Monday, October 28, 2019


Earlier in the week we were in town for an appointment and decided to go to Quail Cafe at the Quarry Gardens on the way home.  We usually go to the gardens on a Monday with the Parkinson Walking Group and the cafe is closed.  

In the entrance to the cafe is this photo taken before the gardens were started with the young man who started it all.

After we had enjoyed our delicious cup of tea with a GF orange cake for me and croissant for Doug we had a stroll around the gardens.

It was a pleasant walk up to the lake and back.  On the path Doug picked up a flower.  I should have photographed it on the day instead of leaving it till today but it is really hard, almost like it is made of wood.  I don't know what the tree is, I didn't even see it, but must keep an eye out for it next time and see if I can get another one and, hopefully, a better photo.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Over the past couple of weeks we have had variable weather.  At times it has been sunny and very pleasant but often it has been strong winds and heavy showers with hail at times.  I still put in my seedling order and we have been busy planting them out.  We also buy smaller quantities of seedlings at our Growers' Market.

The echium we planted a few weeks ago is growing well as are the daisies.  Can't think of their "proper names" at present

This Leucospermum was a birthday present for Doug last month from his eldest daughter and is just coming into flower.

This lovely poppy must be from seeds from Jean whose blog name evades me at present.  I have just managed to delete all the blogs I follow.  I was adding a new one when I realised I had inserted one I was already following and when I went to delete that one I managed to delete the lot.  I did this some time back although a different way and was still collecting the missing blogs - now I must start again.  Too much still to do tonight so it will be over a lengthy period once again.

Alstroemeria, and foxgloves coming into flower.  Doug has just pruned the geraniums in this bed back quite hard.

A pot of blue pansies that is still hanging in there and will be replaced by newly potted petunias when they are large enough

the newly potted petunias

the last of the winter vegies mainly Swiss chard and beetroot although there are also some leeks left.

Recently planted tomatoes - two of each Black Krim, Russian Red and a new one.  The pink pot is because one was snapped off in the wind.  Behind are some dwarf beans.  We also have scarlet runners just emerging.

This is the lovely cyclamen that Gwynneth and the Pirate from ook?! blog gave us when they visited.  It died down and was put outside and has just come back into bloom.  Lovely colour and lovely frilly flowers.  Thank you.

Today I have pricked out a large quantity of beetroot seedlings.  It is a long weekend here and, luckily has turned out fine with not too much wind.

So that is what is happening in our garden at present.  I also planted out two bundles of the Echium Cottage charm which we had last year and were very pleased with.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Birds and a cat

From lovely spring weather it turned nasty with strong winds and rain on Monday, so bad that a yacht capsized with the loss of one life and three others being rescued.  I had woken with a bad sore throat which turned into a cough and cold so I have been taking it easy all week.

In the meantime Doug made a starling nesting box to go above the Tui Feeder.

The new nesting box shows up the fact that the Tui feeder and post could do with a spring clean but I am sure the weather will improved soon to catch up with these jobs.

As I have been under the weather I have watched some daytime television and, this morning was watching the Antiques Roadshow with Kim beside me when she suddenly shot through to the Dining Room and was watching the window.

I think it is a baby thrush.  Goodness knows how she knew it was there.

a bit closer

then "mother" appeared to protect her young and Kim got closer scaring them both off.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


I read about Raynor Winn's book The Salt Path on someone's blog and put a "hold" on it in our local Library.  I forget where in the queue I was but I finally got the book about ten days ago.  It is about Raynor and her husband who set off to walk the South West Coast Path setting off from Minehead in Somerset after they lost their home and income and her husband was diagnosed with a rare terminal brain disease.

It is an excellent read.  When I had finished it Doug read it and suggested it should be compulsory reading.  Google it and you will find out more  but I give it a 10 out of 10.

The Salt Path

Friday, October 11, 2019


It was the Operatunity Concert again today.  There are eight concerts a year and they  take place at 11 a.m. so it is aimed at the senior members of our society.  I was looking for a friend but looking for a lady with grey hair in what I estimated to be about 1,000 people was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Anyway, the Concert was as good as the other ones we have been to.  This one was the Three Tenors - the singers are all part of the Operatunity group.  We had items including You are Love, Girls were made to Love and Kiss, Granada, Besame Mucho, Mambo Italiano, This is the Moment and Hallelujah.  There was also a soprano, the lady who, with her husband, started the company.  In spite of its size it is almost like a family and, in the middle of the concert, they stopped and sang Happy Birthday to a lady who has been to most of the concerts and is shortly to turn 100.

They are all great entertainers as well as singers and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


We had to take the car in for its annual Warrant of Fitness today and decided to walk the long way back.

We left the Mechanics and walked along the road

past a Retirement Village

to the playing fields that are bordered by the river.  The Retirement Village runs alongside.

The river is behind the trees in the background.

Looking back towards the Retirement Village.

The River

From the road bridge looking towards the top of the Whangarei Falls

from the road bridge looking back towards the playing fields

The 51 trees planted for the Christchurch massacre victims

Looking down at the falls

and to the bottom of the Falls

Not sure what this shrub is that was alongside the pavement but it was covered in flowers and bees.

Samsung Health told me we had walked just over 4 kms and when we went to pick the car up later in the day it was 1.2 kms going straight to the Mechanics.

A very pleasant walk....and the car passed with flying colours.

Monday, October 7, 2019


When it is finished the Kamo Shared Path will run for 6.5 kms from the city centre to the suburb of Kamo (where Max and I lived - it is three years today since he died).  Doug and I have walked various parts of the Path with the Parkinson walking group at different times and, today, we re-walked part of it followed by a part that has just been opened.  It is for walkers, cyclists, skate boarders and everything except cars,vans trucks etc.  It also goes past 8 different schools making it ideal for children to ride or walk to school away from roads.  It actually runs alongside the railway line.  

The part we walked today started off flat and then rose slightly making it ideal as it was a gradual descent on the return.  

Some seats would be good for groups such as ours.  Although I haven't shown them in the photos there are actually some lovely plantings along the way as well as views into back gardens which I always enjoy.

The next stage is due to be completed later this year while the last stage is still in the planning stages.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


The vase of Waratahs had started to fade (my fault for not replenishing their water) so I popped into the garden quickly to find some spring flowers.

Various Alstroemeria and a clivia.  Not a lot of flowers but nice and bright.  I like colours of the vase which, from memory as it is now full of flowers, is a Crown Devon.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Much Cooler

There has been snow lower down in the island and a very cold wind has been blowing for what seems like the past couple of weeks.  I decided it would be too cold in the wind to do our normal walk so Doug suggested we drive the 2 kms down to Whareora Road and walk through the bush alongside the river to Maire Park where it would be sheltered.  We promptly set off and it was an enjoyable walk.

When we got to Mair Park Doug suggested that we carry on with the walk into town and have lunch at the Town Basin.  As it was after midday I agreed

I forget what this little building is called but it was like an apprentice's piece in that it was built prior to starting on the Hundertwasser Building so that the builders could get used to building something with no straight lines.

By walking up it I was able to get a good view of the Clivias as well as the work on the Hundertwasser Building.

 This is an artist's impression of the finished Hundertwasser Building.

We then went to Mokaba for lunch looking across to the yachts.

On the return walk I took a couple of photos of the board walk through the mangroves and the steps between two roads.

It was an enjoyable walk of about 7.5 kms with the break for lunch in the middle and for most of the time we were sheltered from the cold wind.