Sunday, March 27, 2016


The nights are now lovely and cool and some of the days are really quite autumnal (not today, it was 35degC). And the poor performing summer garden is in the past. The chillies that outshone everything can keep on shining until the frost finishes them off...  or not.

 I am enjoying the shorter day lengths, getting up in the mornings before everyone else, lighting a candle and having a cup of tea is one of my favourite times of the day. I can think or not, plan my day or just pat the cat. And there is a cosiness when it gets dark earlier.

I have been planning what to plant or sow now in the garden. Of course I have made a list.

In the summer I plant my garden with a hot-temperate climate in mind but when it switches to the cooler weather, we are more of the cool/mountainous climate being 800+ metres above sea level. Plenty of very cold days, frosts and sometimes light snow. But unlike other parts of the world, there is never a real fallow period in our garden which is both a blessing and a curse.

I should make a list for the flower seeds and plants too. Tomorrow.

I like having plenty to do.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Rubbish Summer in the Garden

 Well I suppose it doesn't look too bad now but all in all, it was a rubbish season in the garden. It started out quite promising as it usually does in spring. I planted things early hoping for no late frosts and I was rewarded this time. No late frosts. The early tomatoes and zucchini and such were the best we had for the summer. As the heat and dry dragged on and on, things just shrivelled whether they were well watered or not. I actually got to the point where I was just not bothering with plants that were struggling too much. They were a waste of water this summer when we didn't have it to waste.
And it is quite disheartening to invest so much of your time and yourself to no avail. I've had 17 summer gardens here and this was the worst one yet. But I am like most other gardeners and full of hope for next season.

 The roses gave me some flowers but really none were spectacular and two have perished completely. They were young plants that I planted as bare rooted specimens last winter and they sprouted new growth in spring but decided it was too tough here.

Dahlias were disappointing too. Some have grown and not flowered at all. Some flowered well for a while but faded fast. I hope the stress of the drought this summer has toughened them up for the future. I miss their sunny faces.

Of course not everything is a complete failure. The chillies. They have loved it. The heat, the dry. They just keep on going and get hotter I think. I'm glad something thrived in the garden this summer and are continuing to actually. But we can't live off chillies alone.

The weather has taken a toll on the soil health too wit h some beds seeming a bit hydrophobic. It looks a little lacklustre and I'm going to be adding compost and giving it a generous soaking. Green manure crops too. And just keep on loving my garden.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Five on Friday

Thank you to Amy for hosting Five on Friday. Mine is a Saturday edition due to a storm last night. Still Friday in the UK so all is good. Actually I wasn't even going to post a Five on Friday this week because I couldn't think of anything to write. But here I am with a few pictures of things that made me smile recently.
Lovely mail coming in. Look at that sweet puffin card from my lovely friend Sue.
A game of mail tag from my new Jane Austen Letter Writing Society penfriend, Carolyn.
I sent out postcards for my Goodreads group this week and a few letters too.
Definitely something to smile about.

Samurai Sudoku. Makes my inner number-nerd smile.

Baking. I love baking but I don't bake as much as I used to. Not as many mouths to feed at home now. But I did bake some cakes and slices.

Cheryll and Shez
A get together yesterday with some of the Aussie sewing blogging ladies.  What a lovely group of ladies. Very sweet and happy and nice to be around. They will all be stitching happily today at Girls' Day in the Country. Fun times.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Late Ducklings

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my blog recently especially my last post. I'm a bit behind on replying to those who I can reply to but I'll catch up this week sometime.


When it comes to new arrivals, I leave it up to the ducks to decide when is the best time and place for them to make a nest. They made an attempt earlier in the summer but I think the heat really worked against them. I even convinced myself that perhaps the drake was past his prime but I appear to be wrong on that account. Happy to be wrong I must say.

This little duckling who by the looks of things will grow up to be chocolate brown in colour and his siblings hatched out late last week. and how welcome they are even if it is very late in the season for baby ducks. I will stick with the notion that mother knows best- mother duck and mother nature.

There is a good chance that these will be the only pictures I'll share of the ducklings. They are so hard to catch even when they are just a few days old. They have an knack for ducking and weaving and evading capture and that's a good thing. Of course they don't know they are missing out so much coddling and spoiling. Lucky duck!

Have a great day,

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Nature, red in tooth and claw

Our poultry pens are like the Fort Knox of chook pens. Solid wire fences 6 feet high, buried down to a foot and a chicken wire roof. Sometimes it isn't enough. A visit from a quoll last night and we are down one chicken. It could have been worse because they are quite ferocious and will keep killing until there are no survivors. I know this. Hope and I discovered the mayhem while it was still in the pen. Chickens panicked and ducks next door in a state of distress. Still not happy today either and probably for a little while to come. I'm just grateful the damage wasn't greater.

That's nature though. Red in tooth and claw. Sadly there must be ugliness for the beauty to shine so well.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five on Friday

I have been switched off voluntarily this week and today involuntarily with my internet at home not working at all. That's ok, I'm in town now with fast and free internet and  sitting in the car typing away.
I'm joining in with Amy for Five on Friday. Thank you Amy. This week I'm using very little imagination. Just emptying my camera of pictures from the week and sharing five of them.
A lovely wreath made of magnolia. I had the loveliest cup of tea at this tea shop and look forward to another visit one day.
Pelicans were everywhere at the coast or as my Grace calls them, killer ducks after she had a run in with one years ago.

Jasmine in the herb garden.

Mulch. It's the gardening story of the week. Mulch, mulch and more mulch. Trying to keep any little bit of moisture in the soil.


Thanks for visiting. I was telling the truth, not much content at all. It is quite difficult to blog in the car.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Switched off

I've been away to the beach. Just a couple of days while we are temporary empty nesters (Hope is on a school camp). Oh how lovely it was to be switched off for a few days. And how lovely to go to the beach and swim in the sea.

And how lovely to see some rain after 7 weeks of not a drop. It is dry and brown at home but once we crossed the mountains, oh the green grass. It still exists.

What a good thing to be able to switch off, take a little break and reinvigorate the spirit.

I'm sure it has boosted my energy levels and I'm feeling ready for anything. Hope that feeling lasts.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Five on Friday

I don't seem to have much to say on the blog lately. No, that isn't true, I just don't seem to take the time to sit and write. I am rarely at a loss for words so I could quite easily write about nothing here every day of the week. Trouble is, I don't want to write about nothing.
Well, it is Friday and that means Five on Friday. Amy has been poorly this week so I do hope she is feeling better now.
This week I'm just simply going to share five good things from my week. 

The temperatures this week have cooled to be relatively pleasant, in the mid to high 30s degreesC. This picture was taken last week when apparently the coolest spot in the house, according to Puss, was the fire place.

Today's outgoing mail

A cute friendship book in and looking for somewhere to go
Letters in and out. The Month of Letters is over. I didn't write everyday nor did I send something everyday but I had fun and made some new friends. That's very good.

I love listening to music. Not just listening, I like to sing and dance to it as well. This week I've been stuck in the 70s and 80s and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I picked up my reserved books from the library so I have some good things to fill my mind during the week. A re-read of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, School's Out by Jack Sheffield and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I listened to her speak on the radio a couple of years ago and have been waiting for my library to get the book ever since.

Friday Night with Friends
It's the first Friday of the month so I am joining in with lots of other bloggers who craft and having a fun night in sewing. The big decision now, what to do? Sew, knit, crochet. We'll see?

There have been other good things too. My son visiting is the best but I didn't take any photos. My visit to the forest. A particularly good cup of tea. Lots of little things and it's nice when the good outnumber the bad.

I hope you've had a good week too.