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.

 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.


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.
 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


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.

 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.
 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.
 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.