Sunday, December 28, 2008


Preserving Tomatoes

Well it's that time of the year again when we have tomatoes ripening every day and we again have more than we can eat. So today I started to bottle some of the tomatoes both red and green varieties. I bottle while the tomatoes are producing well and then I can use them for cooking throughout colder months. I part cooked the tomatoes this batch with basil and garlic which will be used in pasta sauces and soups over the winter months.

Tomato, Basil, Garlic all from our garden

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nursery close to home

Highway Nursery, Statues and Pots

We found a good nursery not to far from home while out driving on Sunday, Golden Nursery South Gippsland Hwy, Five Ways. They have an impressive range of garden pots and statues, although not a large selection of plants what they did have were very healthy looking with a mix of native and exotic plants. I found there a lovely statue to give my son for this birthday, it looks great sitting in his fernery. Some of the statues there would look good in a native garden, they had a real Australian feel about them, a shearer, prospector, Ned Kelly to name a couple. I feel that I will be a frequent visitor to this little nursery.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Garden Gate - Ornamental

Garden Gate - In The Ground

What a wonderful surprise I received today when I arrived home from work dear husband was in the process of fitting my garden gate. I had painted the posts two nights before so that they would be ready at the weekend for the gate to be put in, but dear husband without being asked or nagged had decided to put the gate in for me on Christmas eve. So thank you dear husband, I think you just might have chalked up some extra brownie points. I love the gate and step three will be to plant some native creepers that in time will grow over and through the gate.

Ornamental Gate

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Garden Gate

The Gate To Nowhere

Yes mad I may be, but the next project for my garden is an ornamental garden gate which I will have placed in my front garden. I plan to grow a Hardenbergia violacea - Candy Wrapper, which has bright candy pink flowers and Winter White which has stunning white flowers, over the gate which I've painted a woodland grey. So from mid winter and continuing through spring I will hopefully have a profusion of pink and white flowers from these hardy little climbers wrapping themselves through my garden gate. Then each side of the gate I plan to have a large pot, with perhaps dwarf variety of Hardenbergia but in blue, still undecided.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Backyard Harvest

Backyard Harvest this afternoon

This is what I harvested this afternoon from our small backyard garden. zucchini, Lebanese cucumber, tomatoes - lime green salad, little heart, sprite, red robin, tigerella, kotlas. Although small we make the most of the garden area we have. Also planting tomatoes peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers in pots with great success. It is very pleasing to take a salad to work for lunch and 90% of the salad is from our own garden.

One type of tomato that I'm very happy with this years is Black Russian, it has some well laden trusses on it. I was given three slices of a Black Russian tomato last year by my friend Ann, so I could take some seed from it. In the hope that dear husband could grow some plants for her this year. DH grew 12 plants from the seed he put down, four plants went to Ann, we grew one in our garden and we sold the others. Ann grew two hydroponically and two in the garden, she was quite amazed at how differently the tomato plants grew. The two in the garden grew very tall, while the to in hydroponic pots are shorter but much wider. It will be interesting the find out if the yield is different between the two growing mediums.

Photos Black Russian Tomatoes

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Garden Feature

Garden Feature - Christmas Gift

Thank you dear husband for a job well done
I made a request of my dear husband to make me a garden feature as his gift to me for Christmas. I knew exactly want I wanted him to build after I visited the Australia Garden in Cranbourne - 'Home Garden' section. There they had a large wooden garden feature, it had a modern look and I really liked the look of it and could see a smaller version in my own little suburban garden.
Although I'm sure dear husband thought his dear wife had gone a little crazy he agreed to build the great wall (as he called it). Casually over three days the garden feature was built, it was now ready for me to paint it. As it was it was built in the carport I had to paint the top side and then once dry we had to flip it over and paint the other side. Today was the day relocation day so dear son had agreed to come around and give his father a hand with the big move. The relocation was a slow process as the feature was extremely heavy and had to be moved from one side of the house to the other. The feature was at last around near it's resting place when it discovered that it was slightly too tall to fit under pergola. So back out it came onto the lawn, then out came the chainsaw to take a few inches off the legs. This time it was manoeuvered into place, then cement placed around each leg, once it had been leveled up it was braced to the fence and left to set. The end result is very pleasing it looks good in it's new position in my fernery under the pergola. DH has did a wonderful job on the garden feature, he is indeed a very handyman.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Strawberries Are In Season

In Season And In The Garden

Strawberries are in season and in the garden, but I have had to cover them with bird net so that the birds don't eat them before they are ripe enough for me to pick.

Photo - ready for picking

The humble strawberry has a very high nutritional value, they provide folate, more vitamin C than an orange, they are a good source of antioxidants and they are high in dietary fibre. Strawberries are also one of the lowest calorie fruits available, which makes them an excellent dietary food. Strawberries are low in kilojoules and are an excellent food if you are weight watching, they make a great quick and easy between meal snack on their own or with yoghurt.

Chocolate dipped strawberries when your craving chocolate turns a bowl of strawberries into something luxurious, all be it a little bit naughty.

Photo - ready for eating

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Growing In My Garden

At the weekend Junction Village recorded some good soaking rain, it has been about four years since we have had good rain like this over a couple of days. Most of Melbourne recorded good rain falls and the water catchment areas also received good amounts of rain.

After some long awaited soaking rain everything in the garden today is thriving, I can see the growth in some plants already just a couple of days after the rain. Harvested out of the garden today, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, rhubarb. Almost ready to harvest are capsicum, sweet peppers, strawberries, passionfruit and the apples are growing nicely.

Apples, Rosemary, Passionfruit

Sprite, Rhubarb, Totem

Zucchini, Lettuce

Lettuce, Mini Chocolate Capsicum, Basil

Cucumber, Sweet Pepper

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Handyman Projects

I found these window boxes recently at a nursery I went to and thought how nice they looked, it was nice to see that old timber has been reused and saved from the fire or the rubbish tip.

There are some very handy people out there these days who come up with great ideas like these to use recycled materials for weekend DYI handyman projects. Window boxes and planters are simple woodworking projects that are ideal beginners.

The Modern Garden

Photos modern metal wall art & modern statue

The Modern Style Gardens of today are exciting they give innovative new designs and feel to gardens using an array of bold and colourful plants with many different forms, shapes and sizes. Some of the key elements in the Modern Style Gardens today are the use of large pots and planters in bold exciting colours, water features, sculptures, decking, screens, garden ornaments and many different types mulches and don't forget the garden lighting available today is just endless. There are many Nurseries around today that cater for the modern gardener, it is just a matter of finding one that is close by to you and let your imagination be your guide. A nursery that I like to visit in Melbourne is Banksia Nursery in Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South. They have a wonderful range of plants, a large range of seeds including some native seed, many colourful pots, iron garden seats, iron bikes, status and I do love their metal wall-art some of this is just stunning.

Some gardeners look to the old world for ideas and inspiration, while others are inspired by the new modern look with bright and bold colours in both plants and decor. No matter what inspires you to garden, the important thing is to enjoy what you are doing and if you are satisfied with the end result of your labour, then it's a job well done.