Sunday, June 16, 2019

I've finished a Few Things.

Feeling yukky with a cold has kept me indoors far more than usual.
 Although moving at a slow pace with not much energy I have finished making 5 of the padded fabric coat hangers for our Exhibition Sales Table. 

I have used up all the scraps of batting I had so 5 it will be. I have continued in 30 minute sessions cutting fabric squares to make into charm packs. I still have many scraps to go but will keep at it.( I can remember when first starting quilting buying some charm packs to get a greater range of fabrics )

 I finished reading one book and started another. My current read is a true story and I'm finding it so interesting. "The Necklace," by Cheryl Jarvis. I will be passing this one on to my lady friends when I've finished it.

 I'm feeling on the mend today but will need to take care ( and warm clothes ) as temperatures are forecast to drop. Later tomorrow we are travelling down to Taupo ( its way colder than here ) to my Uncle Frank's Funeral early Tuesday morning. He was in his 102 year so had a wonderful innings. I remember blogging about his 100th birthday party 2 years ago. He is my last close relative  of my parents' generation.( my Dad's younger brother ) 

 Taken from upstairs out the bedroom window the cherry tree colours are a delight on the tree. Not so much when I have to pick them up. Most can be mowed up but hundreds find the way into corners and onto gardens. They are great in the compost!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Some Bright Spots in the Winter Garden..

This Cineraria is currently on one of the outside tables where I can see it out the window.
These Spider lilies are nearby. Bulbs saved from my childhood garden ( still with me. ) 
The Zygocactus is flowering. ( Christmas cactus in the Northern hemisphere. )
 Just to prove I have other colours. This new Vireya called  Just Peachy is happily flowering at the front gate.

 With so many Cherry trees we also have leaves....far too many leaves. I spent several hours cleaning them up from the corners and nooks and crannies.
 R mowed up the ones on the big lawns. Today was the first afternoon I felt warm enough to garden for about a week.
 During all the rain I picked these as they were getting trashed.
 Still don't know what rose it is for sure. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

At Night.

It's not often I get to see Tauranga waterfront at night, but I did last evening and thought it worth a photo.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Already Paid For.


This avocado is quite a memorable piece of fruit for us. It is the very last one we were able to pick from our own trees. We have already paid for it. ( as part of the purchase price of this property ) ( one of a list of reasons we wanted this property )  We will have to patiently wait till the next crop is ready...we understand that..... we were growing them for export so understand their life cycle and care requirements. We pruned the large  trees so had to sacrifice some of next times crop for the long term good of the trees. Right now in New Zealand any avocados available are selling at a very, very high price. We have to revert to life without avocados for a while. As a child I had never heard of them and they were not a New Zealand crop. So that is a change for the better.

 With the loss of one fruit comes the beginning of another. This is the first lot of satsuma mandarins I've picked. Still a tad  tart but almost there. The tree has hundreds so we better start eating and sharing now.
 We moved to this property 10 months ago and I have been recording what fruit, nuts and produce was ready each month so we get it right next year and from now on. Also so we can fill any gaps . I intend to plant 2 persimmons ( absolute favourites of mine ) just as soon as 2 untidy palms are removed( next week possibly ). ( the persimmon trees are $50 each! yikes. ) 

 On the gardening front I have replanted lots of vege seedlings. I hope the white butterflies are gone for the Winter.  I have reformed the 2 gardens on either side of the front entrance and now will start filling the gaps. A magnolia tree stands in the middle of each garden so roots make planting hard digging but it already looks so much more pleasing to the eye. ( photos when I've completed it ) 

 Spider lilies from my childhood have moved with me and seem happy on the outside table in the sun.


         *******
 I found out my right arm does not like using the  rotary cutter for too long. I am trying to assemble bags of pre cut squares of fabric ( from left overs ) for the Exhibition Sales table, so I must just do that  for a short time each day. I think it's the gripping . It's surprising how many tasks require gripping. It is giving me a sense of achievement however by reducing some of my more than currently required fabric bits and presenting them neatly and ready cut ( charm squares )  so someone else can use them.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

BOP Autumn Weather.

During the day BOP Autumn weather continues to be warm. Night temps have dropped but we  expect that in May. 
 Chrysanthemums are Autumn flowers. I picked these for a vase on the kitchen bench. I like their smell and they keep so well picked. They came from a plant, now in the garden I call Cherry #2, which I have just re weeded. The Chrysanthemum was originally a potted plant but has transferred to life in the garden very happily.
I have planted some white mini cyclamen here as it is mostly a shaded garden and white flowers show up best.
 Yesterday I re weeded the asparagus bed and the blueberries and applied a full bag of seaweed and manuka mulch. I hope both crops will thrive behind their netted cages.
 In the old poly house which I also weeded I am still picking some tomatoes and I salvaged some small aubergine when I pulled out the deteriorating plant.
 This pathetic offering made a delicious savoury bake for dinner.
I cooked some pasta then  R  sliced and baked the little aubergines. In an oiled  baking dish I layer slices of eggplant; tomatoes; pasta; grated  cheese and  yeast flakes and poured over tomato puree ( from the freezer ) and sauce and sprinkled oregano and lastly chopped bacon (as R likes that ). It was surprisingly tasty.

 To not waste the produce we have R has been dehydrating apples.
These are Splendour apples and now he is working on Granny Smith which are less sweet but also a yummy snack. Everyone, young and old who has tried the dried apples loves them. They are a way of keeping fruit without any added sugar and they transport well in lunch boxes, even pockets. 

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 When not in the garden I have done about half of a knitted navy vest for elder Grandson and I am making covered padded coat hangers for the sales table at our Exhibition in September.
 ( This shows it partly done ) 
 At P and Q we have all been encouraged to start making items for sale NOW as time has a way of disappearing fast. These hangers which are kind to shoulders of clothes especially knitteds require some machine stitching and some hand finishing.( I have plenty of batting and fabric scraps )  As I was winging it to some extent I have refined my pattern to waste less fabric and have written myself notes on" how to,"  for another time. I am also beginning some felt needle cases. 
Hanging on the double doors is my wall hanging .......I need to finish that too. It  has to happen before September.
 Maybe I'll stay in and sew more when the weather gets colder.

 At the weekend my neighbour took me around another walking track nearby we are allowed to use. That will give me more variety when I walk. 
( We have been here 10 months now and I didn't get to hear about this till now! )

Thursday, April 25, 2019

What are We Producing ?


If you have been reading this blog in years gone by you will know we used to have feijoas and walnuts in large quantities. Here we have 2 feijoa tress. One has no fruit as it's too shaded,the other has been a big surprise. Earlier on when I did a little pruning on it I thought after a quick count there might be 50 fruit if we were lucky. BUT we have had over 200 already. Its a mystery where they are all hiding....but a very pleasant one. We all love them. The walnut we knew would never come close to the amazing tree (s) we had on the orchard. Picking up walnuts there was hard work (on a slope )  for me. 
 The picking up here is easy on mown lawn. The crop is small but with a bit of fert can probably be improved.( not sure what variety it is ? Maybe English paper shell)


This is it so far drying in the sun. 

Today we picked these tomatoes from the old plastic poly house ( on its last legs ). They are sweet 100 and we think because of the extra warmth and putting no water on the leaves this plant has been able to go on producing a crop long after the ones in the garden have been pulled out. It was the first plant to have ripe tomatoes and still has more to ripen now. Really quite amazing.😋



 We are now down to our last half dozen avocados for this year so R has been up the biggest tree pruning a big clearance hole to let the sun stream in. Sure we loose quite a few small next time fruit but its for the future good of the tree.( it is very tall ) 
 We have had Arbor Barber back to take out 2 more large trees - a banksia and a puriri. Also to let sun it and improve the view for the next door neighbours.

  *****
 Over Easter I was able to give this now finished wool vest to little 8 month old grandson. I didn't get a pic of him wearing it ( a bit warm here yet ), so here is Big Ted modelling it. 
I also completely finished the set of Fish place mats I was making( for ages )so will have to find another hand sewing project for P and Q tomorrow.

What a time waster this 1000 piece puzzle proved to be. The most time consuming one we have tackled yet. Son did 75 % me only 25%. I wish we hadn't started it. ( it was one I got at the used book sale a month ago )  The sky was bad news, especially with deteriorating eyesight like mine.
 I have said no more .....I wonder if I will stick to that.

These red Nerines I transported with me from the orchard are very happy in there bucket /
 pot and are blooming brightly. All the ones I put in the garden are getting leaves not flowers so I may have to wait till next year for them to be properly established. ( at least I have them ). 
 Its a brilliant Autumn day here in BOP, very warm and pleasant in the garden .

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Property Improvements.

Using the truck ( to get the rocks ) and the Hustler with trailer to transport them down to the jetty area this job is finally done.
 The rocks to stop any further erosion have  taken R quite a lot of time to fill right along. This is our waterfront to the estuary at the bottom of our garden property. The rope fence is the boundary on one side. I took the photo standing on the jetty. On the other side of the jetty it is sloping grass that doesn't seem to get eroded and is good for launching the kayak.
Down in this same area we put the bigger garden rubbish into a pile for a bonfire.
 With fire permit of course, this morning R lit the fire. It burnt away quickly as the palm fronds I had added were quite dry.
Behind the fire the other project to drain a very wet area is taking place.


 In the garden at the moment the Queen Protea is coming into flower. It has numerous buds.


 Down amongst the fruit trees this hibiscus had been cut down by the previous owners. I let it grow up again and am pleased with its colour and look.

 Lots of gardening jobs including boring things like edges and hedges have been dealt with. Lots of weeds are springing up after the rain, so there is plenty for me to do.
 No sewing and only a little knitting has been done.
 ( next rainy day ) .