Real World Gardener How to Make Beeswax Wraps In The Good Earth

May 23rd, 2019

THE GOOD EARTH

 Beeswax wraps.

Plastic is back in the media as being bad for the environment, so much so, that some countries have banned the use of plastic bags.

Soft plastics such as what you use for wrapping your sandwiches are just as much of a problem as the bags because, it doesn’t break down ever.

So what else can you wrap your sandwiches in other than putting it in a plastic container?

So let’s find out.

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Beeswax wraps for food storage

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska, Director of www.mosshouse.com.au and course coordinator for Permaculture North in Sydney.

 

PLAY: Beeswax wraps_15th May 2019 (rpt 14th June 2017)

You can spend the dollars and buy the ready-made beeswax wraps, or you can do it yourself quite cheaply. 

How to Make Beeswax wraps

12 grams Beeswax

40 x 40 cm piece of cotton. Quilting cotton density.

Jojoba oil in a spray bottle.

So go on, kick the plastic habit and make some beeswax wraps yourself

Real World Gardener Plants for Cool Sub-Tropics part 2 in Design Elements

May 23rd, 2019

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Old Fashioned Shrubs for Cool Sub-tropical part 2

This series is all about what were those old fashioned shrubs that you may have some of in your garden.

Last week was part 1 of cool sub-tropics which is a zoning not mentioned before by any gardening book I know.

Leopard%2Bplant%2Bflower.jpg

Leopard plant

 

Peter has added this zoning to cover parts of the east coast that are warm and humid but not as warm and humid as say Cairns or Townsville.

Let’s find out what old fashioned shrubs suit cool temperate areas.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden Designer & project Manager from Paradisus Garden design.

PLAY: Old Fashioned Shrubs cool sub-tropics part 2 15th May 2019

 

Cool sub-tropics is not a zone you would normally think of but there it is.

Peter mentioned plants for shade:

Gerberas; 

Barleria cristata -Lavendar lace

Lobelia laxiflora 1.2m height with orange/yellow flowers;

 Ruellia mackoyana-groundcover

Plants for semi-shade:

Farfugia japonicum aureomaculatum-Leopard plant

Plectranthus ecklonii and P. grandis with blue flowers

 

If you have any questions for Peter or for me, you know what to do..

Real World Gardener Lovely Rosemary Herb in Plant of the Week

May 23rd, 2019

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Herbal: Rosmarinus officinalis: Rosemary

Dew of the sea, what can that be?

Not a rhyme but a riddle about which herb that grows by the coast, and is used by herbalists and naturopaths.

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Rosemary flowers

With a pretty little flower either white, pink or blue and needle like leaves, this herb grows easily and has a minty-sage or pine like flavour. 

No surprises that it belongs to the mint family. ( Lamiaceae).

Let’s find out more. I'm talking with Simone Jeffries, herbalist and naturopath. www.simonejeffriesnaturopath.com.au

 

LIVE: Rosemary_15th_ May 2019

The herb rosemary, is pretty hardy in any climate zone and most soils.

Rosemary-7558.jpgOne thing it detests is wet feet being a herb originating from the Mediterranean.

Rosemary leaves contain many essential components and strictly speaking, the distilled oil isn't a real oil because it contains no fat.

The main chemical components of rosemary oil include a-pinene, borneol, b-pinene, camphor, bornyl acetate, camphene, 1,8-cineole, and limonene.

Rosemary is regarded as a memory herb, probably because it helps your blood to circulate.

Good for tension headaches and energises you if you drink it as a tea

Steep a large bunch in hot water for 10 minutes in this case.

In Cooking:

Use it scones and orange cake or saute rosemary and fresh mushrooms with some butter. 

In stuffing for chicken, combine rosemary with thyme and sage with either rice or breadcrumbs. Delicious!

 

If you have any questions either for me or for Simone drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Glorious Marigolds in Talking Flowers

May 20th, 2019

TALKING PLANTS

Marigolds: Tagetes erect: Tagetes patula

Native to North and South America

  • Sowing: They take off easily from seed, either grown indoors during the winter months or sown directly into the soil when it’s warmer out.
  • Good companion plant because they attract pollinators and improve soil quality.
  •  Be mindful not to water marigolds from the top. If their blooms get too wet, they will often turn into a mushy brown mess.

Did you know that one variety of the flower is even fed to chickens so that egg yolks have a more perfect yellow colour?

Myth or Fact?

Legend has it that Mother Mary of the Christian tradition was robbed by bandits, but when they cut open her purse all that fell out were yellow flowers, something that would one day by named “marigold” (Mary’s gold) in her honour.

Or was it because early Christians placed flowers instead of coins on Mary’s altar as offerings?

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.floralgossip.com.au

Real World Gardener 5 Old Fashioned Shrubs for Cool sub-tropics part 1 in in Design Elements

May 20th, 2019

DESIGN ELEMENTS

5 Old Fashioned Shrubs Cool Sub-Tropical Part 1

Last week I mentioned that gone are the days when you had lots of variety in garden centres to choose from.

This series is all about what were those old fashioned shrubs.

But we’re not just doing a blanket five but going through each climate zone in Australia, including some of Peter Nixon’s zoning.

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Aucuba japonica

Some of these other zones might suit your area as well even though they’re classified as say arid or sub-tropical.

It all depends on whether or not you’ve got a micro-climate in your garden that will suit.

Let’s find out what old fashioned shrubs suit cool temperate areas.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden Designer & project Manager from Paradisus Garden design.

PLAY: Old Fashioned Shrubs cool sub-tropics part 1 8th May 2019

Cool sub-tropics is not a zone you would normally think of but there it is.

Peter mentioned for the south side: shady

  • Platycodon homalocladium or bad hair day plant.
  • Aucuba japonica-gold dust plant ; Japanese Maple
  • Selection of Fuchsias eg Tom Thumb.
  • On the northern side: Hibiscus mutabilis; Rothmannia globosa-September Bells
  • Thevetia peruviana-Yellow Oleander; Hibiscus schizopetalus
  • Melastoma affine-Blue Tongue; Eriostemen_Philotheca myoporoides

If you have any questions for Peter or for me, you know what to do..

Real World Gardener Weeds as Messengers in Backyard Biodynamics

May 20th, 2019

BACKYARD BIODYNAMICS

Weed Tea

Have you ever though of weeds as messengers?

Probably not because like most gardeners, when we see weeds, we think of the work that’s needed to either pull them out or spray them with something or other.

Technically, weeds are classified as those plants which are growing in the wrong place as identified by the gardener. Weeds in paths and driveways are one example.

 

plant-dandelio%2Bweeds.jpg

Weeds are plants that are not wanted

Either way, it often involves a bit of back breaking work which over the years doesn’t get any easier.

But is there a good side to the weed story?

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Diane Watkin, founder of Backyard Biodynamics Sydney,

 

Take heed of what weeds you have in the garden before you pull them out

Identifying weeds by soil type can help you determine what your soil may ultimately be lacking.

If you have poorly drained soil for example, you may find that chickweed, spurge, violet, moss, knotweed and sedge  likes to grow there.

Stellaria_media_Common_Chickweed.jpg

Stellaria media-Chickweed

chickweed and Spurge are also indicators of alkaline soil.

Weeds can also help you pinpoint nutrient deficiencies.

Thistles indicate lack of Magnesium and Copper.

Both are trace elements which is easy enough to treat your soil for.

Clover in your lawn indicates lack of nitrogen too..Another easy fix. 

Weed Tea Brew For Your Garden

Weeds are also good accumulators of specific nutrients.

Put this back into your soil by making a weed tea: all you need to do is steep a bucket of weeds (not seeded) in water for several weeks.

The resulting brew, can be diluted and poured back into the garden.

If you have any questions either for me or for Dianne, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener NEW Daphne Perfume Princess in Plant of the Week

May 15th, 2019

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Daphne 'Perfume Princess'

If you love fragrance, you’re probably going to buy plants that aren’t supposed to do well in your district.

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Daphne Perfume Princess photo M Cannon

Plants like Luculia, or Lilac (Syringia vulgaris) which are for cool climates mostly.

There’s another plant that has a reputation of keeling over without warning, but gardeners still want to grow if because of its high fragrance.

Now, there’s a new variety with flowers double or triple the size of the old species (Daphne odora) and hopefully, a bit more resistant to some of the problems that plagued the predecessor.

So, what so good about it? 

Let’s find out.….

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

  • Daphne Perfume Princess is apparently no ordinary Daphne and should be on every plant collector’s list.

Not only are the flowers bigger than the species Daphne, but it flowers longer, can grow anywhere in Australia and it has the strongest fragrance of any Daphne.

A definite must have.

Real World Gardener Old Fashioned Shrubs for Cool Temperate Gardens in Design Elements

May 15th, 2019

Old Fashioned Shrubs and Trees for Cool Climate Gardens

Last week I mentioned that gone are the days when you had lots of variety in garden centres to choose from.

So this series is all about what were those old fashioned shrubs.

But we’re not just doing a blanket five but going through each climate zone in Australia, including some of Peter Nixon’s zoning.

Some of these other zones might suit your area as well even though they’re classified as say arid or sub-tropical.

It all depends on whether or not you’ve got a micro-climate in your garden that will suit.

Let’s find out what old fashioned shrubs suit cool temperate areas.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden Designer and project Manager from Paradisus Garden design.

Tabebuia%2Bchrysostricha.jpg

Tabebuia chrysostricha

  • Cool temperate can mean highlands and alpine regions and areas where you get a hoar frost..
  • Bauhinia acuminata-small tree less than 4m.
  • Syringas-lilacs
  • Michelia doltsopa or Michelia Maudii small tree with white scented foliage and dark green leaves.
  • Camellias japonica C.sasanqua, C. reticulata or C.vernalis.
  • Peter suggested the ‘girl’ series sasanquas from Paradise nursery.
  • Tabebuia chrysostricha-intense yellow trumpet flowers.
  • Daphne odorata, kniphofia, and peonies 

Real World Gardener NEW Vanilla Bean part 2 in Spice it Up

May 15th, 2019

SPICE IT UP

Vanilla bean:Vanilla planifolia "Andrews"

Vanilla_tahitensis.jpg

Vanilla tahitensis

Commercially, Vanilla fragrans and Vanilla tahitensis are used but they have less vanillin in them.

Harvesting and curing the vanilla bean is very labour intensive.

Once the green bean has matured, then they are laid out during the day on drying racks.

At night , they are wrapped up in woollen blankets.

This process goes on for 2 months. 

I'ts really labour intensive, but if you missed it, you can catch up on my blog for last week.

There was so much to tell with the story of this spice that I had to split it up into two parts. 

But this episode is about how we can economise with our hugely expensive cured vanilla bean in cooking.

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill, owner of www.herbies.com.au

Let’s find out.

 

LIVE: NEW Vanilla Bean Story part 1_24th April 2019

Plenty of tips on how best to use real vanilla in cooking plus a why not make a vanilla flavoured rum? 

Vanilla Flavoured Rum Recipe:

  • Choose your favourite Jamaican rum to which you add 1 vanilla bean and 1 cinnamon quill.
  • Infuse for 1 1/2 - 2 weeks.
  • Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon and you will be left with a transformed flavour that equals botrytis semillon.

Vanilla Bean and Poached Pears:

vanilla%2Bbean%2Band%2Bsugar.jpg

Vanilla beans when cured, should be supply like licorice.avour comes from actual vanilla orchids these days?.

The rest is mostly synthesized from either guaiacol (which accounts for about 85 percent of it) or

 

1 Vanilla Bean and champagne OR

1 vanilla bean and sugar syrup of your choice.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

 Remove the vanilla bean and store if canister of caster sugar for a week. 

This gives you vanilla flavoured caster sugar.

NOTE: As long as the vanilla bean hasn't been used on milk, you can use the bean up to 3 times before discarding.

Here’s why you shouldn’t use imitation vanilla.

Did you know that less than one percent of the world’s vanilla fl lignin.

Guaiacol is a fragrant liquid obtained by distilling wood-tar creosote or guaiac (resin from the guaiacum tree).

If you have any questions either for me or for Ian, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

Real World Gardener Crazy Ajuga or Carpet Bugle is Plant of the Week

April 30th, 2019

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Carpet Bugle:Ajuga reptans

 

Do you want a ground cover that suits shade, still flowers and provides plenty of colour?

William Turner, a 16th century physician and naturalist described it as ‘It is a blacke herbe and it groweth in shaddowy places and moyst groundes.’-

640px-Ajuga_reptans%2Bcommon.jpg

 

Ajuga-tricolour.jpgI'm talking with Jeremy Critchley owner of www.thegreengallery.com.au and Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au

Let’s find out. more.

Spoiler alert, there’s a new variety out now called Ajuga Princess Nadia. Lookout for it in your nearest garden centre.

Not only does Carpet Bugle cope with shade but it copes with sun as long as it gets sufficient watering.

Nobody knows why it’s really called Bugle flower , it’s one of botany’s mysteries.

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