Sunday, January 31, 2016
I never tire of looking at the greens of nature. It is very restful for the eyes on hot summer days.
Today they promised thunderstorms, but instead we got a hot, balmy 28 C with just a spot or two of rain. When the clouds started to clear a bit I took the opportunity to venture outside with my camera, accompanied by my cat Oscar.
We went into my vegetable garden to see how things were coming along...
Everything is growing so fast in this weather, it is unbelievable. The cucumber plants are now escaping from the vegetable garden and onto the pathway. I discovered my first cucumbers growing very nicely with not a sign of mildew.
The caigua (pronounced "kai-wa") is growing rampantly over the fence. This is the first time that I have grown caigua. It is a relation of the cucumber family which originated in Peru.
Some people say that caigua tastes a bit like green peppers and asparagus, and some say it is like eating green beans. I wonder what it will taste like for me?
The flower buds have formed and a few have opened into clusters of tiny cream coloured flowers. I can't wait to harvest it. In the meantime I am researching on how to prepare and eat them.
My herb patch is also doing well. There is a good crop of dill and coriander. My parsley and basil are the only things that are being slow this year.
The variegated marjoram has taken over the lemon thyme. I need to take some cuttings of the lemon thyme, or layer it, before it is totally lost.
I never expected my lemongrass to grow so big! It is so exciting that I grew it from a few stalks from the supermarket.
Here is my lettuce which I am growing like mesclun. All I do is pick a few leaves, from each plant, at a time whenever I need it. My perpetual spinach and coloured silverbeet are ready for picking now, also leaf by leaf.
The snow peas have been providing me with another good crop this year. I gather a couple of handfuls each evening. Tomorrow I will need to freeze some because they are piling up in the fridge.
The beans and tomatoes are growing nicely. I picked the grand total of four beans today! The first of the crop.
I wish that the tomatoes would hurry up. There is an abundance of flowers which are keeping the bees very happy, but not much sign of the fruit setting yet.
We have been getting courgettes galore since I came back from my holiday. They grow so fast that if I miss picking one one day, it will have grown the size of a marrow by the next day.
So far we have eaten courgette bread, courgettes sautéed in butter, courgette salad, and stuffed courgettes and we have given some away. I need to find more recipes for some variety before the glut really starts.
Dad trimmed my artichoke plants down, after I had picked the last of the crop, and they are looking really healthy with lots of new leaf growth. Artichokes are one of my favourite vegetables. Cooked by steaming them and served with butter, delicious!
See you again soon.
Hugs Rose x
Monday, January 25, 2016
I have returned from a very enjoyable holiday in the Hawkes Bay area with my older brother and sister-in-law. My younger brother and his wife drove me down there with my little 6 year old nephew. It is about a 5 hour drive, so we decided to stop overnight at a friend's batch (holiday home in New Zealand language) on the edge of Lake Rotowiti in Rotorua to break the journey up a bit.
The weather was glorious. When we arrived at Hawkes Bay, where my brother has built his new house, it was 32 degrees C and remained around this temperature most of the time that I was there.
My sister-in-law breeds miniature horses and has now got 22 of them. They are delightful, especially the young foal who loves to be cuddled.
Here are some of my sister-in-law's bantam silky hens plus a speckled bantam. They occasionally lay around 2 to 3 eggs a day between them.
For my birthday my younger brother and his wife took me to the UB40 concert which was held in the Havelock North Tuki Tuki Valley with views of Te Mata Peak. When the band arrived the sun came out from behind the clouds and the wind dropped. We had an amazing time.
Then a couple of days later my older brother and his wife treated me to dinner at the Terroir Restaurant which is in the Craggy Range vineyard in Havelock North. The food and atmosphere was excellent.
I spent my days relaxing at my brother's new house reading, chatting, taking photos and being taken on day trips around Napier, Havelock North and Hastings.
Here are some photos that I took from the top of Te Mata Peak which is 399 metres above sea level. The weather again was glorious.
See you again soon
Sunday, January 3, 2016
This is the view from the top of the land. The woodland in the distance is native New Zealand subtropical rainforest known as "bush".
I took the following 3 photos near to the house and they are part of the view that I look out on from my bedroom window.
Our grapes have grown wild and happily ramble over the trees which keeps the blackbirds happy.
Our pukekos are very cheeky and don't fly away from us. I have grown quite fond of them, though many people dislike them as they wreck gardens, especially vegetable patches, pulling out small plants to eat their roots.
We have a fence around our vegetable patch to keep both the pukekos and our cats out. Although the pukekos can fly they tend to walk most of the time.
Until next time,
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
It has been an eventful yet stressful year for me, so my New Year Resolution is to relax more and enjoy myself.
I went on a 6 week stress management course, 2 hours a week, which was great. It made me stop and think about my goals and priorities as well as how to manage stress. I learnt about the art of mindfulness...living in the moment...which is very useful for keeping things in perspective.
I also discovered Colouring books for grown-ups which are great fun. I have quite a collection now, plus a colouring in calendar for 2016.
My vegetable garden has been resurrected from waist-high weeds. It was sadly neglected in the Spring and I was 2 months late in getting it started. But now I am happy with progress again and waiting for the moment when I can harvest my goodies.
I hope that you had a fun-filled Christmas-time and that your New Year will be the best ever.
Chat with you again soon.
Monday, December 28, 2015
We had fresh fruit for dessert...melon, mango and cherries. Plus mince pies and homemade pfeffernusse biscuits.
It was a very enjoyable evening. I love this tradition we have.
I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas holidays as much as I am.
Love Rose x
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
- A selection of Bennets chocolates, including reindeer noses, chocolate Christmas trees, 3 chocolate truffle Christmas puddings, and some delicious handmade chocolates.
- A large Scent 5 Pomegranate and orange candle.
- A Bonne Mere L'Occitane soap.
- L'Occitane lavander scented bubble bath
- L'Occitane peony scented soap
- A bag of chocolate coated cherries
- A lemon scented soap
- And last but not least a really big surprise, mum had snuck a lovely T-shirt into my Santa sack, all wrapped up nicely, without me knowing :) Mum is so sweet.
I am really happy now, especially after eating the chocolate coated popcorn reindeer noses while writing this!
I hope that you are enjoying yourself too. Do you still have a Santa sack for Christmas?
Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Hugs Rose x
Sunday, December 6, 2015
I hope that you are having a great time preparing for your Christmas celebrations and have had a good year this year.
Things were rather hectic for me this year with one thing and another, so I temporarily put my blog to one side, but I am still here and ready to start blogging again :) I really missed your lovely comments and sharing with you what I have been up to and what makes me smile.
My Christmas present shopping is completed ahead of time, so no battles with the mad Christmas shopping crowds. I just need to wrap everything up which is my favourite thing while listening to Christmas music. My family are now asking me what they could buy everyone else for Christmas. Do you find it easy thinking of what to buy everyone?
I didn't buy things for my Santa sack during the year like I normally do, but I decided that I will have one after all and have started filling it. I really need to get into the Christmas spirit and I think that this is just the thing to help.
Looking forward to hearing from you again.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
See you again soon.
love Rose x