Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New growth everywhere you look

With spring, comes new growth...I am talking about the garden, but there is new growth all around....I am growing too.....as a mother.....the role I play, the guidance my children seek......soon I will have a daughter-in-law living with us...(no marriage plans in the near future, so don't ask)...but yes, she will be moving in at the end of the year to continue her studies locally and then going on to uni, which is not offered where she lives now.....Us mum's don't always get it right, but I think if we are honest enough with our own children when new situations appear....there shouldn't be a break-down in communication. If only we were handed a book when we first become pregnant....I'm sure you will all agree with me on that one....

What our children don't realise; (and I have told them this a few times)....is if it is the first time they are experiencing something, then it is most likely that it is OUR (the parents) first time in dealing with 'it' too, especially if the child is your first. Growing up is hard enough...all that responsibility....It can be a challenging but very educational time for young adults. I just wish they weren't in such a hurry to get there, but of-course I will always be there to guide them and offer friendly advice......I am growing as a parent, WITH my boys.

Growth in the garden, everywhere you look.........

Ok, now back to the growth in the garden......Walking around the garden yesterday in the sunshine...I had been preparing a few more garden bed tubs that I got a while back....I have potatoes in one already...and will be planting in another once my seedlings come up....

This Saturday I also begin the monthly course with Richard the Practical Gardener...the course runs for a full 12 months...so I will learn heaps.

The front garden....which I built...I harvest from this every day. There is parsley of two varieties, kale, sorrel, cilantro, marjoram, thyme, aloe, lettuce leaf, garlic, spinach, spring onion, leek, flowers..just to name a few.

I harvest from this bed every day...

The berries bed are showing tiny signs of life

Cabbages, Broccoli

Fruit Salad Sage

Rocket beginning to seed

My very first Daffodil...we have three now.

I love this photo
In the centre is my 'Pick as you grow lettuce'
I grew this from seed, and have been harvesting from it for months

Mitzuna Salad leaf

Baby Bok Choy, bolting far too early

Peppermint amongst the Ferny Azola

Potatoes were planted 16 May, waiting to flower....
I also have another larger tub with newly planted seed potato.


 Miniature Seedless Valencia Orange

Passionfruit, ready to be planted into it's new bed.

Miniature Macadamia nut tree

Bay Laurel

Mint and Lemon Balm
cut back a few weeks ago to be rid of old growth.
My Elderflower has lots of new growth beneath the main stem...not sure what to do with them yet, maybe I will get some extra trees....If anyone can guide me with this I would love to hear how.

The same Elderflower
Above is a photo of a Miniature Shatoot Mulberry, nicely established....
I hope mine (below) grows this wonderfully.
a Miniature Mulberry, red shahtoot.
this grows lovely long berries about 10 cm long...

This is a lovely flower...I'm not sure what it is called,
but I love it when it is out in flower...
It belonged to my Nan.
Free tomato plants
beneath the Locut and Fig trees
The Ice-cream bean tree
My poor battered Miniature Banana tree
is even showing promise with new growth

Lemon/Lime tree with new buds appearing.
Thanks for having a look around my garden, I also have many seeds planted in seedling trays at the moment, but they are yet to pop through the soil.....
Sorry this was such a long post...but there is a lot going on around here........
What's happening in your garden?


  1. Wow there is a lot going on in your garden.All our bokchoy is also bolting. It can be a pain to grow sometimes, just the slightest stress and off it goes.

  2. Everything here is moving along now that we have had a burst of warm weather and now HEAPS of rain here in Adelaide....my bok choy always bolted early, I tried a few times to grow it without success....we are having mashed spuds, pumpkin and our kale , all steamed up together and mashed together, just yummo.

  3. OK- What is an Ice Cream Bean Tree? Love all the pictures.

  4. Great post...so much lush green growth...well done Mrs Greenfingers!


  5. i really like that idea of using the bricks as a border and then planting in them, good use of space there.

  6. Love the visuals of your garden and those cinder blocks are a great idea for a raised bed border, might have to steal that one.

    The passionfruit vine.....the person who sold me mine (farmer's market) suggested I should put a cow's liver in the hole before I plant it, apparently they love it. So I'm picking one up at the market this Sun, or half a one actually, the farmer I get my meat from said they're pretty big, so I opted for half. My passionfruit will need all the help it can get, I've already killed one a few years back :)

  7. Your garden is looking fabulous. There is so much there ready to spring into actin in the next few months as the weather warms up.
    I know what you mean about parenting. Some times I feel like I need someone else to make some of the grown up decisions. I'm not ready yet.

  8. I have one of those plants with the interesting flower. My sister gave it to me. I don't know what it is called either, but someone suggested it was called Queens Tears and possibly someone told me it was from Africa? I love it anyway, name or no name!

    Your garden is so productive for this time of year. Lovely!

  9. Great job looking forward to seeing you on Saturday all the best Richard the Practical gardener

  10. What a fruitful and beautiful garden you have Narelle! I am very impressed with the way you planted the brassicas in the bessa bricks. You gave me a great idea for my garden.

    Gav x

  11. Narelle, the plant with the lovely flower is called a Billbergia. It is a member of the bromeliad family. I have a big pot of this flowering madly at the moment and I love it because it reminds me of my Nan!
    Your garden is certainly taking shape and looking lovely!
    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

  12. Well, I guess you take one day at a time and do the best you can each day. Your gardens are so healthy and you have alot of plants! love,andrea

  13. Love your garden. What a great idea, to use the holes in the concrete blocks. Thank you for sharing your great pics. I'm really enjoying your blog
    and all the hints I'm am finding on it. Enjoy your workshop.

    Blessings Gail

  14. Hello nellymary,
    I was reading your blog and you wanted some information in regards to your Elderflower, to tell you the truth I don't have one of these trees yet but hoping to get one soon, I have a book written by Isabell Shipard titled How I can use herbs in my daily life ( fantastic book by the way).I looked up Elderberry and found that most Elderberry trees that are sold here in Australia are an American variety, called American Elder or Sambacus canadensis and that type of Elderberry tends to sucker around the base of the plant.You can propergate from these suckers.
    Also you asked if anyone knew what the pretty pink/blue striped flower (25th photo in your blog today 17.8.2011) that belonged to your Nan was, well it's a bromeliad,Billbergia nutans I know this as I used to be a member of the Bromeliad Society of Australia ( many moons ago,NO i'm not THAT old only 38 :-) I also have a large clump of the same plant and mine belonged to my Grandma too! She also had a great love for gardening ......just as I do.
    By the way I did try to post this message via your blog site at 11:30am but had difficulties posting so I decided to send you this message via this forum hope that you don't mind. I saw a couple of weeks ago that you looked at my profile,I haven't been on here for a while as i'm having difficulties working out how to use this forum properly and haven't really had the time to sit down to work it out, been very busy in the garden as everything here is starting to sprout:-)
    Hope your having a lovely day.

  15. A very nice garden nellymary, you have done a great job!

    I would have to agree with you about having kids and learning as you go...

  16. Wow, what a fantastic response...I'm so pleased with all your comments.....
    PurplePear: Thanks for the info, I had no idea that Bok Choy is so fussy.

    Suzanne: YOur veg sounds delicious...Once my seeds grow, I will have all that is needed for a lovely tossed salad.

    Kids and Canning Jars: Hi Melissa, hope you and your crowd are doing well. You will find more info on the Ice=Cream bean tree here http://www.capetrib.com.au/icebean.htm .....I hope to keep mine small by keeping it in a large pot...lol.

    Sue: thanks, but I think the compost course I did has a lot to do with the greenfinger thing....I just lost all my peas to an overnight hatching of lizards.....not so greenfinger here yet, but learning.

    Brendie, Gail and Gavin....Thanks...in the larger garden in the front yard...I have used each 'block' for a different herb....it is working a treat.

    Cat J B: I too have always planted a liver or a fish under a passionfruit vine....Our last vine only lasted three seasons though...with about ten fruit the first year, then about ten broccoli boxes of fruit the following year...then it decided to go into early retirement and die the following year...so I hope this one does well....Yes, they love some 'blood and bone' or 'liver and fish' when being planted.

    Bruise Mouse: Yes, parenting can be quite hard at times...and if you are the only one making the 'grown up' decisions; it can be pretty tiring.

    Linda: I have found out that it is called a Bromeliad,Billbergia nutans....I thought the structure of the leaf was a bromeliad, but wasn't 100% sure.

    Richard the Practical gardener: Hi Richard, I'm looking forward to the course...It's great that you get to cyber-walk around my garden before hand...lol

    tylasnan: Hi Karen, mine reminds me of my Nan too..she had many plants like this....I have collected a few other bromeliads....they grow lots of pups too.....so you get lots of free plants...which I like.

    Andrea: I always tell my children, no-one can expect more from you if you are truly doing the best you can....taking one day at a time is the best way sometimes.

    Gail: The work-shop is going to be full of fun...and learning heaps is what I need...I often plant too early, or too late...so I'm going to reap the rewards as I think we get lots of home-work to do...lol

    The Crafty Gardener: Hi Crafty Gardener....how lovely that you thought enough to go research these things for me.....I really appreciate it....I got the Elderflower from Bunnings...It's raining outside atm, but I think I still have the card to see the variety....but it is good to know that the suckers can be propagated.
    I have quite a few bromeliads around the garden, all needing a bit more care than I have time for ......thanks for the name....Mine posted is also in a clump..so I don't feel so bad for it now....lol.....
    I will post this for you if you don't mind.....on my blog, but thanks for getting the info to me in another way...very thoughtful of you......I often look at newbies profiles to see what they are up to, or in to....especially to see if they have a blog that I can join....the more the merrier I say....
    Don't worry about working out the forum...it will work around you ......when you go on there....click on the top tab called 'What's new'....that will keep you up to date on what you haven't read, since the last time you were around....it's very good.....or you could just start from the top, and work your way through...there is more info in there, than I have yet discovered......
    Thanks again for getting in touch with me...I will forward your comment to my blog.

  17. You have so many things growing in your garden. I am in awe. Our garden is doing well. I will soon be drowning in tomatoes!!

  18. Thanks Mel, I can't wait for the future when I will be harvesting and preserving from my own garden...Long term plans are important for a garden.


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