Monthly Archives: July 2012

Kitchen Garden Blog ~ From

  Now, let’s get the legal stuff out of the way first.

  Because make no mistake: stevia, aka sweet leaf or sugarleaf, is, or rather was until recently, an illegal     substance. You couldn’t buy it for the garden as it was somewhere on the same tray as cannabis and opium   poppies as Plants You Could Be Arrested For Owning.

  Then they said OK, we realise we’re being a little ridiculous here as they’ve been growing it in Paraguay for  500 years, so you can have it in your garden as long as you promise not to actually do anything with it.

So people who sell stevia plants and seeds had to add a disclaimer, in the best tradition of under-the-counter slightly murky dealings: something along the lines of ‘we know this is used as a sweetener and has been for centuries but we just want you to know we are not selling it as a sweetener, ooooh no, because that would be illegal. This is just a nice little herb for your herb garden, a curiosity really, and although the leaves taste undeniably sweet and just like sugar and in every way something you might like to use in your food and to sweeten your drinks IT IS NOT A SWEETENER. OK? Good.’

The Mars Bar Diet ~ Or any normal sized bar of chocolate

Mars Bar Diet

Not quite as crazy as it sounds.

This diet is actually quite healthy. The Mars bar is a treat that you can have once a day. Or another type of chocolate bar of your choice. (But must be the same amount of calories – ie. 280)




Crocus ~ The shop, not the plant

I’ve ordered myself a few drought tolerant plants this morning from Crocus. They will go very nicely in my meadowy border where I am growing ornamental grasses, Daisies, Day Lilies, Red Hot Pokers and other tall plants.

The idea is to interweave them all in a slightly chaotic but planned way, so they all billow in the breeze during mid to late summer.

I saw a stunning border in this theme on Gardeners World last year and just had to try and copy it. The only trouble is, the rabbits seem to have different ideas.


Sugar Free Sweets

If you’re following my low carb diet – or any low carb diet, there will be times when you crave something sweet.

However, you have to be careful with sweeteners as some of them are quite harmful to your health.

For example:
Saccharin – “Saccharin is the oldest sugar substitute around; you probably know it as Sweet’N Low. It was discovered by a chemist in 1879 and became a popular additive in the 20th century. As early as 1911, though, there was already an effort being made to ban it due to its potentially unhealthy effects.

This week in the Garden

This week, I’ve been taking root cuttings of hardy perennials.

It’s a really simple process and you can increase your plants by loads propagating in this way.

Either dig up the plant you want to take root cuttings from, or just leave it in the ground and dig down to the roots, then snip off some good healthy looking bits.

Plant them in pots of compost with a bit of grit or sharp sand added for drainage, put them in a shady area or cold frame and wait for your new little plants to appear.

Just make sure you plant the roots, the correct way up and level with the top of the soil.

You can do this with all the hardy geraniums – a selection shown below, verbascums, oriental poppies, perennial daisies and loads of other hardy herbacious perennials.