Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Garden of St Erth, Seeds and Brazen Hussies

Two friends plotting at Vegie group.
Would you like to come to Garden of St Erth with us? ooh yes please. 
A Monday plan was born.
I've been pining to go ever since I got the latest Diggers Club catalogue. I had been pawing it, studying it, and making little stars next to exciting sounding vegetables.

Good friends, a garden walk, and seed shopping, the perfect trifecta. 

The lovely Christine from Slow Living Essentials very kindly chauffeured me, Beth, and the Little Bowerbird to the Garden of St Erth in Blackwood. I had been there before, but somehow had never taken in the immaculately groomed vegetable patches.

It took us a great deal of time to choose from the extensive seed collection.  I was fortunate enough to get some seeds of those Tromboncino Zuchinnis (centre far left in the image above)  that were being held behind the counter - a very exclusive Members only affair. Each year I like to try a different type of zuchinni, there are so many wonderful varieties, it's great seeing what a new one will look like, and their subtle differences in flavour.

The little Bowerbird was very patient with us taking forever to choose our garden delights, and then a stroll in the garden was in order.  A rainbow umbrealla made the grim day feel a little brighter.
The winter roses were out in full bloom, an unusual yellow one particularly took our fancy.

The old fruit trees were perfectly espalliered and covered in a veneer of moss and lichen.  the promise of fruit could be seen by swelling buds.
The asparagus patch, heavily mulched - I might try that technique at home. We were discussing the finer points of asparagus care at Friday's vegie group gathering.  I'm pretty sure mine are planted a little too close to a fruit tree. They don't like competition. A bit sad to put them in the wrong place then wait years for a good crop of spears.

Beautiful wine coloured brussell sprouts were looking tasty and ready for harvest, another crop I'm yet to master.  Apparently it's all in the timing - I wonder when these sprouts went in?

My lovely companions for the day, we chatted vegies and gardens.  I take special delight in sharing my Peter Cundall words of wisdom, and they take special delight in laughing at me.

I almost bought a potato scoop and left behind the hazelnut tree when I found out I needed two for a successful crop. Serious restraint. Anyone ever used a potato scoop to harvest their spuds?

To top off a beautiful day we dined on a slice of "Brazen Hussy" from here. She was indeed bold and quite delicious, with flaky pastry and lots of creamy fetta, very sexy. The little Bowerbird is currently expressing her delight in the Carmen Miranda fruit toast that we brought home with us, and nagging for another slice.

We almost had a forage at the Trentham tip but alas it was closed. So good to have friends that understand the joy of tip fossicking.
Now to get planting some seeds... actually a bit early for most of these
My summer selection. 
White sweet corn, cucumber Sweet and Striped, Pumpkin Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck, Lettuce Italian Lollo Mix, Blue Himalayan Poppies, Sunflower Prado Red and the excitingly tightled - Beans Sex without Strings.

Anyone planting their summer seeds yet?


  1. I love the Garden of St Erth. I used to go there when we lived in Melbourne but now we are in Sydney. Thanks for the reminder thru pictures. We here in Sydney have started raising seeds as has Liz - Suburban Tomato. But you're up the hills a bit aren't you, where I guess it is still colder than in the smoke.

    BTW I always grow Prado Red sunflowers and love them to death. They are so dark and velvety, I cut them and bring them inside and leave enough for the cockatoos (sulfur and white-tailed black) that drop by for a snack.

    1. Yes much colder here than the city. Frosts have been pretty frequent this year. I would like to try growing more seeds indoors - to give them a head start - not sure where to find them a home though. I have some pea seeds germinating inside by the fire - they are on their way after 3 days.

      Cockatoos big sunflower vandals here - I like the idea that there is more than one flower on these so they might miss a couple. It will be my first Prado red Sunflower attempt, they sound amazing.

  2. Oh what a perfect day !! two of my favorite places........... I have let my membership lapse but that garden annual with the Italian seeds has got me interested. Lucky you getting those zucchini seeds, hope they grow well for you.
    Little miss Bowerbird looks cute as usual and happy with her rainbow umbrella.
    Did you see the new Annie Smithers cafe in Trentham ? trying it out with a friend next week.( maybe a quick visit to St Earth too)

    1. They are great places - we are so lucky to have such wonderful spots in our neighbourhood.

      I did not see the Annie Smithers Cafe in Trentham, I only knew of the Kyneton one. How exciting, great to see Trentham booming, was quiet for quite a while after the Cosmopolitan burnt down.

      You can always buy the seeds without a membership (except for those exclusive ones) but I am happy to support a company that is promoting heirloom vegetables and saving seeds. I'd love to see Heronswood.

  3. Great spot. Funny I just remember the cottage garden, not the veg patches. How cute is the fairy under the rainbow umbrella

  4. Uhh, you went the sex without strings? I'll be interested to hear your report when the time comes!

    Quite disappointed the tip was closed...but could be a good excuse for another outing sometime..!

    Thanks for a lovely day, it was very enjoyable. :)

    PS - Annie Smithers cafe in Trentham?? Really??! ooh!

  5. What a lovely garden! I really appreciate the share and those photos.

    BTW, I love the rainbow umbrella! :)

    garden sheds in Brisbane


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young