4 Step Guide to Building a Herb Spiral

Want to make your own vertical herb spiral garden? This compact space saving design can be made with just a few basic steps.

Construction materials and methods vary. So after deciding on the best position and gathering your materials, you can have one built the same day.

Stone filled gabion walls are an elegant twist on this herb spiral | The Micro Gardener

Depending on your budget and taste, herb spirals can be made very economically or be quite elaborate like this one with stone filled gabion walls.

 * [The original link to this image (via Cara-Ornamentals) is no longer available. I have no control over this & apologise for any inconvenience but you’ll find alternative resources below.]

If you like this particular design and want to learn to make the curved wire baskets, see the end of this post for videos and wire basket suppliers for Gabion Herb Spirals. These are some basic instructions for making a gabion wall or visit BlondeMafia or Garden Drum. More instructional videos for gabions are here and here. For the tutorial steps, read on!
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Amazing Uses for Garlic in Your Home & Garden

Do you know how to use garlic in your kitchen, garden and for good health? In this article I share garlic tips and some amazing uses for  this humble herb.

Garlic tips and uses in your kitchen, garden and for health

Garlic tips and uses in your kitchen, garden and for health

I’m an unashamed ‘Garlicoholic’ and if you love garlic as much as I do, you may be surprised at some of the incredibly useful ways you can use this ancient herb.

  • In your kitchen – for its culinary properties;
  • For health – and its medicinal benefits; plus
  • In your garden – to help with pest and disease management!

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5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic

Do you know where your garlic comes from? One of the most important reasons for you to learn to grow garlic is: to avoid toxic chemicals and irradiation (that inhibit sprouting and extend shelf life).*

How to Grow Garlic - 5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic Tutorial

Garlic … how safe is yours to eat?

A few years back I didn’t even think about the garlic I ate. But then I became interested in the story behind the food I was eating. I started to look deeper at the source of my food. Where it came from, who grew it and how. I didn’t like what I discovered!

Garlic – Did you know?

The majority of the world’s garlic is grown in China and is sprayed with chemicals and bleached white with chlorine during importation quarantine processes. Not to mention the thousands of food miles clocked up travelling long distances in storage.

But if you really want to gag on your garlic, read on! According to the CEO of the Australian Garlic Industry Association, “some garlic growers over there (China) use raw human sewage to fertilise their crops, and I don’t believe the Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough in terms of bacteria testing on imported produce.”

So you might want to think again before you reach for that perfect white bulb in your supermarket! [Learn more about irradiated foods at the end of this post].

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 2

After moving house sixteen times, I’ve learned to adapt my gardens to all sorts of spaces – large and small. This is a handy list of plants I’ve found to grow well in containers plus the depth of soil they need.

Some of my edible container gardens

Some of my edible container gardens

 

If you have difficult soil like sand, clay or rocks; limited space or funds, then I suggest you try growing at least some of your food in containers. Pots offer loads of benefits.

 

“Growing your own veggies is the first step to self-sufficiency.” – Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 1

Do you want to make a quick mini garden? You can grow healthy ‘fast food’ like salad veggies and herbs in a simple box. Best of all, you can make it in about 15 minutes. The bonus is you’ll be eating the rewards in just a few weeks for only a minimal investment of time AND money. Let’s get started!

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

 

This is a system I’ve used for years with great success and it’s so easy. Even if you’re a beginner gardener or on a budget and need a thrifty solution, this is it! An easy container garden with just a few ingredients to get started. (more…)

20 Reasons to Grow this Amazing Herb

Do you grow herbs? They can provide a whole heap of benefits from culinary to medicinal uses and even a splash of colour and fragrance. Some flowering herbs like nasturtiums really earn a special place in the garden because of the added value they provide. So check out these 20 uses for nasturtiums – they may surprise you!

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

 

Colourful nasturtiums are one herb that’s easy to fall in love with. This plant is an absolute winner in my book. Whilst many think of nasturtiums as just pretty flowers, these attractive herbs have an amazing array of benefits to offer you.

There are several types of nasturtium. The one I can never get enough of in our garden is Tropaeolum majus’ (commonly known as Indian Cress).  Not ‘Nasturtium Officinale’ that grows in water and is often referred to as watercress!

Nasturtiums – More than just a pretty face!

Aside from stealing the limelight in any garden with their dazzling display of colour, nasturtiums are one of the most multi-functional plants you can grow. They are an ideal plant for every survival food and medicinal garden.

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Need Herbs in a Hurry? Grow Rocket!

Want to learn to grow rocket? The humble herb known as Rocket or Arugula is one of the easiest, fastest foods to grow.  Perfect in pesto, delicious in dips … this slightly peppery green has many bonus health benefits. So dig in!

How to grow rocket tutorial - With both culinary and medicinal uses – try adding this easy-to-grow edible to your garden.

With both culinary and medicinal uses – try adding this easy-to-grow edible to your garden.

 

Why grow rocket?

‘Pocket Rocket’ is Packed with Incredible Health Benefits

  • According to Isabell Shipard in her informative book How Can I Grow Herbs in My Daily Life? rocket is a rich source of sulforaphane. A powerful anti-cancer, anti-microbial and even anti-diabetic compound.  It’s also a potent trigger for detoxifying blood and cells and helps promote production of cancer-preventative enzymes.
  • The fresh leaves are highly alkaline and rich in anti-oxidants.
  • The leaves contain phytochemicals that have protective and disease preventive properties. These include countering the carcinogenic effects of estrogen and helping protect against prostate, breast, cervical, colon and ovarian cancers, by their ability to inhibit cancer cell growth and the cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. (more…)

Grow Your Own Herb Tea Garden

Want to Grow a Herb Tea Garden?

With so many culinary and medicinal health benefits, a herb tea garden is a must for every gardener. Even if you just have a balcony or tiny space, herbs have so many uses.

Grow your own herb tea garden - easy herbs to grow, brew and use for health

Grow your own herb tea garden – easy herbs to grow, brew and use for health

Easy Herb Teas to Grow and Brew

If you’re not already growing your own herb garden, hopefully you’ll be inspired to start!  There are a wide range of delicious and aromatic herbs you can grow for hot or iced herb teas and medicinal use.

 

Sprigs of fresh mint for herb tea

Pick sprigs of fresh mint for herb tea

Getting Started with Herb Teas

Chamomile (German) Tea

  • A mild flavoured relaxing tea that I’ve used hundreds of times over the years. Helps to calm and soothe the spirit, settle stomach aches and indigestion and is a great tea for helping you relax, destress and get to sleep.  It goes well with a little honey and a slice of lemon.  You can also use the tea as a hot foot bath for tired or sore feet! (more…)

Gardens for Kids – Design Ideas & Themes

“Gardening has a magical quality when you are a child.”- Barbara Damrosch

Gardens for Kids - Design ideas and themes for gardening with children

Inspirational Themed Gardens

A garden is Nature’s Classroom. If you have children, grandchildren, visitors or are homeschooling, this article will give you some ideas and inspiration for designing your space with little ones in mind.

You can include a wide range of learning experiences. There are loads of creative ways to encourage kids to start small or think BIG!

Growing plants and being in contact with nature is a therapy in itself. Now more than ever, we need to spend time connecting with the outdoors and plants for our mental and physical wellbeing. Not only adults, but especially children. They often don’t express the stress and anxiety they feel, so a garden can be a quiet space to calm and centre them emotionally.

“Many studies both in Australia and overseas in school gardens have found students who grow organic fresh produce not only increase their consumption of vegetables at home but also improve their ability to identify new fruits, herbs and vegetables and develop knowledge of how to grow them.”

What a great gift we can give to children! I hope you enjoy some of the ideas I’ve put together from my experiences.

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Growing Your Own Food from Seed

Do you grow your garden by planting seedlings and potted mature plants or by sowing seeds? There are times when it makes sense to some of each. Seedlings and larger plants can save you time, but there are many advantages to sowing seeds too.

Growing your own food from seed provides you with many benefits

As a seed saver, I’d like to share some important reasons why we should all grow at least some of our homegrown food from seed.

5 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Food From Seed 

1. Save money!

Seeds represent great value for money so investing in even one seed packet will reap huge rewards if you choose the right kind of seeds. However, if you learn how to save your own seed you won’t need to continue to buy it.

On a tight budget? Most seed packets have more seeds than you need. If you swap seeds with others you can grow your garden for very low cost.  (more…)

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