Make Make sure that there is plenty of compost and sheep pellets in your spring garden. Also a good spray with a liquid fertilizer helps to make plants stronger and less likely to get any diseases. Get one of the fancy ‘clip the hose on and turn the tap to spray’ jobbies and it is so easy to spray high and low. This makes it simple to spray the leaves of fruit and ornamental trees to give them a good feed. A trick to help your new plants to ‘take off’ is to soak in a solution of liquid manure just before planting them out.
We haI've planted out tomatoes and butternut squash in the main garden, along with courgettes, lettuce and radish in the top plot. They are growing every day so we are hoping for a good early crop.
Our ClThe Cliffs Kidney potatoes are well up so should be delicious for Christmas.
Plant Plant all salad greens now and harvest by picking the leaves as needed. Spring onions can be cut about 2cm from the base and they will ‘come again’ with another top, giving you twice the value.
Our stStrawberries are starting to flower and we are still harvesting cauli, silverbeet, miners lettuce, cabbage and spring onions.
In the In the flower garden the fuchias are looking stunning. I planted them last year and left the bulbs in the ground. We are lucky as our soil does not get water logged over winter and bulbs can quite happily stay in the ground all year. The clivia are also looking very bright in a shaded corner and the creeping rata is showing colour on the bank.
Birds Birds are still very active in and around the garden. This big guy has been eating the peach blossoms and fertilizing the kowhai. I also heard my first shining cuckoo on Monday last week. I am sure they are arriving earlier every year.
Captions: The rata is starting to show its colours on the bank.
Clivia brighten up a dark corner
Fridge biscuits mu Mum's 'go to' for school holidays.
Wood pigeon loves the kowhai flowers.
With the kids home for the holidays, the cake tins will be taking a beating. Here are a couple of recipes that will help to fill the tins and the hollow legs without breaking the bank.
One of my mother’s ‘go to’ for the holidays.
225g butter, ¾ cup brown sugar packed down into the cup, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla, 3½ cups flour, 3tsp Baking powder, pinch salt.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add flour, baking powder and salt and combine well.
It will be a fairly stiff dough.
Divide into three and add flavourings. Chocolate chips, peanut butter and roasted nuts, cheese and mustard, coffee, sultanas or whatever you like.
Mix well together and roll each batch into 5cm sausage and wrap in baking paper.
Place in fridge for at least two hours before slicing into thin biscuits and baking 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden.
The beauty of this dough is that it can be left in the fridge and baked as needed.
Another way to stretch the dollar.
Take 1 x 500g pack of bright golden apricots and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak at least 24 hours.
Remove fruit and save the liquid. Roughly tear or chop the apricots.
Place into an oven proof bowl and add ½ cup sugar, the reserved liquid plus 1 cup water, ¾ cup sago.
Stir until combined and bake in a 135 degree oven for two hours. Stir at least twice during baking.
Can be served hot or cold (I prefer it cold) with cream or ice cream.
Other fruits can be used, rhubarb, berries or peaches, but there is no need to soak them if they are fresh or frozen.