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Karen
Piopio New Zealand
Knitter, banker, farmer
Interests: knitting, cooking, gardening, photograhy, walking the hills with Clifford our dog, watching lambs frolic, being creative generally
Recent Activity
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This past autumn, when I planted the second installment of tulip bulbs inside the front gates at Struan Farm, I planted some clusters of special "parrot" tulips. These are now starting to bloom, and look great. Here's a pic of the Homestead's roadside wooded garden, right near our front entrance.... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Sort of, but not really. Clifford and I needed to head north for two days last week, so Spud went off to Auntie Anna's to be looked after. While his cardboard box, aka "home sweet home" travelled with him, he had a lovely big pen nestled beside a big tree,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Yes, we are watching the grass grow these days at Struan Farm! The lawn seed spread at the new house two weekends ago is starting to grow. We're a wee bit nervous about all of the rain we've been getting over the past week, although there have been some breaks... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Thought I'd share this shot of our "vintage" David Brown tractor beside the gorgeous pink magnolia and red camellia trees at Struan Farm's Homestead: Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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Following the official unveiling of "Lake Field" at Struan Farm last week we've come to learn more about the actual place and how Rosanna Marmont, the artist, came to paint this scene. Thought I would share this with you, in Rosanna's words: Yes, Lake Field is a very real place.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Somewhat cute to look out from the new house and see "the Boys," John, Clifford and Spud, wandering around. Despite my initial concerns about him, Spud seems to be thriving, and now follows us around when he's out of his pen. Sometime this week we'll put him out in the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I started off this blog post thinking it would be about a table arrangement of beautiful spring flowers from the gardens at Struan Farm. The daffodils and bluebells are going wild, and the tulips are starting to pop. It's hard not to be happy about all that and want to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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John continued his concreting mission this past weekend, finishing up some brick edges around the Homestead gardens at Struan Farm. This makes mowing up to the edges much easier, also means I don't need to get down on my hands and knees with the clippers given my fetish for tidy... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Our native kowhais are in bloom right now at Struan Farm. There's a large one in the Homestead gardens, and at least two in the QE II Trust block up by the new house. While they are lovely native trees, I'm telling you about them because the tuis (native birds)... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Very excited to see the Thomson Concrete truck drive past the Struan Farm entrance gate as I was working down at the Homestead paddocks this week. The troughs for our veggie gardens were being delivered to the new house! I downed tools and rushed up to make sure they were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at Struan Farm
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This little fellow stood beside the fence to the new house at Struan Farm a night ago and baa-ed, baa-ed, baa-ed. John assured me that he'd just lost his mum, and not to worry, they'd find one another. These things do happen. However, I found him alone in this same... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Happy to report that a surprising amount of "stuff" has been accomplished at Struan Farm over the past week. The fresh metal/gravel for the Homestead driveway got delivered and spread: While the grass seed for our lawns at the new house got sown, by Aaron with his useful little hopper... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Struan Farm
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It seems that rocks and Robertsons go hand in hand, even now. As we've updated the gardens at Struan Farm and made them our own, we've kept some of the established rock gardens John's parents had made over the years, changed others, and taken some out entirely. John and I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Good news! This past week Pete, one of our builders, arrived at Struan Farm to help with the uncrating and installation of niece Rosanna Marmont's painting "Lake Field." As you can see, the painting is of such scale that it's not something John or I could hang without bringing in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Our friend Glen from Doone Cottage in Motueka visited Struan Farm last week as part of a quick trip around the North Island seeing family and friends. Discussion topics over dinner included the large pink magnolia tree blooming near the entrance of the Homestead, which is quite spectacular at the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I've been off to Wairere Nursery in nearby Gordonton again, this time to pick up dwarf Meyer Lemon and Satsuma Mandarin trees. These will be planted in "citrus corner" outside the front deck of our new house at Struan Farm. It's a reasonably protected area, so should be fine for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Sigh. This poor heirloom fig tree, it is a survivor and thriver. It was grown from a cutting John and I took from the property next door to Struan Farm, from a huge tree growing at the original homestead site dating back to the 1920's. It has now been moved... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Struan Farm
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As I recall Alice fell down the rabbit hole and found herself in Wonderland, attending the Mad Hatter's tea party. Looks to us like our dog Clifford is headed in that direction, just hope the Mad Hatter had a decent head start, or he could be in trouble! Don't worry,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I couldn't postpone this any longer, it's time for me to tackle the clean up of the pond and its surrounds at Struan Farm. While I planted natives around the banks last year (shrubs, trees and flax), which look great and are good riparian habitat for ducks, frogs, etc., I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Awhile ago my sister-in-law Anna told me about a series of dwarf rhododendrons called "The Seven Dwarfs," named after the various dwarfs in Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. (Quick note: according to Tolkien it's "dwarfs" and not "dwarves," so I defer to his higher authority on that.) I wasn't... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Struan Farm
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With warmer weather these past few weekends we may have turned the corner, and developments in the gardens at Struan Farm would indicate so. But on top of all this today it's official--September 1st is our first day of spring here in NZ. The beautiful old magnolia at the Homestead... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2014 at Struan Farm
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There's more to the story of my first pet lambs at Struan Farm (and apologies for looking farm-y above, but I've been a bit too occupied for makeup, brushing my hair, etc.). Turns out mum, who had been motionless lying by the fence after giving birth, was still alive, barely.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Yesterday I went down to the Homestead at Struan Farm to spread some paddock grass seed in the Old Orchard, where we'd taken down the old chicken coop last autumn. No grass seed happened however, since I found two little lambs running around baa-ing in the garden. Mum had given... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I was very excited to have a box deposited on the doorstep at Struan Farm with our official farmstay brochure, hot off the press. We've worked with Sheena Smith at Redimpressions Design on all of the design work, logo, brochure (hard copy and electronic versions), signage and website. Latter is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Struan Farm
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You may remember that I went through an extended period of de-constructing (and re-constructing) rock gardens at Struan Farm, wondering whatever possessed John's parents to have built them to such an extent in the first place. Well, this initiative left us with piles of limestone rocks of all different sizes,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Struan Farm