Jane's Delicious Garden Blog


Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the April 29th, 2010

Well I have been a slack blogger. The deadline for Jane’s Delicious Kitchen was this week so (almost) everything else went out the window.

Despite having to make and shoot zillions of recipes, there was also the Gardenex expo at the Dome at the end of March. I shared a stand with Talborne. The show was busy and it was wonderful to see so many people that I have made connections with over the last year. Hard to believe that it is now a year since my book came out!

Last year, soon after my book was launched, I received an email from Karen Donkin, in Kzn. She is a keen veggie gardener and her husband Andrew had built her a veggie gardening unit to protect her hard grown veg from monkeys. It had worked so well that friends also wanted one, so Andrew made a couple more. She and Andrew were now selling them at the local market and had set up a web site for the newly fledged company called Home Organic. A year later, I met them both for the first time at Gardenex. The business has done so well that Andrew has given up his full time job at Toyota to concentrate on Home Organic full time. Here is a link to their site so you can see their units. They are also making and selling units designed for small spaces such as a balcony or patio.
On the last day of the show someone left a video camera on my table at the stand. There was no name or anything on it. Despite announcing it on the PA, nobody came to collect it. We checked the footage to see if we could find a clue and there was video of a funeral and babies – nothing to give us any idea whose it was. At the end of the day I was visiting The Gardener’s stand and I mentioned the camera to Andrew and Karen from Home Organics and to Tanya from The Gardener.

The following morning I received a phone call. Andrew and Karen had been delivering a veggie unit to a Joburg house that morning. They were only there for about ten minutes but in that time a missing camera just happened to be mentioned. Andrew immediately asked her if she had been to a funeral recently! And so the camera found its way back to its owner.

The Herb Happening took place in April at Doonholme Nursery in Midrand. What a beautiful spot! Their herb spiral is magical. I gave a talk there and it was well attended. This annual event is a must to visit if you are keen on herbs. I bought some very interesting plants – valerian, licorice mint, tayberry etc. The good news is, Doonholme will be opening to the public on a more regular basis soon.

According to a friend’s records this has been the wettest summer since 1973. It sure feels like it. The sun disappeared for five days last week – made me realise how much I enjoy our sunny (usually!) autumn and winter. Amazingly I still have a few squash plants that are happily bearing. I have planted my winter veg amongst them so there is no space wasted. My hyacinth bean (also called lab lab) has clambered all the way to the top of one of my tripods and is flowering, bright purple happy blooms. I love this plant as it fills the tripods when the summer plants are dying down. It has edible leaves, pods and seeds and is a legume, adding nitrogen to the soil. And it is hardier than most other beans, surviving light frosts.

So, the book is at layout stage now and all the photographs are done (apart from one or two pick up shots) The next time I see it will be to proof read it. Best I do it carefully – Penguin publishers in Australia had to pulp 8000 copies of their book The Pasta Bible after an error was discovered. Instead of “two teaspoons of ground black pepper” it read “two teaspoons of ground black people” Ooops.