Friday, March 8, 2019

photos of flowers and things

The other morning when we came inside for breakfast after taking the girls to their schools, stacking a load of firewood in the woodshed and bottling up 12 jars of tomatoes sauce for the Fowlers machine, Farmer Bren looked at me and said 'I get it, this is who we are. This is what we do. This is our life'. 

I guess when you're so deeply involved in what you do sometimes it's hard to remember that not everyone is doing it the same way as you. Not everyone grows a lot of their food from tiny seeds; not everyone makes their muesli from the contents of about 15 jars each morning; not everyone lives so far from their closest neighbours that if they went outside and screamed as loudly as they could no-one would hear them; not everyone could have their growing season ended by one surprise weather event; not everyone uses fire to heat their houses and cook on; not everyone has a kitchen floor that's covered with crates full of autumn bounty ready to be preserved; not everyone only ever eats cucumbers and tomatoes when they are in season; and not everyone owns two pairs of the same boots - one for work and one for town.

There are some things about our world that probably sound so foreign to some people, like the fact that we have a mob of about 50 kangaroos that live on our property and most of the time don't bother us, but sometimes tear the nets in the orchards and eat all the apples. I'm sure there are koalas here too, although I've only ever seen one.

And lots of things I do feel terribly ordinary, like looking at my phone too much, trying to problem-solve for my kids a lot, and boring old housework (only ever the minimum I can get away with though).

I don't actually know what this is all about. My head's a bit cloudy today. I guess what Bren said, plus the messages you guys send me often telling me how different my world is to yours, reminds me to notice the special bits, encourages me to remember the choices we've made, and allows me to see the beauty.

I think that's enough words for today. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

I'd love you to tell me a bit about how your world differs from mine, or from those around you. It doesn't need to be big, just anything really.

Wishing you a happy International Women's Day!

And a fabulous weekend.

See you next week.

Love, Kate x


  1. I was brought up on a farm in Oz, (NSW) but live a very different life now and I am retired, living in a large city. I enjoy making lace and spend hours doing that or other crafts such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidering, card making and painting. This is an enjoyable time of my life, and I enjoy reading your blog each week. As long as we have food on the table, clean clothes and a reasonably tidy house, what else matters?

    1. I'm so happy that your life is filled with things that make you happy Robyn. That's the best. xx

  2. I've never commented here before, hello. I look forward to your weekly posts and I think it is because your life looks like one of the parallel imaginary lives I've wished I could have had. My (lovely) life is different from yours because it is suburban and coastal. I swim in the ocean every day. My children are grown but yet to have their own. I have a small garden that I've crammed with trees and ferns and succulents and whatever edible green leafies will grow in part shade. I play the piano and make art for a living. Best wishes to you and yours.

    1. Hi Nicola, so lovely to hear from you. I dream of moving to the coast someday. Your parallel imaginary life sounds beautiful. xx

  3. You're living now as I lived growing up. We ate what we grew, when we grew it and then preserved as much of it as we could. We stacked firewood so much that I used to dream about it. If we didn't have firewood, we would go cold. We used to come in from the cold outside and eat the mutton stew (our sheep, our vegies) that had slowly cooked on the fire during the day.
    I liked that life growing up but I was glad to leave it behind. Nowadays I just hit a switch on the heater for warmth. I still grow my own vegies .. currently in a zuchinni & tomato glut! We hope to buy a block of land soon so we can 'live country' on the weekends and then come back to the suburbs during the week where I walk my children to school & hubby catches the bus to work.

    1. Yeah I often wonder if my girls will be like you and happy to leave this way of life behind someday. I must admit the thought of push button heating and walking the kids to school does sound like some kind of heaven. I'm so excited for your block plans. I hope you find the perfect place soon. xx

  4. We live in Ballarat, moving here 6 years ago from Melbourne. I miss the city a lot but can’t imagine (or afford to) moving back now.

    1. Ballarat feels to me like such a great compromise between city and country. I hope that you feel settled really soon. xx

  5. I live out of town on some land, but we don't really use it. I haven't even grown anything edible this summer, the wallabies and possums have taken everything. I didn't even try. I have fruit trees but the possums get all that too. I do have 1 hen left so get an egg everyday. I wish I could make it work but it's too much for me and hubby isn't really interested.
    I know it's none of my business and you can certainly ignore this question, but I was wondering does your income come from your property? My hubby works at a normal job as a pipeline tech, so we can afford to live here.
    cheers Kate

    1. Hello lovely Kate, gosh it's a constant battle isn't it. This morning I drove up to our house and there was a gang of about 8 kangaroos sitting on the lawn eating apples off the tree. So cheeky. Unfortunately we're about to fence everything with UGLY deer fencing before next season. The birds will still be an issue but at least it's a start. xx

  6. I love your blog posts Kate. During a period of insomnia I have been reading back through your archives. What lucky children you have, such wonderful childhoods and all preserved for them through your blog! I have downloaded some of your recipes too and am just about to make the Danish Apple Cake. We live on the outskirts of a big city in Yorkshire and grow a significant amount of our food in the summer and I preserve what I can through freezing, pickling and jamming. I have never bottled tomato sauce but feel inspired to try it after reading your posts. My late mother used to bottle home grown fruit and I have lovely childhood memories of watching her pack the jars with apricots and pears and other such stuff. The process always seems a such a mystery to me but I will be brave and attempt it this coming summer. England is waking up after the winter and the wild garlic and rhubarb are poking through the earth with the return of the light and we have spring blossom on the trees. Thank you for sharing your inspirational life.

  7. I live in Tokyo and have the smallest backyard. I grew up in Melbourne and Bendigo. I have planted a lemon scented gum and a Mt Morgan wattle and have two more gum trees and a pink flowering kangaroo paw. Tulips are about to flower and bluebells already are. These all grow alongside a beautiful Japanese maple and lots of manicured azaleas. Id love a hillshoist but I’m dreaming. The little childhood memories I have are of being outside. It makes me sad that my girls don’t play much outside. At least our living area has a glass wall looking to our yard and they can see lots of pretty plants. Your garden is so pretty I’d love to pick posies everyday. I was quite a bad flower thief once upon a time but recently I try to restrain myself.

  8. I live near Pomona on the Sunshine Coast, about 2 hours north of Brisbane. Wallabies eat my chillies at night, how crazy is that? I also saw a kookaburra banging his beak against the fence, but no prey in his beak. We reckon he mistook a chilli for a delicious red worm, and was trying to get the seeds out of his mouth. Great idea for a new ad for SpecSavers (do you get those ads on TV down there)? My ginger, tumeric and lemon grass are also thriving, but I am envious of stone fruit and nuts down south that I cannot grow here. 7 thriving chooks as well,so I get lots of eggs. I found a python sitting next to their nesting box recently,the broody ones just sat determinedly and ignored it... not sure how long that would have worked, if I had not come along then. First one that has got in for 4 years though. Happy Friday!

  9. My world is so totally different from yours! I like your world, it seems so peaceful and uncomplicated and beautiful. But I think I couldn't live in it. I miss the skills to do so.
    I live at the other side of the world, in the biggest city of Belgium. Still a small one compared to cities in other countries thou ;) . I live by myself, don't have children but I have a LAT-relation. I live at the ground floor of a small apartment just 10 minutes driving my bike outside the center of the city, with a park at the other side of the street. I have a tiny garden in the back and on front of the house and in summertime I try to grow some vegetables because of the fun to grow some food myself. But the result is even not enough for one meal ;) . And now I want some dahlia's in my garden because of the gorgeous pictures you show of yours. Thanks for showing a bit of your world. I always like to see and read it!

  10. I always love seeing and reading glimpses into your life--especially at this time of year, when, in Maine, we are still buried in snow and surrounded by bare trees, and the bounty of the summer farmers' markets is still a long, long way away! It's a great reminder of the cyclical nature of life as I snuggle under a quilt with a cup of tea and the start of knitting a new hat. Thank you for sharing so generously!! And -- I'd love to know about your 15-jar muesli, if you'd like to share the recipe sometime!

  11. Hi Kate
    such beautiful words and pictures...thank you very much
    I am sitting here with my cup of coffee and try to find the right words English.
    YES its very fascinating how every human live his life on this beautiful
    planet...on every every country...and different seasons.
    That´s also one reason i love your blog posts.. i enjoy reading
    whats going on on your beautiful continent on your beautiful space.

    different from those around me to:

    We use even fire to heat our house...only with wood...many wood because we have
    strong winters
    In our space many people have a wood-burning stoves...but use electric- or oil heating too
    We spend a lot of time to make firewood...and people around us enjoy the weekends with
    free time :)) ...that make me sometimes feeling different to other people..but i love
    heating only with wood!!
    Then i love doing with my own hands:knitting spinning,gardening,..but not in a very perfect
    way...i think good is perfect enough!!!...even my household must not be perfect
    If i have the choice to cast on something nice or to wash my dishes...i prefer the first one:)))....Many woman around me would prefer the second make household first..
    But when i have done my creative job....that gives me power...household is quickly done!!!
    The people around me buy the things...because this things are perfect.. then hand making
    or they don´t like making with own hands...that´s ok...people are different..thats ok!!..but sometimes i feel different to others

    Different to you:
    we don´t have kangaroos(only in sweet)
    We have roe deer,rabbits,in some areas wolves.

    I have my own tomatoes,apples and so on....but we have now farm.
    Years ago when we started our marriage we decided to have a farm too...but we don´t find
    one...or it was too expensive...farms are here very very expensive here.
    That was very sad for a long time...but now i think that we haven´t had the
    power to farming...and now i love my garden and other interesting husband works
    in a wood sawmill..thats ok!

    now i wish you a nice weekend
    blessings from germany

  12. Hello Kate! You have a beautiful flower-filled world! My yard is full of snow--lots of it! You see why I particularly enjoy seeing your flowers when my world is currently so white. I live in the woods with lakes all around, and deer and elk that roam. I tried to plant flowers but the deer always eat them so I have stopped planting. Instead I enjoy the woods and wild flowers. And blogs like yours that give me a glimpse of other places in the world. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Hello Kate: Thank you for your beautiful photos. Like some of your other readers, my world is covered in white here in Boston after a fairly big snow earlier in the week. The trees are mostly bare and the landscape is urban since I live close to the center of the city. My house is heated by forced hot air and our fireplace is gas and though we have a small yard, my garden is quite little, though I am consistently inspired by yours. Speaking of, what is the name of the flower in the first photo after the text-it is purple with white and a yellow center? It is gorgeous!
    Hope your weekend is stunning.

  14. Oh, I loveyour photos. It’s nearly spring here in Holland. We have new cucumbers and cauliflower. And I live in a very busy street! My life is very different from yours. But
    I love to read your blog. I’ m older than you and a carer from my mum who is 101. Every friday I go to what it’s called in dutch het Vossenlaantje (foxlane) to read your story. I think learning about other peoples lives gives us more understanding for each other. Have a nice week! Anny.

  15. Oh, I loveyour photos. It’s nearly spring here in Holland. We have new cucumbers and cauliflower. And I live in a very busy street! My life is very different from yours. But
    I love to read your blog. I’ m older than you and a carer from my mum who is 101. Every friday I go to what it’s called in dutch het Vossenlaantje (foxlane) to read your story. I think learning about other peoples lives gives us more understanding for each other. Have a nice week! Anny.

  16. I think your life seems real and natural. We are all different, and I think we differ from those around us in that we have no cable TV, no smart phone, don't eat refined sugar, wear clothes from thrift stores. Of course that's a long way from raising our own food. Wish we could do that, too.

  17. I read your blog because your life is so different yet oddly the same as mine. I live in Canada where we have a very short growing season for one big (Huge!) difference. But I have daughters and live in the country and we have a lot of similarities otherwise - knitting, reading, cooking from scratch, preserving the abundance of our harvest, and trying to be better. Living in the now and teaching my girls the love of the outdoors. Even when it's -30C out. Thank you for your photos, especially the flowers and your girls, they carry me through the long winters!

  18. I enjoy your blog so much!! I love your dalhias and your cucumbers, and want to know what a fowler machine is. Your jars of tomatoes look beautiful!!
    Here in Argentina is the end of summer and we have tomato and pumpkins and love them!
    I try planting flowers this year, wish me luck!! Enjoy weekend!!

  19. I smiled at the part of crates n kitchen floor - all our windowsills are full of peaches that need ripening, baskets of tomatoes to ripen, baskets of walnuts drying - it is a different life but one I too love. (and I have 2 dresses to go out in and lots of comfy clothes with holes in for farm, animals and garden days). Love Leanne in New Zealand

  20. Hi Kate... your blog this week made me smile a lot because your life is almost EXACTLY like my life - except my kids are older and moved out years ago. I too sometimes have to stop and remember that other people don't eat seasonally and don't go without a take away coffee if they have left their keep cup at home and go thirsty if only water in plastic is available. Supermarkets almost make me cry as I realise almost everyone is 20 years behind me in their awareness of their footprint on our earth - and I'm far from perfect in this regard! I drive a car for starters and I too participate in 'technology' more than I'd like too. However I do what I can and I have brought up my daughters on fresh air and fresh food. I have passed on my philosophy of life and I hope I have been an example to others as well. I am also eternally grateful that I have had the opportunity to live like this - that I have been in a position to make the choices that I have. Anyway... I love your blog as I can relate to much of what you write about.

  21. Hola Kate, cuantas flores hermosas que hay en tu casa, las fotos me inspiran.Ahora mismo he sembrado semillas de Zinnia , es una planta que me gusta mucho. Vivo a las afueras de un pueblo bañado por el mar Mediterráneo, en una casa con un jardín, antes de construir la casa había solo dos alcornoques (Quercus suber)en la parcela, nos acompañan desde que vivimos aquí, ahora están enormes , preciosos, me gusta sentarme apoyada en el tronco y tejer o leer...hemos plantado diferentes arboles frutales y tengo un huerto pequeño, ahora con escarolas, coles, espinacas, lechugas...seis gallinas que cada día me regalan sus huevos, me gusta pasear por el campo con Lur( perro) aquí el clima ya es primaveral y el campo esta precioso...Sigo tu blog desde hace años y me resulta de lo mas inspirador, lleváis una manera de vivir que para mi es idílica, cuidando del entorno y bastante autosuficientes , me encanta!!!!

    Traducido por google:

    Hi Kate, how many beautiful flowers are in your house, the photos inspire me. Right now I have sown seeds of Zinnia, it is a plant that I like a lot. I live on the outskirts of a village bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, in a house with a garden, before building the house there were only two cork oaks (Quercus suber) in the plot, they accompany us since we live here, now they are huge, beautiful, I like to sit leaning on the trunk and weave or read ... we have planted different fruit trees and I have a small garden, now with endives, cabbages, spinach, lettuce ... six chickens that give me their eggs every day, I like to walk for the field with Lur (dog) here the weather is spring and the field is beautiful ... I follow your blog for years and I find it more inspiring, you have a way of living that is idyllic for me, taking care of the environment and quite self-sufficient, I love it !!!!

  22. Hi Kate. I live in Slovenia, Europe. I like reading your blog and adore the pictures of flowers. I also have three children and a small garden. I'm employed and spend the whole day in the office. I adore nature and life on a farm... and keep on dreaming. Maybe one day a life will change.

  23. I love your world. I often think that it should be my world, but I’m too lazy.

  24. Hi Kate, thank you for your posts. They are very sincere and I love reading them, and looking at all the beauty in your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing and being honest about some obstacles. I am sure we all have them it is just some people present a facade. Anyways, I thought I'd share back. I live in Oxford, study art history part-time and work part-time. I go to drawing classes to teach myself to draw, and I take singing classes. It is difficult because veyr personal, I really have to show myself when I present my art or sing. Baby steps. My family is in Russia and I miss them, but thankfully I have friends and church - that helps. I always dreamt of living somewhere with a huge garden to lose myself in. Perhaps one day. Right now I have a small patio with trees around it, and I am going to plant some ferns beneath, and hang a string of lights for the summer. That's all from me. Have a great day!

  25. Kate - oh wow - the glory of flowers and allotments! I am in heaven - keep it coming - thanks - Alison

  26. Hi Kate
    I adore your flowers (and all the rest of the stuff of your life) and was wondering what becomes of your flowers? Do you sell them to normal folk, or for decorating events? It seems magical to me, to have enough land to grown an abundance of flowers to pick.....I'm hoping to give dahlias a go this year for the first time, I have a small allotment plot with a 4m x 5m bed. The thought of it makes me nervous!xxxxxxxxxx

  27. To house is small and on a street surrounded by other streets and other tall thin houses. The house is old and has character, it's tall and thin with a very small footprint and virtually no land around it at all. A miniscule front patch of grass (small enough to be kept trimmed by one guinea pig) and a teensy paved back yard. I can't fathom what it must feel like to have so much land around, and open space. I am amazed by what you have around you xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  28. And another story from Belgium, which is indeed completely different from your world. Even if you live in a small village, you're always surrounded by people and traffic. Belgium is so small and a lot of things have to fit in that space ;-). I ride a bycicle to work (54km each day) because traffic is too jammed and public transportation too slow :-).
    I do like my life (living in a pittoresque place with friend and cats), my job (in a city museum) and my country but, boy, what I would do to have a life similar to yours! Maybe one day, we'll move to France and try to build an ecological, nature filled life ;-). Therefore, thank you so much for your blog posts!

  29. Our worlds differ in our energy levels. My mind is very energetic and busy and I have always been a busy person, enjoying the kinds of active things that you enjoy, but the body doesn't want to join in these days. I long to have the physical capacity to get out into the veggie patch more without being laid up for days afterwards. I see you with your energy and vigor and remember what that felt like. I long for the kind of good exhaustion that comes from a satisfactory garden workout and brings a deep, hearty, reinvigorating sleep to wake one up with renewed energy the next day to do it all again. I rejoice to see you so active and passionate about all the things you are doing, living the good life, using your energy and capacity to the max. Live it and love it, Kate. Thank you for sharing it so the rest of us can vicariously live a tiny portion of it with you. xx

  30. I would love to live the life you have it looks so calm and so many flowers i wish i did not have neighbours they are noisy' i have always wanted to live by the sea i could sit and stare at the sea and it's waves all day i feel drawn to the sea i only get to see it if i go on a day out trips but you only get a few hours before it is time to return home and only can do the trips a couple times a year .

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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