Friday, February 16, 2024


 Well, we are always busy but at the moment it seems more so.  

It has been hot and dry so watering every day.  The tomatoes, in particular, have done really well and I have frozen a lot (just washed and put into bags and frozen.  Later will be taken out have boiling water poured over them, the skin comes off easily before they are used in sauces, casseroles, soups etc. I have also given kilos to friends, neighbours and relations.  

The peaches are doing well this year.  A couple of years ago we had the tree (self sown) topped and only got a few peaches last year but they are fruiting well again.  They are similar to a Golden Queen.  Unfortunately, a lot have the Guava Bud Moth larva in them but I cut around that a stew them before freezing.  

We have just bought  a load of firewood from Grand-daughter's husband (a misunderstanding meant we ended up buying 4 cubic metres plus another cubic metre better for kindling).  Yesterday we moved and stacked 3 cubic metres and did the remaining one this morning.  Not bad for two octogenarians. Should have enough firewood for a couple of years as we already had quite a lot.

Still a few peaches left on the tree.

New lot of firewood stacked.  Shed now full.

Spare bedroom turned into storage for peaches and tomatoes.

Friday, February 2, 2024


In July last year single use plastic bags were banned in Produce Departments.  Paper bags have been supplied since then and re-useable bags on sale.  One Supermarket has heavy cotton bags for sale and the other, I have just discovered, has lighter bags made from recycled plastic.

On a Vegetable Gardening Facebook page I recently read about using these bags to cover tomatoes to protect against birds and insects.  

They are only 20 cents each and I bought 6 to try them out.

They are brilliant.  We have Green Vegetable Bugs here that cause a hard unripened lump in the fruit and these bags work in keeping the bugs away.

Yesterday, I bought another 10 and they are now all in use.  Still plenty more problems that can  beset the plants, blight being the main one, but I have my fingers crossed.

At the moment I am picking about 1.8 kg a day with the largest just under 400 grams so plenty for us, friends and family and, hopefully some will go in the freezer for adding to casseroles and soups in the winter months.

Monday, January 22, 2024


 Because of the forecast heat we did another walk through the bush alongside the river today.  Just before we started there was a lovely shower freshening up the ferns  and other plants.

According to my magic machine the temperature is 28 degrees C. with a real feel of 30 degrees, much better than where my step-daughter lives in N.S.W. where it was 31 degrees at 10 p.m. last night and 33 a couple of hours earlier.

Sunday, January 21, 2024


Last night, I finally had a reasonable pick of tomatoes.  With a bit of luck they will keep on producing in spite of the hot, humid weather.

In the flower garden one of the Crepe Myrtles is getting a bit past  it


while the other is just coming into flower.

Temperatures in the very late 20's most likely going to be 30 in the next couple of days.

Saturday, January 13, 2024


It has been hot and dry for the past week or so with daytime temperatures of 26 or 27 degrees C. and night time of about 20 degrees.  

On Monday we have our first Parkinson walk since the Christmas break and the weather is due to change.  Temperatures still good but much needed rain forecast (although we could do without it on Monday morning).

I have finally picked a couple of tomatoes and there is just one more ripening.  When they are finally in full fruiting mode we will have more than enough.  The top two photos are the German ones with the points on the end, a delicious tomato hanging like grapes.

The tomatoes are just starting to ripen on the plants I got from a neighbour. The spray on them is preventative copper.

By 9 a.m. this morning I had watered the garden, done some weeding and a load of washing was done and pegged out while  Doug had mowed the lawns.  The washing dried while we had breakfast.

Yesterday, they started to reseal our road and have just come back to finish the job.  Lots of roadworks needed as there was so little fine weather for the work to be done last year.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


 A bit cooler with cloud cover today.  I managed to get around to weeding then feeding the tomatoes.  I should have put sun cream  on as I noticed on Metservice later that the UV level is dangerous.  I hadn't planned to be in the garden for long but ended up doing more than intended.

Anyway, the top photo is of a tomato I bought at the Market called Red Patio Bush.  I was expecting both the plant and tomatoes to be smaller.

These are the small German ones.

and ones from a neighbour who wasn't sure what they were as she had mixed all her seed up.

the garden itself.

Meanwhile, over near Forster in New South Wales my stepdaughter has these. Yesterday's harvest - well ahead of ours and such lovely colours.  She had just found all those cucumbers hiding (overgrown Lebanese cucumbers).

On my birthday her brother and I decided it is time to go and visit her so watch this space.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


Tuesday, have to think what day it is as today and yesterday are public holidays for New Year which seemed to run on from the 4 day break for Christmas.  It is cooler again today so, after doing the usual chores at home and giving more bananas to neighbours we decided to go on our favourite short walk in the bush alongside the Hatea River.  We drove just under 2.5 kms to Whareora Road and walked to Mair Park and back about 3.2 kms. We are so lucky to have so many lovely walks right in town.

The track is well formed

a lot of lovely ferns

and bush

to the open space that is Mair Park

Below is a small tree that has been bent into an arch by the weight of the plants growing on it (the name of which eludes me at the moment)

It is a lovely walk and we were surprised by how few people we met considering it is a holiday.

We got home about midday and had a very late morning tea (blueberry smoothie to use up some bananas).  After we both did a few more chores we had an even later lunch and were just eating that when a couple of friends from Auckland arrived and we had a good time catching up.

With the recent wind the garden is drying out but watering will have to wait while I put my feet up and read for half an hour.