Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas Holiday Roundup One

Home again, home again, jig-a-jig-jig! Yes, we have returned home after our Christmas break in the lovely Nelson district. The next couple of posts (or maybe more) will feature some adventures from our break away. We had a lovely time, received some wonderful presents, ate delicious, fresh food and spent time with family every day. Of course it is always lovely to return home, and this time was no exception. Fortunately we left the house in a reasonably tidy state in the frenzy of packing and wrapping gifts, so all was pleasing when we returned home. 

The first fun thing I got to do on holiday was visit the berry garden to pick berries for Christmas dinner. The place was seething with people, and Mum was rather disgusted that the strawberries were all picked out, and the raspberries had few scraggly berries remaining. Never mind, we went for berries, and returned home with plenty. 

The first obstacle at the berry garden is the very long, and (if I might say so myself), rather horribly wobbly swing bridge. I was hoping my riding skills would have improved my balance somewhat, but sadly no. The sign on the bridge did not fill me with confidence either. 

 Johnny thought I was rather brave to stop and take a photo in the middle of the bridge.

 Mum and Dad with containers ready for action. Look out, don't eat the berries! Don't step over the rows! Mind your children! You will get yelled at if you break the rules. Be warned.
 Mmmmm- look at those glossy blackberries. Couldn't resist. I broke rule number one and ate rather a lot. Lucky there wasn't a purple tongue check.

 The blackberry picking was so much fun.
 We enjoyed berries for days after Christmas Day, but they do go so well with pavlova and lashings of cream. Oh, and plum pudding.

Well, returning to Christchurch is always fun when I take a prowl around the garden to see what has grown well in my absence. There has been rather a lot of rain, so that is pleasing.

The cabbages are starting to heart up already. Sod off white butterflies!!!!
 The hostas are spectacular. The beastly slugs and snails concentrated on mauling my vege patch instead.
 Parts of the garden look like wildflower meadows in small scale. I just needed some cornflowers with the poppies.
 I am very impressed with the growth of the painted lady beans, but where are the beans? Naked stumps lurk where little beans should be developing. I've got dwarf beans coming up as a back up, fortunately.
 Having visited all three of the other gardens in the South Island tomato growing speed competition, I can confidently say I have the most tomatoes ripe at this stage in proceedings. Jim has the first ripe big tomato. Henry got the first ripe cherry tomato (well, had I checked earlier I may have beaten him- not a good idea- he is a sore loser as four year olds tend to be- ha!). Mum and Dad have the most elegantly tended tomato plants. Clearly my lateral control has a lot to be desired. One of my gardening gurus, Alys Fowler, believes that whipping out the laterals is unnatural and potentially introduces disease, and can weaken the plants. You can't beat a row of smart tomatoes in Mum and Dad's greenhouse though. Nothing weak about those sturdy stems.
Since I am still on holiday, keep an eye out for more blog entries. The wind is blowing vigorously today, but I still want to go and visit my darling equine friend this afternoon. Snuggling into her warm neck is one of life's great pleasures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay...glad to see a post from my favourite blogger!!!

Great photos. The wind did some damage in my vege patch today...buggar it, the rain was welcome though.

I have never mastered the lateral cropping toms are always wild. Will be visiting the berry farm ourselves in the near future.

Love you guys,
Meg xxx