Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nothing like a wet weekend...

... especially when it's a long one. Three days off...and three days of rain. Sigh. Not at all conducive to getting out on the bikes, which was really annoying. We'd planned a ride in the country but instead did indoor DIY, made marmalade (batch 4... a bit thick and sticky but very flavoursome) and read books after a bookstore binge last Thursday when we picked up half a dozen more goodies on the sales table.

Now of course I'm in work mode again and the rain has stopped for the moment - not to worry, the rest of the week is forecast to be gloomy. But I took some time off this morning to take photos of my garden, which thoroughly enjoyed its spring soaking.

The pink roses are out the front, tumbling over lattice and providing amazing scent when you walk past them.

The irises and all the other photos are taken in our back courtyard garden. You'll see sorrel growing next to the irises. It likes lots of water so has gone ballistic this week; I'll have to cut some of it back to give the other herbs and the tomatoes a chance. You can make a wonderful sauce with sorrel that goes well with chicken and fish, or use the younger leaves in salads. You can blanche the leaves with spinach to pad out your veggies on the dinner table as well. The older leaves can be a bit bitter to eat raw.

The red and white flowers are salvias; in this case, Hotlips, with its big pouting lips. I love salvias - I have six different ones in my garden and another three at my mother's. Some are ornamental, like Hotlips, some are edible like sage officinalis, but with the bigger ones there's a lovely trick you can do with the flowers: pull one off carefully and suck it at the base - you'll get a hit of nectar :-). The native honeyeaters love them just as much as I do.

Lots of herbs doing their stuff now too; the borage is in bright blue flower, and apparently planting blue flowers at the ends of your veggie beds attracts the nasties away from your veggies and onto the blue flowers. The blue flowers don't seem to suffer as a result! The blue also attracts bees which apparently then buzz around your veggies and fruit. I have rosemary planted at the other end; that will soon be covered in blue flowers too. Borage flowers are a visual way to dress up your salads or put into a drink like Pimm's. They are edible; they're not a taste sensation but not unpleasant either.

I have young tomato plants in, so the next thing will be to plant some basil in between them - this helps keep fruit flies at bay. There are also some marvellous, but not cheap, products in the EcoNaturalure range which I use to control fruit flies. I use a lot of the Eco products by this manufacturer - they really are fantastic, they're organic, there are no nasty chemicals (I figure we put enough chemicals into our bodies unthinkingly, unwittingly and often without our knowledge or consent unless we are really viligent about reading packaging labels and the manufacturers are truly honest about just what goes into things).


  1. Even tho' are summer is just ending it is so nice to see spring!
    I have to check my sorrel. The leaves are a nice addition to a sandwich we like. Tuna, hummus (roasted red pepper hummus is best) a bit of cayenne pepper and sorrel leaves cut into strips. Stir together and spread on toasted whole wheat bread. Yum.

  2. Hi Sox, will have to give that sandwich spread a try, it sounds delicious!