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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Of Aubergines and Christmas Trees

Our amazingly productive aubergine's 2nd year

At the end of last Autumn I nearly pulled out the aubergine plant that we put in last Summer, thinking that it was looking a bit sorry, and it had already produced 40 - 50 awesome aubergines off the one plant. (I think it's name was Black Magic). I really didn't expect it could give us another good season - but I'm glad I listened when Derek persuaded me to just prune it back, because just is loaded with flowers and dripping with fruit again. Unbelievable! 
The secret is the warm position, plus horse poo, lawn clippings and lots of water (and no frosts here over Winter).

dripping with aubergines

Lovely Old Lady
I'm sure if this piece of furniture was alive she would be a woman - she is so shapely and beautifully proportioned.

After oil and vinegar treatment

But she needed some attention at the beauty salon when we moved her into the house so that we had somewhere to store all our kitchen gadgets, like the pasta machine, juicer, apple peeling machine, and big serving platters. 
I got out the white vinegar and olive oil 50/50 mix, and it has brought up the wood finish beautifully.
The old book sitting on the sideboard is approximately 350 years old. That's really old for something in New Zealand when you consider that Captain Cook was the first European to land in New Zealand in 1769 - 1770, just 243 years ago.

Xmas Decor
Just a few pics of the decor which is vintage and coastal themed

coastal themed, with shells and strands of sea glass
Keeping The Christmas Tree Green
It is a dilemma for some people how to have a Christmas tree and be environmentally friendly, so here's my take on it.
These trees are grown especially for the Christmas market. They raise money for St John Ambulance every year and when we are finished with the tree it can be chopped up and used on the fire. Plus I have read that blueberries particularly like pine needle mulch, so that's where some of last year's one went.
As for keeping the tree looking green, I have a pump-misting spray bottle which I spray the tree with - sometimes twice a day when it is really hot - just not when the lights are switched on. Pine trees absorb a lot of their water requirements through their needles.
Having to water the tree so much must seem strange to those in the Northern Hemisphere. 
Derek has also kindly fitted the tree with a large funnel attached to a hose (well out of sight) into the bucket that the tree sits in so we can keep it easily watered. 

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