Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

Catch up Album!

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the January 27th, 2011

I have been sorting photographs and realised I missed out on adding quite a few events. There was such a swirl of activity towards the end of the year. So here are some pics from them all:

On the way to Pietermaritzburg . . .

Pietermaritzburg launch of Jane’s Delicious Kitchen

Signing . . .

Young readers – I will be posting pics of their vegetable garden story soon.

With Cheryl from Pmb Exclusives

And family . . .

Back to Jo’burg for the launch there a few days later . . .

Great turnout!


And a week later in Cape Town, being interviewed by Michelle Matthews at Kalk Bay Books for the Cape Town launch.

La Cucina in Hout Bay prepared about 20 dishes from the book. It was quite a surreal experience!

And I gave a talk about the food . . .

Time out from all the speeches and events – to stroll through Elgin’s exquisite gardens.

And of course I had to pick some slips to bring home . .

Back to Cape Town to Jenny Morris’ fabulous Giggling Gourmet Kitchen where I gave a cooking class.

Ingredients for herbal salt:

No wonder I didn’t have any time to blog!!!

Summer explosion

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the January 27th, 2011

The pathways in my veg garden are overflowing with squash plants and nasturtiums.
My tomato tower is flourishing.

Gems, beans and cherry toms are winding sky high. I love this time of year! I also love the promise of a New Year – it is always a seductive time, full of plans and ideas with months stretching out ahead. Especially with the long days and balmy evenings.

My plans include building a chicken tractor and turning our swimming pool into a pond. The chicken tractor is an idea I read about years ago. It is simply a portable chicken run which is regularly moved around the beds of the veg garden or lawn. The chickens scratch out weeds, fertilise the ground and eat the goggos. I have cleared a section of garden in between my compost and elderflower tree and the A-frame run will go there, in between moving around the garden. Yesterday we hauled out piles of logs and planks that had built up behind the shed and sorted them into different lengths. It looks like I won’t have to buy anything to make the run as I will use all these old recycled fence planks. I already have a large roll of chicken wire – all I will need to buy is two chickens!

Our pool has been covered up for about 3 or 4 years. We had a problem with leaking pipes and as it was the end of summer we just covered it up. Since then we haven’t got around to uncovering it and fixing the pipes. Summer seemed to flash by each year and we were too busy travelling or doing other things to mission with digging up the paving . . . until Tosca arrived.

She spotted the puddle in the middle of the trampoline-like covering on about day four. It then took her about two seconds to bite her way through the top netting cover to get to it. And the games were on. She would romp from one side to the other, through the puddle, splashing and biting the water.
And it wasn’t good enough to have one entry point. She had soon chewed three or four holes so she could hop in and out wherever she chose. This was all fine while she was a pup – but 30kgs of fully grown shepherd starting wearing the edges of the trampoline away. We had visions of the edges tearing and our Tosca Noonoo floundering and drowning. And immediately we uncovered the pool.

The thought of digging up the pipes and an aversion to chlorine led to the natural pond idea. I have seen natural swimming pools, where one side has plants and the other has clear water that is filtered through the plants. But the quotes I received for doing those seemed rather excessive. I don’t mind swimming in a dam with a murky bottom so I decided to turn the whole thing into a “dam,” with fish, frogs bullrushes et al.

It is already rather “natural” from being covered up for so long. There is algae on the sides but the water is clear. The plan is to create different levels of raised “ledges” using recycled water drums. The planting baskets will go on these ledges. I have already raided a friend’s pond and have bullrushes, reeds, lilies etc standing by in large buckets. A simple water feature will keep the water aerated for the fish and we’ll add a wooden deck and bridge across the pool, so the fish can hide and we can dangle our legs in the water. And maybe fish from!
Here is the first step: