Saturday, 27 October 2007

Garden - October

Plants can look so incredible on the labels that its easy to get dis-heartened when they don't turn out anything like that even after several months. This rosemary for example; I've planted it at the front of the top terraced bed, in the hopes that it might cascade over just like the picture. Even if it doesn't, I'll love it anyway because it's named after my grandma and I like to be surrounded by things that bring back special memories.

This is French Sorrel; it looks alot like silverbeet. I really need to put some better plant labels in as I have a bad habit of forgetting what something is then pulling it out when I'm on a mad weeding spree. Checked them all out and I like the Diggers one's best, as they're not made of plastic like all the others so time to put an order in me thinks.

This is horseradish - stuck it over by the compost bin as it can get a bit rampant apparently. A guy sells food plants outside the food co-op on a Friday very cheaply. Picked up a boysenberry this week.

I love nasturtium in the garden - must get another packet of seeds. Started this one climbing up the verandah post. There's also a honeysuckle climbing up another post but it's taking a while to grow - can't wait for it to take off to scent the air on a Summer evening, along with the jasmine.

More wildflowers keep appearing - thats what's so great about throwing a mixed packet in. This was the 'blue & pink' mix from the Diggers club, which is meant to produce various flowers at different times throughout the year, rather than all at once. The blue ones look like nigella, or 'love-in-a-mist.

Favourite Magazines

Love these 3 magazines - Grass Roots, Earth Garden and Warm Earth. All Australian and some great articles on organic gardening and self-sufficiency. I don't get every issue unfortunately, only when there's something of particular interest - like the chook dome article in the latest edition of Earth Garden mag based on Linda Woodrow's design in her brilliant book 'Permaculture Home Garden'. Very clever lady...

Cat Quilt

I love this 'cat' scrap quilt cause I made it for Dan's 10th Birthday; and blue & yellow go so well together. This is my favourite chair; a great garage-sale find and a recliner too!

Monday, 22 October 2007


Now I'm not a big shoe-fan - one pair for each occasion (and usually black and pre-loved) is my motto. Well I do love my new pair of shoes that Bec picked out for me in my fav store, Frou-frou's the other day. Pre-loved so doing my bit for recyling, just my size and they look great with jeans - ooh, love a bargain...

Veggie patch by the front door....

.... coming shortly. Slow-food Blue Mountains along with the BM Permaculture network just ran a great short course on growing veggies in a free- recyled container that you can harvest all Summer long, which is great for beginner gardeners to get the hang of correct soil mix, planting, choosing the right veggies, pest control, water & fertiliser requirements etc as they aim to get as many people growing their own veg as possible. Pop back soon....

For more great tutorials see my website at

Apple, Rhubarb & Fruit Pulp Crumble

So the fruit pulp from making fresh juice is sitting in the fridge, add to it some sliced rhubarb and a couple of apples, peeled & sliced, and you've got the makings of a great fruit crumble. Sprinkle with bit of sugar and some mixed spice or whatever, and throw a crumble mix together. Into a food processor or bowl, place 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup plain flour. Add 4 tbsp approx, cubed butter. Mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Bake 1-1.5 hours on medium heat, 150 deg celcius. Serve with custard, fresh cream or icecream. Also try berries, pears, peaches or whatever you have in the fridge/pantry.

Glenbrook Market

Had a lovely time on Saturday browsing around the markets. This is my garlic plant from the organic fruit & veggie man. I buy garlic bulbs from him aswell every month, and use in just about everything. I tried growing it last year by planting some of the bulbs - not sure what happened to them though! I'm not going to miss these in the garden...

Lovely bars of soap from the Hemp stall - hemp and olive oils with wonderful essential oils. Stuck them in my chest of drawers until needed so they make everything smell great. I've been meaning to make some more, but haven't quite got around to it!

The vegies are grown out at Orange; I love the Fuji apples and they have heaps of potato varieties.

The plant man. Love roses, but don't have anywhere to put them. Got some dianthus for the window boxes instead, and a lovely deep pink geranium and a climbing plant.

The bread man. Love the organic wholemeal sourdough.

Glenbrook - home of the.......gnomes!! The market is held at the primary school on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

Fresh Juice

Just dug my old juicer out again, and got some watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, apples, oranges etc. and made a lovely refreshing drink. Don't throw away the fruit pulp - I have another recipe for that coming up shortly...

Bush Poem

Fair Dinkum bush poem

The sun was hot already - it was only 8 o'clock
The cocky took off in his Ute, to go and check his stock...
He drove around the paddocks checking wethers, ewes and lambs,
The float valves in the water troughs, the windmills on the dams.

He stopped and turned a windmill on to fill a water tank
And saw a ewe down in the dam, a few yards from the bank.
"Typical bloody sheep," he thought, "they've got no common sense,
"They won't go through a gateway but they'll jump a bloody fence."

The ewe was stuck down in the mud, he knew without a doubt
She'd stay there 'til she carked it if he didn't get her out.
But when he reached the water's edge, the startled ewe broke free
And in her haste to get away, began a swimming spree.

He reckoned once her fleece was wet, the weight would drag her down
If he didn't rescue her, the stupid sod would drown.
Her style was unimpressive, her survival chances slim
He saw no other option, he would have to take a swim.

He peeled his shirt and singlet off, his trousers, boots and socks
And as he couldn't stand wet clothes, he also shed his jocks.
He jumped into the water and away that cocky swam
He caught up with her, somewhere near the middle of the dam

The ewe was quite evasive, she kept giving him the slip
He tried to grab her sodden fleece but couldn't get a grip.
At last he got her to the bank and stopped to catch his breath
She showed him little gratitude for saving her from death.

She took off like a Bondi tram around the other side
He swore next time he caught that ewe he'd hang her bloody hide.
Then round and round the dam they ran, although he felt quite puffed
He still thought he could run her down, she must be nearly stuffed.

The local stock rep came along, to pay a call that day.
He knew this bloke was on his own, his wife had gone away
He didn't really think he'd get fresh scones for morning tea
But nor was he prepared for what he was about to see.

He rubbed his eyes in disbelief at what came into view
For running down the catchment came this frantic-looking ewe.
And on her heels in hot pursuit and wearing not a stitch
The farmer yelling wildly "Come back here, you lousy bitch!"

The stock rep didn't hang around, he took off in his car
The cocky's reputation has been damaged near and far
So bear in mind the Work Safe rule when next you check your flocks
Spot the hazard, assess the risk, and always wear your jocks!

(Sorry...don't know who wrote it - thanks mum for that one!)

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Bush Beans

After only a week away, came back to find all seedlings doing really well - especially the bush beans - 'cherokee wax' or something similar. Brought a big bag of seaweed home and spread it all around the garden after giving it a good rinse.

I was surprised to see some seeds I'd left in pots in the greenhouse had sprouted; including some gourd seeds which I couldn't get to germinate before, so it just shows, its worth throwing them in and just waiting to see what happens sometimes. Most seeds seem to die from being over-watered and suffering from 'damping off'.

Liquid Fertiliser.

I found a great recipe for liquid compost by Peter Cundall of Gardening Australia. Three-quarters fill a large bucket or drum with seaweed and add water until it floats. Pour in half a cup of fish emulsion or carp fertiliser and stir in well. Add half a cup of seaweed concentrate and a fistful of sulphate of potash and epsom salts. Stir well - leave for up to a month. To use, almost fill a watering can with water and top up with the brew so it resembles pale tea. Use every week in vegie patch but be careful around young seedlings - always better to feed the soil if in doubt. Below is the (very dark) liquid from my worm farm. I didn't have any seaweed when I first made this brew so I put heaps of herbs and comfrey in instead along with this liquid. Now I just tip the extra liquid in each week from my worm farm.

I picked this old brewers container up on the side of the road during the Council clean-up - its perfect with the tap on the bottom. It does pong a bit when you first put it around the garden...

Must be doing some good as my veggies are really taking off...


I planted a raspberry bush in a corner of the garden last year and thought it must have died. It certainly didn't get watered or taken care of - well its suddenly decided to 'take-off' and has now grown up the fence in a different spot to where I planted it.

Be nice to actually get some fresh raspberries...

Somerset & Dorset Railway Plaque

Just shows you can include whimsical and amusing features in your garden! Had to read it twice though....

'Enginemen are forbidden to blow their whistles or drain cocks whilst standing in the station as this may frighten horses and alarm passengers. Furthermore, leaking cocks must be attended to. A fine of sixpence or each leaking cock will be strictly enforced'.

Open Gardens - Hazelbrook

I've been meaning to go along to see some of the open gardens which they have in the Blue Mountains every Spring - my incentive this year was that one of the featured gardens is where I'm doing a permaculture course in a couple of weeks. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!! No pictures here yet though as I'd forgotten my camera - but here's some of the cottage gardens that I visited the following day....

This wasn't the actual house by the way.... it was just the studio in the garden!!

Wisteria looks lovely at this time of year - pity it doesn't last longer.

Ahh, sweetpeas - reminds me of a little book I still have from my childhood on the flower fairies of the garden.

There was some very imaginative garden 'art' like wall plaques, bird baths/houses and fountains.

One of the interesting things to note and to get some ideas, from is the layout of the gardens - having different 'rooms' or areas with little meandering paths and other features to make a small garden seem larger, to add interest, variety and mainly to provide relaxing and tranquil spots to enjoy the surroundings.

There were lots of different water features too, all integrated into the natural landscape; some as simple as an old sink or bath 'sunk' into the ground; but still as effective in attracting necessary wildlife to act as natural pest controls and adding to the charm and tranquility of the gardens.

Sunday Brunch Pizza

Whip up some fresh pesto Gumnut Cottage: Home-made Pesto while de-frosting a few puff pastry sheets. Put the oven on hot - 230 degree's c and preheat a couple of baking sheets (tins). Cut pastry sheets in half and fold edges in. Spread with tomato paste then top with basil pesto, bocconcini and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until puffed up and brown - approx 15-20 mins.

Serve with a fresh garden salad.

Mmmm, absolutely delicious.