29 April 2007

An autumn Havelock North view. And the view down my street.

Leaf decorated car I spotted at the local supermarket.

Not a pretty picture I know, what you are meant to look at is the yellow edge to the puddle. It took me ages last spring to work out what was causing it. First I thought it was Callum and some chalks, then I thought perhaps sulphur in the air. The reality is pollen from the Acacia trees, which have decided to flower twice this year.
This is one of the reasons I love plants so much. Even in this tiny little gap in the concrete this pansy has managed to grow and flower beautifully.

Some views from my sewing room window.

27 April 2007

Spotted this hot air ballon when I was dropping off the kids at school this morning.

I am not quite sure why she does it but Rana, my cat, likes to strip the new growth of one of the cacti. You can see this on the first pic, compared with the second pic. Maybe she is just such a tought cat the little spines do not bother her at all. Is this usual cat behaviour? Do you know a cat that is this tough?

Last year there were nine olives on my olive tree. This year there are 23. If anyone knows how to preserve olives please leave a comment, I would love to be able to sit out in the garden next summer drinking wine and eating my own olives.

More early morning mists from my morning walk.

Fejoas from our garden and Persimmons from a very generous lady at quilters.
Last year I was not keen on the taste of the Fejoas, but this year I have been adding them to Smoothies and they add a lovely flavour.
Here is a link to some pics of the Fejoa flowers.

Another plant in the garden that I thought was not going to do much has just produced a couple of gorgeous flowers. There are loads more flower buds ready to bloom. I expected it to flower in Spring and was very disapointed that it didn't. It has been really worth the wait.

22 April 2007

I found two interesting plants on my walk this morning. I have no idea what they are. If you know what they are please leave a comment. The first plant was really beautiful, a brilliant shade of orange. The second plant was beautiful too, but a bit wierd. It looked as if a flock of baby owls were sitting on its branches, with their backs to me.

Some Autumn colour.

I still find it odd to think that we are in Autumn and not rushing towards christmas. It is kind of nice. You can enjoy the season for what it is without having to constantly think about present shopping, what you are going to cook and will you have the finances to survive the festive season. Christmas in the summer is just laid back and so much more enjoyable.

20 April 2007

Sunrise this morning. I could not make up my mind which pic to include so here they all are. Which do you think is the best.

Today's daisy. Actually they are really succulents, but so beautiful and similar to a daisy.

18 April 2007

Walnuts in a bowl, given to us by some good friends. We have some from the trees in our garden this year, but they need to be dried out.

Did somebody mention a mouse.

I have been working from home this week, my cat assistant has been trying to help.

A bag of Lavender.

Some more lavender that will be ready to pick in another week or so. According to all the books, you should cut back lavender after it flowers. These two bushes have been flowering since we moved in a year ago, I am going to have to take the plunge and cut them back soon.

16 April 2007

I got a bit carried away chopping the quince bush back and ended up with two car loads of branches. Good job I did, underneath was a load of Bamboo shoots sneakly hiding.
Another visitor to the garden.

Another garden change. I have been taking cuttings from the hedge that divides up part our garden. I want to add a small hedge around the patio. The top right pic is what it used to look like.

It looks very small just now, hopefully it will grow quickly.
I have also added a couple of white standard roses, variety "Iceberg".

Rember the snaps of apple blossom. Here is what they have turned into.

There is quite a lot of scab on the apples, but they taste really yummy.

My ever present garden companion was really interested. I think she was just trying to figure out how to get rid of the apples so she could sit in the basket.

13 April 2007

Another sign of Autumn, we have had to light the fire for the first time this year. After enjoying months of temps around about 24 during the day and no lower than 14 at night. Today it has not got much above 16 and tonight is forcast to drop down to 3 degrees. Snow is expected on the hills. Peter has promised to kick me out of bed at 6am tomorrow to go and take pictures of the snow on the hills. I think he will have to kick quite hard!

I have planted up the first of the raised beds with Citrus trees, and will underplant with veggies. I bit late for this year. The second bed is being filled with compost and turf at the moment, then I will fill it up with some top soil before planting more Citrus trees.
Between the two raised beds I am going to create a small potager bed. With more of the red murtyle round the edge of the bed. The leftover turf will go to filling the second raised bed.
I have almost finished the side garden makeover. Lots of the planting has been done, the gravel has been laid and the raised beds have been completed.

I still have to dig the the flower bed out further and chop back the quince. The turf that will be removed I can use to fill up the second raised bed.

After last Sunday's kitchen disasters, we have had to replace our old kitchen monstrosity. It was ridiculous the oven only had one top element working. The rings on the top only worked on very hot or not, so I had to move pans around constantly to stop things from burning. And I have no idea what the warming drawer was meant to achieve other than waste space.

Today our new lovely sleek and shiny model arrived. What a treat to be able to set the hob elements to heat at varying rates, the fan oven to work. Unfortunatly the only problem was that it is so shiny Buffy the cat saw her reflection and thinks we have a new cat living in the oven.

P.S. How sad am I for getting excited about a new stove. And you to for reading all about it!

P.P.S. Can you see my feet in the reflection.

11 April 2007

It was my youngest son's seventh birthday today. He wanted a cartoon type bomb as a birthday cake!
Because our oven has given up at last, I had to cook this cake in the microwave. Which worked out quite well. I used mixing bowls to cook it in, which gave a lovely round shape to work with. Also the cake was very moist so less crumbs dropped by the 15 kids at the party.
Now where was that case of wine and darkened room.


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