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Growing Herbs in Containers

chives

The first known documentation of herbs was in about 2000 BC in Babylon  and they, along with herbs and spices from the Orient and India, were exported right through the continents through to the ancient Egyptians, who learned the traditional uses through their trade.

Today, we have a renewed interest in herbs with many people creating their own culinary and medicinal gardens. This is easy to achieve, as herbs are generally undemanding and because they are able to be grown on a small scale, there are many that thrive in a container garden environment. It is important to regularly pick your herbs at the tip of each steam while they are growing, otherwise you will end up with tall thin plants.

Your herbs will thrive if you feed them with liquid seaweed, which contains trace elements and minerals that give lush, strong plants, while still retaining their flavour. Here are some of the easier and most commonly culinary herbs which grow well in containers.

Fresh growing organic basil

Sage, Bay, Thyme and Rosemary

These are classic English country garden herbs and have robust flavours that are excellent for soups, stock, meat dishes, pastas and sauces. They prefer to have a dryer root, so try not to over-water them. Sage can be grown from seed, but Bay, Thyme, and Rosemary are easier to grow as established plants or grown from cuttings.

Mint

Virtually indestructible, mint grows fantastically as a container crop. Mint is hugely versatile and can be used in everything from teas, sauces, chutneys, and salads. This herb will grow pretty much anywhere, even where there is heavy shade, but does require regular feeding and watering. Once matured, the plant can be divided into halves or quarters.

Chives

This is a lovely salad herb that is also brilliant in soups and garnishes. Chives make a pretty addition to your collection when they flower in spring and attract bees. Easily grown, chives only require four to five hours of sunshine, but make sure the soil is kept damp.

Parsley

Parsley can be slow to take off from seed, but once it takes hold, it will produce for almost two years before it flowers and goes to seed. This is a very solid hardy herb to grow and takes little maintenance.

Basil

Basil likes to bask in the sunshine and is best if it is grown in a bright, sheltered, warm area. The soil needs to be well drained and watered in the mornings.

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Garden Tours

garden-tour

If you have an interest in garden tours as well as travel, then you have myriad of destinations to choose from which will be bound to satiate your thirst for new gardening ideas and information. From the Chelsea Flower Show, hosted in London, to the wild tundra of the Himalayas – or for the more intrepid traveller –  the wild jungles of Borneo, there is much to discover and explore. There are plenty of gardening and botanic clubs, together with tour companies who specialise in trips with a horticultural edge that are sure to satisfy the most avid of garden enthusiasts.

For the most part, the Chelsea Flower Show is the jewel in the crown destination for the keen garden follower and is packed with beautiful gardens and ideas. However, there are equally as compelling organised tours that include exotic destinations such as China, Portugal, Spain, South America, Kenya and even the Galapagos Islands. There are even tours, aimed at the higher end of the market, which involve both sea and river cruises as part of the package.

An organised tour can offer many reasons to take part in, as they are often more comfortable, memorable, and ultimately more informative than going it alone. They often offer entry to gardens that are otherwise not available to the public. There, you can admire and appreciate the surroundings with other like-minded people. Organised tours can make travelling in non-English speaking countries much easier with on board translators and gardening experts.

Locally we have a fantastic organisation called My Open Garden. This is an Australian based online hub where people can register their private gardens for people to come and explore. Travellers and garden enthusiasts can go to this website to find a whole treasure trove of gorgeous private gardens that they can visit.

You may wish to combine the idea of a gardening tour with a longer trip where you can stay on after the tour has concluded, or travel to other destinations. A good tour operator specialising in this will be able to give you some ideas of numbers and flexibility to adding on other desired locations. It may be a good idea to do some online research of the towns and villages you are visiting and see what other accommodation alternatives there are to suit your needs and timeline. If you are staying in a large city, keep in mind the distance between your hotel and the tour destination. As wonderful as a long line of beautiful gardens to visit may be, it pays to give yourself some down time where you can explore your surroundings and take time out to soak up the shopping and culture while you are there.

The weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, so make sure you pack two pairs of shoes, in the even that one may get wet. Bring a lightweight waterproof jacket, a sun hat and plenty of sun screen. The majority of tours will continue, despite the weather conditions.

Bring something back! Although you are not allowed to bring back plants from overseas into Australia, you are allowed to bring back seeds. Many garden destinations will have a shop, so this will be your chance to get them while you can.

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Advantages of Growing Own Garden Produce

Fresh growing organic basil

Do you know that many fruits and vegetables that we consume on a daily basis, during some time or the other, may have been exposed to pesticides, herbicides etc. and could carry the residual effect? Many of these carcinogenic fertilizers can have devastating consequences, affecting the overall wellbeing of the consumers.

You may think that one can avoid these contaminated products by opting for organic produce available in the market. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could grow organic foodstuff in your own garden? Gardening has immense health benefits and nurturing a kitchen garden can improve the overall wellbeing a person in many ways.

Availability of Natural Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs: You needn’t depend on commercially produced fruits or vegetables for consumption. Buy the best seeds, seedlings, or plants, use organic methods to nurture these, and enjoy the fruits of your labour literally.

Families with own kitchen garden will be able to consume more healthy fruits and vegetables than a family who is dependent on commercial produce.

Growing own herbs like Oregano, Chives, Rosemary etc. can be the crowning glory as these mostly fragrant herbs are essential ingredients in cosmetic and cooking industry.

Financially Viability: Growing own produces is definitely a cheaper option – consumption-wise and health-wise.

Protection of the Environment: In addition to causing distress to human lives, herbicides and other pesticides destroy the natural composition of the soil. It can have a cascading effect on water, the lives of other vegetation, aquatic animals etc. Organic produce grown at own gardens can reduce this danger to a great extent.

A Great Form of Exercise: Any kind of gardening is a great workout for the body. It is the best way to obtain your daily dose of Vitamin D from the Sun. No more difficulty in calcium absorption and no more aches and pains of the joints especially among the elders.

Mental Satisfaction:  The enjoyment of seeing your labour taking shape gives a mental high, and a happy frame of mind means a happier existence. Daily interaction with plants can be a great stress-buster. One can forget the tensions and worries and relax among the plants.

Green plants/trees, through photosynthesis, increase the oxygen content of the atmosphere and reduce harmful carbon dioxide.

In a nutshell, nurturing a garden full of fruits, herbs, flowers, or vegetables can be physically, mentally, and financially satisfying. Improve your health, wealth, and happiness by taking up gardening as a pastime. Be the proud owner of a garden beset with delicious fruits, healthy vegetables, herbs or just enjoy the appeal of an ornamental garden.

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3 BEST STEPS TO TURN YOUR GARDEN INTO AN EARTHLY PARADISE

Do you have that one neighbour whose yard reminds you of the Garden of Eden? Beautiful flowers that blossom all year round, well-trimmed hedges that surprisingly never overgrow, and those fountains you see in movies of cupid-like angels gushing water from their mouths? I know, it must be hard living right next to them with your withering flowers, your kids constantly trampling on your plants – not to mention the dog always digging holes and damaging the soil. Well, the good news is, all this can change if you follow the 3 steps below to transform your junkyard into an earthly paradise.

Rule 1: Take the junk out!

Okay, so you literally detest the 30 seconds you spend parking your car into the driveway because you have to come face to face with the monster that is your yard. On one side, your failed attempt to start a cabbage nursery; on another, a rotting kennel of the dog you once had in 1995. When will it end! So step one, roll up your sleeves, and take all the junk out. Clear all the unnecessary memoirs you have, like the radio you used when in college. I mean, seriously? Why would you leave such things lying around in your yard?

Rule 2: Respect the yard!

So now you’ve completed the gruelling task of spending 5 hours in the scorching sun clearing the junk out. What’s next? Well, we now move on to the second and most important part of the exercise. Learn to give your yard the respect it deserves. You can start by emphasising to your family the importance of keeping the yard neat and tidy. A great conversation for teenagers would be like, “hey guys, I know you want to bring your friends over but picture how disgusted they will be when they find out here’s where old spare parts are brought!” If you have a pet, potty train them to respect the outside of the house just as much as the inside.

Rule 3: Beautify!

This should be so much fun considering you just overcame the 2 hardest steps. Find the right set of plants that suit your home. I’m talking durable all year round plants. If you’re looking for the perfect flowers to impress your guests, the African Iris blossoms really beautiful ones. For a great hedge, why not try the Photinia Red Robin? You will definitely be giving that pompous neighbour a run for their money with such style. At evergreengrowers, we provide these plus many more plants to beautify your home and your life.

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Why You Need Basil In Your Garden?

Basil is one of the most important herbs, used in Thai, Italian and Indian cooking. Basil, sweet Italian (Ocimum basilicum) not only adds flavour to the food, but has many medicinal properties as well. It is used for healing many ailments in many tropical Asian regions.  This aromatic herb has bright green leaves and can be grown in your garden on the ground or in pots. This plant grows approximately to a height of 45 cm.

Culinary uses

Basil can be added directly to the salads or can be used as basil pesto, which can be added to egg, meat preparations. Chopped basil can be sprinkled on baked fish, lamb or chicken. Dried basil leaves can be used in any dish of your choice. Basil leaves are an important ingredient in tomato sauce. You need to add basil at the end of the cooking procedure to retain the minty aroma of the herb. It can be added to various soups and stews as well. It can be pureed by adding olive oil and this can be stored under refrigeration. This puree can be drizzled over many prepared food items like pizza.

Health benefits

Basil is a rich source of iron, vitamin K, beta carotene, etc. Apart from this, basil leaves also have anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in keeping the arteries healthy and retarding the aging process. Basil when added to food improves digestion and reduces the fullness of the stomach. Chewing fresh basil leaves or drinking basil tea made of dried basil can soothe cough and cold and can relieve nausea. Oil of basil inhibits the action of pathogenic bacteria like Enterococci, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Shigella, etc.

Growing basil

Basil can be grown easily from seedlings available from garden nurseries. The herb prefers warm temperatures and grows best when it receives at least 5 hours of sunlight every day.  If growing from seeds, sow the seeds in well drained soil with a good amount of sunlight for at least 5 hrs a day. This plant cannot survive frost temperatures and requires moderate watering during warm climate. To promote the production of fresh leaves it is necessary to remove the flower buds as soon as it appears. You can grow it as a border in your outdoor garden or you can opt for growing them in pots indoors. Pruning the basil plants in every 2-3 weeks will improve growth. You can get quality plants from an online nursery in your country.

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Why Buy Ornamentals?

Ornamental trees and plants are grown purely for their beauty – they are inedible, but offer something extra to a garden. Ornamentals can be trees or flowers, and cover a number of different types of each of those things.

While growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs to provide for your plate, and medicinal plants to help heal your body, are both very good uses of your gardening time, growing ornamental plants can instill within you a sense of pride in what you are able to do. You can show off the flowers you grow through pruning or picking them, giving them to others, or putting a bouquet in a vase or a potted plant near the entrance to your home. This will open up more conversations and encourage connection with others… plus, you might get some great gardening tips!

ornamentals

If you are thinking about growing your own herbs, fruits, or vegetables, growing ornamental plants is a great way to practice your gardening skills. Why invest in seeds for plants that you want to eat without knowing if you will be able to get the plants to grow?

Ornamentals can also help a garden by doing more than looking pretty – they can make sure pests don’t reach food-bearing plants or that wind doesn’t knock over any new seedlings. They can also provide shade to you and to the plants that need it.

Growing any plants will provide you with better health, since gardening is a physical activity that can also calm the mind. In addition to the above reasons, being surrounded by beauty is scientifically proven to be good for your mental health! Flowers are natural mood moderators, impacting both immediate and long-term happiness, and even encouraging connections between people.

We have over 120 different ornamental plants that you can invest in. Decide what color flower you want, when you want it to bloom, and how much work you are willing to put into care, and we guarantee that there will be a flowering plant among the choices we have that will fulfill all of your requirements. We recommend buying flowers that bloom at different times so that you can be surrounded by beauty year-round.

By buying an ornamental plant, you are not only deciding to add more beauty to your life, you are deciding to help your mental and physical health as well. Don’t hesitate – invest in your health now through ordering ornamentals!

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Do You Know the Benefits of Container Gardening?

Growing plants in containers is a practice that has existed for thousands of years. In some places, this is the only way to grow certain varieties of plants all year round as winters there are too cold. However, if we dig a little deeper, we can see that the benefits of container gardening go well beyond this.

The most notable advantages of growing your plants in portable pots are:

Reduced risk of diseases and pests

Potted plants are less susceptible to diseases than those grown in the soil. This is a fact proven by thousands of gardeners from different parts of the world. Some pests will not be able to harm plants grown in containers instead of the open soil. Even if contamination by insects or a disease does occur, you will be able to isolate the affected plant easily and protect the rest of your garden.

Less labour, more enjoyment

Weeding, and generally caring for plants grown in containers is much easier. You save time and effort while getting all the benefits offered by a beautiful garden. In addition, you will be able to keep all your plants well-fed as fertilizing a limited amount of soil in a pot is a quick and simple task.

You can ‘remodel’ your garden whenever it strikes your fancy

If you enjoy creating beautiful arrangements and redecorating your garden often, containers will be the best option for you. Not only can you move them around easily, but you can also ‘plant’ together species that cannot actually grow next to each other due to their differences in requirements. However, don’t forget that some plants have strict requirements regarding lighting, so be sure to keep them hidden from the relentless sun.

Perfect for a test run

If you are unsure about how a certain plant will grow in a shady or sunny area in your garden, placing a container with it in the spot will allow you to observe its progress. The best thing about testing the waters this way is that you can save the plant the moment you see the environment is too much for it. You can place several pots with different plants and note which grow best in this particular spot.

Fun pastime with your kids

The benefits of gardening are numerous, and there is scientific evidence to prove this. So, introducing your children to this activity is a great idea. Containers are the perfect option as they are easier to tend to and you can grow an assortment of plants that your children love to keep them interested.

Please contact us if you want to learn which of the Evergreen Grower’s plants are the best to use for container gardening.

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Spring and our new website is launched!

The Hebe Blue Gem. One of our featured plants.
The Hebe Blue Gem. One of our featured plants.

Last week saw us launch our new website to coincide with spring. Packed full of new, interesting and informative features, the site has already been given the thumbs up by readers on our Facebook Page. Aimed squarely at improving the visitor’s experience, the site boasts a number of practical features to match its fresh, new, updated style. Continue reading Spring and our new website is launched!

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Gardening and council water management

Chinese-Tallow
Main st. Orange, NSW

Every once in a while, when the planets align favourably and we all have time off, my family and I head off to the Central West of NSW for a day trip. Only a few hours drive west from us, we’ve always tried to get away to visit the region as often as we can. Continue reading Gardening and council water management

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Should we have five seasons?

One of the great conversations amongst all those who work the land (whether they be farmers or gardeners) is the weather. How many times have you heard older generations say that “the seasons are different to when I was a lad”, or “you can grow things for longer into the cooler seasons than you could years ago”. Continue reading Should we have five seasons?