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
If you want to grow some of your own veg, and you’re short on space, then growing them in containers is a great option. But it’s not the only reason. If your soil is rubbish, and you hate digging, then it’s easy to create beautiful soil for growing in pots… and I’ll be sharing my recipe for a super soil mix a little later on. If you’ve never grown anything before, then grabbing a few pots, filling them with mix and planting out some established seedlings is the quickest and easiest way to get a start. Continue reading
Crib Point is a small town on Western Port Bay on the Mornington Peninsula. It is mainly known for its naval base, HMAS Cerberus, but since 2006 it can also claim a thriving community garden. In that year a small group of local people was granted permission by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to establish a garden on part of the old school playground adjacent to the Crib Point Community House which was the original primary school for the town. Continue reading
If someone had told the wired twenty-something-year-old me that I would not only become an avid organic vegetable gardener, but also write a best selling book about it, I would have wanted to know what they were smoking from their garden. By the time I was 25, I had travelled down the mighty Congo River, been inside the crater of a live volcano, come eyeball to eyeball with a mountain gorilla and touched the glacier on the Mountains of the Moon. Me – a gardener? No way. But today I can’t imagine my life without a garden. Continue reading
So this blog is about some of my mistakes and failures so far – aka ‘learning opportunities’. Luckily only one is expensively terminal, the others are little setbacks and inconveniences from which plant(s) will recover.
Several mistakes have been because of poor cultivation methods. I lost about four raspberry canes through over-watering – the drippers were too close to the bare-rooted canes, I watered too often, and it’s possible I added too much organic matter to the bed. Continue reading
Grafting. The term probably makes you think of roses, grapes, apples and nuts, which have long been grafted to improve disease resistance and productivity. But it won’t be long before grafting is also commonly associated with tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, watermelon and other vegetables that are highly susceptible to crop destroyers, such as bacterial wilt, nematodes and soil-borne diseases. Continue reading
Ah, that bowl of cherries on the table at Christmas time – what a quintessentially Aussie tradition, much like the bowl of prawns. Totally YUM! But growing up with Dutch Christmas traditions (pepernoten, Sinterklaas), I never really connected with the Christmas-cherry-thing until began sharing dinners with my Aussie partner’s family. And I was converted!
Fanatical food growers like me are always raving on about the superior flavour of home-grown produce… and we’re not joking… all of it is true… and it’s especially the case when it comes to sweet corn. When you eat corn freshly picked from the garden… it’s incredibly sweet, crisp and juicy. Continue reading