Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Food from the garden

I have to confess I have neglected my garden for a while.  Of  course when you spend your days looking after other peoples garden this happens a lot, but more so in winter as being inside is just that much more appealing then toiling outside in the cold on your day off.  

So needless to say the vegies have been doing a sterling job growing on without any help. I have a few days off this week so I hope to give them all a little more love.  But check out this little beauty.

Damn stupidy slugs left their marks
You can imagine how excited I was to get into the kitchen straight away.  I am thinking dumplings...

Here is my version of Vegie Dumplings taken loosely on Vegetarian by Alice Hart

* Heat a splash of oil (I used rice bran oil) and then add 2 minced garlic and a chunk of ginger grated heat for a minute or so.

* Add half a cabbage shredded, 2 grated carrots, a handful of sliced mushrooms and a couple of spring onions sliced.  Stir for a few minutes so it is soft.

* Remove from the heat.

* Finally add a handful chopped coriander leaves, salt and pepper, a good splash of soy (which I didn't have much of so I used Manis sauce and Teriyaki sauces) and a sploosh of sesame oil.  Now I usually add a handful of chia seed to increase my omega 3 as I don't eat fish.

* So Then use a teaspoon and add to the dumpling skins wet the outside edge with water to seal them.

 * In a large frypan add a little oil and place those dumplings in and fry for a minute or 3.  I made up a quick cup of vegie stock (water is fine) and threw it and popped the lid of so they could steam.

* Serve with a quick fried rice and use a soy and black vinegar dipping sauce.

It was really tasty although I have to say I think I need to work on getting a better photo for the plate but i was too hungry at that point.

Now I just have to think about what i will do with the other half of the cabbage

Sunday, 15 July 2012


I worked on a garden around the corner from me a few years back and the client of the house implied I had no colour or flower in my garden (green is still a colour I must say).  What she really meant was my garden in spring did not explode with an abundance of flowers like hers.  Her garden was completely different as she has azaleas and murraya!  Hmm so for one month of the year her garden is full of bright show offy flowers and dull for the rest of the year....  I should express that these two plants I really don't like for many reasons.

So the reason I love GBBD is it goes to show that while the garden is not burgeoning with colour I have something worth looking at.  Here's what July brings

Daphne Odora, if only the blog came with smell
The first of the Helleborus is out there are a few darker varieties coming

I have an entire bank of Galanthus (snowdrops) these are the first.  Please ignore the weedy oxalis

The Cymbidiums are cheerful by the front door

Ok so this a a pot of Crowea exalata which is heading towards a clients garden but is it really cheating to include as it is still in my garden.

So the Broad beans are bigger and the flowers are much the same

Viola hederacea happy to see the morning light

Want to see some other gorgeous gardens in bloom then skip over to  maydreamsgardens  and see what other beauties are going on around the world.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


So Tuesday nights are my well earned yoga nights but we are on holidays and I am almost at a loss as what to do...  Ok not really in fact I know there is much to talk about when it comes to the fabulous growing garden world.  But it was the ladies at Yoga that seemed interested in my compost discussion 2 weeks ago that I thought you might be interested as well.

I decided that my composts needed to be moved down the back where they are out of sight and in an area where it is pure sandstone and I can't grow anything really. I also wondered how to incorporate that great huge load of leaves gifted to me from the liquidambar out the front.

just turning yellow
So I was talking to my dad about how I would chop up the leaves this year as I had borrowed a clients mulcher last year and it did a fabulous job.  Sadly it has died and I was a little worried.  My dad suggested I mow them after all I do have a mulcher mower.  So I blew them all into a pile on my drive and here is how it went....

It has to be said the blades on the mower are in need of replacing.  I guess this form of mulching is not quite what the manufacturer had in mind but I have to say it worked a treat.  I just had to scoop it up.  Not quite as tempting as jumping in a large pile of fresh crunchy leaves but still a little tempting

I have an aerobin that has taken up quite a lot of space in the carport and it is quite good for eating up my kitchen scraps.  But I have been bad and not added nearly enough carbon with my high amounts of nitrogen. So I emptied the entire bin out and mixed it with the leaves, blood and bone, ash, cow manure and some peat moss (yes I know not sustainable but it really helps me keep moisture in my sandy soils).

My mix of things to layer in the compost

The sludge that was high in nitrogen and low in carbon  gets added to the compost bins in layer

I think the daleks with it's various stages of layers

So with a bit of time I am going to have such great compost I will be the envy of the neighbourhood.  Of course it does give me some time to help Mr R work on the vegie patch walls and it will be a match made in heaven.

Tell me about your compost patches what has worked for you?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Winter Blues

I know it has been way to long since I have sat down to write, and I really don't have a great excuse just a bit of winter blues.  I am not really glum about winter in fact I really love winter (except the getting out of bed at 5.30am).  But I do think those longer nights means we should be hibernating as I do feel more tired at this time of year.  The gardens certainly slow down which means we get a bit of a break, well sort of as there are  all those grape vines, roses, wisterias and hedges that need top be pruned and sprayed ready for winter.  The weeds thanks to the rain that need removal. Not to mention those gardens that are being feed and mulched.

But here are a few things that I have seen and made over the last couple of weeks.

Amazing sunrises

Tom turned thirty so why not make a couple of cakes?
Mmm they were both really tasty cakes the 3 was a chocolate and peanut butter moose and meringue cake that tasted like a snickers bar.  And the 0 was a chocolate raspberry surprise cake which was exceptionally moist thanks to the mayonnaise (surprise).

We have had a couple of possums that have taken up residence in our roof for quite some time so we finally attached a new home on the liquidambar.  It wasn't terribly happy about it but I think it's new house will give us all a better night sleep.

Mr R attaching the box firmly to possums new abode

And just in case you thought I really wasn't doing any work I have made an appearance on Pennie's blog.... I am impressed that we actually made it into the photo of the day :o) Thanks Pennie

So the boys have suggested we take a walk along the harbour seeing as it is such a nice day so I will finish here and promise to get back to some serious blogging.  Till then I hope you are enjoying winter