Summer Daze

We have a new addition to the family, Lily who is a Perendale sheep, with quite possibly the loudest baa I have ever heard! She has attitude to boot and a penchant for food – any food. Thankfully she has settled in well with Mookie our other pet sheep, who still holds the status of ‘paddock boss’. Ironically enough, they are both rather plump.

As it happens we also have 6 new pullets. The new kids on the block get regularly ambushed by my other chickens, losing the odd feather or two as they squawk in fright and race off. I always feel sorry for the newbies, but things eventually settle down. 

My veg garden has grown like mad, something to do with its early planting I suspect and the volume of fertiliser and TLC the garden has been given. We have been munching on dwarf beans, zucchini, lettuce, rocket, spinach and herbs. 

The corn which is jostling about in its bed is growing skywards. There are runner beans clambering up the odd corn stalk and a rather eager cucumber which is doing a fine job of covering the soil below (fingers crossed no powdery mildew). The bed is also shared by kumara, which is similar to sweet potato and a delightful addition to any roast.

I’m even growing carrots again, which given I have night-time visitors of the four-legged kind is interesting. Netting is carefully rolled over the plants at night to cover the carrot greenery and removed first up in the am. I’ve also been netting lettuces and beetroot. Hmm, it’s either that or feed the night-time furry thieves. What are they? I have my suspicions ..

Then there is Nola, a rescue shaver chicken who is aptly named after an Aunty of mine. She is without doubt the most amazing escapee chook we have ever had, which can become rather tiresome, given the amount of times this happens per day. She relishes her trips to our backyard garden, loves digging about the spud bed, scattering mulch from around the base of trees and doesn’t mind venturing indoors into the kitchen. Just such a shame about the chicken poo on the deck.

Of course summer for me means bindweed and lots of it! How I loathe this plant which literally binds itself around anything in its path. Each summer I spend hours trying to master this stuff, all to no avail.  I love being organic but we will never beat this nasty. Truth is each year it is spreading.

All is not bad though .. hubby has not only been busy growing flowers from seed this year, but he is planting them as well! And the guy can cook too, just like Bill.

I adore flowers as I know most girls do. A good friend of ours just recently lost her hubby – so these are for you Sue and sent with love.

Merry Christmas to our family and all you dear bloggers and buddies out there – I do so hope it is a special one for you. See you in the New Year may it be bright and healthy. Happy holidays!

Pohutukawa the New Zealand Christmas tree 

As always, happy gardening

89 thoughts

  1. Hi to you both. Julie what a lovely blog. Photos as usual just so exciting. Only wish I was coming in the next few days. Especially to see the new lamb , what a life that lamb has got to get used to. Gourmet meals. Folks don’t know what you feed them on. I do because I’ve had to save things just for them crooks as well. Hope you have a very happy Christmas. And a fabulous New Year. Once again sorry I can’t be there. Love ❤️ to you both!
    Bill, xxxx

    • Hey Bill, you will be missed, that’s for sure! Our festive season just won’t seem the same without you … And by the way, you will also be sadly missed in the kitchen! I’m dreading the hours and hours of preserving and the cheerful banter that goes with the cooking. Miss you already! Merry Christmas to you dear Bill – lots of love right back at you! ❤️ xx

  2. Fantastic photos. your fencescapes and landscapes are postcard-perfect with super compositions. Lily is adorable. Our neighbors have goats that bleat a lot. I like listening to them. Your cute kitty looks like he is being playful. Lovely flowers. The Pohutukawa Christmas Tree is really cool.

    • Hello Tim .. so good to hear from you! Glad you liked the photos 🙂 Lily is adorable, but if you have food never turn your back on her! Eric adores sleeping on his back – lovely old kitty. Thanks so much for your super comment. Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi Julie,
    I love seeing I have an email notification from Frog Pond Farm. A time to catch up on all that’s been happening with your plants and animals and it never disappoints.
    So glad Mookie is the sharing type and has welcomed a new friend into her charmed lifestyle.
    Those brown shavers though! SO cheeky and so entitled right. I have six rescue hens, three are brown shavers and they are most definitely the most bolshy of the flock.
    The flower photos are stunning. I can almost smell their fragrance through the screen.
    Best wishes to you and Andrew and also to your bro Bill.

    xxRom

    • Hello Rom … I just love opening the blog and seeing a comment from you! Mookie is territorial to start, inflicting a few head butts of course and then settles down and enjoys the company of her new pal. Oh you are so right about the shavers! They are something else .. Love their attitude and so darn cheeky. How I love flowers – the perfume is but a delightful bonus! Merry Christmas lovely, may it be a special one for you and yours. Hugs xx

  4. I love visiting your farm. Your photos are exquisite! What a joy to be there with you….and it is SUMMER! Thank you for the Merry Christmas and the Happy New Year

    Merry Christmas to you and your whole family, human, feathered, wooly, and furred!

    Linda

    • Hello dear Linda! I love your visits by the way … so very special. You stopping by means so much. Thanks for your kind words .. It’s just wonderful being able to share my world with you. Merry Christmas to you, Terry and your family and a happy and special New Year! Hugs

  5. Thank you for such an interesting and entertaining post, with great photos to boost. Over here I look out at snow covering everything and secretly wish we were living on the opposite side of the world.

    • Hi Hien, lovely to hear from you! Happy to know that you enjoyed the post and the photos! I would love to see snow covering the ground at this time of year – happy to do a swop! 😀 Take care and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours

  6. What a beautiful New Zealand summer post, Julie! Congratulations on the addition of Lily, Nola and the new chooks! I know all is hard work but looks so idyllic. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

    • Hello Lavinia how lovely to hear. from you. Oh I’m so pleased you enjoyed the summer post – how kind of you to say so. 🙂 Yes it’s always fun introducing new animals to the menagerie. It is hard work, but it is so rewarding! A very Merry Christmas to you and Rick!

  7. The curse of bindweed! If only we could find something useful to do with it as it seems to grow everywhere. It’s always a joy to see the sunshine and your garden in full flower while we have bare brown earth and grey days. Happy Christmas Julie. Ax

    • Hey Anne so nice to hear from you. Oh you are so right – the curse of bindweed! Nasty stuff .. So pleased to share the sunshine and garden with you. A very happy Christmas to you and yours xx

  8. A warm welcome to Lily who’s a true beauty 🙂 Your gorgeous pics make me dream about summer, Julie, it’s all so green and lush. The one showing the wider landscape – does it show your property? When we were in NZ I fell in love with Pohutukawa, saw some amazing, old trees which took my breath away. Again best wishes for a happy Christmas with plenty of hugs and laughter. xx

    • Hello Annette .. always love hearing from you! No that shot is of our neighbours properties … I just loved the view the morning I took it. Aren’t pohutukawa lovely. The old beachside ones are divine … with their beautiful red blossoms. Best wishes to you too my friend, enjoy your Christmas and may there be lots of laughter and chocolate! 🙂

  9. Hi Julie , great to hear from you have some lovely photos to look at.it’s nice to see sunshine and greenery at this time of year.lily your new sheep is certainly going to be spoilt !
    I hope you and Andrew have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year.
    Best wishes
    Martin,Esther and Callum.

    • Hey Martin thanks for stopping by 🙂 Lily sure is going to be spoilt, it’s happening already. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, it’s nice to be able to share the sunshine and greenery. Best wishes to you Esther and Callum I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas.

  10. Thanks for another great post and the beautiful photographs. I wish I could live 6 months on your side of the globe. I really don’t like our winters, especially when snow is coming in the weekend…
    Wishing you a wonderful December and a happy ending of the year!

    • Hi Herman! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post and pics, it’s great to know that you stopped by. And a wonderful December to you too – I hope you have a fabulous Christmas my friend 😀

  11. What a beautiful post Julie and so lovely to meet Lily and the new family members. Wishing you and yours happy gardening, happy Holidays and a blessed start to the New Year 🤗💖💫

    • Oh thank you so much! I hope that you and yours enjoy the holidays, and may the New Year be a special one for you 🌹

  12. Happy summer to you. Now here’s a strange coincidence: when I looked up the weather forecast for Auckland just now I found a predicted high of around 24°–25°C (75°–77°F), which is the same high that’s predicted for Austin today even though we’re in winter as of the solstice that occurred two days ago.

    • Hey Steve … and a very happy winter to you too and by the sounds of it, it’s a warm one! I always enjoy your visits to Frog Pond Farm

      • Warm here indeed. The temperature in my part of Austin outdid the forecast and reached 28°C, which set a record high for the date. Now the wind is blowing up and a cold front is moving in, with tomorrow’s high expected to be only about 16°C.

  13. Hi Julie, once again I admire the beauty of your area, which is so well represented in your pictures. And the sheep portrait of Lily is amazing!
    Keep up the good work, all the best for you! Josephine.

    • Hi Josephine … how wonderful to hear from you! So good to see you at Frog Pond Farm .. thanks for the kind words. All the best Miss … Julie

    • Hello, how lovely to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the pics. It’s nice to be posting again, and just in time for Christmas. Enjoy the holiday season …

    • Hi Leanne … so nice to hear from you. I’m sure you will have similar success … I must post some pics of my veg garden 🙂 Hard to believe I started this as a gardening blog .. Wishing you and yours a very special Christmas!

    • Hello dear Iris … so pleased you enjoyed the blog! I hope you have a season of love, joy and peace too my friend! Happy holidays and may 2021 be a special one 🌹

  14. Here you are with your amazing photographs and farm… So beautiful, how nice Lily, I wished too to touch this lovely one… and I can’t believe gave a pose for you. Your garden like a dreamy place, You are both great. And you know cats are my best… 🙂 I am so glad to see dear Bill too, this year was almost strange and gone badly, I hope and wish the New Year bring us peace… Thank you so much dear Julie, Merry Christmas to you ALL, Love, nia

    • Hello dear Nia … how wonderful to hear from you. It’s always lovely to know that you stopped by. And yes, I do know how much you love cats .. me too! Your posts don’t appear in my reader anymore – how I miss them! I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas Nia, may it be a very special one for you. And my the New Year be a peaceful and happy one! Lots of love to you Julie

      • Oh dear I didn’t know this, let me check what happend. I was also wonderinf where my dear Julie was. Thank you so much, Love, nia

      • dear Julie, I have just checked and you are my follower still. If you can’t visit my blog please could you make a request with different e-mail address, because you are already a member with your blog e-mail. I don’t understand. But a few weeks ago I had trouble with WordPress about my reading list, maybe something happened there. I am sorry for this. Love, nia

  15. Wonderful photos, Lily looks happy as a ‘lamb’. I had a little Long Haired Dachshund named Lily a long time ago who ruled the roost. Speaking of roost, Nola sounds like a gas. Chicken fertilizer is highly coveted here and sold in bags for a pretty penny. You just have to teach her not to do it on the porch. I am always happy to see a new post from the correspondent at Frog Pond. Merry Christmas to you and Andrew (he better have those spuds ready), from Lisa and Bob in the Canadian Rockies.

    • Hi Bob … thank you, glad you enjoyed the photos. Ha ha Nola is a gas. I thought yesterday that had finally found how she was getting out of the chook paddock and spent time blocking her exit point! All to no avail, she has managed to find another. Oh I agree, if she didn’t do her business on the deck and dig up the mulch, I wouldn’t mind her company at all! So nice to know that I was missed Bob. I keep telling myself to post more regularly .. And you will be pleased to know, I’m going to try the new Editor! Hope you and Lisa had a super Christmas … no spuds yet 😀

    • Hey Sherry, how nice to see you at Frog Pond Farm. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas too! And all the best for a safe and happy 2021!

    • Oh I did have a wonderful Christmas thank you! I hope you did too … The snow sounds amazing – this time of year is always warm and sunny for me. I hope 2021 is a happy and healthy year for you too.

  16. Dear Julie, so beautiful to see your farm with summer skies and the lamb. Yes, some aspects of trying to maintain a farm are unrelenting like with your bindweed. But what a beautiful place and well done with your 🥕. I have a very high raised bed for mine but they do not grow well. And the rabbits have disappeared. Wishing you all the best for 2021 in hope of a better year for all.

    • Hi, I’m s pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Frog Pond Farm. Today is the most beautiful summer’s day and yes I’ve been at the bindweed yet again 😀. I’m yet to see how my carrots are doing, but the greenery is looking good! Wishing you all the very best for 2021, I hope it is a special year for you and yours.

  17. Lily is sweet … and yes such beauty especially now on my winter eyes…organic sounds like a lot more labour for you Julie … bindweed sounds like the perfect name for that then … our growing season is so short but I’m planning to try again this year… big hugs and love over the pond … sending you all good things for a good and bountiful 2021 ~ hugs and love hedy 💛💫🌞

    • Hello Miss Hedy – how I enjoy your visits! Yes Lily is very sweet, but extremely loud! lol .. Today is such a glorious day – sending you sun and warmth. And I too hope that 2021 is bountiful for you Hedy, happy and healthy and bright! Hugs and love right back at you 🌹☀️

  18. Oh, Julie, to see green and flowers and color …. oh what joy!! How sweet your Lily is ….. and your black cat amazingly healthy! Your gardens and your fantastic landscapes are exceptional and brought such awe to my heart to which I say thank you. I cannot in any way imagine the work you put into your gardens. You amaze me by your dedication. To be in charge of so much is a super human endeavor in my book. You live in such beauty and may that beauty always inspire you in your every day. Wishing you a very Happy Holiday and may 2021 be a much better year for all of us. xo

    • Hi Amy lots of green and flowers and colours at Frog Pond! Today is the most glorious day bright blue skies, and lots of sunshine! I agree Lily is sweet but noisy .. lol. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos, it’s lovely to be able to share our place with you. We do put in lots of work, and yes it is dedication, but you put in lots of work into your beautiful garden too! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I too think we live in beauty – we are so very lucky. Wishing you and your hubby happy holidays and may 2021 be a kinder, brighter and happier year for us all. Hugs

      • Julie, I haven’t been up to blogging because of Doodles. So today I wish you and your hubby and all you love a very Happy New Year. May 2021 bring to all of us such joy and beauty and the horrors and the pain of 2020 will be as if a dream, one not to be forgotten, but one in which we can move forward with our lives. Hugs back to you! xo

  19. It is so nice to have a view of what summer may look like while sitting here in the cold rain of winter 🙂 Beautiful photos ~ while the landscape shot of the green and slice of heaven you live is perfect, I love the opening shot of Lily. Awesome 🙂 Great to see you are doing well, and wishing you a very healthy and happy times in the year ahead. Take care ~

    • Hello Randall so nice to see you at Frog Pond Farm! Sorry to hear that it is cold and damp. Have to be honest it’s beautiful here, warm and sunny – but I sure wouldn’t mind some of your rain! I too think that our place is a slice of heaven, we sure are lucky to be here. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos! Wishing you a bright, healthy and happy year ahead, I hope it is a special one for you!

    • Hi Karen … I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. I hope that you and your hubby had a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2021 ..

  20. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Julie! I am delighted you have started here again – and love your little newcomer, Lily. Thank you for lovely NZ photos!

  21. Happy New Year, Julie! <3
    It's always a treat to visit you at Frog Pond Farm, to hear how well your garden is growing and hear about the latest additions to you furred and feathered family. That's looks like one contented feline you have there too. 🙂
    It's great to hear that Bill is well, although missed this summer. I hope you can keep up with preserving your produce without him! 😉

    • Hey Joanne sorry for the late reply … shame on me! I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Frog Pond – I always enjoy stopping by your place too! Bill is very well and is missed – especially in the kitchen 🙂

  22. Happy New Year, Julie! Lily is lovely:). And as usual, so are your views. Thanks for bringing a bit of zen to my corner of the world, where we could certainly use it . . .

  23. Pohutukawa, pohutukawa, pohutukawa, I will repeat it till be able to say it by heart : D if you hadn’t mentioned it is the New Zealand tree I had imagined it Brazilian, so colorful and exotic! Lily eyes are so strong too… she only needs a leather jacket and she has the outfit precise for the personality she radiates 😎
    I am so happy to see the views from the beach, for now the beach is a bit inaccessible to me, but find joy through yours. Wishing you belated happy holidays, and a wonderful 2021 for you and your dear ones, Julie. The best wishes from the summer in the other side of the world ^^

    • Hello Francis … so good to hear from you! And I bet you don’t forget the name of that tree either. They are just beautiful in December covered in masses of red blooms. Lily sure does have strong eyes and is inclined to be naughty 🙂 I hope you have wonderful holidays Francis and all the best for 2021! I’m still waiting for you to start blogging again 🙂

  24. I so enjoy your posts, Julie – always a big breath of fresh air blowing across land and sea. The stories of your chicks and veggies are fun to read. It feels like full immersion, which tells me that you are fully immersed in a wonderful life. 🙂 A belated Happy Holidays and Great New Year to you!

    • Hey Lynn – oh how lovely, a breath of fresh air blowing across the land and sea! Delightful. I always enjoy your visits! Happy belated holidays right back at you, and may 2021 be a special year for you and yours

  25. Lovely photography as usual, Julie. You’ve been busy and seem set to be busy for quite a while longer. Sorry for my late visit, but I’ve been lazy, I mean… busy. “.
    I hope you and A. are both well. Maybe your government will allow me to return to NZ sometime this year.

    • Hello Mr Draco .. I’ve missed you in the blogging world! Can’t imagine you being lazy either! Not sure when our Govt will open up NZ – our 2 week quarantine is still in place, looks like the Trans bubble is still a way off. We are good and enjoying another amazing summer. Rain please! Cheers

  26. As summer is on its return in your part of the world, over here, up over, we are slowly heading towards it. Really inspiring to see all the beauty you have captured during the summer.

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