Friday, 21 January 2022

Landscaped a new garden section

Dear Family & Friends

With the unusually warm weather last week, we took the opportunity to landscape another section of the garden. I planted 120 silver leaf plants called ''lambs ear'' along the pathway. We also planted a long line of rosemary and lavender plants alternately, in between the rows of  existing fruit trees.

It was a lot of planting, but all plants were free -as I propagated them myself. Glad we finished the job while the beehives are not so active in winter, to avoid being in their flight path. In a few months, this area will be very beautiful as plants takes over to cover the ground.

Growing a garden prompts us to come out for fresh air and receive a dosage of sunshine vitamin to keep us strong and happy. Let's all aim for a healthy and happy well being, specially at this time. 

Have a good day.


Friday, 14 January 2022

A win win technique

Dear Family & Friends

Last autumn, all neighbors pulls up their tomatoes/pepper plants to have a clean garden for winter season. We ended up with buckets of tomatoes, a lot of them still green, for assisting or elderly neighbor. Green tomatoes will ripen on window sill. Otherwise, you can also eat green tomatoes. 

In our garden, we leave our tomato plants to die back naturally. I don't see any sense of pulling them up just to have a clean garden. Anyway, by spring when I need a place to start planting again...they would composted themselves and my soil is enriched. A Win-win technique!

As winter is now here, we're consuming those preserved tomatoes, vital for a delicious warm winter stew meals. Let's keep warm with good meals.


Friday, 7 January 2022

Installing the plumbing system


Dear Family & Friends

A new year and work keeps going on. Right now we are surrounded with maze of pipes to be buried underground as we establish our plumbing system in the other house.

The pipes goes on a long journey.

All the way to the other end...

to meet up with the septic tank we're building.

Works goes on till sun down - I appreciate Robert and the workers who does all the hard work.

and resume again as sun rises. The goal is not far from now.

This week feels very warm for winter season - strange, but I'm also taking advantage to do my garden chores: My adrenalin rush!! 

Wishing you all a good week too!


Friday, 31 December 2021

A great new day - Happy new year 2022 too!


Dear Family & Friends

The mountains surrounding us, particularly the highest one, is visibly covered with snow. But down the valleys where we live, it's been mild winter compared to time past. In fact, it is very sunny today and a great time to carry on with some outside jobs.

Let's all get encouraged with each new day. I know tomorrow is coming but let's live and appreciate the 'beautiful''-Today. 

Don't get weary in doing well. Don't surrender in the night. Keep on doing when you know it's right. Have a great day and a great new year 2022!.


Friday, 24 December 2021

Left over

Dear Family & Friends

The year ends with lots of left over figs still on trees. We ate, we preserved, we gave away, yet we just had too much for God is so generous.

It seems like we're ungrateful and wasteful, but these left overs are not wasted. It will be food for hungry birds as winter can be harsh for them too. 

The garden year was good to us. Enough to share to other creatures too. For this, I am without excuse to remain grateful always. Hope you are all blessed too n have a happy Christmas.


Friday, 17 December 2021

Nature's Surprise

Dear Family & Friends

Nature amazes me to no end. Some time ago, I planted this flower from seed taken from a plant already growing in the garden. I need to multiply them everywhere. Bees loves this flower too!

The flower is with trumpet-like petals surrounding a center cone. But, did you know that the parent plant does not have the same petal shapes? They look similar but not really - Second photo is the parent plant. Note the flower petals.

When sun shines, let's get out- even if it's just as far as the garden area, to avail the free vitamins. Here's wishing you all a good week too!


Friday, 10 December 2021

Storing free food abundance

Dear Family & Friends

Not finished with my green tomatoes chores! I chopped a lot to freeze - ready to cook many winter healthy hot meals. I often freeze our excess garden produce since there's not many veggies we can get from our garden in winter season. This way, we have veggies all year long without having to buy from supermarket. My big chest freezer is packed with all sorts of preserved fruits and vegetables.

Food container to freeze must be labeled to easily know what's inside. Some garden harvest like pumpkins can just be kept in a cool room n will last for at least 3 months or more. We live like a squirrel, and storing food is a ''skill'' - but all these food are free, so guaranteed no famine over here!

For the moment, we see that food is free all around. We must not take it for granted. Wishing you all a productive and fruitful week too.


Friday, 3 December 2021

A humble start

 Dear Family & Friends

This is my agave baby plant- a surprise gift from the seaside resort trip a couple of months ago. I'm ''challenged'' to care for it till I can multiply them. Agave is an expensive plant as it makes a very attractive structural design statement in a garden. 

This might be a new beginning to a great adventure. I'm excited as I dream for new opportunity. In life, there's always a start and usually we have to start small with humbleness. 

This is a season of breakthrough. May we be effective in all that we do as we trust in God. Have a great week everyone!


Friday, 26 November 2021

Garden is a fascinating place

Dear Family & Friends

This is where I just came back from. As you can see, my garden is still amazingly full of colors! The grapevine on the right is making a big mess: leaves and fruits starts falling on the pathway. On the far left end is the very tall enormous walnut tree - it's also shedding it's leaves - almost bare by now.

While enjoying my gardening works....I stop from time to time to observe the nature around me. Everything fascinates me - including these two ladybirds...they're looking for places to hibernate for the cold season ahead. I mustn't clean my garden so they can have some hiding places to go.

It's a beautiful day and I hope you all have an equally beautiful day where you are too. 


Friday, 19 November 2021

Beetroot in the garden

Dear Family & Friends

This row of plants on the edge are my beetroots. Along with it, is a courgette plant with it's fruit calling me to harvest. These beets are also ready to be harvested, but they won't mind if I delay for they'll continue getting bigger in size. 

My beetroot this year is a success. It's one of our favorite food. It's a very good root veggie popular for making a red winter soup - Russian borscht.

One beetroot is big enough for us. I simply grate it, mix with garlic, salt & pepper, vinegar, a bit of sugar and olive oil. I wrap the salad in a Vietnamese rice wrapper to make a quick and yummy lunch. No cooking needed. It also makes a delicious pickle!

Let's grow and eat more veggies.. if we could. It's all great fun!! Let's all have a good and safe day too!


Friday, 12 November 2021

Update on outdoor kitchen

Dear Family & Friends

This WAS the outdoor kitchen attached to the main house when we got it. There's an open fire stone oven plus a store room, it's small- but we decided to keep and improve it.

We WILL enclose this area with big windows and glass doors that will open to an existing front grapevine arbour garden, where we can have extended outdoor sitting area.

We need a vision to see further on how this will turn beautiful and functional later on. There's an open  connection lower down to the right which leads to a couple of steps onto the semi-basement of the main house.

The roof, beams, and chimney have now been restored and replaced. There's still other works needed to be done as we keep our goals forward. We do works we could do ourselves to cut cost and learn at the same time! A Win-win thing to do!

For now, that's the work progress, but I will continue to update and inspire you on this project journey. Take care everyone and have a great week.


Friday, 5 November 2021

Keeping up with garden harvesting

Dear Family & Friends

With about 60 grapevines in the garden, by this time, we reached a point where eating them day after day can prove difficult after a while. Most of these vines we just inherited with the property. The locals usually grow them for wine - so it's grown a lot. 

A few days ago,  I discovered a new fruit variety - pink in color!. My guess, this is what they use to produce the chic rose wine ''ro-sey''! There must be around 10 different varieties of grapes growing in the garden, all colors, shapes and taste...I have to be more creative with them! I even learned to peel my grapes before eating - but don't do that, it's a waste of time! Just being silly!

The week we haven't give up on harvesting buckets and buckets of various food from the garden like an ant. There's courgette, grapes, figs, tomatoes and it was raining walnuts too! There's still more harvest to collect. This is the gift of gardening. 

We keep busy with work plans for the new week. Work keeps us motivated and inspired. Hope all your work plans goes well for this week too.


Friday, 29 October 2021

Food for our bees and food for us too

Dear Family & Friends

We care for our environment and have a soft spot for the creatures that makes it all possible for us. There's about 8 different species of bees in our garden, but only the honeybee gives us ''honey'' as a bonus, but all bees are equally important and beneficial!

Now that nearby sunflowers fields are harvested, I make sure there's always flowers in our own garden as food source for bees for as long as possible. Without the presence of the bees, a garden is not as beautiful n as bountiful. Without them, our world won't have the food we need.

Our happy beekeeper is fully geared with a smoker on one hand, to calm the honeybees as he goes about checking them and when we harvest our share of honey (''only'') that was produced for us. His wooden handbag is full of honey racks to be brought indoor to be extracted. So, grateful for what we're given this year.

Hope you've all been blessed with your work for this week too. Keep strong n healthy always. 

Friday, 22 October 2021

A very late summer holiday 2021

Dear Family & Friends 

It's autumn now, but let me take you with us for an outing: With 3 hours drive to the Black Sea coast, we had to stay overnight for the short break. It's very late for summer holiday but we got bargain deal and a place all to ourselves.

But when we arrived, the weather turned windy, cold and the sea was too rough to take a swim. So we enjoyed the smell of the sea breeze and the calming sound of the waves. That's the right attitude to have.

We observed the sea from the villa balcony for some changes but no chance for it. So we spent our time watching films. We went out to check other nearby sea resorts, and also visited an interesting tourist site called the  'swamp''. It cost free, but disappointed as we never met Shrek nor Fiona - just swampy area!!

Back in the villa, We got inspirations on how they ran their business. We also noted some ideas on how we could incorporate some of their garden designs in our own home too.- like this lanai.

Since I love plants n trees, I drooled on this ancient olive tree. I wished for one but apparently this cost around 6,000 US dollars. I had to back out - quick!!

The next day, the sun came out a bit...but the air was still too cold for a leisure swim. There was absolutely no one around, everything was closed - jut as we suspected - for summer season is over.

Yet, we were all determined to have fun - and we did. On our way back home, we spotted an up-side-down house. It's a cafe/restaurant...but of course that too was closed.

Hope you enjoyed the short trip with us even if it's just in photos...perhaps next time we could make it for real. Wishing you all the best of the new week.


Friday, 15 October 2021

Autumn gardening

Dear Family & Friends

It's the last season of the year (3 months of autumn) for me to take advantage of fun play in the garden. So, I cleared out old plants like beans, sunflowers that have already finished their job to gain the space of planting cool loving crops like carrots, beets, garlic, onions

It was also time to cut back some plants to make them look neat and to encourage them to flower some more for couple of months at least. It is sometimes overwhelming as I have a big garden to work on but to be surrounded by flowers and greens...bees and butterflies as company at my work space...I just can't complain! Thankful too that most mossies already left due to cold nights!

Hope that you're all encouraged to carry on with ''the joy of gardening'' -big or small way - if you could. I'm wishing you all a good week too.