nuisance and very messy. Tell your hubby my mouth drooled when I saw his Vietnamese dish he cooked for you. LOVED LOVED this post! Thank you!! xo

    • Hey Amy … always lovely to hear from you! Wow what a super comment … That third pic is our property and the hillside is a neighbours. Gosh I’m so pleased you thought it a great composition, I nearly didn’t post it. Hubby likes it too. Ha ha those kitties … the ginger one is feral and the black one is a rescued kitty. They are such characters .. and both shy. Loads to do on the property always is, and I didn’t finish my orchard pruning either! Blast … Oh your hubby cooks too. How wonderful is it! I’m so spoilt .. So pleased that you enjoyed the post .. great to know that you stopped by. Big hugs from me x

  17. I really enjoyed your post, Julie 🙂 Oh my, you have been so busy there. Lovely to see your wonderful imagery again!. They are trully magical moments. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Hi Peter … thank you! Always busy at Frog Pond, this weekend will be especially so. I’m looking forward to getting those beds planted 🙂 So pleased you enjoyed your visit!

  18. Welcome back! Lovely to see and hear what’s going on in your lovely garden down under.
    Made me smile as we march forward into a very damp, and very restricted, Autumn here in the Uk.
    Fiona xx

    • Hey Fiona always great to see you here! Too much going on in the garden … thinking of you guys, enjoy Autumn! Hugs from NZ

  19. What a treat, Julie, it’s great to see you back. And of course it’s a big bonus that you live on the other side of the equator, so I can experience Spring vicariously. 😉 Your photos are beautiful – that misty scene on the hill, the closeup of the canned peaches, all the animals – you have a way with making it all so inviting and happy. Your sense of humor shines though. We need that these days, so thank you!!

    • So good to hear from you … it’s great being back! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos .. and the canned citrus 😉 So nice to know you stopped by .. it’s such fun sharing our place with you! Big hugs my friend

  20. Wonderful post and great to have you back. Lovely photos of your sunny springtime, a welcome contrast to our landscape. I sure would like to try those preserved lemons. I have a big bag of frozen mountain huckleberries to trade. 🙂 It sounds like your garden is doing great. Do you plant lavender, it goes good with sage? I like that honey bee. You should let a broccoli plant go to seed, the bees love the flowers. So sorry to hear about Poppy. You have had many wonderful pictures of her in past posts. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ I’m glad I didn’t miss your post. Take care. Bob

    • Hey Bob .. always great to see you at our place. Glad you liked the pics of our spring. I don’t ever remember one as warm – everything is growing like mad. Wish we lived closer, I’d love to trade those lemons. They are damn fine too btw! 🙂 I haven’t planted lavender in ages, although I have some still growing. I always get sad when it gets leggy and woody – next thing I know I’m taking the secateurs to it. I sure do let brassicas go to seed. The bees love the flowers – and they aren’t purple either, their fav colour! Ah Poppy, still missed – she was a great sheep! You take care J 😀

  21. Sorry to hear about Poppy, you have a lot to be proud of (as I am sure Poppy was) about having such a wonderful place to live and enjoy life – another series of outstanding photographs of the nature and love you have all around you. Your good bye winter photo is perfect, and such a great reminder while winter awaits for us up north – there is always a spring ahead of us. Wishing you well and enjoy your days on Frog Pond Farm 🙂

    • Hey Randall … so good to hear from you! It was fabulous reading your post the other day. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos – this is a spring like no other, the garden is showing off and growing like mad. Wishing to you well too and thanks so much for dropping by 🙂

    • Hey Cynthia … always so much to do on the farm. This is a spring like no other – I’m sure I can see the grass growing. It’s so warm and mild. Thanks so much for stopping by, enjoy your autumn – my fav season. 🙂

  22. Happy spring to all you going-the-other way folks down under! And it’s great that you can move around and socialize freely. In Austin it’s still too early for a freeze, unlike places further north.

    • Hey Steve .. so good to hear from you! Yes we are so lucky that we can move about and socialise freely. Glad to hear that there is no freezing yet! Enjoy your fall 🙂

    • Hi Mr Draco … sorry for the very late reply. Always busy at Frog Pond Farm – I can’t believe that I already have all my veg gardens planted and we are already snacking on summer veg. Amazing! I always enjoy your visits …

  23. Lovely to be able to peruse your fabulous photos and garden meanderings again! I enjoyed your ‘in no particular order’ garden update. Following your blog, I’m always a little jolted when I read mention of how you are leaving the very season we here in the Midwest are gearing up for!

    My husband, too, does most of the cooking. His brother does likewise in their marriage. Ditto for my sister and her hubby. Isn’t that a bit odd? But delightful too methinks!

    • Hey Julie .. oh yes aren’t we lucky that the men enjoy cooking! Several of my friends guys do the cooking. Glad you enjoyed the photos, nice to be able to share our place with you!

  24. Julie your garden, orchard and the farm sound like they all are off to a good start, especially from seeing all your lovely photos. I’m so sorry you lost Poppy, I always enjoyed her sweet and soulful face. Have you shared the recipe for the preserved lemons before…I’ve made them once but I love the clear bright look of your. Look forward to seeing more about the farm in the coming months, you certainly were missed.

  25. Well clearly I missed this Julie…handsome cats indeed and your garden sounds active and as a non gardener I imagine work with the weeds which you’ve probably cleared now…we’ve had some many protocols for lock down here I’ve lost track of time 🤓☺️ and I cook mostly…big hugs over the pond ~ hedy 🤍🕊💙💫

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