Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

Green fingers

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

I visited an inspiring garden this week. Earlier this year I received a phone call from my friend Brian Green, who was starting a veg garden from scratch and needed some help. Below his large property in Forest Town is a service alley, where he was planning to start growing. He had never grown veggies in his life but wanted to supply his restaurant, Il Gardino, with fresh organic produce. When I visited in March the service alley was still overgrown with weeds and creeper. It is now full of vegetables. Brian is a master scavenger and has collected boxes, crates, metal sheets and boards to create a medley of containers without spending a cent. His gravel pathways were created from leftover stones from work done on his house. Bursting from these boxes are tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, beetroot, herbs and spinach, which are all being used by the restaurant. Brian Green is now Brian Greenfingers . . .

The alley being cleared of weeds

Marking where containers will go

And the garden today








November already

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the November 7th, 2009

I arrived back to a busy schedule with deadlines for the next book looming. The first draft of the manuscript was with the editor while I was away and I received that soon after getting back. I needed to do quite a bit of reshuffling to get the recipes in the right order and it was great to have the clear eye of an editor to help me see my way through it. Keith and I have turned the dining room into a studio. I have been making recipes and we have been photographing them steadily since we got back. The freezer is about to pop. But Jane’s Delicious Kitchen is making good progress.

I spent one morning transplanting the tomato seedlings I had sown in trays before we left. Hloniphani had carefully nurtured them while I was away and they were strong and healthy. Not two hours after I had finished transplanting, we had a monster hail storm. Everything was so thickly covered in white it looked like snow. I always find hail so exhilarating, even though I know it is busy smashing my plants. Some of the tomatoes survived and ten days later are looking healthy and bearing flowers. Others weren’t so lucky.

Talking tomatoes, a friend of mine called to say he had some Couer de Bouef tomato seedlings from seeds that had come from France the previous year. He did not have space for all the seedlings that had popped up. As I was about to leave to dig them out of his garden, a lovely Highveld thunderstorm popped up and poured down torrents. David’s garden is made from raised brick beds and is in a corner of his garden edged with border walls. The pathways are also cemented. The downpour was so strong it had created a dam in his pathways, about thirty centimeters deep. Luckily his raised beds are high enough so they weren’t flooded too. And luckily I have gumboots so awading I went. My Couer de Bouef seedlings are happily in their new homes, in my garden and spread amongst friends. Just the way seeds and seedlings should be spread.