THIS is a ‘time to plant some autumn’ harvest, even though we’re in the middle of a very curious Summer.
Allow me to journal…
I ‘topped off’ the huge Costuluto tomato, that’s why there are so many green ones in the picture…but they’ll ripen on the windowsill, and many more will come from what I left.
From the same little annual veg bed I collected seed heads from the lovely lemon strawflower. And potted up two successful dwarf mulberry cuttings (not shown) I’d stuck in there back at winter pruning. It’s good to pot up and label deciduous rooted cuttings while they’re in leaf – no confusion between sticks in pots.
I’m adapting to the garden being so messy this cool summer season. Cutting daggy confused and diseased leaves back, tying up or removing wind blown wrecks, and dealing with spring-type weeds (that are usually dead by now because of heat). It’s an adventure to see what can survive this unseasonal season. Some of my lavender didn’t which is surprising. And, east coast NSW gardeners..I’ve never worn winter pyjamas in summer and I did last night. Just me?
Fitting bits and pieces of this gardening in between life, rain, sometimes heat, wind, storms. Cycling through the beds. But then gardening, like any activity, is Life.
I think more tomatoes, beans, carrots and zinnias for this bed now.
Then on to the next bed when I get a chance and the inclination. Happy adventure gardening to you, It’s good to make time to be back here 💫
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If you’d like to see more regular updates from my garden, please click on my posts @ Vintagetrishgarden on Instagram Thanks for stopping by. Trish.
It’s beautiful scent makes up for its ‘leggy’ habit.
Rose scented geranium is a delightful and useful addition to any garden. It’s pink flowers are simple but cute. It’s fairly tolerant of a number of soil types, and its leaves send a beautiful rose scent out as soon as you brush up against them in the garden, or bruise them more deliberately.
After a long, extremely hot and drought ridden summer season, my plant ‘looked like the rest of us’…
After a quick prune I was left with a small armful of branches filled with gorgeous leaves. My mind destined them for cuttings and Rose Scented Geranium Syrup.
Rose Scented Geranium Syrup
This recipe is a traditional favourite in several cultures. It couldn’t be simpler, because it’s just the rose scented geranium leaves, equal parts water and raw sugar. But please do it when you have time to enjoy the scent in your home and be present with the boiling syrup.
Warning: This is not a recipe for including children. Boiling syrup is scalding and damaging if it gets near skin, because it sticks and can’t be quickly removed with water. Do not leave the stove unattended. Please protect yourself and don’t allow children in the kitchen for this one.
Sterilise your storage jars or jugs using boiling water bath or oven method – Google if needed.
Pluck rose-scented geranium leaves only, and put them in your pot.
Just cover the leaves with water-keep count of how much you’re adding using cups/bowls/jugs etc.
Add the same amount of raw sugar that you added in water.
Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and thick bubbles form-this will take different times according to your quantities of leaves, water and sugar.
Do not be tempted to turn the heat to high as this will burn the sugar.
The thick bubbles show you the mixture has turned from sugar-water to sugar syrup, and your rose-scented geranium syrup is ready.
Use a funnel in the bottle with a metal strainer on top of the funnel, to decant your syrup into storage bottles/jars/jugs (see photo). This will separate the leaves from your finished syrup.
Hint: A clean sink is what I use to put my bottles in and then decant into. This captures any sticky hot mess that may result and keeps my hands above the hot syrup rather than near it. If a bottle falls, it doesn’t damage you or your bench.
Using oven mitts, place your hot syrup bottles onto a heat proof surface and allow to cool. Put lids or stoppers on when cooled.
Store in the fridge and use promptly. Never consume mouldy or discoloured syrup.
Your rose-scented geranium syrup will lend a beautiful perfumed rose-scented sweetness to any baking, cocktails, iced tea, cake icing, toffee etc.
You can also use rose-scented geranium leaves as natural air fresheners and to bake directly onto the bottom of cakes–but that’s another blog!
I’ve got some fresh strawberries from the garden and I’ll be making a batch of Rose-scented Geranium and Strawberry Muffins. Mmmm.
I hope you have fun making and using this delightful syrup.
Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making and using your syrup.
A flower blessing to YOU from my garden and I for a beautiful, healthy and happy New Year!
In this photo I used mini dianthus, zinnias, dahlias, nasturtium and roses I picked from my garden on New Years Day, with a purpose that didn’t involve a vase.
I felt these beauties should have multiple uses, in true permaculture style. So when I was picking flowers for my usual flower blessing bowl – a beautiful energetic practice I like to do for setting the home’s energy on New Years Day (see below) – I thought I’d do a year theme inspired photo for Instagram too.
If you’re not following me on Instagram I confess that’s really where the daily posts and action is. So please press this Instagram link and follow me there too–I’d enjoy getting to know you!
I’m more of a ‘just do-er’ than a resolution maker. But I will be better at posting here in 2019 and that’s really what I work with– a loose plan with flexibility that involves taking opportunities that pop up along the way!
On the ‘harvest opportunity front’, my edible garden is producing amazing things right now in the peak of our Australian Summer. I posted a photo of tomatoes on my windowsill today on Instagram. There are really so many ripening on the windowsill it’s making the window difficult to open. I need a new and simple system, ha ha–don’t we all for everything! It’s a great problem to have! But I wouldn’t want the window open today anyway. It’s 38 degrees C outside! So I’ve bought myself some time with the weather’s help.
I’m doing a daily pick/harvest photo, and sometimes a focus photo, on one particular type of vegetable or fruit if I think it would be interesting. Here are some examples of this colourful and productive time of year in my garden.
One of the aspects of having a garden I really enjoy is the ability to be resourceful with the produce that comes in the harvest basket from my morning garden stroll. That harvest is often determined by the weather right now (saving things from heat) or determined by what I need for a particular meal.
The cheese-ball you see above is an example of a theme based snack. I made it for New Year’s Eve (out of near-to-date milk which otherwise may have gone to waste) by making my own cream cheese and then, using it in the cheeseball. It wouldn’t be coated in chives unless I’d had an abundance to pick from in the garden. It wouldn’t exist at all if I didn’t have an aversion to wasted milk.
So the intention behind the types of home cuisine I make can be steered by the garden itself and ‘ingredient opportunities’ that present themselves. Becoming aware of your choices is what this is about, which is ironically linked to New Years Resolutions.
Mindfulness in the garden, offers a beautiful rhythm of flowing with the seasons, with life in general, if you let it work on you.
I hope you experience great ‘flow’ in 2019–at work, at home, at play, in communication with others and in your special relationships.
When people ask me when they should plant fruit trees…I say…’yesterday!’
I say this because fruit trees can take years to prosper – for you to get ‘food results’.
For example I haven’t seen an avocado from my over 12 year old avocado tree.
But let me tell you a story, because that’s not always the case…
My Spring Satin dwarf plumcot tree was bought for $16 AUD in November 2015, marked down from $45.
The tree had obviously experienced dehydration at the ‘big shed’ it came from, and looked quite sorry for itself on that overpopulated markdown shelf. It was the only plumcot there.
I knew this tree had potential with my help, because it’s genetics and nursery supplier were reputable. I had also heard only great things about this variety, to that point.
It is now 3.5 foot high and in remarkable health. It’s small stature is definitely not an indicator of fruiting ability in my experience.
The tree is planted within stone’s throw from a satsuma plum, and a nashi pear that blossom at the same time. It’s possible these are acting as pollinators or at least encouraging pollinators for this partially self-fertile fruit tree.
So far this year it has produced 850g of fruit, with average fruit mass of 18.8g.
No fruit fly, minimal water, drought tolerant, delicious tasting fruit!
While I still advise getting all your fruit trees in early I want to show you that some are surprisingly quick to fruit!
These are the type of images I was dreaming of when I started my garden 26 years ago.