Keep Love in your Heart, life without it is like a sunless Garden

Keep Love in your Heart, life without it is like a sunless Garden
"Room for one more Plant"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Russian Comfrey

Russian Comfrey
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.)

(click on name for further description)


Well giving the good old comfrey another try this year. Last year it was grown in a pot, but didnt for some reason do very well. Which actually suprised me as it is such a prolific grower normally. Yet this year I decided to plant it out in the garden. 

It is supposed to have high levels of potash, so once it is established, I will be making a liquid tea out of it and feeding things such as strawberries, tomatoes etc.  Word of warning here tho, if you dont keep an eye on it, it will take over the garden as it is evasive.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Recipes

Actually, have done quite a bit of cooking the last couple of days....

Found an old cookery book in a second hand shop (its still in pounds and oz's which has been fun working out) and its full of really great old fashioned recipes, which I will write about in the next few days.

Another that is fast turning into a favourite here ( and I do like it myself) is:

Date Loaf


Date Loaf

1 cup of dates
3/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of soda
1 tablespoon of butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of walnuts (optional)


Put dates and soda in boiling water and allow to stand, then mash.

Cream butter and sugar, add dates then flour

Bake for 3/4 hour in a moderate oven..



And to use up your Capsicums, try this:


Capsicum Relish


Capsicum Relish
2 cups Chopped Capsicum
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup white sugar
2 cups white wine vinegar
3 tsp salt
a few black peppercorns
and freshly ground pepper


combine capsicum and onion, stir in the sugar, vinegar, salt, peppercorn and pepper. Mix well and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced and mixture is thick. Fill hot jars with the mixture/ Refridgerate after use. Great with cheese as well as cold lamb or poultery.

Fruit and Nut Cake

Found a great Festive Fruit cake recipe the other day in a magazine I was reading the other day and did some modifications when I made it..... Turned out really well and is fast becoming a favourite in my house.




 1x 125 gram packet of mixed nuts
1 x 125 gram packet of dried fruit
200 gram of dates
200 gram of cooking chocolate
1 tsp of mixed spice
5 egg whites
1 tspn cream of tartar
2/3 cup of caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160 celsisus. Place mixed nuts and chocolate pieces into a food processor and process for a few for a seconds until they are roughly chopped. Add the mixed fruit and spice and mix for a few seconds more.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and add cream of tartar. Slowly add the caster sugar while beating on high. Continue beating for a futher two minutes until thick and glossy. Gently fold the nut mix into the meringue and spoon into a greased 23 cm spring - formed cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes, turn oven off and allow the cake to cool slowly in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

Its great on its on or with a dollop of cream...


I dont have a spring cake tin anymore, so used what I had.


Fruit and Nut cake
 The left over egg yolks can be made into a homemade salad dressing:

5 egg yolks
4 cups of good quality cooking oil (can be less if you would prefer)
drizzle of vinegar
mustard to taste
salt and pepper to taste
garlic to taste
mixed fresh herbs, about a cup but less if you would like

mix all in a blender and bottle. keep in fridge

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Composting

What is Composting????

Is where you turn most of your organic household and garden waste into a simple heap and enrisch your garden's soil.

There heaps of sites that go into more depth on this than I will here. To create your own compost heap, choose a site which has some shade and well drained.

What to compost???

I use normal garden waste ( lawn clippings, weeds, dry leaves etc) fruit and veggie peelings, tired potting mix from pots, shredded paper and cardboard, seaweed etc. I dont use diseased plants, meat and dairy products etc.




kitchen waste

compost bin

Interesting Fact:

"About 1/2 of what we throw into the garbage bin can be used in your compost bin".


At the present time, I am using  one of those bins that you can buy in any hardware shop that has a removable lid. (you use what you wish). When the compost is ready, I just lift the bin and move to  another part of the garden. The compost that is ready is used in plantings in the garden, in pots when I am re potting them.






Interesting Fact:

"Composting is nature's own recycling system. If you walk around a bush reserve you will see it in action."

A well composted garden wil improve your yeilds and your neighbours will be over to ask how you did it. Take a walk in any regenerated bush area and you will see how composting works naturally. There will be things working and small insects, bugs and worms all doing there bit for the environment they are in. 

Garden Update

Summer Veggie Patch

This last winter, I gave the patch a much needed rest after a full summer of planting and harvesting. There were still a few Silverbeet and strawberry plants in it, but not a lot else.

Anyway, in the last 3 - 4 weeks, Ive managed to clear out weeds and the remaining silverbeet (was a bit too woody and old now) and started planting out fresh plants for the summer. The majority of the tomatos have their own bed and three heritage tomatos are in the veg. patch. So all up about 14 tomatos. The Apollo tomatos are already starting to form tomatos. So my plant list for the start of this summer is

  • Sweet Corn (about a dozen)
  • Celery ( 2)
  • Eggplant ( 1)
  • Capsicum (4)
  • Lettuce ( about 7)
  • raspberry canes ( about 1/2 dozen)
  • pumpkin (1)
  • strawberries ( in a front garden bed and too many to count)
  • Red and Black Currant plants
  • Climbing beans
  • zucchini ( about 1/2 dozen: black jack and yellow buckingham)

The raspberries are forming fruit along with a first picking of strawberries.





















Herb Patches 1 & 2

Have been planted out and starting to take off nicely now. These beds arent too far from the kitchen which is great. Although the parsley and coriander are still in pots under the kitchen window due to the fact that I use them fairly often. Many of the herbs that I had bought last summer have now died off and wil be replaced in time over summer.















Indoor/outdoor living area

Is now starting to take shape nicely now with pots being placed around with geraniums and cactuses. There is a yellow banksia rose (rambler) and a yellow creeper planted in front of the shade cloth and once they take off it should slow down the wind and block out some of the sun giving us a bit of  privacy to read and have a cuppa.

Making your own bread

A few years back I was given a bread making machine and ended up making my own home made bread. (due to the kids still being home and bread at that stage becoming a bit too expensive)...

bread machine


first loaf
Now its been a few years since I did make any and my first loaf turned out rather well. 
When I was making it many years ago, I had the machine working overnight so we could have fresh bread first thing in the morning and made another during the day.  Now that bread seems to be  even more expensive than before and not really knowing how many added nasties they are adding to it, I am back to making my own again. But as usual with me, I have lost or misplaced the original recipe book that came with it....<sighs> but not all is lost, I have found a site where I can buy books on making bread with bread machines...<grins> ...someone actually posted the site to me on another forum which will be useful when I  go to buy it.

They really arent that expensive to run, if you have the machine going overnight when the electricity rates are usually cheaper. So now I am off to make more and have taste testing with different recipes...

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a world we live in

Here I sit on reasonable sunny morning having my cuppa and reading about the floods in New South Wales and Victoria etc... Geez it was only a couple of months ago that I was up that way visiting family and friends and thinking how much greener it was looking after years of drought. (These days I travel by train through these states so get to see a bit of the country side.)


taken from the train

Now, from what I can gather from the news reports:

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Much_of_inland_New_South_Wales,_Australia_affected_by_flooding?dpl_id=226323



http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/up-to-2000-people-leave-as-floods-worsen-across-new-south-wales/story-e6frfku0-1225966206699



it seems to be going so much greener in these parts of this great big country of ours.

Makes you wonder how the farmers just keep going  when it becomes so wet. Its either a feast or a famine with them. When I was last up that way, the crops were looking so good and here I was thinking that they were going to have a wonderful year, how wrong I was. Well, after growing up as a farmers daughter, I should of known so much better. You can have years of drought, then get downpours in summer and end up still wearing gumboots to get around. But they, the farmers, just keep getting on with it. Its a way of life for them as well as a business. Its there homes, and I dont mean just a house, that is affected by the constant changing weather..and people in the cities and larger towns say they should just get on with it.. hey you try it and see your hard work and money go down the drain. It can be heartbreaking to se0 e all that effort end up lost for another 10 years.

After 10 years of drought, it can take another 10 years to catch up and start making money again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Indoor /Outdoor living area

Actually, this idea has been floating around in my head for a while now. I have a verandah that faces South and gets hit by the afternoon sun most days. (It does get quite hot there during the summer months).

Anyway, this morning after thinking about it, the work that I had done out in the front yard would work in quite well. All that was needed were about 1/2 tall wooden garden stakes that you can buy just about anywhere and some shade/wind cloth to attach it.


It has had some fine tuning since the photo was taken.



From the side.

Now, I didnt want to spend a whole lot of money and wanted it to be something that was moveable and taken down quite easily if needed.. (not sure how that will work considering that there will be creepers growing all over it) .. but by next summer it should be a cooler place to sit, have a cuppa and read the paper or a good book. <grins>

Now all that is needed is some good plants hanging in pots to help make it a greener, cooler place tos sit.. 


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh Boy, the heat drove me inside....

wind break/shade cloth

banksia rose transplanted







Yellow creeper transplanted

and again

Horseradish


Ornamental Sage



Quite a busy morning until the heat drove me inside....Its a warm 34.5 degrees here (thats celsisus) and made run for the shorts...<grins> . Not only that it was way past lunchtime and my stomach was complaining ...ugh. But not too bad of an effort.

The shade cloth is attached to large stakes with wire and the one above the yellow creeper is also attached to a bamboo edging (which you probably can just  see in the photo.)  Now I'm no carpetener at all (nor can I spell at times) but the shade cloth contraption doesnt look too bad. At least it will help a bit during the summer months as the Yellow Banksia Rose and yellow creeper get going properly.  The day will come when it will be quite nice sitting out the front and being able to watch the people walking past and having a little privacy...<grins>

Horseradish is something I have been wanting to grow for quite a while now. Found the little fella at a friends place and got it. Might just add here that is where the Ornamental Sage came from as well. (It has a pretty pale yellow flower)


Zen Garden Elements - Feng Shui Gardens - Fire Water Earth Wind - RealEstate.com

Zen Garden Elements - Feng Shui Gardens - Fire Water Earth Wind - RealEstate.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Mist has lifted for now

Floribunda Cafe (Rose Cafe)
Well after a misty start to the day, it has managed to lift from around the house..Anyways, off to the Nursery I goes for a bit of a look around and came home with more veggies and another Rose, Floribunda Cafe (Rose Cafe).  Its a quite nice Rose and has been potted up and is sitting by the back door... Guess I have a bit of a Rose Pot garden happening now as there are three roses in pots now.


While at the Nursery I also bought some more veggie seedlings for the Veg. Patch....Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Capsicum, lettuce and some Red Leg Spring Onions,  all of which are now planted out.









Actually, I have never grown Eggplant before this, so giving it a try and see how things go with it...





Oh well, thats the veg. patch sorted for today anyway.... that could very well change tomorrow <grins>

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yellow Banksia Rose

Yellow Banskia Rose


Bought this today and thought it would go rather well somewhere in my yard. Just not entirely sure where just yet, that is to be decided.



The birds are still getting the better of me with the strawberries: the netting will need some readjustments. Yet managed to save three of them late this afternoon.. <grins>

I am hoping this year to be able to beat the birds a bit more and get more of these yummy berries for me.<grins>

rescued strawberries (only 3)

In between shopping and the rain today, I actually got to plant out some Cucumbers and more Zucchinis
(see below)



zucchinis




cucumbers















Ned Kelly Passionfruit.
 And bought another Passionfruit vine and planted this one out in the corner of the Veg. Patch. So hopefully in a few weeks time it will start to cover the side fence. <grins>

Tomorrow will be another buying day with a bit of luck and the local nursery will start to think that I live there..<sighs>

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pumpkin and Strawberries


Pumpkin in pure compost and lawn clippings

Strawberries covered with netting to keep the birds off.


















The pumpkin was given by a neighbour and is now out in the veg. patch. The strawberries are now being covered with netting, the actual netting is one of those cheap flyscreen door covers you can buy in any $2 shop around the place. Although not completely covered as yet I still have some out the back in my little store of treasures waiting to be used some place.. <grins>

Seaplane

video

Not very often do we get seaplanes flying out from our local river. Yet when I was walking home from the local supermarket this morning it was being transported down the street to be able to get to the river. (Damn I didnt have the camera with me at the time)

Aparently, they come up our way to get serviced at the local airport, the plane is owned by one of  the seaplane operators on the west coast here and they do scenic tours.