We’re on the Move! So can I take the garden???

I’ve spent the best part of seven years cultivating my crop circles and the surrounding herb and veggie garden. It is the birthplace of farewell my manicure, the resting place of many well loved chicken friends, the five o’clock chardonnay quaffing spot, and the place of many hours of toil, tilling, harvesting and joy. So for me to just walk away from this place with all the hard work done is very bitter sweet.

Take the newly planted Mulberry tree that I received as a Christmas present from my in-laws. An expensive gift as they bought a mature tree to ensure that I saw it fruit in the new year. I am torn between digging it up and leaving it behind for the next home owner to enjoy its bounty, and believe me a full grown Mulberry tree provides buckets of fruit and loads of beautiful filtered shade.

Similarly leaving THE BEST ROSEMARY BUSH EVER is going to be sad. This bush has allowed me to make skewers for kebabs, brushes for BBQ basting, bouquets for family and friends and toasty fragrant toppings for roast veggies and lamb.

And what about my third generation pineapple plant? In its first season of 2.5 years it taught me patience, in its next incarnation the process sped along to one year and now in its third yield I am wondering if the gestation period is halved again! Is it possible to get a pineapple in six months? I guess for this particular plant I’ll never know.

So now the house is on the market, what are the rules regarding what one can take and what one must leave behind?

Before photos are taken and the listing published it’s open slather. Uproot, repot, trim limbs, and take cuttings at will. The agent will even allow you to write a list of exclusions from your contract of sale which can include certain plants that you wish to take with you. To avoid confusion during open for inspection its smart to mark them with ribbon so that they stand out.  All potted plants are deemed transportable so it is widely assumed that they will leave with you but be very clear when it comes to big pots and planter boxes to stipulate if you are excluding them from the sale.

But if I may add a small word for your consideration…before you remove any plant that is happily living and growing in your garden, ask yourself two questions:
1 – will the removal of this plant take away some of the ambience of the garden that may help with the sale? If you love the garden just the way it is, chances are it will be appealing to a prospective buyer.
2 – will the plant survive the transplant anyway? Is it worth the risk?

Once it’s listed?  What then?

Once the house is listed and open homes have begun you are not legally allowed to remove plants, chop down trees or make any major alterations to the garden.

So in my case I am going to leave the mature plants in place to be enjoyed by the new occupants, remove the veggie pod from Urban Food Garden which will be great for a rental, and take cuttings and seed on my journey to the next destination.

One thing I know for sure is that I will share this blog with the new owners so they can read the stories of the origins of the crop circles, each precious plant and chicken friend planted there and each joyous moment. It may not dissuade them from pulling it all down to make an extension to the house, reorient the pool deck or create a children’s playground but it may encourage them to treat the space with love and dignity whatever the future may hold.

Happy trails!




Basil – Twelve Health Benefits Associated with Basil

I have a great pile of basil growing in my garden at present, in fact, most of the time because let’s face it basil is prolific!  I love that it self seeds and always gives me a bountiful crop.  When the wind is blowing in the right direction we can smell the basil at our dining room table as well as the rosemary, a clever placement of plants which was definitely serendipitous not planned.

Basil pesto is one of those favourite gifts I make when I have an abundance in the garden.  Great on pasta and as a spread on a gourmet sandwich stuffed with roasted vegetables, it’s a much loved condiment in our house that’s for sure.  But it wasn’t until recently that I learnt about the health benefits associated with eating basil, so I thought I would share these with you on this short video, taken in my garden, right next to (you guessed it) my crop circle full of basil.  Take a look!

For those of you who would rather read than watch, here are the top 12 Health Benefits of Basil:

  1. Contains disease fighting antioxidants which fight free radicals and fights oxidation that slows down the effects of ageing, and you gotta love that!
  2. Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  3. Fights cancer because it contains phytochemicals that can cause the death of harmful cells
  4. Contains antibacterial properties
  5. Contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and infections
  6. Combats stress
  7. Fights depression by stimulating the nanotransmitters that regulate the hormones responsible for happiness
  8. Promotes cardiovascular health
  9. Supports liver function and helps detoxify the body
  10. Helps alkalise the body and improve bigestion
  11. Can act as a natural aphrodisiac, apparently the aroma is believed to increase libido!
  12. Helps protect from diabetes.  Helps lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels

Well, if they aren’t enough reasons to make you get out and plant some basil, then did I mention pesto, who doesn’t love pesto!

In the mean time check out some more of my other Gardening Videos on Youtube.

Until next time,





How to Get the Garden of Your Dreams

This week I was so happy to have one of my tips about urban gardening  featured in a great article by Ally Feiam for on How To Get the Garden of Your Dreams.

I mentioned how encouraging pollinators to your garden is vitally important and yet so easy to do with the addition of a solitary bee home, which you can make yourself from bits of left over wood you might have lying around.

The article features other tips and tricks to have a garden that you can enjoy for years to come.

Have a look at the full article here!

As you know I have a fabulous Bee B&B in my veggie garden, which I blogged about earlier with instructions as to how to build one for yourself.

If you have a go let me know!




Start Your Urban Veggie Garden with Kitchen Scraps!

Reasons people give for NOT  starting their own vegetable garden:

  1. I live in an apartment and have no space
  2. I haven’t got a green thumb and gardening takes time and patience
  3. Starting a veggie garden is expensive!

I had the privilege recently of filming a segment on The Point TV with Gerald Pauchman.  My segment was a piece on starting a vegetable garden on a balcony with recycled containers and kitchen scraps.  YES kitchen scraps and YES it can be done.

Here is the 7 minute segment which will persuade you to make that veggie garden and stop the excuses.  Let me know what you think in the comments below and if this interests you, don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

Happy Gardening!



Veggie Pod – 3 weeks later…

There is no excuse for not using every available space in your yard, balcony, terrace or patio.  The Veggie Pod is exploding with growth, only three weeks down the track, so much so that I have had to prop open the cover so the massive tomato plant can spread it’s wings, I’ve harvested four lettuces and am closely monitoring the capsicum flowers and beetroot plants to see when they will produce fruit.  to to mention the herbs… All of this in a one metre square Urban Garden!

I made this short video to show you the progress.

So if you are interested in the people at Urban Food Garden designing a veggie patch specifically tailored to your requirements, please check out their link (and mention my name for extra special treatment)

Subscribe to my My Youtube Chanel for updates and more urban gardening tips.


Urban Gardening – our food future

I’ve been into gardening for some time now, and while I have discovered that although I have a green thumb it is more avocado green than the lush, forest green of people who have been gardening for many years.  That’s why I consider myself a naive gardener and tend to learn by my mistakes and what I information I can google or Youtube.  So when the people at Urban Food Garden asked if I would like to “road test” one of their self contained Vegetable Pods I was ecstatic!


The system is so simple; they consult with you over the phone about your own particular level off skill, space available and the particular veggies that you would like to grow, they then go and design an Urban Food Garden to suit your requirements, from raised beds, to vertical gardens to pod gardens or a combo of all of them.  They send you a quote for the whole kit and caboodle and when you say “YES” they come and install your garden for you, including soil, plants and mulch!  Then there is an optional step to have your garden maintained by the people at Urban Food Garden.  They will even pass on their knowledge to you so that your thumb becomes the perfect shade of green to keep your family fed on healthy veggies, herbs and fruit for many years to come.

Here’s a little more about it in my video.

If you would like to know more please feel free to email the company on and mention my name!

How to make a foot stool, recycling paper and growing Oregano.

Mamma Mia, can’t have a pizza or pasta without this delicious little herb, oregano.  But are you aware that it also controls weeds and the pests that would attack your beans and broccoli and has some amazing health benefits as well.  It’s drought tolerant and a real all rounder so you really should consider growing oregano in your herb garden.

Have you been told to put your feet up recently?  Well, what better place to do that than on a foot stool you made yourself!  I show you how to make a snazzy footstool with left over timber and some offcuts of foam and fabric that will take pride of place in front of your thinking chair.

With Christmas time comes wrapping paper and cards so we look at why we should send all of it to the recycling bin, once the celebration is over.  Did you know in Australia we send 1.9 million tonnes of paper to landfill and only half of our paper used is recycled.  y recycling 1 kg of paper and card we can reduce our green house gas emissions by the equivalent amount!  Reduce, reuse and recycle your paper and cards this Christmas (and every day ending in a Y).

Welcome to Farewell My Manicure TV.  I hope you enjoy the show!




Plastic waste, Picture frames and Pineapples

Welcome to Episode Nine of FMM TV!

What do the following things have in common?

127 bus loads of straws

one metre high pineapple plants and

mini clothes pegs????

They all feature on tonights program.

Seriously though, on tonights episode I take a trip to the shed to whip up this cute picture frame, complete with a mini clothes line to hang your pictures from, as a Christmas present for a special friend.

I take you into my garden to see the lovely pineapple that I am growing that cost me nothing but a bit of love and attention, oh and two years of my time waiting for it to appear.  It is an extraordinarily long time to wait for a piece of fruit!

Considering that it is the party season I encourage you to think about the waste that is generated by plastic disposable straws!  The statistics are quite dramatic.

Please enjoy tonights program and if it floats your boat please LIKE, COMMENT and most of all SHARE with the ones you care about.

Until next week,





Pythons, clucky chooks and beetroot.

I’m affectionately known as the Chook Whisperer in our house.  When I call out the buck, buck, buck, the little girls come running from all parts of the acreage.  So when one doesn’t show up, I tend to worry that she isn’t coming home.  But thankfully in this case she was only dutifully minding her eggs, hoping they would hatch and she would become a mum.  With no rooster in sight at our place, this is a futile pastime for our chickens but no amount of whispering to her will dissuade her from her task.  So what do you do if you have a clucky chicken? Check out this week’s episode of Farewell My Manicure TV.

For many years I thought that beetroot was only found swimming in vinegar in a can!  Now that I grow my own I am astounded by the uses for this beautiful root vegetable.  A favourite in our house is the beetroot and chocolate cake, so when I plant the seeds of beetroot I make sure there are going to be plenty for salads, roasting and for making deserts.

The compost heap is home this week to our new pet python.  Each day he can be seen sunning himself as he gradually digests his feed of rodents.  I make sure I go and have a chat with him each day so that he is aware of me being around and I am very thankful that he is here to keep our rodent population under control.

How many litres of water are lost each and every time you brush your teeth and leave the tap running?  Would you believe it is ten litres, which is as much water as some people in third world countries have to use in a month.  That’s even more reason to turn off the tap each and every time.

Thank you for joining us again this week.  I hope you enjoy Episode Eight of Farewell My Manicure TV.


episode eight

It’s Beginning to Look a bit Like Christmas…

With the heat soaring to high 30’s this week, the frangipanis blooming and the little baby mangos starting to appear on the Mango tree, it is clearly looking at bit like Christmas here in South East Queensland.  So with the impending first of December just around the corner (the day we put up our Christmas Tree), I thought I should get started on making some “green” Christmas decorations in the shed.

We all know that the planet is suffering from a plastic environmental disaster, but did you consider that the microscopic pieces of plastic that you use in cleaning products and facial scrubs are contributing to this in an unprecedented way?  Let’s find out why there is a movement in many countries to Ban the Bead (micro-beads that is).

Christmas time is not always a happy time for everyone.  If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed by the whole occasion find out why getting down and dirty in your garden could be just the tonic for your Summertime blues.

Welcome to Episode Seven of Farewell My Manicure TV.  Don’t forget to LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE if you enjoy the program.

Until next week



Episode 7




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