The best fresh food in my garden at the moment is Purple sprouting broccoli, it features in almost every evening meal. It has been really slow to yield, I think I planted it about 8 months ago and wondered if it was ever going to do anything. Early spring is perfect timing though, there are only leeks and salad greens to choose from otherwise.
Everyone I talk to is getting enthusiastic about the coming season, conversations quickly turning to planting, compost, nutrient dense food and calcium. I'm simply looking forward to peas and asparagus rubs hands together and smiles. I'm mulching, weeding, planting radishes, carrots and spring onions. Hand pollinating the apricots because I've only seen about 3 bumble bees and they're amongst the broad beans, I'm not even sure if they do fruit blossoms? It's a bit of concern that there is not a honey bee in sight, last year was the same. Beehives are on my wish list but not until the one with anaphalaxis leaves home. Water chestnuts and Earth Gems have arrived from Koanga today. So I'll be gardening, if you're wondering.
*!Happy birthday to PJ she's 9 today !* My goodness, she has grown up too fast.


I just had my "Lucy Jordan" birthday. You know the one, "at the age of 37 she realised she'd never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair" I'm not too sure that Paris in a sports car would have done it for me anyway."Skatey" and I stopped to watch this thrush singing the joys of spring in the neighbours trees this morning. When he got home from High school today he spotted her on our lawn, "Mum there's that thrush" "Yeah I know I've been watching her all day" I enthused.
With typical teenage sarcasm he said "well that must have been exciting!"

Visitors stopping by with birthday wishes WAS exciting. So was two beautiful bottles of wine from Christy in exchange for blackboy peach seedlings. Thank you so MUCH Christy, it was a wonderful surprise. I'm not sure the courier was expecting to be answered at the door by someone in pink striped pyjamas though, SIGH. I was so tired from two nights of the "red head" coughing and spewing (in my bed) with swine flu that I hadn't bothered much with daily routines. The washing and showering was done in the middle of the night and he pointed out in the morning that "it's black around your eyes Mum". It also wasn't much help that he left his "special" comfort blanket with his Dad last weekend.

Other treats for me included books, seeds, chocolates, lip balm, face book shout outs, and another gift of wine at the doorstep. Also got an invite for lunch at the Indian restaurant.

Now perhaps I should clean the house for hours, or re-arrange the flowers.


Spring trio of natural scent

I LOVE Spring scents!
I was the lucky name drawn for some natural perfume from Johanna. Her blog has some great links for natural perfumes and she's just opened Argot Bazaar with some beautiful looking scented goodies for sale.


for the garden folk

It's feeling quite springy here today. A sort of restlessness for sowing and growing things has come over me. The buds have moved on the plum tree, the broad beans are starting to flower, tiny wee silver beet and mustard are popping up and the pumpkins I neglected to collect are watery and slimy but full of seeds sprouting in the middle. The only thing that slightly dampened my spirits was seeing a STINK bug in the garden.

The soil is magnificent if I do say so myself. I think I'll put the peas in here.
It's only early August I hear you say, don't get too excited.
Well I know there will be more cold snaps but I have the glasshouse and the time to do a bit of mollycoddling.
I pricked out tomatoes into trays today, they're living in the sun room.
I think in my area it's worth putting peas, broad beans, onions and coriander in over the next couple of weeks. I'll do broccoli, lettuces, silver beet and beetroot from seed as soon as the moon starts ascending. If you want to grow tomatoes from seed and have a warm place for them to be potted up until Oct then I'd start them off on top of the hot water cylinder or a heat pad at the same time if I was you. I'll be popping in a few peppers and basil as well, I only need a few of those started early as next months seedlings will probably only lag behind in fruiting by about a week or two. It's the skite factor that makes it worth it -a little competition between Dad and I.
Must do another copper spray of the fruit trees and collect seaweed for liquid brew.
Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes I know, start some more spuds sprouting.

I'd love to hear what everybody else is planting or planning.


Whanau embrace

I get the sense that folk who take the time to stop and read the ramblings here regularly, value their Grandparents, Great Aunts, Uncles and parents as much as I do. I miss my Grandmother so much at every significant stage in my life, for her wisdom and unconditional love. She was so cutely thrifty and always our strongest advocate. She saved EVERYTHING! She made notepads from recycled envelopes and saved every stamp that arrived through her letterbox, she recycled wrapping paper and mended woolen singlets until they resembled only the crosshatching of her mending.
Never touch her sewing scissors.
Put the nail scissors back in her desk.
Borrow books but return them,
don't sniff,
there's no such word as can't,
have a biscuit from the tin and make a cuppa with sucral or half a sugar.

She saved shoes and clothes from the 50's, records, letters and bottled cherries from Unca in Blenheim. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich man, Poor man, Beggar man,Thief.
Grandchildren do dishes,
table is set with side plates. Manners.
I'm not sure her EIGHT children actually know how significant she was to her grandchildren. We grew up like a family of 16, seeing each other almost every holiday and then for many of us living with her in our teenage years. When I had my first baby she settled him to sleep in her antique pram like a pro after I complained and cried that I couldn't settle him. She taught me how to wash woollens and put all his nappies through the wringer and onto the line to dry in the sun.
(She told me she loved to see babies nappies on the line to dry and wished she'd had twins like one of the neighbours did)
Her oldest great grandchild turns 18 in a week or so.
M she absolutely adored you! She thrived on making you mouilied veges and collecting you from kindy when she was caring for you.
My cousin is visiting from the UK at the moment and seeing her reminds me so much of growing up in that secure Whanau embrace. We haven't seen each other for several years but it is like we just talked yesterday.
(So good to see you P. If I win the lotto I'll be at your wedding with bells on!!!!!)
My children too relish in the family embrace.

As we did before them, the 2nd cousins bonded over Grandma's Taipo game and "tag" outside in the dark!!

Yay for a day without the distraction of technology.

Hello Jase, Ryan, Leeanne, Alison, Oli, Sam, Robin, Prue, Dave, Ellie, Rhys, Kate, Steph, Marty and Bruce.