Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New year

The morning after I hope you are not feeling as bad as he looks.

So, go celebrate, be careful, have a designated driver, or take a taxi.

Thank you to all my readers, family, friends, blogger friends, and all you folk who just stop by to take a look. You are all appreciated.

I wish for you all, an outstanding New Year

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This ' N' that

Last Christmas I bought a beautiful red Amaryllis which sat on our kitchen table, showing off it's flowers for weeks on end. After it finished flowering I still gave it a little water until the leaves died back, then I let it rest for a while. When I returned from my vacation, I started watering and feeding the plant again, and now it is rewarding me by growing new leaves, and I am hoping for flowers too.

The orchid on the right, was going to be thrown in the trash by a friend. I offered to take it off her hands to see if I can get it to flower.I went out and bought some orchid food and have done some research on the care of orchids. With lots of TLC I think I can get this one to flower.

The poinsettia Was a Christmas present to myself. I lean towards buying plants which are a little different, so that is why I chose the poinsettia with the lovely variegated foliage.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My new kiwi gardener/blogger friends

During my visit to New Zealand in November, I got to meet some blogger friends. Dinzie, from The Weekly Grind, and his lovely Mc D. They came and picked me up in Lower Hutt where I was staying, and we drove to the Wellington Botanical gardens. We started up at the top of the gardens where the cable car stops, and took in the fabulous view, then Dinzie left McD and I to walk down through the fabulous gardens, while he drove the car back down to park the car next to the beautiful rose gardens. McD and I enjoyed walking back down the trail, stopping now and again to look at the various plants, trees and shrubs before arriving at the rose gardens.
I was delighted to see up close, a Tui which was feeding on the nectar of the flowers of a flax plant. It was not bothered at all as I crept closer and closer, to get that perfect picture. Dinzie told me that since new Zealand has been eradicating the possums, the native bird population is increasing. I am very happy to know that the native birds are making a comeback.

Dinzie and MCD,
Thank you very much for taking me to see the lovely Botanical gardens,and for the tasty Chinese dinner and conversation we shared. It truly is wonderful to make new friends, especially since you are Kiwis, bloggers and gardeners.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bring on the Spring

While in New Zealand I did a little shopping in the garden section of a large department store. I was delighted to find some resin, native birds to decorate my garden here in the States.
A few days after my shopping spree, I went to stay with my brothers on their boat, and they took me shopping at a mall, where I just had to take them to the department store to show them what I had bought. I was asked why I hadn't bought the Kiwi, I replied that I did not have room in my suitcase. Both brothers looked at each other and said, "Christmas present" I told them that the Kiwi would be way too large and expensive to mail, but I got the "no worries mate"
Sunday I received an email from Graeme, saying a package had been sent, and would be here in about a week. Yesterday, I sure was surprised, when the mail delivery person, drove up to our front door, and honked the horn of her car, letting us know she had something too large for the mailbox. I thought it was something MrC. had ordered for his business, but it was the large box from New Zealand.

Not only did I get the Kiwi, there was some chocolate and Turkish Delight in the box.

The chocolate with the yellow band is Manuka Honey and almonds, Richfields Manuka Honey & Almond 70% Dark Chocolate is high in natural antioxidant's for great health benefits and is an excellent health chocolate candy bar alternative. This luxurious intense taste of rich dark chocolate is sure to help get your energy levels up when your feeling a bit flat and looking for a quick “pick me up” to get you through the day. The other Classic dark.
The Turkish Delight from Loukoumi Artisan confectioners. are Manuka Honey & Rainforest Lemon, and Feijoa Delight,

The three birds I had already purchased are, a Pukeko, a Tui, and a Kea.
The garden I have planned, will be more on the shady side so my new treasures will not be faded by the sun. I think I may have to buy a cold hardy tree fern for the garden, so the birds will feel at home.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Not enough snow

to build a snowman,

but too much to be in the garden. I officially hang up my gardening gloves, light the fire, find a book to read, and enjoy my day off.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

When ground is crunchy

underfoot, there will be no gardening today.

This morning we have our second frost of the season, and it is more severe than the first. I have hung up my garden tools and now wait for spring.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sam has nothing to do with gardening

The sole purpose of my visit to New Zealand was not to view all the gorgeous gardens,but to visit my daughter, other family members, and friends.

Sam is a three year old Bichon Frise who's job is to visit his Friends at Amaryllis House, a home for sufferers of Huntington's Disease, in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Sam and his Mum belong to a group called Canine Friends Pet therapy.

You are asking how do I know this sweet little dog. I met him as he visited Amaryllis house when I was staying there with my daughter Tina. Yes, my darling daughter is a Huntington's sufferer. The main purpose of my visit to New Zealand was to celebrate Tina's 40th birthday and I was delighted to see the looks on the faces of the residents when Sam gave them a smooch.
Quote from Sam's story in the Canine Friends Pet therapy news letter:
These people are mostly pretty sick but love touching my very soft fur and they also like a good kiss. I know officially I shouldn't kiss them, but they sometimes get tears in their eyes when I smooch them, so I think that means it's OK. Some patients cannot speak much but they manage "goodbye Sam' when I go and that is nice for Mum and me.

To read more on Sam's story, click on the link above, then on news letters in the left side bar. Sam's story is Winter 09, page four. You will also see Tina and Sam, and her friend Ally who were featured in the story

I had heard of canine therapy but never seen it in action before. I was so taken by the looks on the faces of the residents as the touched Sam (the people who were able touch him) and the ones who could not, expressed their emotions with their eyes. I can tell you I had tears in my eyes as I observed their reaction to Sam's gentle way.

Thank you Sam and your Mum for bringing so my joy to the residents of Amaryllis house, I know my Tina loves to hold you when you visit, as she is an animal lover, having worked at at an animal shelter years ago when she was well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh so lovely

During my visit to Lower Hutt New Zealand, I spent an hour walking some of the streets around the area where I was staying. This particular home and stunning garden begged to be photographed.

What a riot of lovely color and beautiful flowers. I was rather hoping the gardener would come outside, so I could have a wee chat with them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



For my freedom bought with sacrifice by others.
For the man who loves me, and is my best friend.
For all the love and laughter in my life.
For my family.
For good friends
For a job I actually like.
For the sunshine today, after days of fog.
For the beauty on this earth.
Looking out the window, I can see two rabbits, snuggled up against each other at the base of a tree, trying to keep warm. I am thankful for all the wonderful creatures we have on this earth.
For all my blogger friends.
For all the other things too numerous to mention.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and blessings on your day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I will not be able to blog until I get back home. I have been busy with family and have not taken any garden pictures yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane..........

This morning at 11am, I am beginning my journey to New Zealand so blogging will be light for a while. As I am staying in a city I have never visited before I don't know what I will encounter. I hope to take pictures of some of the Kiwi gardens. Kiwis, well many of them, are very garden proud and like to have the gardens leading up to their homes looking nice.
I can't promise I will post a lot of pictures when I am down there, but will catch up when I return home.
I had better go and get myself dressed to go and get a swine flu vaccination. Not exactly what I had in mind to start my vacation, but being in a plane, that is three different planes before arriving at my destination, and with re circulating air in them, you never know what germs are floating around you. Better to be safe than sorry.
see you all when I get back.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I am getting the hang of using this tiny keyboard on the notebook, and having to sit very close so I can see what is on the seven and a half inch screen.

I wonder how large the Rubine Brussels Sprouts will be when I return from New Zealand. I want to cook them with shallots and pancetta.

There are still a few tomatoes on a couple of plants, but they are pretty much tasteless now. Perhaps there will be a day without rain before I leave on vacation, so I can pull the plants out and clean up the bed.
Just six days before jetting out of here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Testing, testing

Next Wednesday I am leaving for a vacation in New Zealand and I plan on taking this little notebook with me. I am having to learn a slightly different way of dealing with any photos I want to post. With the help of my very PC knowledgeable sweetheart, I will have it all committed to memory in no time flat.

The garden is looking rather shabby right now, but the mushrooms are somewhat interesting. I have noticed about three different kind of mushrooms ranging in color and size from a brightish gold color to dark brown, and from two inches across to about eight inches across.
Well I managed to get the first post done using this teeny tiny notebook PC with some help, the next one I will attempt on my own.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"for cryin' out loud"

Due to lousy weather and having to work these past few days, I have not been poking around my garden. Imagine my surprise, today, when I found these plants still blooming.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Will they be the last?

A small posy of flowers still 'hanging in there' from my garden. I just know the first frost of the season will be here any time soon, and kill off the few flowers still blooming. So why not pick them and enjoy them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jack Frost hasn't been here yet

Some places in the garden are looking very forlorn and bedraggled, while in other areas there is still color.

The volunteer Nicotiana is still flourishing.

And there are still blooms on several of the geraniums. This weekend I must pull these plants to make them ready for over wintering.

I am still able to pick small bunches of sweet peas.

I suppose I should make the effort to pick the last of the tomatoes and make chutney. Perhaps this weekend I will feel like getting the job done as I really hate to see these beauties go to waste.

Two of the largest gourds are going to remain where they are until spring.

Scarlet runner beans drying on the vines for seed to be planted next growing season.

Don't you just love the hardy Nasturtiums? They just keep on producing pretty flowers.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Plants need friends too

Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's creeping up

The mornings are crisp, but not breath stealing cold yet. Trees, and plants are glowing in their fall colors making for beautiful landscapes all along the roads I drive to work.

Holly, and other assorted berry bearing trees and shrubs, have and still are changing into their winter colors. I love to pick and decorate our home with holly during the holiday season.

Yesterday, I spent time in the veggie garden, digging in compost and manure, pulling a few weeds and some of the straggly vegetables, which I knew would not produce much now. The rabbits sure enjoyed the castoff veggies as they were tossed over the fence. No wonder I have semi-tame rabbits hanging around the vegetable garden. *grin*
I have almost finished my fall cleanup of the gardens before the first frost creeps up. I feel one coming on any time now. The thermometer read 37 degrees this morning.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cuttings for next Spring

The makeshift mini green house provides humidity for about 36 cutting of various plants from the garden. The mini greenhouse is downstairs in our daylight basement, which stays at just the right temperature, and provides plenty of bright light for producing nice healthy plants.

There are, coleus, fuchsia, hibiscus, geraniums, a ground cover, lilac, forsythia, and a few others I can't remember right now.
When taking cuttings, I always dip the ends in rooting hormone before planting them. I seem to have a greater success rate of the cuttings taking using this method. Once the cuttings are growing and are starting to fill the pots, they are
then transplanted to the next larger size pot.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Harvest Monday

I almost missed Harvest Monday, oh!well better late than never.

This afternoon I dug up the Russian Fingerling potatoes. They look more like arthritic fingers and one crooked elbow *chuckle* But they sure did taste good, roasted with a few onions, beets and carrots all from the garden.
I did have some green beans sitting on the stove in a saucepan, all ready to cook, but was distracted when a friend stopped by and the roasted veggies were done before I realized I had not cooked the beans. No worries, we will eat them tomorrow.

Go on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out her harvest, and while you are there you can link to other folk's harvests.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Little works of art

Mother nature blessed us with rainbow colors throughout the summer months, and has left us with lovely little pieces of garden art for the fall.

"October is nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming - October than May. Every green thing loves to die in bright colors."
- Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, September 28, 2009

Planning for Spring 2010

Sunday I came across a 'Barn Sale' where many wonderful things were for sale. The person having the sale, used to have a gift shop and was wanting to sell off all the merchandise.

The prices were such, that I could afford to pretty much buy all I wanted. The nice lady said she has more stuff, and will be having another sale. She has my telephone number to give me a call, so I can go and see what other treasures I may find * chuckle*

I bought, pots, outdoor carpets, yard art and other
miscellaneous 'stuff'
The outdoor carpet you see on the right, will be on our patio along with the brown pots filled with a selection of plants.

A bargain were two pieces of solar yard art, and a whole bunch
of little metal birds.

The birds are copper, brown with white speckles, and a pretty eggshell blue. I have ten of these to place around the garden.
They were originally $8.50 and I bought them for 50 cents each. Who could resist?

I fell in love with the copper weather vane and added it to the pile of goodies I was putting aside to purchase.

The wind chimes weren't new like all the other things, but it has a beautiful melodious sound and I just had to have it too.

The pretty pink plaque, I bought for my daughter, and the blue and yellow outdoor carpet, will be for in front of the steps of our RV.

My car was full by the time I got done buying, Oh! what fun I had, and now, during the cold winter months ahead, I can decide where to place the pieces of decorative art, and plan what new plants I will add to the landscape.
I do bring a lot of my smaller Yard art pieces inside, during the winter months. I know it is a lot of work, but I want them to last for many years.