Green tomatoes

It’s nearly December and I’ve just divested my tomato plants of their final fruits. This is indicative of so many things: stupidly warm California weather, lazy gardening, and late fall garden planting, to name a few.Now I’ve got give pounds of mostly green tomatoes to deal with. I’m considering pickling or roasting. Any recipe suggestions?...more

A Personal Assistant? Perish The Thought

A personal assistant would require delegating.  I don’t delegate well. Sometimes I organize as I go and not many people understand my system. Take my husband for example. When he tries to help me load the conveyor belt at the grocery store, he’s either in sync with me or he’s not. And he’s learned to back off if I’m on a roll. I like my grocery bags packed just so....more

Harvesting and Preserving Herbs

Harvesting and Preserving Herbs There are a few different ways to harvest herbs depending on how they grow. My main goal when harvesting herbs is to encourage and maintain more bush-like growth as opposed to tree-like growth....more

5 Houseplants You Can't Kill

1. Philodendron...more

Construction: Week 13 – Finding Zen

When I was a young girl I remember visiting my Mom at work and on her desk she had a small Zen garden. The square foot pavilion complete with beveled edges, was filled with fine white sand. There were also a couple of stones dispersed in the sand and a small gardening rake no bigger than a chopstick to manipulate and transform the landscape. I would occasionally sit there sharing how my day was, pushing the stones and sand around subconsciously expressing my emotions....more

Rock bottom, or should that be concrete?

As a housewarming gift, a friend of mine generously gave me an orchard. Urban Auckland here, so her gift comprised three trees - two double grafted apples and a double grafted plum. They should keep us in fruit from December to May, with a bit of luck, and hopefully I'll never have to buy an overly sweet and rather bland Pacific Rose or the like apple ever again....more

Of mud and kikuyu

As I sit here typing my hands are aching - several hours with a hoe, rake and spade has left them blistered and sore. But progress is being made, albeit very slowly.Hubby was keen to get a few trees to screen us from the neighbours so we headed to a tree nursery a few weeks ago and selected five large trees - a puriri and three titoki (one particularly big), I also grabbed a Japanese maple as I love them and well, why not?...more

Succulent Propagation: How to and Results

It has been a  little over a year since I tried propagating my succulents and I must admit that they may have been the start of a gardening obsession. Not only have I started collecting more succulents, but I've now added historical and English roses into the mix......more

Cymbidium Orchid Care

 Follow Nell at Joy Us garden...more

9 Ways to Spruce up Your Home Using Indoor Plants

Very beautiful--you gave me some great ideas!more