Occasional Gardener ~ 2006

Friday, May 25


The Occasional Gardener has been transplanted to a new plot - this post explains why. We can now be found at:


and its companion site:


Saturday, December 16


Occasional Gardener is on hiatus until the spring. One last look.

Sunday, September 24

Summers End

With the autumn equinox falling on Sept 23 it seems fitting that the photos I took on Thursday capture the colors of summers end. Chinese Lantern with gold creeping jenny and rose tinged sedum sieboldii our first choice. The dark maroon leaves of the Shisoh herb contrasted against the green Basil being our second. The third- deep purple clematis in our post header above.

Heidi dug out all the old pictures and plans of the garden, I'll be organising them to create the 'About the Garden" page soon. I took home a large bag of tomatoes, lemon grass, mint,thai basil and Shisoh.

Saturday, September 16

Tomatoes & Clematis

We are officially eating tomatoes. Both the Early Girl and the Roma had ripened fruit to pick. There were a lot of bees and wasps on the many sedum flower heads which deterred working too close to them. The clematis that was growing on the porch front and disappeared this year has self seeded itself in the vegetable patch and I let it climb up the empty teepee that we sadly were too late in finding any beans for. Its now flowering and it looks like its the autumn flowering Clematis Terniflora. Which means the other Clematis on the front porch is Summer flowering and needs to be pruned accordingly for next season -'In late winter or early spring. Start pruning from the top down, removing only dead and damaged stems to the highest pair of healthy buds."

Friday, August 25


So we went to the nursery to see what we could find and there was a 3 for the price of 2 special, so we got 3 perennials and 3 shrubs.


Lythrum virgatum Morden's Pink
Sedum sieboldii October Daphne
Chinese Lantern Plant


Berberis thunbergii 'Rose Glow'
Ilex crenata 'Green Lustre'
gold thread cypress

I've since discovered that both the lythrum and the chinese lantern are very invasive-yikes.

Cut Flowers
Over on the other side of the house giant heads of green hydrangea tinted with red and magenta phlox heady with scent are providing a spectacular display. So those and a couple of stalks of japanese anemone from the walled garden.

Tuesday, August 22

Green Chicken

This weeks gardening left us with some green tomatoes, so with some herbs from the garden, I made this Thai inspired dish.

1) Ingredients:
a) 1/2 whole chicken (I used 2 leg quarters) cut into small pieces and marinated in 3 tablespoons fish sauce
b) 1 medium onion, 1 green Pepper, 1-inch ginger root, 1 clove garlic, 1 hot green chilli pepper(more if you want it hotter/spicier), 2 or 3 green tomatoes
c) About 1 cup chopped herbs-*lemon grass, mint, thai basil, chives; zest of one lime, juice of one lime (maybe 2 depending on taste)
d) 3/4 cup chicken stock

*Its the lemon grass stalks that are usually used in South East Asian cooking but since it doesn't grow to the sizes required here, I use the leaves finely chopped as a herb

2) Chop all ingredients in 1)b

3) Heat some olive oil on high heat and brown the marinated chicken pieces; remove from pan.

4) Add to pan all chopped items from 2)-except green tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium and saute ingredients untill soft/translucent. Add back browned chicken pieces and green tomatos and 3/4 cup water or chicken stock. Cook for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.

5) Chop all herbs and squeeze juice from limes.

6) Add chopped herbs to pan. Salt to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes then add lime juice before serving. Optional-you can add 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar for a more rounded flavor.

Serve with Jasmine rice and garnish with basil leaves, chopped chives and mint.

Monday, August 21

Crimson Honeysuckle

The Crimson Alabama Honeysuckle we planted in June has turned out to be a winner. Its putting out a fresh new set of blooms that are nicely offset by the jade tones of the the sedum now also coming into its own.

Powered by Blogger