Sultry Weather

Restios, young Kowhai trees and Kapuka (Griselinia littoralis) in front of an unusual light on the water. It looks tropical, which is what our weather has been like this last month.

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Mid Summer

I’m still madly busy, so much so that I spent a rare weekend in the city, worrying that the birds would feast on my first really big tomatoes. As it turns out, they left the really big ones alone, and there is plenty for all of us – we are really into bruschetta season now. It was raining all weekend anyway, we have had almost 4 inches – 92 mm of rain since we were here 2 weeks ago.
The first windows are in the barn house – so exciting! We are oiling more redwood weatherboards this week, and looking after vegetables in any spare time.
Here are a few photos – these are from mid January.

chard going to seed with plum tree
Ruby Chard forming seed by a plum tree. Great seeds for micro greens

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Cactus dahlia flowers

In a Vase on Monday – Dahlias

I’ve been madly busy with work and fruit and vegetables and weeds so it’s actually Tuesday, Waitangi Day here in New Zealand. This lovely coral pink dahlia showed up a week ago and I haven’t been able to find out what it is. I think I bought it a couple years ago and planted it in a place which was too shady, and then moved it last year. It’s obviously happy in full sun and new soil.
Dahlia flower and fruit
Akita when it’s like this is the Dahlia I wanted – half open I like it – I don’t like it so much when it gets full open and huge. The plums are Louisa and Satsuma, which I am drying for winter snacks.
dahlia flowers Akita
Early Spring flowers are starting to show up in the Northern Hemisphere vases, which coincides with shortening days here and thoughts of bulb planting. Check them out at Rambling in the Garden.

In a Vase on Monday – Dark Purple

This purple hydrangea left from last week’s vase seems to have gotten even darker. It’s a wonderful hydrangea which stays purple even in our acid soil – all of our other hydrangeas go BlueBlueBlue as soon as they get their roots down. This one has dark leaves as well – I think it could be called Brunette but that’s a guess as it came to me as a cutting from C’s Aunt.
vase of flowers Hydrangea rose and jasmine

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Dark Purple Hydrangea

Welcome Flowers in a Vase on Monday

Within hours my Mom will be here from the cold and snow of Canada, and I’ve picked some Dahlias, Thalictrum, and Hydrangeas for her. The Dahlias haven’t done all that well so far this year – the early hot dry spell followed by rainy weather at Christmas has left them a little tattered, but there is plenty of time left for better blooms.

vase of dark red dahlias and purple hydrangeas
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flowers against landscape

Crazy Pink Gladioli In a Vase on Monday

I’m really not sure why I grow ‘Glads’, as my Grandpa used to call them. I selected the subtlest of the available colours – 2 different softish pinks, and planted them around orange trees in a raised bed on the sunny side of the water tank. They have gone wild, shooting up in all directions, more every year, covering up the young orange trees and the runner beans behind them. I’m sure it’s the mixture of 3 manures (llama, chicken, and sheep) that made them go so mad – they are relatively normal where I’ve transplanted some to the other side of the water tank.

gladiola in garden with mountain papaya

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bee on sidonie lavender

Bee Swarm and New Queens

A bit over a month ago an enormous buzzing brought me running to see the sky clouded with bees, which quickly started to coalesce into blobs on the trees.
bee swarm in tree
After about 15 minutes they had settled into two biggish blobs on trees a few meters apart. We thought we had probably already had one swarm from Beresford’s hive, so we didn’t want to lose any more. Quickly setting up a ladder we collected the two blobs into buckets, and tipped one into a new hive, and the other into a new super separated by a sheet of newspaper from Eleanor’s hive, which wasn’t doing as well and had seemed more susceptible to Varroa.

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