In our garden are many kinds of plants, some planted by ourselves, some by other people well before we got here, and some planted by Nature. The plants we planted vary from useful, to pretty, and some of the useful ones are pretty as well. My favourite useful and pretty ones are probably the strawberries we have planted in two separate hanging pots, which are hanging not far from our back door.

You  may not realise it, but strawberries begin life as pretty white flowers, then become green, then white, then pink/red berries. I love them in all stages, but I only eat the pink/red ones! We also have other foodstuffs growing in our garden, in garden beds, in pots, and another hanging basket which has some thyme growing in it.

Other herbs we have growing include rosemary, lavender and chives. We also have garlic growing in a garden bed that has two tomato plants growing in it as well. I saw the youngest of our dogs sniff at the tomatoes earlier today, and I sincerely hope she doesn’t steal one of the tomatoes that are growing there. The tomatoes were planted late in the season, and I’m not sure how many tomatoes we’re actually going to get out of the exercise. So far Graham, my husband, has had one of the cherry tomatoes to eat, and there’s another one I spotted today that is changing colour from green to red. At this rate, we’re not going to have terribly many tomatoes to eat – Winter is here, and the growth may slow down even further. I don’t know enough about tomatoes to know the answer, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the plants, and on the dogs …

A thing you may not have realised about tomatoes, something I never knew until we began growing them, is that the tomatoes are actually pretty little yellow flowers at the beginning, so even if the tomato crop ends up being a bit of a failure, we have at least had the pleasure of seeing these small flowers growing there amongst the greenery of the plants. I don’t know how Graham feels about that – I suspect he doesn’t care about the flowers, and just wants tomatoes …

We also have kale growing, but it’s not being used as much as it perhaps should be … it may be time for me to think about making some savoury muffins – kale, garlic, cheese and herb would be good. I could put some chives in there too, and a little thyme. The garlic won’t be home grown, our garlic plants are far too young for that. I like muffins though, all of us do, savoury or sweet. I’ve been a bit of a failure with my most recent muffins, but I’m not sure why. I may be stirring things too much, even though I well know that makes to failed muffins, not fabulous muffins.

On another subject, I love the trees we have at our place, from the tiny bonsai trees, to the tall pine trees out the front, I adore them all! We have almond trees too, and some native trees I’ve forgotten the name of at the moment. We have lemon tree too, this plant has never produced a lemon in the nearly thirty years since we moved to Redbanks. The only reason I know it’s a lemon tree is because the leaves smell like lemon trees smell … Another citrus we have growing is a mandarin tree, that Graham planted a couple of years back. This one has flowered, and begun producing fruit, but it’s still a bit young yet, it may become productive next season perhaps.

The weeds we have growing are many and varied, but with Graham’s efforts we aren’t overrun by weeds, and they do add greenness, which is better than just bare dirt. We have gum trees too, which the birds love, native birds especially, when the gums are flowering. I love watching the birds, we have two kinds of honeyeaters, miners, and at times we have Rainbow bee eaters, which is a bird I love to watch! So lovely to see, and lovely to hear as well. We also have magpies, magpie larks, crows or probably ravens actually. We have sparrows, starlings, swallows and many other birds too. All up, we have had more than forty different kinds of birds at our place.aleppo pine

So dogs, gardens, Nature – they all bring good things to us in our home out in the country, and we love it all! We wan’t talk about the snakes though, only the dogs like them, but we know they should leave those snakes alone, for their health, and our financial health. We have deadly snakes to visit in summer, and the vet bills if a dog gets bitten is huge.

Do you have happy garden stories? I’d love to hear about your garden. And any advice you can give about my garden would be very welcome. Feel free to leave a message!