Monday, October 31, 2016

Garden share collective October 2016 - Favourites

Garden share collective time again and this month the theme is favourites.  You can link up here.
Thank you to Kyrstie from  a Fresh Legacy and Kate from Rosehips and Rhubarb for hosting this.

Ginger and Turmeric 

This weekend I prepared my ginger bed.  Ginger might be the favourite plant that I grow. I just bury the sprouting rhizomes, and little green shoots start popping up in no time.  I "bandicoot" fresh ginger as needed and then harvest a huge crop at the end of the wet season, when I need to use most of that bed for other produce. I store those in the freezer where they are easy to grate and add to numerous meals and drinks. I do leave some pieces in the ground to overwinter, so that I have some ready to go for the next crop.  With two in ground worm bins in this bed, the soil is awesome, soft and diggable, and filled with earthworms. Turmeric is the same although I don't have a dedicated place for it - it just pops up all over the place.  I want to put some at the end of this bed, so will just look out for it shooting up somewhere.  What is not to love about these plants?

Herb teas

Then again. maybe my herb spiral is my favourite. Lately I have been enjoying lemon balm tea - such a beautiful delicate flavour.  I just grab a bunch and let it soak in hot water, and then strain off.  I think the compost likes those soft soaked leaves as well, so it is a win-win. Tarragon tea is also lovely - with its faintly liquorice flavour.  Cinnamon basil is supposed to make good tea too - that is going wild in another corner of the garden, I must try that as tea next. My mint is struggling, so I put up the small shade cloth and moved the mint further into the shade. It generally doesn't do well in the wet season.  Funny, you would think it would love it. I do enjoy fresh herbal teas, I don't bother with drying leaves to make tea.  Do you? 


Now, this plant is not used for eating or making tea, but for its aromatics!  It is doing so well in the herb spiral, and I love that when I water this lovely scent wafts up to meet me.  It seems to be propagating well, so I intend to spread it out in different spots the garden.  It seems to have chased away all the mosquitoes form the veggie patch, and I often take a leaf and rub it over my arms and legs.  I like the smell and the mozzies don't.  Another win-win.


I do struggle with anything in the solanacea family because of bacterial wilt in our soils, but have had success with growing them in wicking beds.  Specifically the round green Thai eggplant.  I have had a couple of the long purple ones, but they died off, after  a mediocre year of production.  I recently purchased a sixpack of the big purple eggplant seedlings, and have planted some in the wicking beds, and some into pots.  I am hoping for a bumper crop! 

Breaking news:
I know others have been struggling with their photos turning sideways, so hope this fix helps.  I presume everyone else has also switched over to Google+ for their photos.  It seems as though there are no (or very few) editing processes.  I found the secret code!  Shift +R rotates the photos, and the edit stays once they have been inserted into the blog!  Happy me!  I hope it works for you too. This knowledge might in fact surpass all the other favourites I just posted!


  1. Wow. Two lessons today Gillian. I didn't realise we could grow Citronella as a plant. I googled and there seems to be one similar to lemongrass and there's a geranium type. From the photo yours is the geranium???
    Also I can't wait to try Shift+R. I'm OK with photos from the camera but have despaired with ones I take with my phone. They always seem to come out sideways and I'd given up.
    You are truly a font of knowledge. Thanks.

    1. It seems I spoke too soon! My last photo just disappeared, but I fixed it up again. whew! this blogging thing can be hard work sometimes. :)

  2. I also don't dry my herbal tea leaves.
    Never planted turmeric or ginger, will have to give them a try. Our mint is also struggling with all the rain we had.

    1. Isnt that strnage? I thought mint loved to be wet. Turmeric and ginger do!

  3. isn't fresh herbal tea just divine?
    you have a lovely garden, though the last photo i couldn't see
    all my mint is in pots & thriving, my lemon balm is struggling though & have given up for the moment growing turmeric or ginger, it seems to to disappear
    have been enjoying getting back into my garden of late, going to plant flowers for the bees
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina,
      I fixed that =- thanks for letting me know. Turmeric and ginger only grow here in the wet season, so maybe you are growing it at the wrong time of the year? Lemon balm grows in the dry season, but needs watering - go figure!

  4. You are so clever to grow ginger continually for some of us, the tubers just disappear. What does the round green Thai eggplant taste like is it similar to the long black Japanese one in flavour.

    1. Merryn,
      You might have to create a bit of a microclimate for your ginger and turmeric. One of my readers in Tasmania has grown it in a hothouse! My ginger and turmeric remains in the garden all year, but its active groiwng time is the wet season. I harvest some to keep int he freezer, but if I run out I can always dig for more. The thai eggplant has a slightly tougher skin but the taste is pretty much the same. In fact I made eggplant curry last night and might post the recipe.

  5. Fresh herbal tea sounds lovely. You have a multitude of lovely ones on the go. I must try to find some citronella, I love the sound of that. Have a great month and thanks for the tour of your favourites.

    1. Kyrstie,
      I love herbs that have a strong aroma. When watering the herb spiral these days I am enveloped in the scents of citronella and coriander. Both smells I love. I call it garden aromatherapy!

  6. I love the variety of herbs you grow! I've never seen such diversity, what a wonderful thing to have in your own garden. I've been having issues with my blog photos, too, ugh, so frustrating.

  7. Thank you Karen, I am always drawn to unusual and hard to find plants.


I love interacting with all my readers, thank you for your comments. Have a great day!


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