Sunday, 7 February 2016

Snapshots from January

 Hi friends. Here is my first lot of phone snapshots from the new year. The weather was all over the place, keeping a semi-regular schedule of its own... A few day of hot temperatures, then a couple of days of cloud. Some rainy days. Then repeat from the start. The garden (and weeds) are flourishing, and as long as we keep getting the warm temps, I'm not complaining too hard.

 I started the year with a quick project for my niece's 4th birthday. She wasn't super impressed with the handbag to begin with (as she opened it, she muttered to herself, "oh, I hope it's not a hat!") but I'm hoping it will find its way to the dress-up box and be useful in the future! The pattern is from Tangled Happy - if you want to disappoint a 4 year old in your life, you can find it here.

 It was an exciting day when I picked the first tomatoes of the season! These Juliet cherry tomatoes were ready on the 5th of January and they were quickly followed by Orange King... I'll go into more detail about tomatoes in another post, but they are all doing quite well this year.

 I continued working on my Greg blanket. Once all the squares were completed it didn't take too long to join it up, and it was a good way to spend a few grey afternoons.

 Before I went back to work after my summer holiday, I spent a few days with Mum in Timaru. On one day we drove down to Riverstone in Oamaru. This is a restaurant surrounded by lush, mostly kitchen gardens. They grow all their own produce for the restaurant and visitors are free to wander around and take it in. It's quite a drive to get there but worth the effort! We had a lovely wander around the gardens, before sitting on a sheltered bench with coffee and a punnet of delicious locally-grown cherries.

 This is another vista from Riverstone. And a view of my propagation station (set up on the top of a compost bin)... I've said before that you can never have too much lavender!

 Back in my garden, the bees are getting busy. My garden flourishes mostly thanks to the efforts of bumblebees. There are a few honey bees around, but as we all know they are in decline so I'm glad for the work of my bumbly friends!

 I finished The Luminaries on my second read. It was good, but I think could really have been edited into something a lot slicker. There was a lot of unnecessary epilogue stuff at the end, filling out plot points that had already been explained. I also finished Greg (details in this post).

 More tomatoes in my harvest basket - also spring onions, zucchini and beans. The glasshouse is in full on production mode and becoming more of a jungle with each day!

And the month ended on the saddest possible note with the passing of Mr Lui. Still missing him like crazy, but taking heart from these pictures showing him enjoying the everyday pleasures. He mostly had a very happy month.


  1. Your vege garden is looking fabulous, and so jealous of you already getting tomatoes. I have heaps but only one solitary one has decided to ripen so far. My cherry tomatoes are doing well though and producing heaps of sweet fruit.
    Do you have some handy hints on propagating lavender, when is the right time and what part you prune the cuttings from? Would love to try it out.

    1. I've tried three batches of lavender cuttings this season. The most successful were the ones taken in early spring, of the new growth on the plants just before the flower buds appeared. I took some more cuttings in late spring when the plants were in flower and these were less successful, in fact about 95% of them died! I tried again a couple of weeks ago, just cutting new growth off the plants, and so far they look all right.
      I have a bottle of root hormone that I dip the cuttings in, and then I put them into little punnets of cutting mix (you can get big bags of it for about $10 that last for years!) Keep them well watered and out of direct sun.
      Hopefully this second lot will take, as I have a few new beds that need edging!

    2. Thanks, maybe will wait till next Spring.

  2. Oh I am so sorry to read about Mr Lui. It is horrible to lose a much loved pet. He looks very sweet in that last photo.
    I was particularly interested to read about the restaurant with the kitchen garden attached. I love places like that. How wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Sarah. Riverstone, the restaurant was amazing and gave me plenty of ideas for my garden at home! It was the best kind of outing :)



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