Sunday, November 27, 2011

Images and Questions (help!) from The Garden

Hi everyone, it's been a bit quiet over has suddenly gotten really overwhelmingly busy.  A few things that have been happening - I had my birthday!  21 of course...  NOT!  HA!!  Master Bok's birthday is coming up, a zillion other birthdays and farewells have been going on around us and I won a DVD (Poh's Kitchen - I LOVE Poh!) from Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. 

Most time consuming have been work at my day job (argh!!) and more excitingly, I've started a new UN volunteer project in Uganda which has been consuming most of my nights.  It's in Kampala, Uganda, not Eastern Uganda or Libya this time.  When I skype and converse with my team mates on the other side of the world, I'm always humbled by their intelligence, enthusiasm, positivity and sheer amazingness given their start in life.  It's inspiring.  I'm gearing up for a visit too.

Anyway I've got a lot of images below to show you what the garden's been up to.

I've got quite a few questions too so I hope that you can help!


Question:  When those Garlic snapes open up, flower, then die - does that mean the garlic is ready...?

Question:  Why do sprouts grow so readily (a jar, a bit of muslin and water) but still taste so ... not good?  Why are pregnant women told not to eat them?  I'm guessing it's because of what they may commercially be grown in (poo)

Question:  How is it possible for tomatoes to grow this much in a space of a few days??  A few volunteer purple podded peas in there too.  And other things.


Question:  Any idea what these climbing things are?  The seeds and leaves all look the same.  I suspect they are trombocino.  Or maybe spaghetti melon.  Uh oh...


SO GLAD the darn artichokes finally flowered so I could admire then pull them out. They take up so much precious growing space...and I still don't know why people love them.  

Question: How do you cook yours?


Question:  What does one do with elderflowers?  This elderflower bush is getting out of hand - too big with masses of white flowers.

Question:  How does one know when almonds are ready to be plucked?

Question: When is my kiwi fruit vine ever going to flower...or even fruit??  Is it because the strawberries beneath are sucking their nutrition? (I have strawberry patches everywhere all over the garden in the hope that one day I'll be able to eat some - the ones not stolen by the chickens or the children that is)

At least my blueberries are thriving.
Question:  Can someone please tell me why only one of my apple trees has any fruit this year??

Look what popped up in the cape gooseberry  :)
Hydrangeas!  I love their fluffy blooms.


Question: Are only the flower bits of the chamomile used for tea...?

Question:  How do new little things keep popping up on my desk...?  Oh, I know!


  1. That's a lot of questions for first thing on a Sunday morning Missus.

    Elderflowers - make some wine! Delicious and fresh.

    Your lovely apple trees perhaps havn't been pollinated. Hey maybe you should get some bees!

    Your new Uganda project sounds really exciting.

  2. Happy birthday, Mrs Bok!! Was that sweet little birdie dish a birthday pressie? Happy year ahead to you!

    Love your thriving garden. I have no answers whatsoever! x

  3. Sprouts do taste good... and are good for you too! Maybe you need to wash & drain them properly before eating... or just accept that they are not your thing! The risk of listeriosis is why it is recommended that women do not consume them during pregnancy... because they are eaten as a raw food & have a lot of little areas where you may not be able to clean them properly. That is my understanding, anyways.

    Good luck with the new project, and happy birthday, you young thing!! LOL

  4. Happy birthday and must say your garden is producing splendidly. Much envy over the fact that you do not seem to have to net everything to stop the possums eating it. No answers to any of the questions but will be popping back to see what all the wise followers have to offer. melx

  5. Happy Birthday Mrs Bok, hope you had a lovely day and ate lots of cake.......
    Congrats on winning the DVD, should be good.

    Unfortunately, I can't help with all of your questions, but I do know that you need a male and female kiwi fruit vine to get fruit..........

    Hope someone else can help you or maybe you could ask Mr. Google.
    Lots happening in your garden, it's looking good.

    Claire :}

  6. Happy Birthday - yes definitely need male need female Kiwifruit vines. Don't pick the artichokes yet, the flowers will look like giant thistles eventually.

    I think the garlic probably is ready, legend has it that you plant it on the shortest day and harvest it on the longest so that would mean it only has three weeks left.

  7. Hullo everyone!

    Thank you for your comments and birthday wishes :) I sure am feeling old this year.

    Chris - how do you make your wine...? And I'd LOVE to get some bees but Mr Bok says NO.

    Hey Maxabella! Yes it was indeed :)

    Hallo Dixiebelle! How would sprouts get dirty? I guess they may pick up bugs as they grow in the jar. All I do is put them in a sterile jar, rinse them each day and they just go crazy.

    Hi Mel! Yup I have possum problems too but I plant to lose about 30% to possums, chooks and birds. They ate all the new growth off my citrus over winter!

    Hi Claire :) I have a male and a female kiwi fruit vine. They just don't seem to want to do anything except grow leaves. The male vine is a lot smaller too although I got them at the same time.

    Hey Greenfumb! I've got garlic scattered everywhere, I'll wait until the longest day (is it that soon??) and pull one out to see. How are the birds?

    Have a great week! xoxo

  8. Happy Birthday. I am not much of a help today. Only know the last question answer. Your summer veggies are looking very good.

  9. Happy Birthday!! I'm not much help with all your questions. The garlic does look like it is almost ready. I cut my scapes off and use them for cooking before they flower. I think that this is also supposed to help the bulb get bigger. They are ready to harvest when the bottom few leaves turn brown.

    Hopefully, you will get some answers to your questions.

    Your garden looks very happy & healthy!!!

  10. I don't think I can help with your questions. I will say that we have the same issues with out apple and peach trees. Eventually we lost two peach trees after they quite producing.

  11. You certainly do pose a lot of questions! Sadly, I'm not able to answer any, really. Maybe your sprouts taste unpleasant because you don't rinse them well during and after the sprouting phases and before you consume them? Or maybe you let them go too long, so they start to become mouldy? I think artichokes are cooked while the buds are still fairly tightly packed? But have never cooked them myself. I do like eating them, though. I know the English make elderberry wine, but have no clue how!

    Happy 25th Birthday :) Life certainly sounds very busy, but with youth on your side, you're probably coping better than us over 50 oldies.

  12. I'm a commercial almond grower in California. The hull on the almond nut will dry a bit and split open to show the inner nut...then you're ready for harvest. Have fun!

  13. Ditto what Lynda said. There's actually 2 shells on the almond, the outer fuzzy one which will turn grey/brown and split down one side, and the inner hard shell, what one finds in the store. Typically ready for harvesting towards the tail-end of the summer, early fall.

  14. Not much help on your questions I'm afraid but do hope you'll be able to take that trip (and share the photos)! :)

  15. Elderflower champagne or cordial?

    Bit rubbbish with the rest, sorry!

  16. Here they eat Almonds when they are green

  17. I was referring to store bought sprouts, really, but I guess when you are sprouting at home (or any food related activity) there is always a risk of contamination. Hey, it's not my rule, I was just trying to explain why that is often the advice given!! Food safety is important to me, I am not obsessive about it though I was more careful during PG.

  18. Your garden is looking so prolific! I purchased a cape gooseberry on clearance this weekend (probably because they don't grow so easily here in this climate) now I have to figure out where to plant it that it doesn't rot away during the wet season. I might keep it in a pot for now, now a question for you - when do you get gooseberries and how big does the bush grow?

  19. If Mr Bok is worried about being stung, you could get native Australian (stingless) bees. They don't produce a lot of honey, but they are great for pollination purposes. They can cover about 500 meters area around their hive and you'd be preserving a native species that *really* needs help!

  20. Oh my, you have so much going on in your garden and so many questions, none of which I can answer. I just enjoy seeing all that you are growing. Happy belated birthday.

  21. Happy birthday!

    Perhaps next time you can give us the answers? :)

    I think my tomatoes may be just about to enter their growth spurt - I hope they follow the example set by yours. Beautiful pictures and plants, as always!


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