Frog Pond Farm
Posted on February 19, 2015
by Cecilia Mary Gunther
Good morning. The weather here in California is mild and a little foggy… though foggy is not unusual in the Central Valley. In Illinois it is bitterly cold and blowing.. though cold is not unusual either at this time of year but bitter with wind is just plain mean. John and Jake are giving the animals extra straw for their beds. I am sleeping IN in my bed. (sorry Sheila). And Now.. How about some summer! We are off to New Zealand.. of course..
Welcome to a Julie from Frog Pond Farm .
My hubby Andrew and I live on a lifestyle block in West Auckland, New Zealand and have lived here since 2005 when we decided to flee from city life ditching those suits and high heels enroute which were quickly replaced by farm gears and gummies, a change that made our friends scratch their heads in wonder. And fair enough too.
Our 10-acre property isn’t undulating, truth is it is rather hilly. Which means no gym classes required, but the need for an ATV to make our life a whole lot easier.
We practice organics too, a decision that just seemed like the perfect fit for us as did the secatuers in my hand and my foot on a shovel. Farm life – the Bonners have arrived.
Of course being novices as we were then, it was easy to put the orchard in the wrong place (miles away from the house) and position our chicken coup on top of a hill?
But at least our raised garden beds which are also positioned on hilly terrain, have been cleverly built into the land. There are times that I really dislike our hill garden (when I slip in the rain), but there are also advantages too, good drainage, shelter from the SW wind and all day sun and you have to love that! While not that close to the backyard, a hop, skip and jump will see you through the gap in the hedge and into their space. And their isn’t anything better than growing your own tucker!
I’m a nutty gardener who loves nothing more than splashing about homemade seaweed brews, growing my soil, making compost, mulching, planting flowers in my veg garden and talking to my plants 🙂
Frog Pond Farm is more of a park than a farm to be honest. We are so fortunate to have native forest and flora (a morepork owl and wood pigeons), 600 pine trees which isn’t so great (LOL), a duck pond that flows into a creek that meanders across the property and past our orchard which has a magical selection of fruit.
Most places have an array of uninvited guests and ours is no different, we have possums, rabbits, wild ducks and turkeys who also enjoy a stop over in our orchard (shame on them).
Then there are our animals – two rather plump dorpa x sheep, Poppy and Lucy and 15 free range 24/7 hens, who being devoid of a male companion bicker a bit .. you know hen picking stuff!
They do produce the best eggs though and are super lucky to have a large paddock dedicated to their chook antics which they share with their 2 fleecy companions.
Our slice of heaven, is also near the west coast of NZ and it is only a short drive to our local beach, Muriwai which is renown for its black sand, surfing enthusiasts and where our border Collie Dan gets his daily walk.
Ah New Zealand .. you are just glorious! But then I’m a kiwi and I’m a tad bias.
Thank you so much Celi for this wonderful opportunity!
It surely is a slice of heaven Julie. I adore that view down to the gate.
Hi Anne … thank you. I really enjoy that view to the gate too! Nothing like a garden on a hill 🙂
hello Judy,welcome into my home (via internet) it has been great to read about your wonderful life in NZ…and what beautiful, beautiful animals you have. I love your house , it is so quaint, not small quaint, but in a nice way. It is a house with character , that is what I mean….Thank you so much for sharing a wee bit of your life with us… love and blessings
It sure is a house with character. Thank you so much for your kind words. I love sharing with others .. how lucky to be able to do this! Love and blessings back at you 🙂
Frog Pond Farm sounds heavenly!
Hi .. it sure is. Hard work but so worth it .. thank you
Julie, I am agog at your beautiful pictures. I wish I were younger, to come and visit New Zealand. It is spectacular, as is your lifestyle.
Oh what a lovely thing to say .. so pleased you enjoyed my photos. You would love NZ, it really is a beautiful place .. we are so lucky! 😀
Julie, you live in a farming paradise! Your pictures look like fine art paintings. And the beach – well , sigh, heavenly! I would suggest that when you can, you move your chooks closer to your house and put in a green house split 50/50 with plants and chickens so you don’t have to go so far to pick up your eggs. LOL Or leave that chook house for meat chickens and put your laying hens closer with the green house. Just a thought. Since you live in Permaculture Design land, maybe you know of Geoff Lawton who is either a kiwi or an ausi, but your neck of the Pacific. 🙂 Your farm is an inspiration and so beautiful. Lucky you! Diann Dirks, Certified Permaculture Designer – thegardenladyofga.wordpress.com living in Auburn, Ga. in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian range.
Oh thank you! And yes it would be ideal to move my girls closer to the house, I have been thinking about doing this for a while now – never too late is it 🙂 I haven’t heard of Geoff Lawton but I have read a book called Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway – a fabulous insight into Permaculture. Thank you for your kind words I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit. I must check out Diann Dirks too …
You must be the picture of health, yourself, from tending to your beautiful farm. The photos are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
Hey Bev, this farm sure keeps us busy. It is a lovely place, we’re so lucky. Glad you like the pics and so nice to be able to share it with you 🙂
Magical place you have shown us this morning, and I love the name…Frog Pond Farm. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Oh thank you Deb! Hubby chose Frog Pond Farm .. glad that you stopped by
Hi Julie, I have been enjoying your blog for a while, found you on the Farmy (where else 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever commented though. I remember being fascinated by the black sand when I visited back in 2003. You think it is an optical illusion until you actually pick up a handful. Your gardens are beautiful. Laura
Hi! Oh I was so pleased when I read that you have been visiting for awhile. Isn’t the blogging world wonderful? I won’t forget the first time I saw black sand either … I get to see loads of it daily though as hubby takes the pooch for a walk and brings it back on his feet LOL … thanks so much Laura, so nice to hear from you!
Hi Julie I love your photos and your place looks idyllic, I love the photo of the grassy path going down to a gate into a field. I could just imagine walking down there in the sunshine, bliss. Ohh and the sea I love the sea x
It is so easy to love the sea isn’t it? We are so lucky having the beach relatively close (the pooch goes there every day) .. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics. The view down to the gate is a favourite of mine – such a nice spot to be 🙂
Hi Julie, That’s some beautiful land you’ve got. I’ve always loved the rolling meadows and hills type country. Here in Vancouver there are huge mountains and in Oxfordshire it’s so very flat that sometimes it’s quite depressing. That rolling country is the most beautiful to me. Off now to check out your blog. 😀
Hey Veronica .. I love the rolling country too. The views are always so beautiful. Nice to know that you are off to see my blog, I hope you enjoy! 😀
And your weather, your wonderful warm weather! Such a gorgeous piece of paradise! A very special place indeed!
We have just had the hottest summer in ages .. phew, I’m really looking forward to autumn! Thank you I think it is a very special place too …
The green lushness of your farm is precisely what I needed to see on this sub-zero morning in Minnesota. Minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit here. But sunny.
Oh boy I can’t imagine it being minus 16! So pleased that I ‘warmed’ up your day. We have just had such a hot dry summer … bring on autumn and some rain 🙂
Your photographs are beautiful… my favorites are Dan and the hens! That is some gorgeous piece of land you’ve created and nurtured. When I see the photographs, it’s evident that the country life agrees with you, and everyone and everything flourishes there! Thanks for sharing with us, Julie!
Oh thank you. It’s hard to believe that Dan loathes having his photo taken 🙂 We are so very lucky with this place – years of hard work, but so worth it. And yes you are so right, country life does agree with me, I couldn’t imagine living in the city any more. How nice to be able to change and experience this. I love being able to share this with you too 😀
Gorgeous photos…I would love to explore your hill garden. So enticing…
Thank you! That hill garden is wonderful – best drainage ever! LOL So pleased you enjoyed the pics …
When we visited New Zealand, the black sand stood out to me. California has white sand. Very beautiful place, New Zealand. Also needed to mention, NO HEELS!!!? Even on Saturday?? 😉
Ha ha ha … I used to live in heels, can barely walk in ones that are high now! LOL .. still makes me laugh. That black sand sure stands out. The east coast of NZ has white sand too .. It is a beautiful place, so nice to be able to live here! Thanks for stopping by …
I’ve longed to visit New Zealand for as long as I can remember. And been afraid to, in case I didn’t want to come home (Ontario, Canada)! To live in such lush surroundings and be able to walk on an ocean beach every day sure sounds like heaven. Thank-you, Julie.
Hi Susan … come anyway 😀 but make sure you bring that camera. I would so love to go to Canada .. it is so beautiful! Yes we are so very lucky living here – I think it is much like heaven. Thanks so much for your lovely comments
You home is lovely. The gingerbread (trim) really makes it look like a storybook home, and the gardens carry some magic I am sure!!! Thank you for the post!!! I need to hop over to your blog more often!
Thank you! I like that gingerbread trim … Yes the gardens are magical, I’m lured out there often. Nothing beats growing your own tucker. Glad you enjoyed the post and do ‘hop’ over to Frog Pond 😀
minus twenty at home this morning. all these lovely colours are like a promise.. c
Hi Celi .. hope you are enjoying your break! 😀
And I thought I am not a jealous person at all…well, until I looked at the sunny pictures. I just came back from outside with our dogs and felt frozen. Enjoy your trip. It is -10 here today brrrrrrrrrrrrr
A long hot dry summer .. glad you enjoyed the sunny pics 🙂
Thank you – I think so too 😀
I think you Kiwis are the luckiest people on the planet. Always have.
You know, I think you may be right! 😀
No more heels? Looks like a great choice. Frog Pond Farm looks like a lovely place to be.
I used to wear them all the time – now I can barely walk in them! LOL … Yes Frog Pond Farm is a special place to be. Thank you!
Your photos are really spectacular. I was thinking Garden of Eden, nothing short of! I love the color of your roof and house. That special shade of blue could not be more beautiful. I must confess I had to write down several words I never heard (secatures, tucker, morepork owl) that I’ll have to look up. I was surprised to learn that Dan is a Border collie. I’ve never seen an all-white one–I have seen blue merles tho. Anyway, he’s gorgeous. I’ll bet he loves the shore! Does he round up the birds? Here in Chicago, they “hired” a couple of Border collies to run some pesky birds away from Lake Michigan beaches.
Thank you for sharing!
Hi and thank you so much for your wonderful comments! Oh I like that ‘Garden of Eden’! I think so too 😉 People have had to look up my words before LOL … Yes Dan is a border collie but has some recessive gene. Handsome chap who adores my hubby. He loves loves the beach … but refuses flatly to go for a swim! Now as it happens he does round up birds. You can ask him to chase away the wild ducks and he will avoiding the chickens as he goes. Nice to know he understands english! So pleased to be able to share our place with you 😀
Thank you 😀
So lovely, lush and green! It looks warm too! Thanks for sharing your sunshine, we are iced in here in Arkansas.
It is lush and green and it has literally just started to rain! Yay … We have had such a hot dry summer. So pleased to share some sunshine with you …
Julie, your garden and house look beautiful . I also like splashing around in homemade brews like the juice from my worm box. I briefly checked your blog and love it. Do you have a recipe for your kelp brew ?
Oh thank you so much. Ah you like splashing about homemade brews too … my seaweed concoction is literally kelp from the local beach and fish heads and bodies, add water and let it decompose, which it does very quickly at this time of year. Must dilute it though when I splash it about as it is strong stuff! Gosh if you lived closer I’d love to give you some 🙂 One thing I don’t have is a worm farm … the juice is wonderful stuff isn’t it? Thanks for dropping by my blog, so pleased that you enjoyed
Absolutely stunning Julie, a slice of heaven in New Zealand. Your photos are so inviting- I’m in the garden and at that beach- you transport us to your world.
Oh Francesca you are such a gorgeous girl! Thank you so much for popping over to Celi’s … how lovely to see you here. I love being able to transport you around .. you see, you do a superb job of doing it too. 😀
Just love your garden. I also garden on a very hilly place so drainage is not an issue but losing secaters, spades and rakes is an everyday occurrence. I also gave away heels many years ago and wear paddock boots all the time, consequently sock marks on my ankles whenever I wear sandals. A word to the wise, moving chooks closer to the house could mean having to fence your veg plot. Love from across the ditch. Joy
Hey Joy. Gosh, I lose my secatuers, spades, rakes and brooms all the time. LOL … I’m a shocker. I have that ring around the leg too, but mine is higher as I live in my gumboots even in summer. Oh dear 🙂 I know, if I moved those chooks closer they would be in heaven and my veg garden destroyed! Great to hear from you …
Even as a semi-rural Aussie surrounded by the beauty of the Southern Highlands of NSW I have to admit you live on one of the loveliest lush and green properties possible and have obviously created a very magical place. Love Dan of course: would love to go for a beach walk with him 🙂 ! The last photo invites especially since I have been glued to the TV for a couple of hours watching a Category 5 cyclone with max winds of 295 km and 1/2 metre of rain forecast crossing our mid-Queensland coast which normally boasts scenery just like yours . . .
Hi, so pleased that you enjoyed your visit! Now anytime you want to take the pooch for a walk … 🙂 Oh gee, Queensland can really cop some nasty weather can’t it – a country of extremes. I lived in Melbourne for many years – love the place 🙂 Thanks for stopping by
How refreshing to experience the green and the beautiful country of New Zealand even vicariously from what is currently dull, humid Sydney just across the way. I love your place, the company you share it with and your lifestyle… it looks very storybook but at the same time as you describe it, very real and liveable. Wonderful post 🙂
Ah, Sydney’s weather reminds me so much of Auckland where we are .. humid! And today is no different 🙂 Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. It is so very real and liveable!
Lovely, stunning and gorgeous as always!
Gorgeous girl! Thanks Julie 😃
Love your house and all that lush greenery! Here in Wisconsin we’re desperate for green this time of year. I hear you on the hills, I have my round pen for the horses in the front yard, flattest spot I could find!
I love that … I hear you on the hills! I have friends that have nice flat farms and get a tad green with envy … only a wee bit mind you. I have got so used to our place now – staggering around my garden LOL … Glad to be able to share some greenery with you Sherry 😀
Julie, I felt so at home visiting your post. My special beach is just down the coast from you, at Te Henga, and on an active day we could actually walk from one to the other. Your land looks so green and productive and the house is beautiful.
Oh wow Juliet, I just googled Te Henga. You are so close! I don’t mind walking either 🙂 Thank you so much for your lovely comments, I’m so pleased you felt at home .. yay
Beautiful slice of heaven! New Zealand tourism should pay you for the wonderful publicity you, your photos and your blog give to your great Country.
Hello Miss … good to see you here. Love it! Thanks for that comment .. I have a red face. Gotta love NZ 🙂
Reblogged this on Effervescent Francois! and commented:
Frog ponds coming soon!
Thank you ..
Somebody once told me that the climate in new Zealand is similar to ours in Ireland. Only sixteen days until our clocks spring forward, and your photos bring hope of bright days and lush greenery. Thank you for taking care of the farmy for a day.
We do get quite a lot of rain in Auckland – but in saying that it has been a very dry summer. Oh you are counting down the days – I don’t blame you. I’m looking so forward to autumn. I’m so pleased that my photos brought some brightness and greenery. And it was my absolute pleasure to look after the farmy for a day. I’m so very lucky 😀
Thank you for this visit with Julie and Andrew, Cecilia. Nice blog you have there. I always love visiting with Frog Pond Farm too. Great stories, warmth, and lovely pictures.
What a lovely place you have. Nice view down the path to the gate. And near the beach! You have the best of all worlds in one spot. Thanks for sharing it with us.