Growing Herbs

Tomato Terminology #1 – Heirlooms vs. Hybrids

Tomato Terminology #1 – Heirlooms vs. Hybrids

Welcome to the first in a series of All Things Tomato Have you browsed your seed catalogs and seen little tags next to plant names saying “F1 Hybrid” or “Open Pollinated”? Have you been told by farmer’s market salesmen about their tomatoes only being “heirlooms”?…

Week in Retrospect (Mon, 28 Aug – Sun, 3 Sept)

Week in Retrospect (Mon, 28 Aug – Sun, 3 Sept)

Spring has sprung! Woohoo and Happy Spring Day to you! This was quite a busy week, what with it being slightly warmer and less rainy, and the best time to sow and grow according to the moon calendar I use. For more ideas on what…

Week in retrospect (Mon, 14 Aug –  Sun, 27 Aug)

Week in retrospect (Mon, 14 Aug – Sun, 27 Aug)

Welll, two weeks in retrospect actually – It is definitely gearing up to be spring, and I see my productivity double around the garden from week to week now. It is a gorgeous time to get ready for the new growing season!   In my…

Week in Retrospect (Monday, 7 Aug – Sunday, 13 Aug)

Week in Retrospect (Monday, 7 Aug – Sunday, 13 Aug)

Mud. Mud. Mud. Everywhere! It is the bane of living in Auckland in winter when it rains and rains on the clay soil. I honestly did not enjoy being in the garden this past week… a rare occasion, I promise you. I was slipping and a…

Edible Flowers #7: Lavender

What an enchanting herb, Lavender (Lavandula spp) is! Long associated with the English cottage garden, or picturesque purple lavender hills in the French countryside, Lavender is loved and grown all over the world today. Lavenders have long been used as a medicine for various ailments, and in…

Edible Flowers #9: Citrus blossoms

Native to Southeast Asia, originating perhaps in Southern China or Northeastern India, and in cultivation for over 4000 years, the citrus genus bears some of the world’s favourite fruit. Although it is commonly agreed that there are around 16 species of these evergreen flowering trees and…

Week in retrospect (Mon, 31 July 2017 – Sun, 6 Aug 2017)

Week in retrospect (Mon, 31 July 2017 – Sun, 6 Aug 2017)

This past week, according to the moon calendar I use, was time to get planting – the most fertile for sowing and making cuttings of all above-ground crops. I sowed a lot of seeds! No, really… LOTS! We are heading into spring after all and…

Starting chillies and peppers off early

Starting chillies and peppers off early

I am feeling impatient, and as the winter runs past longest day, I look toward the new season, and titillate at the possibilities. It has just gone a few days past dark moon – planting time, and I can feel it in my blood… But…

Thoughts on Seed Saving

Thoughts on Seed Saving

My world may seem to be a great big mess at the moment – my herb, flower and vegetable gardens look a bit ramshackle and dishevelled, and my dining room table is strewn with a cacophony of bags, boxes, baskets and buckets. And I can’t…

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

Aloe vera Aloe vera is an evergreen succulent perennial with narrow fleshy dull green leaves with spiny margins. Its healing gel (plant sap) is used externally for scrapes, cuts, burns, bruises and skin irritations. Internal use is cautioned as it may cause some discomfort. Aloe is also…