Real World Gardener How to Cook With Garlic in Spice It Up

September 13th, 2018



Do you remember a time when you refused to eat anything that contained garlic?

How things change as we grow older and as our taste buds develop.

Most of us would probably say now that apart from sweet dishes, we wouldn’t dream of not using garlic all the time.



But which is the best and can you grow your own?

Let’s find out . I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from


PLAY: Garlic_5th September_ 2018


Garlic's been around for thousands of years; even found in the Valley of the Kinfs in Egyptian pyramids.


Grow your own garlic, it's better quality. photo M Cannon

Fact or Fiction?

Garlic was known as "clown's treacle" or "poor man's treace."

It is a fact because "treacle" is an ancient word used to describe something that is used as remedy for all manner of things, including snake bites.!

Garlic has strong anti-microbial properties and is used as a food preservative along with food acids in manufactured food. 

Adding a little extra garlic in some products means that the manufacturer can use less food acid.

Sprouted Garlic?

No worries, you can use it but take out the green strip in the middle of the clove because this tastes bitter.

Did you know that the best way to release the health-happy power of garlic is to cut it, smash or crush it which then turns garlic’s thio-sulfinite compounds into allicin.

Allicin is an antibiotic and antifungal that is believed to reduce “bad” cholesterol, as it inhibits enzymes from growing in liver cells. 

Garlic Powder: Is It any good?

Yes it's good to use but only buy granulated garlic powder. If you do buy other garlic powder, check that rice flour hasn't been added to it.

Of course you can grow your own but stick to the cooler months of the year.

If you have any questions about growing or cooking with garlic either for me or for Ian why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Fragrant Flowers in Talking Flowers

September 6th, 2018


Fragrance in the garden.

Perfume adds atmosphere and a wonderful feeling of romance to any garden.

The smell of any flower is never really just one single chemical compound. 

Flowers give off a complex mix of volatile organic chemicals, although not all of these will add to the aroma or perfume, a significant number will impact it to varying degrees.

Some scentuous suggestions:

Star Jasmine, Tuberoses, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Roses, Carnations, Hydrangeas, Stephanotis, Honeysuckle.

Violets: Their scent is primarily caused by the presence of compounds called ionones.

Interesting fact: We become used to most persistent smells, our brain registers them as constants and phases them out.

This is why you can get used to the smell of a perfume, so that you no longer notice it.

TIP : Change your perfume every few days so that you can refresh your sense of smell.

But for Violets something else is at play.

The ionones in violets’ are different to every other flower because they are able to somehow bypass our sense of smell, binding to the receptors and temporarily desensitising them.

As this shut-down is only temporary, the ionones can soon be detected again, and are registered as a new smell.

Consequently, the scent of the violet appears to disappear — then reappear!

No wonder Napolean chose violets as his favourite flower.

My favourites: Frangipanis, Angel Trumpet, Stephanotis,  Osmanthus, Gardenia, Cherry pie, Buddleia,  native frangipani, Magnolia champaca.


Some of these fill the garden with their scent, particularly at night, others you have to sniff to get the full scent.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of

Real World Gardener Touch and 5 Senses Gardening in Design Elements

September 6th, 2018


Five Senses Gardening: Touch

These days, many people live in high rises and so do their children.

Days, weeks and months can go by when these high rise dwellers don’t make contact with any living plant.

So instead of missing out on the nurturing effect of plants, why not be inspired to bring them into your life?

Let’s find out about what, why and how.

I'm talking with Chris Poulton, Sydney Convenor for the Australian Institute of Horticulture and an experienced horticultural lecturer and consultant.


Mimosa pudica : Nerve Plant

Get your kids involved with plants like Mimosa pudica, or nerve plant whether in a pot on the balcony or on your back doorstep or patio.

Let them touch the plant and see how it reacts by closing up.

Or if you’re an advanced gardener, perhaps a venus fly trap would suit your sunny windowsill in your house or apartment?

There are numerous sensory plants that invite you to feel or just touch them.

Try the felty leaves of Lamb's Ears, or rub the leaves scented geraniums or pelragoniums, 

Feel the rough bark of Casuarinas or Birches, perhaps even an Ironbark Eucalypt.

All of these sensations will awaken our sense of touch.

If you have any questions about five senses gardening or have a suggestion either for me or for Chris why not write in or email me at

Real World Gardener Gardening in Dry Soil in Backyard Biodynamics

September 6th, 2018


Soil-Organic-Fertilizer-Compost-Garden-HGardening in Dry Soil: How to Make Your Soil Healthy

Is your soil healthy and full of earthworms or is it dry, degraded with no sign of anything living?

When you pick up a handful of soil, what colour is it and does it run through your fingers like sand, or stay in a big clump?

All of these things are important to know but here are some ideas to help improve your dry soil so your plants will be more vigorous and healthy. 

Let’s find out .

That was Diane Watkin, co-founder of Biodynamics Sydney.

PLAY: Gardening in Dry Soil_29th August 2018

Neglected soil, degraded soil, sandy soil, all of these possibilities add up to "lifeless dirt."

It's no good putting in a bagful of earthworms because they will surely perish as there is no food for the worms.

To encourage life back into your soil you need to add liquid in the form of compost eat, worm tea, seaweed tea or fish-head tea.


Chelsea Physic Garden photo M Cannon

Also you need to add organic matter in the form of organic or biodynamic compost.

All these things will bring back the microbial life and encourage earthworms to return.

For those gardeners not able to access bio-dynamic compost and any of the preparations Diane talked about, the second best alternative is to use organic compost, especially home-made compost and some sort of seaweed tea, weed tea, or similar.


If you have any questions about improving your soil, either for me or for Diane, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


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