the nature strip


Spring has sprung
September 26, 2012, 7:56 am
Filed under: Garden

One thing in life to brighten the mood that doesn’t cost a thing is some colour. Some spring colour I’m talking about. My garden is dancing with different hues from purples to oranges to pinks.

The wisteria especially is in its prime, draping the entry door like a curtain.

Oh and the shapes – the petals are creating all sorts of wonderful symmetry – it makes me want to get out my sketch book living in the third drawer down. It’s been there for a while.

 



Dandy Dandelion
September 11, 2012, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Food

Dandelion chai tea

It’s been a long day. Or maybe it’s just the start of the day. You already feel like you need a pick me up. So many of us rely on caffeine to get the blood flowing and the mind thinking but dandelion tea is a fabulous alternative.

Studies show that caffeine does have some benefits but anxiety, smelly breathe and a racing heart are some ugly consequences so I tend to satisfy my urge with aromatic dandelion chai tea.

I sip on caffeine-free dandelion chai tea which combines the delights of dandelion root with warming spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Who needs whiskey to warm the cockles!

Dandelion tea is known to be rich in iron and antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C, D, E, & B complex, calcium, potassium, magnesium, , zinc, manganese, copper, choline, and boron, when infused in hot water. It is also meant to be good for the liver and kidney and can relieve constipation.



The good, the bad… and organic gardening
September 3, 2012, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Food

Veggies The Grounds organic gardening workshop

Wanting to improve my novice gardening skills, I ventured to a local and free organic gardening workshop about how to keep pests out of the garden, and how to encourage good ones.

God knows I needed help… last week I planted some fresh, glowing coriander only to discover within 24 hours it had been devoured. Hope the thief enjoyed it.

The workshop was held in a fantastic, unique space called The Grounds, tucked away off a main road in the heart of Sydney. Boasting a rustic café, outdoor courtyard and a thriving garden with a plethora of flourishing veggies, it was the perfect setting to get all inspired about worm wee and rock dust.

That’s right, rock dust. Sounds like we are dealing with the solar system.

I certainly felt like I was venturing in to alien territory –my passion for growing my own food is rife, my skills and knowledge ain’t.

Some key things I learned in the workshop:

  • A plant has an immune system – not as complex as ours but the healthier it is, the stronger its immunity against bugs.
  • Coffee grounds are a superfood to the plant world – snails will devour coffee grounds but sadly for them, the coffee buzz gives them heart attacks.
  • Sugar in water used in the pictured technologically advanced bottle works as a snail trap… except you need to be a hard nut as you will then need to ‘discard’ of the snails. I quite like snails. Just not on my plants.
snail trap

Home-made snail trap 

And then after all of the hard work, a sample of  The Grounds delights.

The Grounds cafe