Over the weekend, I cleared out one of my veggie beds to make room for Winter crops (leek! garlic!). My basil had gone a bit wild, so I thought it was a good time to save the seeds, take off the remaining leaves and make some basil pesto. It takes me a while to get through pesto, so I freeze it in ice-cube trays and once set, put them into a snap lock bag for future pasta sauces and pizza bases.
If you’d like to make your own batch, follow this classic and simple recipe:
3 cups basil leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (toast them first, it gives them way more flavour)
3 garlic cloves (you can never have enough garlic, in my opinion)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
Put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
I was so lucky to receive this succulent frame for my birthday last December, handmade by Ryan… I think he got my Pinterest hints. The plants didn’t fair so well over the heat of Summer, so during our Easter gardening week I completely replanted (with super cheap succulents from the local markets), drilled a stack of holes into the top of the frame to let water filter through and added some new succulent soil to the mix. You can see a scary before shot here. A bit of Winter rain helped the succulents establish their roots and become nice and strong. I think that having plants on the exterior walls (like climbers, creepers and frames like this) really joins the house to the garden, making it all look a bit more lush and cohesive.
Here are a few DIY projects if you want to give it a go yourself, and you should because they’re gorgeous.
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Over the last few weekends Ryan and I have been working in the garden; pulling out grass, setting up retic, planting native plants and building veggie beds. We’ve been pretty lucky with having a few long weekends and mild weather so we decided that it was the perfect time to just get it done.
We have made four trips to Soils Aint Soils, at least four thousand trips to Bunnings and today we went to every nursery in Perth (Lullfitz, Zanthorrea (both Australian native) and Landsdale Plants ($6.95 kangaroo paws, people!). Everytime I shut my eyes I see native plants and mounds of dirt peering back at me. Despite all the running around and being complete novices, we have managed to pull together something pretty lovely.
We’re still waiting on a Eucalyptus to arrive and we need to build one more veggie bed, so in the meantime, I thought I’d share some progress shots.
L-R: The hanging planters are finally filled with some potted colour. They have been empty for about two years; We planted a Jacaranda in the middle of the yard (hopefully it doesn’t become a monster in size); Four Viburnum (Viburnum Odoratissiumum to be precise) were planted to give us more privacy from our neighbours; our chilli plant has EXPLODED; Borlotti beans (from the Diggers Club) were planted in the new veggie bed; I planted out those seed potatoes today… I can’t believe I’m growing (or trying to, anyway) my own potatoes!