The magnificent Herbs and Spices of South East Asia ( Part 1)

awesome post by Jekka

Jekka's Herb Farm

When the RHS asked if I would like to lecture on the Voyages of Discovery aboard the MV Voyager sailing from Bangkok to Mumbai I immediately said, ‘Yes Please’. This being the first cruise in partnership with RHS Garden Holidays.

MV VoyagerI have always wanted to visit Thailand and India and see the Botanic Gardens and the new Garden by the Bay in Singapore.  So this was a chance not to be missed despite the fact that I am seasick  even when the boat is in harbour!


Wat Phra Kaew ©Jekka 2014

In Bangkok we visited the  Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  where we were surrounded by the Tamarind Tree, Tamarindus indica,  which were not only lining the streets but were also  trained and pruned.

Tamarind tree plus fruit Tamarind Tree plus fruit                                                          …

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Thursday 27 to the Sunday 30 of March 2014

Cold but dry start to the day and here is a friend on YouTube wildlife pond

Well the sun has come out this morning and rover one watching red chalet is very busy with a great tit in and out making the hole bigger taking all sorts going in and out

And if you’re looking for somewhere to visit this summer then come and have a look around this lovely place

it’s raining this afternoon and dull and overcast been trying to work out what will be my next wildlife project going to be for the garden I would like lots to be honest with you but just cannot work out what to start on first

Friday 28
The day has been cool but nice today must Amit due to family reasons have not got anything done in the garden my mothering law was admitted to hospital the other day plus waiting for compost to arrive but I have been doing some weeding

Will take after photos over the weekend all being well

We sorted two of our sheds out and I made room for some empty jars I had been collecting for jam and chutney and relish making still got to learn how to make some of them as never done them but always wanted to the suns been out for most of the day and the dogs have enjoyed it no end

And put a freezer in my tool shed ready for anything I harvest that I would like to freeze


Well apart from putting the washing out on the line I have finally finished turning the compost bins over I now have 4and half full bins with 3 empty ones waiting to be felled in due cause as the half one gets finished first I think I did well as I was only using a garden fork and spade my garden claw only loosed the tops but did not go right done like I was hoping for

But at least that is now done until October when I will redo them I have to move a rubber car mat that was under one of the compost bins as it had not rotted down at all but found some worms in their

I am pleased with my daff that I planted in the autumn last year and sorry cannot Rember what their called here are all the flowers that are out in my garden at present













some are the blossom on our fruit trees I will show you how the apple seedling is doing in my tree follow on the 7th of April

Why did the toad cross the road?

we do the same here in England too

Green Lizard's Blog

Water is a known feature of the Dutch landscape. It’s there alongside every road and pathway.

There are canals and ditches close by, channeling water into a complex network of interconnected drainage systems.

With them comes opportunity for habitat for all manner of life.

There are swans, coots and other water fowl. Meanwhile wee beasties join the party too.


On our way home on Sunday night we spotted these torch bearing local heroes.

It’s time for the toad patrol.


The overstekkend padden migrate locally to spawn.

Tonight we set out to do our bit.


This one was lucky.


Three toads successfully seen across the road. Many more unsuccessful.



Here’s hoping the toad patrol save many more.

This blog has lots more info about it but in Dutch! blog

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Notes from a talk by David Rudland, ‘Bringing bees from winter into spring’

awesome post

Adventuresinbeeland's Blog

On Wednesday evening I went to a London Beekeepers Association (LBKA) talk by David Rudland on the topic of ‘Bringing bees from winter into spring’.

David and his wife Celia (who came to the meeting too) are commercial beekeepers in Surrey with around 180 hives, producing honey, selling bees and running training courses. David is also a FERA seasonal bee inspector. There are only about 350 commercial beekeepers in the UK, representing about .1% of total beekeeper numbers here.

His talk reminded me that you can never say “I know it all now” – researchers are constantly making new discoveries that have deeply practical relevance to the best way to look after our bees. This is a post about practical beekeeping – it may not make much sense to beginners and probably won’t be very interesting for non-beekeepers! You have been warned.

Winter management – jobs to do over the winter

“I like being…

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to visit The Edible Garden Show when it opens at London’s Alexandra Palace on Friday, March 28

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to visit The Edible Garden Show when it opens at London’s Alexandra Palace on Friday, March 28.

The UK’s only national gardening event dedicated exclusively to ‘Grow Your Own’ fruit and vegetables was launched in 2011 to meet the phenomenal public demand for information on home-grown produce and healthy eating. Gardening experts and innovative exhibitors provide invaluable advice on all aspects of growing from the latest gadgets for your garden or allotment, to organic growing and sustainability.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will tour the exhibition and also meet young people who have been taking part in a national schools’ initiative to design a ‘dream edible garden’.

As a keen gardener and farmer himself, The Prince runs the Mygrove competition, a site which has been specially designed for school children to share the fun of growing their own fruit and vegetables, where they have the chance to win a visit to The Prince’s sustainably run garden at Highgrove.

The Edible Garden Show is staged over three days from March 28-30 with experts including botanist and award-winning TV presenter James Wong, the BBC’s One Show gardening guru Christine Walkden, the ever popular TV and radio presenter Pippa Greenwood and former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins. There will also be a show garden by The Horticultural Channel

Under the Milky Whey

lovely post


Fresh Whey and Vegetables Chop A-Whey!

A quick look on Pinterest reveals that you can lacto-ferment pretty much anything – from garlic to hummus. I saw fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, beers, mayonnaise, BBQ sauces and even mustard on there. Apparently it is amazing what won’t be improved by bunging in some whey.

As you know, I happen to have quite a lot of whey taking up all the space stored very carefully in my fridge.It is the yellowish liquid in the photo above, and it is the by-product of making your own cheese, or straining yoghurt.

Apart from the miracle of being the new superfood, due to all the probiotics; you can feed whey to animals, use it as a fertiliser, make various toiletries for skin benefits, and body builders dry it then consume it by the bucket load.

You can also soak beans, or grains in it before cooking, use it instead…

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Monday the 24th to Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Well once the frost and cold thawed and the sun came out the dogs enjoyed them self’s out side
And the birds have been busy.

And a bumble bee came and visited the greenhouse today and was quite happy in their

Tuesday 25 th of March 2014

What a lovely day it looks like it is going to be again fingers cross that is

was sent this by a seedy pen pal Zoe and thought I would share with my followers

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Very cold and damp this morning but the birds are busy

And I have had a great tit and two blue tits have a look round nest box one 2day
I have I believe I have one or two open nest but do not have any spare camera’s whether their live or trail type ones to put nearby at present

I just been down to the wild area were my hibernating Hedgehogs are that came from the RSPCA look like their might be a wake so I have put my trail cam out I had it on one of my peanuts for two days here are some of the photos




Darren the bee! Not quite Romeo!

lovely post about bees

Green Lizard's Blog

Warning: This post contains graphic information about insect reproduction!

A male bee is called a drone. In Dutch the plural word for drones is Darren . Singular is dar

This makes me laugh!

Darren in English is a male name.

Male bees are funny creatures.

A swarm (largely female.)

Best of all we can’t work out a great deal of their purpose.

Darren spends his day in a casual manner. He can’t feed himself so relies on the female worker bees for sustenance.

The women of the hive raise the drones. These fellas have one real purpose in life.

They will mate with the queen bee, Moer, on her honeymoon flight.

It’s tragic and gruesome. look away now!

In return she castrates him at the point of pleasure. He will fall to his death. She’ll repeat the process with a couple of his comrades so that she can store…

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While driving around the other day, we spotted a somewhat creepy, somewhat surreal, but nonetheless beautiful sight.  Several large trees loaded with bats.  These bats were huge.  They are a local fruit bat.  Many indigenous folks hunt and eat the bat.   Regardless, you don’t see this in the States.

Flying squirrel size. Flying squirrel size.

Hanging out.

Flying solo.

Bat art.

Family tree.

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