Archive for October, 2013


Signs of Spring

Spring has been well and truly in the air for some time now, and as a result it’s easy to find signs of spring throughout the garden. I think I had more flowers and bulbs out last year – unfortunately neglect from finishing the renovations before our permit ran out meant aphids destroyed a l lot of bulbs before I’d even realised they had moved in. But what was left remains beautiful and provides a pleasant working ground for creating the summer garden. Also included in the spring flowers is my very first apple blossom which can’t help but make me smile!

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The garden has been trying its hardest over the past month to leap well and truly into spring. Not only are flowers blooming, but my favourite spring veggie has been ready to harvest – the broad beans.

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I have really been looking forward to the broad beans forming as I wanted to try a recipe for broad bean risotto that I tried last year which was fantastic. It’s from “Grow It Cook It” which is a really great book with recipes on basic things grown in the garden (most of my favourite recipes are from it). This recipe has lemon & parmesan in it too which makes the flavour pretty awesome, but I vary it a little by adding a lot of other veggies alongside with home grown celery. Although it does use a lot of broad beans – most of the crop, it’s worth it – tastes great! Thankfully the beans are still growing and I’ll get a couple of more meals from them again before spring is over. I’ll probably just end up making risotto again though!

Crop 1

Crop 1

Crop 2

Crop 2

broad bean 8

The result!

The result!

A New Arrival

A new pet? A small child? Pretty close – I have, with hesitation, introduced an orchid into our lives. I have always felt orchids indicated that next level of obsessive gardening, indicating a point of no return. The more time that goes on however, I struggle to see why that’s a bad thing. orchid 2 I fell in love with orchids back when I went to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show in March, which had the most spectacular display, and the desire to own one has gradually been building ever since. With a nursery voucher left over from my birthday (to get something special) I found myself last weekend contemplating taking home an orchid. At the time, I decided the responsibility was too great and wandered home. However that very same day, my partner Chris came home after helping clean out someone’s house with what he described as a bag of leftover, unwanted soil. I wandered outside to find a small bag of orchid potting mix – surely it was a sign! The next day I found a “beginning with orchids” book on sale for $10. I took that as a sign too…

orchid 1

So today I ventured out with the knowledge there is no turning back. At the checkout the cashier said “oh you’re taking home a child!” which did make me feel a little better about the over-exaggerated feeling of responsibility growing in my head. She also made a comment regarding it not being too expensive if it dies. That really cemented it for me as my stubbornness boiled up thinking “I won’t kill it!” It’s now pride of place on my desk, beaming back at me. I’m also looking for names for my new “pet” if anyone has any funny or creative ideas…orchid 3

Yes – I have a purple cauliflower. And while it is tiny, and probably won’t get much larger than this – it has made me very, almost childishly, excited to know I have a purple cauliflower in the garden at the moment. It’s actually called “Purple Sicily” and I grew it from seed, which has also made me pretty happy as I’ve never managed to grow a cauliflower from seed before. Now all that’s left is to eat… caulie 1 caulie 2

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