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

Monday, May 31, 2010


There hasn't been hardly any days for the past two weeks where we didn't have some rain, and the plants have loved it.

I didn't have much luck with cucumbers last year, but I think I am heading in the right direction this time as the plants are looking so healthy.

Our rabbit, Bun, is going to be happy with all the kale I have grown for her.

Some of the tomatoes have blossoms, and if this year follows what happened in 2009, then I will have more than enough tomatoes.

The peas have started to flower and I am hoping to have a bumper crop like I did last year.

Judging by the spurt of growth from the lettuce, we will be having salads every day, and Bun will be getting her share. The wild rabbits and the compost, will also benefit from the harvest.

Bring on the cream and ice cream, our strawberries are getting fatter by the day and some are even beginning to ripen.

There are lots of little mushrooms growing in the dampest areas. This one holds a little pool of water in it's cap.

This rose was planted by a previous owner and is un-named.

Crown Sunset.

Just love the color of this snapdragon which returns year after year.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


We have had two days of fairly steady rain, but this morning I see blue sky and sunshine. I love the way the spiderweb has captured and held the raindrops. I used to always call them cobwebs, but have discovered the difference in meaning, since reading about them on Wikipedia.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I love this ancient plant, with tall stems bearing tubular flowers which are spotted inside. However caution is advised, as due to the presence of cardiac glycoside digitoxin,
the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are poisonous to humans and some animals and can be fatal if eaten.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


AWESOME, SPECTACULAR, and any other adjectives you wish to use, to describe the beauty of the Golden chain tree arbors. These are to be found at Bayview Farm and Garden where I buy most of my plants.
Golden Chain trees have been trained to grow over two large arbors, creating two golden tunnels to walk through.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I was taking photos of the birds who eat at one of my feeders and did not notice until I downloaded the photos and viewed them close up, that this blue jay is missing half of it's top beak.

The bird certainly didn't seem to have any difficulty picking up and eating the seeds, and it looks as though it is getting enough to eat.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beautiful not boring

I decided right at the planning stage, that my vegetable garden was not going to be without color and interesting things to look at.

A friend gave me some iris tubers he had split up, so I created a narrow bed all around the outside perimeter of the vegetable garden.

This is the second year for the iris, so they are well settled in, and are rewarding me with some mighty fine blooms.

What a pretty color combination.

Luscious, just like peach sherbet.

The white iris has the tiniest hint of lavender in the very center.

I also have pots of flowers and herbs in one corner of the garden. In the yellow pot I planted stock, not only do they have such beautiful colors their perfume is a delight.

Stock also take me on a trip down memory lane, of a time spent in my Mother's garden, as this is a flower she liked to grow.

Peas are starting to climb, and the lettuce is almost growing faster than we can eat it, although we do get some help from our pet rabbit with that and the kale.

When we arrived back from a weeks vacation, I was surprised to see how much the tomato plants had grown. They were about halfway up inside their water cages and now you can see they are out the top. The gladioli in the bed behind the tomatoes also put on a spurt of growth.
Along with flowers for added interest in the garden, I have a statue of Quan Yin , the top of an old hand operated water pump, various resin critters, like frogs and turtles I bought from the dollar store, and a hummingbird feeder so I can watch the cute little birds while I am working in my garden.
Sometimes, when the mornings are warm ( I am hoping this happens soon ) I take my morning coffee outside and sit in the garden watching the hummers sipping sugar water and admiring the vegetables and flowers.
Ahh! life is good when there is so much to enrich our lives.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Houseboat gardens

I must admit that I found very little in the way of attractive houseboat gardens in Amsterdam.

Not a very pretty sight, but after all it is early Spring, so perhaps the gardener who lives on the houseboat had not got around to planting flowers yet.

This houseboat had many pots and containers of plants.

I noticed that the houseboat gardeners used every little bit of available space for pots of plants that they could.

This one really could use some work.

Amsterdam is a very interesting city, and as we walked around, I noticed that there really wasn't a whole lot of room for gardens. I did see the occasional window box and pots filled with a few flowers, and some of the rooftop patios had flowers and vegetables growing in pots.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I loved about Holland--- part one

The hotel we stayed at in Winterswijk, Holland, is located in beautiful surroundings. As you leave one of the entrances to the hotel, you see across the driveway, a quaint brick building surrounded by a butterfly garden. Last year, Spring had arrived earlier and although there were some flowers blooming there were no butterflies. This year Spring was very late so there were very few flowers, and again no butterflies. To make up for the lack of plant and insect life, the birds were singing providing a lovely chorus.
This is a video of the butterfly garden with birdsong sound effects.

Every morning 4:14 to 4:20am a particular kind of bird would begin to sing outside our room window. I was fascinated by the range of sounds from the bird, and would listen trying to count all the different mini songs making up the whole performance, but I would drop off to sleep and never did count all the mini-songs.
I did some research, and think what I was hearing is the song of a Nightingale

Monday, May 17, 2010

We may have to spend unplanned time in Holland.

Sorry I have not managed to post during our vacation in Holland. I had plans to take pictures of some of the lovely gardens in Winterswijk yesterday, when I went for a bike ride around parts of the city. Unfortunately I took a spill off the bicycle and was unable to continue on my ride, as I injured myself. I did take some pictures in Amsterdam this morning during our walk around the city, so when we get home. I say when because the volcano in Iceland is spewing ash again, and a flight this morning was cancelled, and ours tomorrow may be also. I have a post up on Keewee's Corner with a little more information.
Cross your fingers for us, we really don't want to spend any extra time hanging out in the airport here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Poor Cauliflower, call the plant doctor.

Too late to doctor this one.
My cauliflower are dying and I don't know why. My search of the internet turned up several reasons why cauliflower fail, but I don't know which of them pertains to mine.

In the same raised bed as the cauliflower, there is a bumper crop of lettuce and Swiss chard, go figure!

Nothing wrong with the kale and Chinese cabbage. It should be ready for picking next week when we get back from vacation.

The iris have popped in this nice sunny weather.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Remembering Mum

My Mother passed away four years ago this September.
It was at her side, as she went about enjoying her garden, that I first fell in love with flowers. Mum told me that when I was a wee tot, I would go out into her garden and pick flowers for her, only the stems were always just a couple of inches long, so she had to float the flowers in dishes of water. As I grew older, I wasn't so much into the care of the gardens, but more interested in the plants which grew there, and I soon developed a love for Particular flowers. Mum always grew Gladioli, so now I have many growing in my garden, not only because I like them, but because they remind me of Gladys (Glady, my Mother)
Grandmother Minnie, and Grandfather Jack, also had wonderful gardens I spent time in as I grew up, discovering the beauty of many plants, so it isn't at all unusual that I now have such a love of gardening.
Thank you Mum, for introducing me to the wonders of creating and caring for such beauty.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mother nature and entertainment (sing along)

(sung to "Three Blind Mice")

Three main things, three main things.
Green plants need, green plants need.

For plants to grow, for plants to thrive,
In order to keep green plants alive,

What does it take so they'll survive?
Three main things!

Plants need sun, plants need sun,
That's number one, plants need sun.

For plants to grow, for plants to thrive,
In order to keep green plants alive,

What does it take so they'll survive?
Plants need sun!

Plants need air, plants need air,
Be aware, plants need air.

For plants to grow, for plants to thrive,
In order to keep green plants alive,

What does it take so they'll survive?
Plants need air!

Plants need water, plants need water,
'Specially when it's hotter, plants need water.

For plants to grow, for plants to thrive,
In order to keep green plants alive,

What does it take so they'll survive?
Plants need water!