The weather experts said there will be snow about Banks Peninsula, unluckily for me, there’s only lots of rain, sleet, and hail. I missed seeing snow covering the valley.

2011-08-16 08.49.06

This happened in 2011. It is sooooo beautiful! And it only lasted a day.

2014-07-19 07.33.22

Well, it did snow this week, just not down low. Still, no sign of the coldest day to come.

2014-07-23 16.41.45

Accumulated rainfall this week, 59mm. This week’s high 9.2dC, low 0.1dC. River flow peaked at 19.29 cubic meters per second, and 3.055m water level. The river flow chart showed a pretty steep climb indicating that the ground has reached saturation point. Waterfalls have also formed again on the hill across the road.

2014-07-23 15.11.42

The poo weather cleared up in the afternoon much to my pleasure. I ventured into the forest garden and discovered this white borage. Borage usually comes in blue, whites don’t germinate that willingly and thus pretty rare. I sow a pack of seeds last season and only one plant came up. I thought I won’t be seeing them again. What a pleasant surprise!

2014-07-23 14.42.22

The raised vege beds will now have more wind protection. Took me long enough to come up with this idea but I am grateful that I did came up with it eventually. It is a very cheap and simple system that is neither over-complicated nor over-engineered.

2014-07-23 16.40.47

I hope it works. And I will finally be able to get the plants growing well. The windbreak is stretched at the top with bamboo stakes and held up with elastic rope to ensure it is taut and does not flat around and hit the plants. I use knitted windbreak instead of mikroclima for durability.

Vege Garden v2

This is a revised conceptualization of Season 2015/16 vege garden. The mikroclima structure is cut down to 5.4m by 1.8m. The 2 light blue units will look something like the strawberries bed, except, higher structure, 1.5m perhaps, and covered with agphane. More heat, for plants that demands more heat. I will probably dedicate it to growing paprikas.

2014-07-23 16.41.15

The trellis support for the Belgian Fence is up. Newton Pippin on mm102 is the third addition to the fence so far, it arrived from Treedimensions yesterday. Newton Pippin, this variety originated as a chance seedling (a “pippin”) on the Gershom Moore estate in the village of Newtown (now called Elmhurst; the Moore property stood in the vicinity of what is now Broadway and 45th Avenue) in Queens County on Long Island, New York in the late 17th or early 18th century. It was widely grown and praised in colonial America. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote from Paris that “they have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin.”.  The more I think about the Belgian Fence idea, the more I like it, for it can happen very quickly. Reason being, it only required each plant to grow into a Y-shape., instead of multiple stacks of T, which will take years. If a plant is able to grow well, it can pretty much established the Y-shape in a single season, or two.

2014-07-23 16.43.51

Emperor Alexander on mm102 and Glockenapfel on m793 from Treedimensions have also been planted into the greater food forest. Emperor Alexander, a variety of good-looking, large, red-flushed blushed, dual-purpose apple with white flesh from the Ukraine, known in the 1700s. Cooks to a lemon-coloured purée. Glockenapfel, a very old European apple variety with a distinctive bell-like shape. Named for its bell-shaped fruit, stores and travels very well, good pollinator, popular in Switzerland for making apple strudel.

Dieter was kind enough to send me Glockenapfel on m793 when he don’t have them on mm106 as requested. However, that means that I can’t plant it among other ancient varieties which were to be managed in a more compact manner. Apples on m793 rootstock grow larger, hence I moved it to the greater food forest where trees are allowed to grow bigger.

2014-07-23 14.49.45


This will be the ultimate foot reflexology treatment. Barefoot across a patch of nettles.


The Orchard Cottage this week. Bare-rooted fruit trees are starting to arrive in the mail. Woohoo!!!