Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Warmer Weather Work.

 The first pick ( of 2 )( 2nd one will be in January )  for export of our avocados got done last week. R drove the tractor, I ground picked and 3 hydraladas  drivers picked all the high up avocados.

 We only picked 20 bins on this pick.

 We were reasonably pleased with the % pack out we got. Some fruit had the scars from hail damage a year ago, but other than that the fruit looked good. Do you like avocados? They are very good for you.
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 One day I got a little quilting done on my finished hexagons. The machine is working well after it's service ( still no new tray ) .
 This is the back of a hexagon. the pattern shows up better there. It is a basic petal shape. Each petal pointing out to the tip of the points on the hex.
 This Christmas fabric was suitable to use in my garden theme, so I plan to have quite a patch of poinsettias in it. I like the paler colours of the fabric.
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 There has been so much to do in the orchard and the garden with amazing growth.

 I have been replanting this area around the waterlily bowl. It is far brighter than it shows here. With the addition of compost the plants are doing quite well.
 Elsewhere my David Austin rose is flowering well and my new one called Grace has 7 buds so can't wait to see if I like it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

1000s of Little workers.


 Bees for pollinating the kiwifruit have been in the orchard for a week. Some days have been windy, one wet but 2 brilliant hot, hot days that bees just love. Above is just one of thousands of bees working it's way systematically  around a female flower, hopefully with male pollen already on it to pollinate this flower and hence set a kiwifruit.
 This is a close up of a hive. The bees crawl out the slit door at the bottom, holding on upside down for grip. They then turn right way up and move to a clear space to take off and fly .......we hope to a male first then female kiwifruit flower.
 Notice the pollen sacks already quite large with pollen on the bees leg.

 There are less flowers overall than last year but that is a seasonal thing. It may mean we have less fruit thinning to do. That would be good.
 As well as the 26 bee hives we have had 3 rounds of artificially applied male pollen. The male flowers are picked as they are just about to open, the pollen is milled from the flowers and stored. It is then blown onto female vines and flowers using a handheld leaf blower. It is like insurance to make sure as many flowers as possible get pollinated. 
 I have noticed some tiny fruit are already set.

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 Thankyou Nancy for your helpful comment.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sewing Machine is Home.

On Thursday I picked up my sewing machine ( Bernina Aurora 440 ) from the Bernina serviceman. It had been with him since 1st November. I got impatient and rang him to see why it was taking so long and he was waiting on the new plastic slide on table to come. I said I would carry on using my old split one till it arrived...which I did.  My machine had been sitting waiting for 2 weeks or more he said....why didn't he ring me. Anyway I paid for the service and have it back now but was disappointed the communication was SO slack.( I should have got impatient sooner! ) The new tray if it comes will be NZ $59. He showed me an alternative push button tray that cost $180 but involved getting a whole new machine front...... has anyone got one?( that seemed rather extreme and expensive ). I am just going with another tray the same as the original. I will be extra careful with it. Not too much downward weight on it. it's narrowest part it it's weak point.
 Anyway it feel good to have it back home....maybe I can start quilting some of my finished Hexagons.

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The Kiwifruit flowering and pollination is going well. We had 2 very very hot days which the bees love. We have had rain yesterday but fine again today. I will show some photos on my next post.
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 I couldn't get into blogger today. I hate being beaten by anything computer related so sat and tried again and again.
 Somehow my googlemail email address I have to have for my phone had got in there and it said I didn't have a blog but should start one etc etc. I only want to do my blog from the home desktop computer and our longstanding email address . Eventually I got it changed back and so could get into my blog. I am reasonably techie ( for my age ) but worry when I can't get things to work especially when I know I didn't change anything.
 Anyone else been having problems?
 If I disappear from here it will be because I can't access my own blog for some reason.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Roses.

Despite ever changing weather including bruising winds roses everywhere in the BOP seem to be a delightful riot of colour. My new purchase planted in June has just started flowering.
It is a David Austin rose ( my favourite sort ) called Princess Alexander of Kent.( Above )  
 It's perfume seems to be best at night.
In the same area I have a struggling plant called Sweet Juliet.
 I have dug out some of the surrounding competition and given it a new layer of compost so hope it helps.

 The other rose getting extra help is Charles Austin. It has the most delightful perfume and is usually a strong vigorous grower.  Unfortunately some spray creep from a bank below. ( R trying to kill rampant agapanthus - he is suitably contrite )   It killed 3 other roses beside it and badly injured this one. I am so glad one plant is surviving but only just.
 Crepuscule is a similar colour. It grows up and over a pergola and I need help to reach it to cut it back, but not while it's flowering so well.
 Nearby the 3 Graham Thomas roses are a yellow heady profusion. I can pick bunches of these at a time and do so quite often. They too need extra tying into the fence . We always get nasty damaging winds in November.
 I have several single roses too. With them it's more about the lovely faces than perfume. I have Complicata; Pink Sparrieshoop; White Sparieshoop and Sally Holmes. I lost 2 favourites in the spray incident. ( Meg and Penelope )

The day I drove home from my friend's memorial service I passed the garden centre with the lovely David Austin Roses, now reduced in price as it's late for planting them.  I went in and found "Grace" to come home with me and be planted outside the bedroom window. She sounds promising
......., nice perfume, strong grower etc.  There wasn't a rose called Dorothy, but it's planted in her memory.  
 Other roses that grow in my garden are  Cornelia; Mutabiles; Wise Woman; Arylis;Cecil Brunner; Lavender Dream; Anais Segalis and  Veilchenblau. I also have some smaller white ones and Flower carpet white and flower carpet Apple Blossom - it does really well and is great for picking.

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 Only hand sewing at the moment as My Bernina hasn't returned from it's service ????? it's been away long time ! I will ring and enquire on Monday.
 Yes we did feel the earthquake, but only the first one. It is devastating for folk and businesses and farmers in the area.

Monday, November 07, 2016

My Picks from the Auckland Festival of Quilts 2016

 If I had been allowed to take home one quilt this would have been it.
Iridescent  Bali by Vimla Govender. I loved the use of colour the design and the quilting.  
 Here is a closeup of it.


 I also liked Sonya Prchal 's Gazania. Totally life like. You could see the curl of the petals 
 The colour is exact I have this plant in my garden.


 In the wall hangings Sybil Lightbourne's, High Tea Tucks, intrigued me. It was done like Chenille but with seamed finished edges. The workmanship was fabulous, as  was the choice of fabric to show off the method.


If I am talking about workmanship the patience required for the edging and detail on this was amazing.
 Red Radiant by  Colleen Burr.



 In the Mixed Media section Jean Singleton's Woodland Walk stood because of the colour.

 It was just tiny.

 This jumped onto my camera as it illustrates the method I am using for a project at the moment. Quilt as You Go ( or Nesting ) Hexagons. ( Mine will have blending backing fabrics.)

 This was Ruth Reynold's , My Favourite Fabrics.


 I liked Alison Laurence's Watermarks for the semi abstract shapes and the ghosting overlay, of  the fern shape.

 Do click to enlarge the photos. 

If you wish to see more quilts from this show,  Julie Lou and Koka quilts  have already blogged about it.
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 I did take other photos but not because I liked the quilts particularly but to jog my memory about a technique or style or idea for the future.. I also did a little retail therapy but will tell you about that next post.
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 Today I have the Memorial Service for my Friend Dee which I am steeling myself for to hold it all together. It will be so sad for all the quilting ladies, who are her friends, as well as her family.
 It is pouring with rain in BOP.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Quilting Friend.

One of my good quilting  friends Dorothy ( Dee )  died this morning having been totally sedated for the past 3 days. I am so glad she has no more pain. We have been friends since she moved to Tauranga from Hamilton some years ago. She came along to our Patchwork and Quilting Group and we have been friends ever since.
 I took this photo of her when were waiting to catch a bus. She made lots of bags . The black and white one on the seat is mine ; she made it for my birthday last year.
 She loved making bags and quilts and had a long sewing history.
 We spent many happy times together and my garden has lots of her plants she needed a home for, happily growing in it.  (Her garden was quite a small town garden.)
 The men in her family ( husband and 2 sons ) are right into motorbikes. This photo show her on the back of her husband's motorbike outside our house, a couple of years ago.
 I will miss you so dear friend ,but have many happy keepsakes of our times together. 
RIP  DEE..
 ( 16 /5 /1945 - 30/10/2016.)



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mixed Emotions.

Having had a lovely weekend with Grandson and all the family  today I have very mixed emotions. I have a very sick friend who is not going to make a recovery this time. Another friend kindly updated me on her this morning. She saw her yesterday so I know the information she passed on is accurate. So here are some bright flowers in my garden for you Dee.
 My Little garden plants from the supermarket are doing well at various stages. These tomatoes are going to get put in the garden today .They are the biggest. Followed by broccoli and kale.
 At the moment anything little has to be covered because of this little visitor.......... look very closely by the pots....do you see him...the little thief!

There are lots of plants that have got smaller not bigger and so far R has not been able to get a clear shot at him.
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 I did so want to show this funny picture of Little grandson on the lawn but it won't stay the right way up. (Please turn your head to the right ) He abandoned playing with his new rake from his other Grandma and went to see what that was on the lawn.it was a few steps then a long crawl. One of the bigger cousins had got too hot it was such a lovely day and had dropped a t shirt on the lawn where they were all playing.
 Grandson's other gardening exploits include digging his fingers into the dirt and spreading little stones and pulling his first radish out of my herb garden and proudly holding it up. Too funny. Supervision has become a much needed part of having the lovely wee man staying.