Monday, February 25, 2013

On My Knees.

I"ve been on my knees quite a bit this last week, getting the garden ready for a big event here this weekend.

 Getting the edges neat....
Watering, so the lawn is still green - it's been very hot and dry.
 Weeding. Dead heading.Tidying. Even talking encouragingly to certain plants about flowering on time.
 I have literally hundreds of these red nerines and some will be just out . Not all.
 There are already Autumn tones on the Viburnum.
 Roger tidied up the vege patch. The corn really is as high as an elephant's eye...and tastes fabulous.

 This corner looks okay if it holds and some more come out.
 Some areas have had to have recent make overs cause they just wouldn't last the distance.
Some of my very favourite white Japanese anemones or windflowers are just coming out.
 I haven't grown these for years and didn't know what colour they would be so some are quite bright. Cock's Comb.
 The tomtato soup echinacea is doing well from last year.
 And sally Holmes rose is having a few late flowers( luckily the bronze beetles that chewed her earlier in the Spring have gone now. )
 There is not much  gardening left to do now unless a wind gets up - ( I hope not )

 I want to give my hands  and nails a few days to recover so I can be presentable....
 We think this long dry spell of weather might hold just a few days longer for us. The orchard desperately needs rain    -  but you can't have it both ways.
 I will show some photos next week...By which time my younger  son J and V will be married. Exciting stuff!
 Finally R dug the first Kumara  ( sweet potato ) plant and is delighted with the result.
 We found more hidden water melon s and will see if any of them are ready yet.

 Now will you please all ask for fine weather on Friday and Saturday cause it would help immensely if we could be outside, and use all the gazebos and sun umbrellas.
 My LISTS are getting shorter! What might I have forgotten?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plum Muffins.

We were giving some red plums that were a bit tart . I made some into yummy muffins for the freezer. One broke so we sampled it.
* Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
* Cut into small chunks 1.5 cups of raw plum flesh.
*  In a large bowl cream 90 grams of softened butter with 2/3 cup of caster sugar.
* Add one large egg and mix in.
*Alternately add 2 cups of sifted self - raising flour with 1 cup of milk.
* Don't over mix.
* Spoon into greased patty tin or as I did into paper cup cases sitting in the 12 hole muffin tin  ( makes less cleaning up )
 * If desired sprinkle tops with raw sugar.
* Bake in oven for 15 minutes, till golden.
* Remove from oven and run a knife around each muffin . Let them cool in the pan. After about 10 minutes just twist each muffin side ways to make sure it is loose but leave in tin till completely cold - that way it is more likely to come out whole. 
 My 6 inch square hand -quilted letters got completed during the week ( with time to spare luckily. )
 Down the paddock in R's extra garden the watermelon plants decided to pop under the fence and have their melons hanging at the top of quite a steep bank. I hope the don't get eaten off by rabbits and roll down the hill .I hope this year we get to eat them at just the right time before they start going off like last year!
 Now I want to rant!
If you are a Telecom Yahoo customer you will know what I am on about. Last night I could not access my email account. I had some idea of what was happening after Telecom's security got breached ( cyber attack )  last weekend. So I went in and changed my password BUT still no access  I read all information I could find on the News website  and Telecom's site. For 2 hours I could still not use Outlook Express ( how I send and receive email ). Strangely, I could however access my email by web mail and access my Telcom usage meter so I knew my new password had been accepted there.
 Eventually after I had read my email on web mail I found I could now get into Outlook Express. This morning I got an email from telecom telling me  they were going to pro -actively cancel my account last night - a good 12 hours after they had in fact done it.
 I was very annoyed at having to waste so much time on a Saturday evening trying to get the service I pay for. Telecom you can do better and you jolly well must or I am moving my account. .

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Huernia pendula

I decide to show this as it is a bit unusual. One of the jobs on my list I tackled this morning was repotting this plant. I had to carefully cut the old plastic pot from around a very root bound plant with secateurs and  re pot it  ( using a teaspoon to get the soil in ) in a taller planter so it's flowers are more easily seen.
 It is Huernia pendula a stapeliad. Sometimes called a bell flower sometimes referred to as an orchid of the succulent world. It's part of the apocynaceae family the same family that has carrion flowers in it  - This one doesn't smell.
 Up close and looking up into the flower. It flowers for a long time each year and is now growing quite large. it's flowers tend to go unnoticed when they hang down.
 I hope it is happy in it's new larger prettier pot.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Carnation.

 On Saturday morning I went  to a P and Q Committee meeting at Decor garden centre cafe - That was temptation in itself.  Afterwards I went for a quick look round and bought just this - another carnation for my collection. It seemed to have a mild perfume but I have since discovered in the evening the carnation smell is quite strong. That is a beautiful perfume! ( and see how many flowers and buds it has ) I have put it in a planter bowl with some blue Lobelia and some Alysum seedlings I grew.
 I am keeping it in the shade till it all gets established . We have been having extremely hot clear days and it is tough on newly planted things. Lots of watering has been necessary, to keep the moisture from last weeks rain in the ground.
 The gardening and weeding and dead heading is going steadily - some every day.
 Our young ones were down from the big smoke for the weekend - they are fairly busy now with appointments and arrangements for their big day which is now only 18 days away. We all know that time will just race away. All preparations seem to be going to plan so that is good.
 On Saturday night they took us out for a belated celebration for our 45th wedding anniversary ( which was just before Christmas ) . We went to Volare, on the Strand  in Tauranga. The meals were yummy. Here is the view of the harbour from the table at about 8 pm.

 Last Friday was the first get together for the year for our Friday Patchwork and Quilting group.  I just worked on the hand stitching around bindings on my alphabet letters . Just 4 to go now.
 Just in case any of you have had a strange email that says it came from me. It did not - someone has somehow uplifted my email address - so if you get it do not access the provided link.
 Have a good week - I hope  you and I both get lots done!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Rain and Quilts.

Today we are rejoicing ....we have had some rain! It started gently yesterday with just 7 mls but got heavier over night. When the rain gauge was emptied this morning there was 20 mls and we have had 1 more ml since. A total of 29 mls. ( over an inch )  It will help. Looking out the window I would think more is possible.

 On Sunday I drove up the road for  20 minutes to Katikati where Carol at Katipatch was holding her Annual Garden Party ( and quilt hanging ). The rain threatened but kept away. Lots of ( mainly ) ladies enjoyed the quilts and stalls and happy atmosphere. Here are a few I liked. ( as they were pegged on clothes lines they were not hanging straight so some pics are on an angle )
Below -Melanie's quilt.( she loves batiks! So do I ! )

I love the clean crisp appearance of this 2 colour quilt.

There were quilt hanging in the garage too.

 That's my friend Nan's quilt on the right hand end.
 They have a lovely setting for such an event.Around the back Eddie has a fabulous espaliered pear against the house wall.( I want one of those! )
 It had strawberries growing at it's feet and just nearby a new circular garden had young red and black currant bushes planted.. There were also some apple trees growing on a single trunk in pots - no branches to speak of but quite a few fruit. They also have an avocado orchard.
 Of course I met many ladies I knew, some patchworkers but other too. Some I only seem to meet when I go to this event. There was a guitarist seranading us and a barber shop quartet, and refreshments too if you so desired. I am glad I went.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

My Favourite Flower ?

What is your favourite flower?
 One of my top 10 certainly has to be carnations ( perfumed ones ) like this Otaki Pink. I haven't grown them for ages but thought I would treat myself when I saw a plant some weeks ago. I'm glad I did. I have carefully staked and tied it up and the smell is just as good as I remember. Many of the newer varieties look good but have no perfume.
 I never grew this variety of capsicum before. It is called Sweet Banana Capsicum. ( tastes like a capsicum looks slightly like a banana.)
  R's basil crop is ready.
 So he made the first batch of pesto this morning. Here are the other ingredients plus garlic.
 Our own walnuts roasted and parmesan cheese. All into the food processor.and a little whizzing later 7 jars of pesto ( hey Presto ). Meanwhile I was outside picking these lovely Chef's Choice green beans.
 They are already in the pot to be part of tonight's dinner. We have visitors coming over. It is a very, very hot day here so R is cooking the big leg of Rangitikei lamb in the BBQ. It smells so good and isn't heating up the kitchen.
 What for dessert? Berries ? No, had too many lately, so made a crunchy topped apple short cake.
 During the week we finished Block 3 kiwifruit thinning and are now tackling the other big block 2B.
 Almost no sewing has happened.. Will I get those letters finished?
 Getting back to where I started. What is your favourite flower and why? It's hard when there are so many contenders . Some smell great Some look great Some are blessed with both looks and perfume so they go to the top of the list. It's about as difficult as the question, " What is your favourite colour?"