Saturday, May 14, 2022

A New Walk.

 R kindly dropped me off at the bottom of Jess Road to walk part of the new cycle

and walking track. It was an easy walk, I was passed by lots of bikes but saw no other walkers.

 This is the new bridge that makes it possible. It is parallel to the rail bridge ( on the right if you look closely ) 
 Looking back to the 2 bridges.
 At the top of the track you can see red on a wagon on a train. It was very loud and close above me just that bit of hedge in between. ( wish I had still been on the bridge ) 
 It was a very cloudy day so lots of moody scenes like this.
 The new part of the track ( to me ) only took me 20 minutes so I turned left onto a road near where we used to live and walked down to the beach. That took longer so all up about an hour. At the beach at the end I was pleased to see it is now a designated stop for campervans to stay over night.  Small boats get launched there too   Someone has painted the toilet there brightly and quilt well.
 If you enlarge this pic  you can see the cliff face of the Quarry Park that our orchard was next to  ( a way in the distance ) 
 Looking the other way into the sun this was the scene.
 All photos should enlarge if you click on them. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

That Old Chestnut.

 The sun was shining the sky was blue and I very much needed a walk. A mood enhancing walk.

 This is the 3rd time I have returned from walking the perimeter of our neighbourhood with chestnuts.
 As a child I remember us roasting chestnuts ( which my Dad came home with from a neighbouring property ) on a metal heath shovel in the open fire place. It is my preferred way to eat them. ( R likes them boiled and put in  casseroles ) I did a little googling about chestnuts and was surprised to see so many benefits ; Lots of Vit C and other vitamins  and minerals and GF and rich in antioxidants. Good for digestion and low GI. ( I might go back for a 4th pick up )  The water birds from the ponds are eating them too.
 Previous generations who had known hunger would not be letting them go to waste like these ones.( mostly mown up! )

 Chrysanthemums also say Autumn. I love their smell. 

Some late Summer flowers are still enticing monarch and white butterflies.

 these Zinnias all grew either self sown from last year or ones I dried and threw back in the same place.

 I've been self isolating ( as a family member had a positive test result ) so didn't go to Patchwork on Friday but  used that same time to cut out 5 more placemats and have them pinned ready. I have enough backing to make one more after that but can't decide which top fabric to pick ( from several ) Ill decide when I have finished # 11.
 Next post I will show the lovely persimmons I have picked.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

An Inside Sort of Day.

 Over night we had heavy rain ( needed ) then gusty winds which resulted in a 2 hour power outage first thing this morning. It has calmed now and the concrete out the window has dried. To save these beauties from the wind I picked the bunch and have them on the bench inside.  I think this might be called St. Mary's rose ( breed locally by Rob Somerfield ).They were the only 2 roses in this garden when we came here. A delicate perfume. 

 The rose bushes are  improving now that big shady trees overhanging them, belonging to next door have been cut back . We didn't even ask- those neighbours are in no way gardeners. (They didn't even notice ) In front of them I have planted 3 low growing white rose carpets.


I am sewing  These 5 are complete and #6 almost. It has hazel nuts on it.

 The back shows the simple hexagon quilting design.

 The new steps are all finished. The plants just need to grow a bit so it doesn't look quite so new.

 Yellow violas and small flax  -  Phormium  Spearmint and dwarf Gardenia Radicans ( suitable for pots ) in the 2 new blue pots at the bottom. I may yet plant something else in the gaps between the flax. Not gardening weather today! Back to the sewing and reading. Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Quilting Smaller Pieces.


I have been sewing these table mats. The old ones are very stained and not very pretty any more so these are needed. ( I don't really need more quilts) I am using up my stash of fabrics that have fruit or veges or food on them. So far nectarines and green peas. Next will be pears. Each is simply quilted through the 3 layers with hexagon shapes. ( cotton batting so washable  )  ( will take a photo of the back next time ). I am then binding them  using  "edge turned binding." The mitred corners are quite tricky but okay so far. I then hand stitch down the binding on the front side. Finished size 17" by 12".( I made sure that is big enough for a large plate plus cutlery ) 

  The step job is still progressing. A little digger is supposed to be coming today as shovelling too hard and too slow.

 We very much need rain. We are keeping veges and flowers going with buckets and hand held hoses.

 My newish vireya near the front door is flowering for the first time. Dawn Chorus. ( I had this same one at the orchard and knew it was a healthy grower )

 Other bright flowers are zinnias and dahlias.

It is living on that plant I see it every time I look.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Getting Rid of Agapanthus.

 After 18 or 20 years of growth agapanthus can be a real pest. The foolish previous owners who planted it put plants where over time they would hang over wooden retaining walls and wooden steps. The rain then runs down the leaves and rots the wood. That is what has happened down the sides of these steps.

 Which are now crumbling.

 R said if you can dig them out I will

mulch them up with the Hustler ( big mower ). So I did.   ( he sharpened the spade ) This is from the right side. Today I did the left side and rolled the clumps to the bottom.'  We then spaded them into more manageable clumps and I laid them in rows for the mower to go over.

 In a week after another mow it will look green again. ( kikuyu grass / lawn )  This was a 
  much better solution for us than having to lift it all onto the truck and take it to the green refuse station and pay by weight to get rid of it.

 The way is now clear to remove the rocks down the side and R to build some new steps with wooden sides.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Lots of Reading.

 I've just remembered to update my Reading List on my side bar. ( unfortunately Blogger has mixed my list all up ! )  I have been so enjoying getting lost in good books.  Authors I am currently passionate about are  Lucinda Riley; Belinda Alexandra , Fiona McIntosh and Santa Montefiore.

 Mostly we are staying home .  It's the safest place.

We have both been doing lots of gardening and now with a little rain things are are looking washed and less stressed. Water restrictions have come into force so the rain was very timely. We have had lots of plums,  tomatoes ,some beans, loads of courgettes, but  potatoes dug so far are disappointing in yield.

 Yesterday when 6 year old Grandson spent the day here we went collecting cicada skins. We counted them in piles of 5. 
 We also visited the Te Puna Quarry Park where the small ponds have flowering water lilies,

Sunday, January 09, 2022

A small Finish.


 This little felt bird is a copy of a robin my friend Helen made before Christmas.
 I tried to use greens to make a New Zealand Bellbird..

 I sewed in 2 real feathers under the wings. ( they originally came off the peacock at the orchard  - I kept a whole lot )

 the green is iridescent.


 The Billington plums are now ready and there is a plentiful crop. They are red fleshed and tasty.

 A close up of a beautiful gerbra.


 We all went to the jetty with the nets to  scoop out mangrove seeds and throw them up on the grass to get mowed up. We don't want our estuary to disappear and fill in with mangroves. Both grandsons enthusiastically helping R.