Yes Mr Paul Kelly they sure do.

The above words are quoted often across many areas in life, and I believe there is one perfect match for it and that’s a New Garden.

In early September we planned the design and purpose, for the new garden that would welcome our guests to The Cook’s Cooking School. As we know the best laid plans can go sideways very quickly. The two days we had scheduled for the soil preparation and planting, turned out to be super windy and also cold. Not unexpected with the cold but boy if I had a hat I so wouldn’t have it now after these two days.

Even poor Curly from Curly’s compost had a tough day with falling branches very near to the bagging area on their property. Now Curly is pretty famous here in the Southern Highlands, and I tell you what I think when I share with you the garden now he has a secret weapon on which to build. A whistling Curly walked up the path to find us as we battled some serious tree roots whilst digging holes to make way for new plants and beginnings …

A sad little patch awaiting some love and bee action – 5th September 2017

The other secret weapon was water that we gave these little plants every second day to give them the best start possible. The word nursery is used when talking about plants and babies and that is simply because they both need nurturing, love and care to grow big and strong. We watered at the root level so that it didn’t bruise the foliage and it is a really functional way to water a garden, rather than just standing and waving the hose as if you are were “blessing them”. You know you have seen people do that…

Next came planting, which, we planned both for the kitchen and cooking use. The other plants we wanted them to be hardy and a haven for the so important beautiful bees. The sight of these busy little guys darting between the lavender and rosemary had everyone talking. I had thoughts of my grandfather Pep who had bee hives in the 1950’s when my fathers’ family lived in Bowral. My aunt Claire told me recently that he had to keep the hives over at Aylmerton as he wasn’t allowed to have them in his backyard – great to see that times have changed.

September 5th 2017

As the weeks rolled on and the warmer weather and sunshine replaced our morning frosts, this new patch of ours began to thrive. I was wondering not IF but when Mr possum would find our patch and it took him 10 whole days to have the best spinach salad in town, no interest in the peppery rocket, which has thrived.

Now I know this is their back yard but hey give a gal a break. What to do? Well I decided to build a round wall and to this day it has keep him and his mates away. Yes sure I have had the odd joke about posting a Possum Pie recipe on the window with an arrow but we know they can’t read in the dark!!

Installed possum proof fencing

Some water, sunshine, warmth a little TLC and a chat here and there and this is our growing garden today, two months on.


We have enjoyed baby rocket, baby spinach leaves, flowering violets, oregano and parsley over the past weeks for our Inside the Greek Kitchen and Indulge in Chocolate classes. It is pure joy to walk out your door and pick produce to enjoy with a meal.

The rocket is doing it’s thing and planning a launch date as it’s name says Rocket – so yesterday I made a simple delicious pesto with some of the larger leaves, a few spinach leaves, toasted pine nuts, grated pecorino cheese, flaked salt and a good glug of local Extra Virgin olive oil and that’s it, into a blender jug, blitz and serve with your favourite pasta, roast vegetables or salad.

Ok time for me to go and look after my little bees’ backyard I leave you with this until next time.