Outdoor Shower

We fell in love with outdoor showers during our past few trips to Fire Island.  There is just something quite simple, but quite relaxing about being able to look up at the stars.

We are starting to hit the events season this year, and we thought having outdoor facilities would be a great addition (beats hiring a port-a-loo =)  Plus Ms. Weston doesn’t like cold water, so every day when she gets back from her walk in the park, or swim at the beach, we have to fill buckets with warm water and wash her off.  So a warm water tap outside would basically make our dog happy.

So in typical Rodney style, his can-do attitude and amazing work ethic meant that this quaint and amazing outdoor sink, toilet and shower were created in after-work hours in just one week.  He put the final finishing touches on it about 1 hour before our first event.

Well done babe!  A great addition to the House.

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Taranaki Garden Spectacular – Armstrong Garden

We have 2 garden festivals going on this week – the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular, and the Fringe Festival.  Together, there are almost 100 gardens open to the public.  It’s a gorgeous time of year, everything is flowering, and the weather is sunny and calm.

I visited the first garden of the Festival over the weekend the Armstrong Garden in Waitara.

Alathea has a passion for the English cottage garden style in her large town garden. Herbaceous borders are full of spring colour and fragrance, featuring a large range of perennials and annuals. Some are new and unusual sitting amongst traditional favourites.  Roses in abundance add scent and colour to this charming cottage garden.

It was truly amazing – and you can see what a labor of love it is.  This is the last year this garden will be in the festival and I am so very glad I got to see it!

Garden Spectacular

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These are the first roses from the garden this spring.  I am so proud of them, as this is the first garden I’ve ever had that has rose bushes.  I knew nothing about caring for them, and have slowly learned their cycles.  It’s wonderful to see the beautiful product of all of those steps….feeding, spraying, pruning.

Today is the first day of the Taranaki Garden Spectacular.  Over 50 local people are opening their gardens and our regional ones are in top shape for the visitors.

I’m off to get ideas, and to enjoy the beauty.  I know now what work goes into making your own patch of land look beautiful and will take time to smell all the roses!

Guilty pleasure

If someone would have stopped me when I was in my twenties and explained how much joy I would get, later in my life, from the simple pleasure of walking in my garden, that earlier version of me would have howled with laughter.

But it’s true.  The garden is just waking up into spring and just look at just some of the flowers we have so far.  Wait for the roses in a few weeks =)

Life is richer than I ever dreamed!

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Learning something new…

Peris Collage

We have this lovely tall but slim bush by our kitchen door that creates these dainty white flowers in winter.  I popped into a local florist that I love, Petal & Prickle last week, and saw them.  I had no idea I could use them in an arrangement.  I am constantly learning new things about the plants that grow here and little tips to maintaining this multi-tiered garden.

As much as I’d love visiting a florist for bouquets for the House, based on our slim budgets, I do try and source all of the flowers from the garden or surrounding parks and public spaces.  We have huge amounts of Cala Lillies growing around the Huatoki stream right now, and guests were greeted to our own Peris (or Pieris,) this past weekend.  I think the previous owners of this House would be delighted to see the flowers that they planted welcoming our guests.

Spring is in the air!

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I have tried to grow strawberries for the past 3 years.  Each time we get small little berries from the dozens of plants we put in…I dream of making strawberry jam (my favorite) and having an abundant crop, but each year I lose that battle.

I am trying a few new techniques this year and have planted 24 plants amongst our compost.  Fingers crossed!

Spring seems right around the corner.  Days are getting longer and annual gardening tasks are starting back up.  As my mom notices the start to crisp mornings in New York, I am revelling in the warmer and sunnier afternoons here.

Bring on summer!