January in the Garden

It is summer in Australia, and in January it can be very hot more so in the afternoon,  but I like to work in  the garden early in the morning before the heat gets to intense.  As always in a hot day,  preparation for the day’s meals, have to be done early  before gardening takes place.  The grass needed to be cut, plants needed water specially the potted plants.  It looks much better now, and the plants look less tired. We both worked in the garden,  a lot of drinks, fresh fruits were prepared to keep us going.

Fresh fruits and hot tea for the gardeners

Freshly brewed tea in a pot
Fresh Fruits – Ready for a break Cut apples, watermelon, and green grapes

Home baked quick bread was in my mind for today’s cooking, I did it in the morning, and only took about 5 minutes preparation and 18 minutes to bake it.
Quick Avocado Bread with Mixed Nuts

Avocado Quick Bread Ready to  Bake
Avocado Quick Bread
Ready to Bake
Baking Paper on a Tea Towel To keep the freshly hot baked bread
Freshly Baked Quick Avocado Bread


Wrapping the bread
The bread is wrapped in the Tea Towel To keep it moist

The Recipe for the bread is here for you.  I wrote it down as I remembered.


Quick Avocado Bread

Two cups full of self -raising flour, place it on a large bowl.  In a small bowl place these ingredients:

2 tablespoons mashed avocado. 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon yoghurt, and 1/2 cup milk.  Mix all together.

Add the avocado mixture onto the flour, all at once,  mix in with the flour quickly to make a soft dough.  Transfer on a lined paper baking tray. Shape in a long loaf and mark it across with knife.  Bake in preheated hot oven at 210 (a fan forced) for 18 minutes.  It worked in my oven.  Please adjust if it is needed to bake in yours.

101_8481Delicious freshly baked quick avocado bread, slice and spread with butter to serve.  It keeps well in the pantry for a couple of days, or freeze it up to a month.



In the backyard, our roses have been flowering again, they are the second round and they are not as good as the first, however the garden does look colourful now only a little dry.

The Red Roses

101_8426 101_8428 101_8429 101_8431 More roses are in bloom, and the red vase is filled up with Cecil Brunner’s rose.101_8433 101_8436 101_8438The grass become yellowish soon, as the hot weather continues but it will come back to be green in March.  I don’t believe in watering the grass or lawn, it is not necessary, and it wastes water. Gardening in January is tiring,  the weather is not predictable, it can be hot with summer rains, cool,  or hot and dry.

There are good things about January in the garden though, we could spend time there in the evening, enjoy fresh air in a cooler day and have our dinner outside. The days are longer, and can be pleasant too.   Summer flowering plants are beautiful, such this flowering red succulent, is so pretty.  And  not to forget about the vegetables harvest,  zucchini, beans, chillies etc.

Red Flowering Succulent 

Beautiful colour of red flowering succulent
Red and festive flowering succulent

Hoya Plants

The first flowering Hoya after transplanted  three years a go
The first flowering Hoya
after transplanted three years a go
Potted Hoya It has been in a pot for  the past 10 years
Potted Hoya
It has been in a pot for the past 10 years

These two are Hoya plants, one of them has been in the pot for over ten years, and the other one was transplanted three years ago.  It was a mature plant when it was transplanted, and now it is in flower.

This month is hot but we have enough rains, it is good for a change, the cool rains are very welcome, they make the leaves, the flowers, the bushes look so fresh and lovely.

In the garden, after the rains.

White and Pink Standard Iceberg Roses
White and Pink
Standard Iceberg Roses
Potted Bay Tree
Yellow Graham Thomas Rose It brightens up the dull corner
Hoya in Flower
Hoya in Flower
More Picture of Roses

Regardless unpredictable weather in the month of January is, I am still loving it.  Hot, dry, wet of the rains,  we will be busy in the garden from taking care of  up to make it better.  There are plenty of rooms for improvements, for sure.


Until Next Post





Sunny Day

On a sunny day, I took some pictures of my flower plants which are in flower right now, the garden is looking beautiful,  thanks to the warm weather and the rains.  The red roses are almost finished flowering, they don’t stay for long,  but soon they will be flowering again for the second round.  In my garden while I enjoy the beautiful day, I learn to take time, and  it is wonderful.

Natural colours, natural beauty,  yes we can imitate them but we cannot beat them.  Look  at these beautifully coloured roses, from Just Joy, Red Rose and the Peace Rose, they are simply marvelous.

Orange colour of Just Joy, is bright and beautiful
Orange colour of Just Joy Rose, is bright and beautiful
Red Rose with it's natural colour, absolutely gorgeous
Red Rose with it’s natural colour, absolutely gorgeous
Red rose, you are a beauty
Peace Rose has beautiful yellow with a touch of pink
Peace Rose has beautiful yellow with a touch of pink

To celebrate the sunny day,  I prepare delicious food and serve them outdoors for the family, enjoy and apprciate the garden with the loved ones

Brioche and rice rolls are excellent to be served at room temperature, and they are easy  to handle by hand.  Rice roll is another food which is fit to be served and  eaten outdoors, and it is very easy to prepare too.

Rice Rolls with Meat and Vegetables
Rice Rolls with Meat and Vegetables
Brioche a te te filled with ragu vegetables and meat
Brioche a te te filled with ragu vegetables and meat

On a sunny day, enjoy the garden, pick some fresh flowers to share with friends, put them in vases for inside the house.  Pick fresh herbs and greens to have a composed salad.

freshly cut flowers from the garden
freshly cut flowers from the garden
A beautiful Buquet

A bouquet of beautiful flowers from the garden for a special gift to a friend is always lovely.    I would be very proud. and pleased to do it.

Nothing is more beautiful than cut fresh flowers from the garden to adorn the rooms of the house.  I do it most of the times as an ode to the flowers in season.

Freshly cut red roses
Red roses in a vase

Freshly cut greens and herbs for a composed salad is the way to go, enjoy the salad to accompany any meat or other proteins.  We all need a good balanced diet.  On a sunny day we enjoy our salad  with the BBQ or a fresh home baked bread.

Fresh Greens
Fresh Greens
Freshly Picked Mixed Salad
Freshly Picked Mixed Salad

On a sunny day, go out pack the pick nick basket enjoy eating outdoors, visiting gardens and smelling the roses, enjoy the colour of spring.  Wherever I am in a garden I belong and am at peace.


A Pick Nick Day
A Pick Nick Day

2014-10-18 14.42.39 2014-10-18 14.43.33The sun keeps us warm, we enjoy the garden.  Rayner was there, no I was not alone,  by myself.  One had to take the pictures.

This  is a rose garden, it has variety of roses,  each rose is named after a special and important person..  It is beautiful in Spring to Summer, Once we took our daughter and her family to have a pick nick here, and Mary Rose our first grand child was happy sitting on her pram enjoyed the garden.

Susi with Lance, Melanie and their baby Mary Rose.
Susi and Rayner with Melanie and Mary Rose

Most of all, my appreciation of a sunny day is spending quality time with my family in the backyard, our lovely garden, and I am happy sharing delicious home cooking with them.


Until Next Post


Winter – Orchids

Winter in the garden is quiet and cold, the crab apple trees, the smoke bush, the roses are leafless,  but I love the bright yellow of the lemon fruits.   The black birds our faithful visitors were there, in fact I saw from the kitchen window  they were enjoying themselves.

It is cold outside, but it is good to be spending time with the loved ones, I like the quotation of -Edith Sitwell: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

Rose Plants


new leaves of roses plants

Winter Trees-Crab Apple and Silver birch.


101_5071There are not many  colours and flowers in the garden, the white begonia and nasturtium flowers were destroyed by the frost, but the orchids give me a lot of hope.  My orchid collection is doing alright, the winter flowering is colourful, from bright pink, pearl white, soft pink, to red.

The Orchids

101_5082 101_5090


Mini cymbidium cascading  orchid
Mini cymbidium cascading orchid
Large cymbidium orchids with it’s buds

The largest pot has seven stems, but the rest of the plants which are in flowers,  have only one or two flowers.  Over all the orchids are good, but could be better.

Hot Pink up right cymbidium
Cutting Orchids Flowers in a red vase
Cutting Orchids Flowers in a red vase

Does cut orchids stay longer in a vase ?  A question that I would like answers, time will tell, it is for the first time I have orchids display in a vase, usually I have the flowers from its plant.

Winter Harvest

Citruses are ready to be picked, the lemons are yellow ready to harvest.  Pomelo fruits are larger this time and taste much better than of the previous year.

Pomelo harvest 2014
Pomelo harvest 2014

I must keep them properly in a dry place, the longer they are kept the sweeter flavour is going to be.  The flesh  (the pomelo) is thick, but the bitter flavour is still there at the moment. Pomelo grows better in the tropical country, I have sweet memory about it, I used to have a large and juicy pomelo.  The mixed tropical fruits with the palm sugar dressing was an afternoon treat for us kids.  It was almost a ritual the way the fruit  salad was served, it was a delight.

The vegetable patch is empty, only some lettuce and self sown vegetables are growing.  I am pretty pleased that I could manage to have masclun salad and nasturtium from the garden.

The greens of the vegetable patch
The greens of the vegetable patch

Fresh garden green salads are always there for the family, we have cooked vegetable as well, having  a dish without a salad or cooked vegetables is not a complete meal.

Greens and Edable flavours
Greens and edible flavours
Musclan salad with chicken ballotine in brioche
Musclan salad with chicken ballotine in brioch

Winter Baking and Winter Warmer

Moist chicken wings, stuffed with mushroom, mince chicken and herbs were baked.   To make the best of the  oven, another baking took place.  It was savoury crackers with cheese.  How easy it’s to have home made savouries which benefit us all, as the salt and spices can be controlled.


Stuffed Chicken Wings
Stuffed Chicken Wings, ready to bake
Baked stuffed chicken wing, beautiful and golden
Crackers ready to bake
Crackers ready to bake
Baked cheese crackers

The best winter warmer is soups, you can serve it in a bowl or a cup,  hold the cup and sit close by the fire.  From vegetables soup to smooth roasted pumpkin, this winter my family enjoy them thoroughly.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Yoghurt


Winter cooking involving baking, roasting,  long braising, in my kitchen, but no recipe to be shared in this post, hopefully it  will be next time.

It has been a good Winter, and I am looking forward to Spring, the next season.


People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. – Anton Chekhov


Thanks For Visiting


Roses and Citruses


The last roses in the garden, before pruning.  It is time to harvest  the limes, lemons and pomelo.  Snapshots of roses and citruses from my garden.


The rest of the roses are ready for a rest, they are no longer flowering. That’s the last red rose, I thought I have to safe it from the cold, now it is inside the house.

The white iceberg roses have been stop flowering for a while, and also the mini roses.

Pruning is a big job, and it has to be done yearly and correctly, I am glad that I did it this time without any trouble.



Lime and pomelo are giving us a good harvest this year, but the mandarin is not doing very well.

The limes are more than enough for what I need, surely I could share the fruits with friends.

The pomelo tree is a standard tree which is very small tree, but amazingly it can carry seven large fruits this time.  I have a recipe to share.


Pomelo and Avocado Salad

A cup of pomelo meat or flash

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon almond silvered.


Juice of a lime

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh herbs-flat parsley

(Mix all ingredients together)

Place the pomelo, avocado in a serving bowl, add in the dressing (prior serving).

Toss them together, garnished with the almonds.

Serve the salad with: grilled fish, or chicken.  It is good too, to accompany with fried fish in batter.

The new lemon tree has about a dozen fruits also, the plant has settled well.

It is a late Winter now.   The new young leaves of the roses have started to come out.

The garden looks so dull but thanks to the citruses, specially the yellow lemons for lighting up the garden, 


Indeed there are no roses during Winter, but the orchids are coming to flowers.  No, no dull moment actually, always flowers for us.



Until the next post.

Thanks For Visiting