Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Last Thursday we made our second visit to Gibbs Farm.  Looking back later we were surprised to see that it was 5 years since our last visit.

We went with a friend and were lucky with the weather which was fine and not too hot.  It is a lovely setting and we arrived at about 10.20 a.m. and set off to walk around the farm park.  

As you can see it is a large area.  It took us an hour walking until we came across a bench beckoning us to sit and have our lunch looking down at this view.

More to come.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


It has been a busy week as usual.  We have been busy weeding and getting seeds and plants into the garden.  On Thursday we went down to see Gibbs Farm and I have lots of photos to go through when I get a chance.

I have been moving furniture and taking pictures down and Doug got the lawns mowed.  The new sunroom which had been sorted out is now full of furniture ready for the painter to come on Tuesday morning - he will paint the hall and lounge and possibly the dining room as well.  

Tomorrow, as usual, it is the Parkinson walk in the morning and then we will check that everything is ready for Tuesday morning.  I am pleased I persuaded Doug that we should get the painter in to save him this job.  

The foxglove in the drive is looking good.  Hopefully, I will get a chance to sort the photos from Gibbs Farm on Tuesday or Wednesday.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Bought a few plants at the Market yesterday.  Doug planted a couple of Lavender in the front garden yesterday while I planted a couple of aubergines and half a dozen dwarf butter bean plants in one of the new built up gardens.  I usually grow beans from seed but these looked good and should be earlier than sowing the seed now.

Today I cleared out all the broccoli plants except one that is not quite ready then weeded, Doug hoed and fed it and I planted a couple of courgette plants. I also sowed a row of mixed climbing beans saved from last year.  A few are scarlet runners and the rest unknown. 

The snails are a real pest this year and had been eating the broccoli leaves.  The foxglove is flowering well next to a few onions.

Looking better.  I also did some weeding and clearing in other parts of the garden.  After a cool snap it is warm today.  21 degrees C according to the computer although it feels more.

We can now buy some more plants and sow some more seeds.  Roll on summer.  I have already made successive sowings of lettuce which we have been eating for a while now.  I add to the lettuce some rocket which I buy at the market for $1.  a bundle.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Archery is one of Doug's hobbies that has been neglected over the past few years.  The other day we looked up how to make a target butt on You Tube.

We had a half barrel and one of his grandsons brought some plastic wrap around for him and he made a target.

The half barrel is tightly packed with the plastic wrap then covered with either hessian or, in this case, a piece of tarpaulin as that is what we had available.


Not bad after not having used his bow for a while.

Friday, October 12, 2018


It seems early to me but the foxgloves are starting to flower.  They are all self sown and the first ones are difficult to photograph.  I like the colours.

Here are two views of the same three flowers.

Here is a cream one which should be out soon in the vegetable garden.  They have all overwintered.

Monday, October 8, 2018


At the back of our property is a park.  It has a children's playground at one end and is well used.  There are a couple of pre-schools nearby and they use the park for the children's activities.  It is also used for ball games and  dog walking.  We are lucky as we have a gate in the back fence that leads straight into the park.

I don't know what these unusual trees are (I am sure someone will be able to tell me) but the Monarch Butterflies overwinter in them.

Here are a couple of close up photos for Gwynneth

Saturday, October 6, 2018


After going to the Bluebell Wood we decided to walk alongside the Wairoa Stream.  This track was hidden for more than forty years and has only recently been re-opened and some new bridges built.    At the start of the track Doug was thrilled to see this Kumarahou - apparently there used to be a lot of it growing but it likes poor soils and with townships spreading it has started to disappear.  It has many uses including as a soap.  see here

After a short walk alongside the river we could see that there was a sudden drop

and this is the waterfall, The Wairere Falls

The track was quite good but one had to watch out for tree roots - this swimming hole would be very inviting in the heat of summer.

It was a one hour walk which brought us out to the Stone Store and Kemp House, two of New Zealand's oldest buildings.  see here

As we have been here many times we just spent a few minutes and then made the return walk.  This is what most of the track was like.

It was then time for the drive home after a very pleasant visit to Kerikeri.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Yesterday was a beautiful day and we set off on the hour long trip to Kerikeri.  We stopped at a cafe and garden centre for a cuppa then went on to Roland's Wood.  I have written about this before.  It was created by Roland Sansom and bequeathed to the people and dogs of Kerikeri - it is a wonderful dog walking park.  see here

There were lots of dogs and their owners enjoying the park and we had a walk around before sitting on a bench and eating our lunch.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


I use a variety of oils.  

Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is my favourite both in dressings and for cooking.  I add it to mashed potatoe with a little butter.  

Extra virgin Olive Oil is used as an alternative.

Sunflower Oil is used in some baking recipes.

Coconut oil is another favourite although I try not to use it too much as I gather it is not good for cholesterol.

I have a lovely bottle of White Truffle Oil which my stepdaughter gave me in my Christmas parcel and I have used with mushrooms although any other suggestions would be welcome.

Hemp Seed oil is the one I put on my morning bowl of porridge.

I also have some Rice Bran oil but am not as keen on that.

Apart from a little in mashed potatoe I often use a little butter with the oil for frying.

What do other people use?