Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

African Bag Gardens

Posted in Garden Diary by Heather on the July 30th, 2009

Hi Jane, my children’s school in Surrey, UK introduced the same concept, sending home a sack for each child. This is in conjunction with the charity www.sendacow.org.uk. We had a flower show in the last week of school and everyone brought in their grow bags and produce in.

The week that was . . .

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the July 29th, 2009

We have been without electricity for 3 days now. It is just our street that is down but we have been told that it will only be fixed when the municipal strike is over. Hmmmm. In the meantime we are “borrowing” power from the neighbours in the street behind us via long extensions. Helps to be in the film industry at times like this.

I gave a talk at Delta Park last week. Afterwards we watched them planting a “tower” vegetable garden. Very impressive use of small space. It is an innovative and water wise method of planting vegetables that has been brought here by the Dept of Water Affairs and Forestry from Kenya. Vegetables are grown in a column of soil.
A circle of poles (bamboo for eg) is covered by shadecloth or sacking and the resulting column is filled up with earth. As you fill, a central core of stones is placed using a bottomless bucket that is moved up as the earth covers the stones. This is for drainage. Veggies are planted in holes cut in the shadecloth.

Another event I attended last week was the opening of Garden World’s Spring Festival. It is well worth going to visit – most especially to see my friend Caro’s gorgeous Gold award winning “Room to Grow” vegetable garden. If you need any incentive to see how beautiful vegetable gardens can be – this is it.
South Africa’s Chelsea entry is also there and it is transporting – the designers did us proud.


I was horrified to see that the winning garden’s beautiful green lawn was plastic!!! At a time when we are all becoming increasingly organic and aware of our environment – how can they give the first prize to a designer who uses astroturf??? Definitely a thumbs down from me on that one. But – go and see for yourself and see what you think . . .

And here is an oooh aaah vegetable – my cheddar cauliflower – doesn’t it look YUM! (And it tastes YUM too . . . )


The acronym world of computers

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the July 19th, 2009

My website went down sometime on Monday morning. And so began my week of trouble shooting. Starting with my laptop, I waded through a morass of acronyms and computer terminology all week it was finally fixed on friday. DNS servers, IP addresses, pings, tracerts, proxy websites, SAIX, JINX, CINX and NOC were all terms that I was bandying about like a pro by the end of the week. I think I’ll stick to gardening. At least a snail is a snail.

Because I couldn’t get onto my page – I also couldn’t update my blog. My frosted grass wasn’t as bad as it looked at night with a torch. Still worse than last year though. Digital pics are a great way to keep track of what things were like ‘this time last year’. I am starting to harvest the ‘Cheddar’ cauliflower which I planted from seed in February. It gets its name from being orange – not because of its taste! I will post some pics this week. We are also eating lots of peas, Asian greens and broccoli. Yum.

The day before we left for Kzn, Taste magazine came to do a shoot here. They are doing an article on me and the book for the September issue. They phoned a few days before to ask if I could prepare a 3 course meal for the shoot, using ingredients which will be in season in September. No problem I said (this is Taste after all – my favourite mag!) A September menu for me had to include asparagus and strawberries. The only way to do that was to buy horribly expensive, out of season asparagus which had horrendous food miles attached. This was a bit like photographing bikini models in mid winter for the summer issue: it hurt! But it looked fantastic and it was a fun day. The producer and photographer opened every single cupboard in my kitchen and dining room, hunting out all the choices possible for the perfect plate to go with each dish. Can’t wait to see the spread.

Winter in Sunny SA!

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the July 12th, 2009

Spent a week in Kzn – swimming in the warm sea, soaking up balmy sun and watching dolphins and whales frolic in the waves. We saw the weather report one morning and it was colder in London than on the South Coast. And this is our mid winter!

Back in Jo’burg and from what I can see with my head torch (it was dark when we arrived home) the lawn is pale cream and crisply frosted. There are also some broccoli and cauliflower heads needing plucking. Just what I need after days of over indulging and eating way too much rich food. My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on 9 July and we had a very merry gathering. We worked out that for us to make it to our 60th Keith would be 101 and I’d be 92 . . . better go eat my broccoli . . .