Tuesday, 1 July 2014

July 2014 Garden Share Collective

Welcome to another monthly viewing of all great gardens shared through

  The Garden Share Collective hosted by Lizzie at Strayed From The Table.

I am so pleased at how well the new herb garden has evolved. 
 Marjoram sits next to oregano, thyme, lemon thyme, tarragon, sage, 
coriander, holy basil, chives, parsley and perennial coriander all growing happily together.

There are 6 custard apples on our custard apple tree that was planted 3 years ago, how exciting!

There is lavender planted around the garden, a delight for the honey bees.
Also beneficial for it's gorgeous aroma and delicate flavour to ice cream and biscuits.
My daughter informed me that everyone should have at least one lavender bush for the bees to enjoy. 

The first blush of colour on the red papaya, though we have enjoyed some grated into a green papaya salad.

I hadn't noticed the ripening locquats
until my husband asked if the yellow burst
were flowers, fruit or dead leaves.

The fruit is much larger this year
and will undoubtedly also be sweeter.

The brassicas are slowly growing.  Cauliflower and broccoli with a little spinach.
Notice the recycling of the old trampoline frame, upturned to provide a frame for shade cloth.

We had a hail storm here last weekend.
The lovely lettuce were slightly shredded
but I removed the outer leaves, 
giving these to the chickens
and they are still growing strongly.
Picking the outer leaves from a dozen plants 
daily are enough
to offer the family fresh salad.

The curly endive (escarole)
survived the hail storm.
Like lettuce, I pick what leaves 
are needed and rarely
pluck the whole plant 
from the ground.

 Our winter shallots are ready for picking, aromatic and delightful.

We are eagerly awaiting this bunch of bananas to ripen, it will be picked in one month.

The piece de resistance are the July tomatoes, 
remember we are in the mid north coast of New South Wales
and I am picking one nearly every day now.
So delicious.
The tomatoes are sharing their bed with celery, continental parsley and coriander.

The rampaging chickens now have an outdoor run.
They are still allowed to free range but there is now a good balance between
vegetables for human consumption and everything-else-that-chickens-eat.


This week I planted two rows of snow peas,
a small bed of Australian garlic,
an elderberry shrub, 
some more lavender cuttings 
and horseradish.

Who says winter gardening is boring!!?

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn


  1. I am amazed at how much tropical fruit you can grow in your climate, and then you can also grow the more temperate vegetables that i cannot grow here in the tropics. A perfect climate it seems :)

  2. Thanks it is always wonderful seeing what we can grow, I would love a more tropical climate at times and I am hoping this year that the papaya turn more red when ripe :D

  3. Your new herb garden looks gorgeous Merryn. I love it. Your tropical fruit makes me drool and I LOVE your use of the old trampoline frame. Great idea!

    1. I am truly enjoying having the herb garden at the bottom of the patio outside my kitchen, it really helps when it is after 5pm and it is cold but you r-e-a-l-l-y need to pick a herb for your dinner 8)

  4. Can't wait to see what you do with those custard apples. I've never seen one in real life. Make sure you post of photo of their insides for us when you harvest them.

    1. Thank you, we are lucky our winters are mild and I am so excited about the custard apples they are one of my favourite fruits. I will enjoy photographing them for you Sue.

  5. What a great post! So much happening in your garden. You grow so many fruits that we can't. As for that hand of bananas - wow, it makes ours look piddly. :) Great use of the old tramp frame too. Nice when you can recycle stuff. Laughed when I read about the chooks .. ours are in a huge paddock with chook fencing, but they manage to get out on the occasion and when they do .. LOL .. Wish I was eating home grown toms now too, just not warm enough in Auckland.

    1. The chickens are a delightful challenge, you like them free ranging but you appreciate picking your produce too. The tramp frame was my husband's inspiration and I am eyeing off an old rusted wheelbarrow to grow lavender in, recycling is great fun with wonderful opportunities :D

  6. winter gardenign is certainly not boring in your neck of the woods! how delightful to see what you have growing and flourishing at this time of the year for you.
    i love seeing on the garden share how peopel recycle or upcycle things in their garden - your trampoline frame is a brilliant example. looks like it would work so well!
    say hi to the chooks for me :-)

    1. The chickens are currently snacking on a bag of red delicious apples that I bought that were probably last year's produce, so they are very happy indeed. Yes we are very lucky with our climate being frost free and sub tropical :D

  7. Custard Apple - Yes please :-). we have the Qld Garden Expo this weekend and plan on buying numerous fruit trees for our place again. We bought ten last year so this year we might get a few more. Once again your garden is thriving and is looking very plentiful.

    1. Thanks Liz! I can imagine how much you enjoy the Queensland Garden Expo and, one of my favourite past times, fruit tree shopping. It will be lovely to see what new trees you purchase :D

  8. I am so impressed by your custard apple and bananas! Amazing.
    True gardening in winter isn't boring (espeically for you lucky folks up north), just slower.

  9. So true Bek, the garden is slower and the weeds grow with less enthusiasm too. I can't wait to eat the custard apples, their growth is so exciting :D

  10. I'd never heard of a custard apple before. Though the bananas are what really grab me. I can't even think about growing them here, but I do love them. I'm hoping all those bananas don't ripen all at once.

  11. Custard apples taste a bit like pitaya, creamy, not overly sweet but with a bit of texture. Luckily Daphne, the bananas do not ripen all at once. When closer, we cut the bunch off and hang it in the garage for two weeks and cut off a hand (that is a row) at a time from the bottom up. Of course, you still give plenty away :D

  12. What an exotic post! I've never heard of a custard apple before and it sounds delish. Your herb garden is really looking good and very sensible to have it at your back door :-) What do you use holy basil for?

  13. Thank you Sarah. I am so pleased with the herb garden, the holy basil is used for stir fries, there is one dish with prawns, chilli and holy basil that has soy sauce and fish sauce, plus other recipes like this one; http://www.rachelcooksthai.com/chicken-with-holy-basil/ whereby the Thai holy basil packs a big punch. I am really looking forward to eating a custard apple :D

  14. The herb garden is looking terrific! I have serious chicken envy ;)

  15. Thanks you have to nurture your herb garden so it is there when you need to harvest from it (regularly) and the chickens are 'my girls', we love talking to each other. I could be a mad-chicken lady yet :D