Upper North Shore Sydney Australia

Feed Your Soil

I recently attended an advanced soil workshop organised by Lane Cove Council. Led by the very knowledgeable Peter Rutherford, senior Ecologist, Kimbriki Eco House & Garden and his lovely wife Alison, the overall message was summed up with a quote;

“The plant always eats at the second sitting; the plant only gets what the microbes give it. Feed the soil, not the plants!”


Bush Garden

On the north shore of Sydney we love the bush. But growing a garden even a native one can be a challenge. Competition is intense from the wallabies, bandicoots, rabbits, rats, eastern water dragons, brush turkeys and cockatoos to name a few.

Coffee and Firelight

Having recently moved to my new home in the leafy, bush suburb of Berowra, NSW I acquired a very efficient wood burning heater and purchased a new coffee machine both provide me with recycling waste. Apart from the sheer pleasure of enjoying the brew and the firelight what is left from this activity is grounds and ash. Both of these products can be used effectively into assisting you to build up the health of your garden soil.

herb planter pots

Boosting Sunlight

I want to grow my own crop of luscious red tomatoes and I think have the ideal place.

Actually given the lack of growing spots in my coastal garden it is probably the only place.


Australian temperate zones

Our garden information is based here in Australia where we live in a temperate climate. Information, from the Australian Bureau of meteorology, includes the inland area of Brisbane, New South Wales tablelands and coastal region of Sydney, and much of Australia’s southern coastal area from Melbourne, Adelaide through to Perth…


Turmeric & Ginger Quail

Using the fresh roots of Turmeric and Ginger (a traditional Indian fresh pickle) as a quail marinade creates hot, peppery flavours, slightly reminiscent of bitter orange. Add fresh orange juice and honey for acid / sweetness balance.



Part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) this flowering perennial is a broad leaf tropical looking plant, about 1 metre in height, producing a spectacular flower stem in summer.


A hardy dwarf spreading evergreen shrub. Early to mid-summer bears clusters of mauve flowers. Originated from the Mediterranean region.

Testing the microbial ‘aliveness’ of your topsoil

Healthy soils rich in soil biota will hold together while soils devoid of soil life fall apart and form a layer of sediment in the bottom of a jug of water. Place the soil sample in the sieve and rest the sieve across the neck of your jug lowering the soil into the water.

sweet basil

Basil aka Common Basil or Sweet Basil

A half-hardy annual with glossy green aromatic leaves. In late-summer plants bear white flowers which can be nipped out to encourage the leaves to grow. Plant originated in India where it is a perennial but in cooler countries it is treated as an annual.