Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Zucchini day

Well I have done it, I brought a punnet of zucchini seedlings as I felt I needeed to try and get my own supply for the weekly updates.  I would have liked the green but the only seedlings I came across were these:

Don't you love the fact that the seed is still hanging onto the leaf
I am going to read up on how not to get powdery mildew and hope for the best.

So I made an amazing risotto with zucchini and I have to share it with you.  It was loosely based on 'The River Cafe Cook Book' Risotto con Fiori Zucchini. 

Here is how I did it.
* Cut stamen and spiky sepal out of the zucchini flower, and tear into strips. Then slice the zucchini, plus a few more quite fine.

* Heat about 1.2lt of vegie stock in a pot.
* In another pot melt about 75g butter, then add 2 finely diced onion (from the garden if you are luck) for about 15 min on low.
* Add 355g risotto rice (wanted to finish the container I had) and stir so all the grains are covered.
* Stir in 2 ladles of the stock until it is absorbed. Keep adding a couple of ladles at a time letting the rice absorb it all. After abour 20min add the zucchini slices with the last few ladles of stock. Then the zucchini flowers and a handful of spinach leaves that had cooked a little in the hot stock.

* Finally add another 40g butter, a good sploosh of white wine and a handful of finely sliced basil. I gave it all a stir and popped the lid on for a wee while.
* I toasted up some amazing Tasmanin walnut pieces a friend gave me (for extra protein) to put on the top.
* Take of lid and give it another quick stir and season. Dish up and I added a few chucks of goats cheese (because I did't have any parmesan) and topped with the walnuts.

The finishing result

Gosh it was really good, I will have to make this again.

Have a look at Louise's blog to see how other people are doing with their zucchini.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Strange things happening

Do you have a garden where you just simply wonder what it is the people before where up to when it comes to certain areas around your house or garden? I have an area that runs up the south side of the garden which never had anything growing much, I had the daleks (round compost bins) there for a while. And the Jerusalem artichokes grew there quite happily. But Mr R has been busy again building timber walls at the back of the garden bed to match the side path and to stop soil tipping into the neighbours place (which is at least a meter lower than our place.

New timber side panels just beyond the brickwork
I did have a brilliant passion-fruit climbing over the fence which was doing a fantastic job, however with all the digging of trenches etc it started to die off.  But I regress....  At the top, next to the carport I thought it needed a plant that was happy to grow in a fair amount of shade and finally make the side a little more attractive. I have a client that had a Syzygium 'Cascade' (Lilly Pilly) who had one in a pot that she didn't want anymore and it turns out I had a spot for it.

So I began digging a lovely big hole through soil that had been enriched by the compost over the past few years..... Until I hit plastic, the thick black stuff that had been spread across the entire side of the garden

A good spade depth down stupid and pointless plastic.  Why?
But then it got even stranger. I hit what seemed like a path heading from our house to the neighbours.

Mr R lifting one of the path blocks....

The concrete lifted 
Yes strange paving was sitting on brick piers with nothing underneath except sandstone rock.  Hmm I had at first thought it might be an old septic tank but it just couldn't have fit in the space.  So I decided that I would fill it all back in and plant. The depth of soil is a couple of meters and the roots can grow horizontally so I think it should be fine.

I am sure the Lillypilly will be happy in it's new home
So tell me have you found strange things around your garden that you just can't work out what the previous owners really had in mind?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Zucchini love

The lovely Louise from gardenglut is growing zucchini. Well she has just moved home and while Mr Greenskin has survived the move, a little tired and crumpled but I think he will be fine.  She has come up with a challenge each Tuesday (yes I know it's Wednesday but I am always behind) all about the humble zucchini.  Now it could be photos of your own zuch or a recipe or perhaps even a poem (yes I made that up).

I have in the past tried to grow zucchini but I always have problems with powdery mildew and not wanting t spray I tend to pull them out.  So I opt for a recipe one that I have adapted from not quite Nigella's pie.  As I don't eat meat I thought what I could do is substitute cubes of zucchini, feta and asparagus then the egg.  Now this is usually where a photo should be but it seems the powers that be have deleted the photos from the camera to the computer, sigh.  They were really tasty and looked pretty nice.

A quick run down to making them....

* chop zucchini into cubes, fry with garlic, salt and a little chilli
* roll sliced bread flat and cut out a round to fit into a muffin tin. Butter the round on both sides and pop one into each muffin hole
* Now pop a little zucchini and crumbled feta then an egg and pop a spear of 2 of asparagus into each bread case.
* bake in the oven at around 180 for 20 or so minutes.

Sorry for the no photos perhaps I will do them again and post up some.  Checkout Louise's blog for more zucchini love

Friday, 16 November 2012

Bloggers Bloom Day, November

I love getting to show off my garden and thanks to maydreamsgardens we can not only show off what is in our garden but see what is going on in other peoples garden on the same day.

It seems November is a bit of a strange month. Not a lot about or it is just the start of a number of things that are just getting going like the agapanthus (which I didn't take photos of as there are a lot of heads and only one flower, but then I am sure you all know what they look like). I also have a few things I have 'borrowed' from other gardens that I am not sure what it is. Perhaps you could help me? Lets get going.

The Jacaranda is blooming away like a mad thing. Shame the camera doesn't quite capture the correct colour

Begonia from a client

This is one of the smaller breeds of Hydrangea only meant to get to 60cm.  I just wish it would be blue

This foxglove was amazing, it is on it's last legs now

Strawberries are going great.  The snails and I are having a great feed. Mr R asked why we don't get so many strawberries. She who waters gets to eat :o)

Another 'borrowed' feathery shrub. 

This Sedum is confused between spring and autumn

Limonium or statice flower, these  guys are tough and add a bit of colour to a sandy soil

I think I can remember putting these bulbs in but not what they are called.  They are hiding under my crepe myrtle ground cover 

Ceratopetalum gummiferum or NSW Christmas bush. My Nana had a massive one of these I just have to find the right spot to make him happy in the garden
Well that is it for this month in my patch this month, I can't believe it will be December already next time we have a bloom day. Talk soon.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Thursday, Friday and a bit of Monday

Opps the end of last week was a killer.  I was quite busy that I didn't quite get back to you (sorry).  Never mind I have a whole pile of gardens to take you to.

New flowering ash and buxus

Just mowed.  I think where the agapanthus are they could get a row of citrus as it is full sun.
Now the next garden nearly made me cry again because stupid Bob came back and ripped all the compost and mulch from one vegetable garden to make his mound again.  I wouldn't mind if he used the compost heap after all it is quite a sizeable heap anyway. Sigh so I have had to Bob proof again....

Bob's new heap

But why couldn't he be happy with these fabulous heaps that I made?

And look what he did to the rhubarb!

first sunflower out

Sadly this is about the second last time I get to go to this garden as the client is selling

We have mixed vegetables with flowering plants.  I think they turned out ok

And the herbs have gone great guns

 Well I did forget to take photos at a couple of gardens but it gives you an idea of some of the places I go during the day.  Hope you enjoyed checking out some other gardens apart from mine.  Tomorrow is bloom bloggers day so I will be able to take a few photos of my flowering things.  See you then.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Only a few jobs today but a massive plant up at the end the plants were so tiny it is hard to tell in the vast expanse of garden space.

Dog stands guard over the garden

some agapanthus in
plant up is needed in front of the step and house then the Murraya hedge will continue down the side of the property
The plants are tiny but in

Ready now for mulching next visit

Best pattern despite strange shape of garden bed 
Quickly mowed my lawn with the help of MrR and feed so the rain could water it in. Talk later

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Boy it was hot today, high humidity and about 29-34. It was quite a tough day, thankfully there was a welcome change by the afternoon.  Most of the jobs today are still in the renovation stage so digging or cutting down weeds etc before replacing with real plants.

So after cutting down African Olive, Camphor Laurel, Cercis Australis, dietes I have thrown in some tough bromeliads

Aagh Wandering Jew (or Trad as it is now called) is gone

We have taken quite a rubbish out of here, you wouldn't have seen the van about 6 mths ago

The client here is going mad as there is a bad bandicoot that constantly digs holes in his lawn anyone have an idea how to get rid of them, nicely?  

Lime leaf Duranta

Ok this isn't my garden but I was pruning the Murraya and thought the garden over the pool fence could do with some work

We planted about 6mths ago, mostly native and it is doing quite well

Damn there is an old footpath below the grass every summer it dries out

Hmm weed mat, there are just some people who we can't convince that it is so bad for soil and plants....
Well that time again off to work

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I thought this week i would take you gardening with me.  I will give you a small snapshot of some of the gardens I attend each day, week, month. so here is Monday...

This quiet courtyard has the most beautiful Ulmus parvifolia
The drive nice and tidy
But a few weeks ago the wisteria was in full bloom

great way to hide a daggy ol shed
A simple courtyard
A seat makes all the difference in a garden

I wish my oyster plants were as tall as this

Well best get off to work. See you tomorrow