Mike Crosby was busy planting his suburban Tauranga garden with as many fruit trees as he could fit in when he noticed something was missing – bees. A bit of internet research later and Mike had plans for a topbar hive, a DIY hive that lets bees build their comb beneath a wooden bar, thought to mimic nature more closely than a box-style hive. He now has two topbar hives and a three-box Langstroth hive – the latter contains 20,000 to 30,000 bees, while the topbar hives hold fewer. (More information about topbar hives available here) Continue reading
Why are some of Australia’s top restaurants, demanding flowers of violas, fennel, coriander, peas, rocket and borage? Is there something that you eat that’s a tad boring that needs an extra bit of zing and colour? The history of edible flowers can be traced back thousands of years. Romans used edible flowers such as mallows, roses and violets in a lot of their dishes. Continue reading
I have the Long Beach Marathon to thank for finding this garden. No, I didn’t run the marathon, more like actively avoided it. The marathon barricades cut off much of my end of Long Beach, so trying to get a few errands done was a circuitous challenge. I ended up in neighborhoods I don’t often see, such as the one where this front garden fills a corner lot. I vowed to return. Last night, I found it again, even though I had misremembered the street name. Who needs street names with a garden like this? I bet locals use it for reference: “Hang a right at Little Lotusland…” Continue reading
It is not the first time I am telling the story of my garden to an audience – I did that for five years when I had the most wonderful audience of garden lovers across sunny South Africa, all readers of the popular South African monthly magazine, SA Garden. Now – through GardenDrum – I hope to find a new audience of gardeners who would like to share my garden with me and share their gardens with me! For those of you who have not read any of my garden articles I published the past 10 years, let me introduce myself: I have gardening in my blood. Continue reading
As soon as the baby arrives and begins this wonderful journey called life, it is medically suggested that nature has left the baby short of its needs. Vitamin K is now strongly recommended at birth and eight weeks later in the form of an injection or as an oral form for the baby. The reason is a possible haemorrhage that has life threatening consequences. I’m not wanting to pooh pooh the methods of science but to suggest that do babies having just experienced their dramatic arrival really need an invasive needle? Surely Vitamin K has to found in a natural form in a high dose? In steps our friend and new fashion icon; Kale. Continue reading
WELL I’m in hog heaven. I’ve had a brilliant day scavenging fresh produce and then cooking the proceeds. I scored my first scavenge at a committee meeting for the Sydney group of Open Gardens Australia. Committee Chair Ros Andrews, had brought a basket of limes to share out. The committee meets at Ryde College of TAFE. In the kitchen adjacent to the committee room was a box of chokos pleading to be taken home. I took a couple, adding them to my stash.
I have had it up to “pussies bow” with the lack of science being shown by supposed scientists that work with weeds and weediness! Several years ago as a horticultural media operative I was invited to a seminar in Melbourne to be told what we in the media were to be able to say about declared weedy plants (nothing positive!). Continue reading
When the Poinciana tree in my courtyard is viewed from the upstairs window one can imagine that it is early summer, as the canopy is a lush green and is festooned with gorgeous red blooms. But, down below it is a different story as thousands (if not millions) of the tiny yellow leaves rain down on almost every inch of the courtyard. The flush of autumn flowers means that there are also lots of red petals in the mix. Continue reading