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 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


Vanilla bean:Vanilla planifolia "Andrews"


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

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 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 or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


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