Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The home grown tomatoes are in the oven.  Considering that the plants (there is a variety of them, from tiny grape-sized ones to fat romas) have NEVER been sprayed or dusted or even, for that matter, tied up to stakes, I was amazed that not one fruit had anything suspect in it - no livestock inside at all!

Hooray for organic gardening!

Some of them were just so perfect, I had to take their photo before I sliced them in half.

Here they all are before they went into an oven set at 115 degrees Celsius.

They've only been there for about twenty minutes and already I am drooling from the smell.  Even my brand new herb plants got into the act - there were enough sprigs on the thyme to snip a few, together with pieces of the rosemary.  Yum, can't wait till they're done!

What the ......!

Perhaps cooking isn't one of my great virtues, but I can honestly say I'm not aware of having starved anyone to death, nor made anyone too sick to go on. However, one thing I can say is that I cannot 'cook' compost! Consequently, anything that goes into my compost heap lives to grow another day.

So it doesn't surprise me anymore when I go to water the roses in the western bed to first have to pick the fruits of the compost added some time ago. Here's today's offering -

I might add, there's probably just as many getting ready to be picked.

So here's what I'm doing this afternoon - Slow Roasted Tomatoes. Yum! Thanks Deb!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When . . . .

did 'r' for noses become 'h' for serbs?

I guess it makes sense, it's right there outside the door to the kitchen, it's right by the garden tap for ease of watering. There's a tomato and some basil, a couple of parsleys, a rhubarb and two different thymes. And room at the back for a passionfruit vine to grow on the fence. My only concern is that it's on the outside (streetside) of the fence and that the pesky 'wabbits' will come in the night for a feed. We'll have to wait and see what they like and what they leave, if anything.

The tiger lilies are flowering - what odd looking things. I can remember them having only one row of petals - not multiple rows.

Funny things!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some New Year's Gardening Resolutions!

I so want my lengthy hiatus from working in the garden to be at an end! I need cool weather, a little rain on a regular basis, a back that doesn't ache and huge doses of inspiration and motivation.

I guess I can blame a little of my recent silence on the battle I've been having to get my 'new' secondhand computer running. Now, three zero and re-installs later, not to mention two hour phone consultations with the friendly man from Apple, we seem to be cruising. Touch wood!

There's a new house being built across the street from us, such a pity but we need to remember that we don't own the view of the entire mountain range. I figure if you want to control the view to the horizon, you need to own to the horizon! Anyway, the bricklayers have been working across the street and when I looked out first thing this morning, the cement mixer was going round and round, accompanied by the drone of the generator driving it - and the bricklayers were asleep in the truck! They were still there an hour later! Being a fairminded person, I came to the conclusion that I could not really be critical if I was being just as lazy inside my house on the other side of the street. So out I went into the garden.

My first job was to trim back the plumbago which, with the weight of flowers, has drooped across the front path and rewards your efforts of going by with a liberal dose of sticky things stuck to your clothes. As I stood beside the shrub snipping away, the Google Maps car went down the street! Now I know I've said previously that my aim was to be standing, waving, by the letterbox in my pyjamas when they eventually 'did' our street but once they'd gone by, my thought was that they could have let me know, I'd have at least brushed my hair! When they came back up the street, I was standing by the rose arch - is there going to be two of me in the garden I wonder? I guess I'd best be thankful that I wasn't weeding, back to the street, butt in the air complete with plumber's crack!

My haphazard approach to gardening has to stop. I need to go out the front door each gardening day with a clear purpose in mind and I must get into the habit of resolutely sticking to the job deigned to be that day's endeavour. And when I look back through my album of garden photos, I'm always disappointed at the lack of 'before' shots. Why am I never organised enough to take a photo of the way things were? And why do I always think that the lady who lived here before knew everything possible about gardening, much more than I do, and therefore that everything she planted is in absolutely the most premium spot for that particular plant. Truth is, she didn't and it's probably not. Let's turn over a new leaf and start really working on this garden to make it ours.

And we will start with some 'before' photos - or 'nearly before' photos. I've already removed a bucket full of weeds from around the rosemary.

Speaking of the rosemary, how huge and lanky is it! How much can I trim it back before it dies on me? It is growing in a sea of oxalis. I wonder if I would be better off pulling the whole thing out, poisoning the oxalis and planting a new rosemary or two. The trunk at ground level is as thick as my arm.

And those purple pea shrubs next to the fence - they've gotta go! Then I could sort out that corner and grow something there that I actually like!

And while I was taking the 'before' photos, I couldn't resist this of DA Troilus, complete with rain drops. Lovely!

Later -

I have worked all day in the same area and on the same job - it IS a better way to go. I dug out the purple pea things which turned out to be Polygala somethings. I located an old label underneath them, well, part of a label, enough to read the first part of the name and that they cost $14. When I dragged the polygalas to the winter burning pile, I discovered that everything already on the winter burning pile had previously been polygalas as well! A mental sweep of the garden reveals that the last polygala has been removed.

So now I have an 'after' photo!

Gee, I hope that looks better than this morning! Sometimes I feel that my effort makes such a minute bit of difference to the look of the garden. Oh well, I'm quite satisfied. I even got out the Mars Bar mower and tidied up the grass.

The Mars Bar mower - so called because when you've finished mowing, you're perfectly entitled to go inside and eat a Mars Bar! Well, that's my theory anyway.

So now that the polygala peas are no more, I have a spot for planting something lovely - hmm, wonder what I'll plant - maybe something that starts with 'r' and rhymes with 'noses'!

I got my first plant catalogue for the year today - from Tesselaars and all full of tulips and daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs. The seasons roll on!