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Spice It Upwith herb expert Ian Hemphill for www.herbies.com.au
165,000 crocus flowers are need to make about one kilogram of saffron spice. That’s the stigmas of 165 crocus flowers to make up one gram of saffron spice.
If you’ve heard that saying “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” well if it’s the plain of La Mancha at harvest time of the Saffron crocus in Autumn, then you’ll smell the fabulous aroma of tasted Saffron as they dry it.
Let’s find out what real Saffron is all about, .
Crocus sativus or Saffron crocus is grown commercially in Tasmania, but the output is only a blip on the world's commercial market of true Saffron.
Crocus Sativus (saffron Crocus) is best suited to a Mediterranean climate so usually Victoria, South Australia and some areas of NSW. Hot humid and sub - tropical to tropical areas are generally not suitable, so Sydney and North through Queensland are not ideal.
In temperate climates you need to put an ice-cream buckets worth of ice on the bulbs every night during winter to give them sufficient winter chilling. Seems too big an effort.
You can grow the Saffron crocus yourself, but you have to have cold winters and warm summers for the flowers to do any good
Still, it's worth a try if you can't get the real Saffron.
If you have a great recipe using Saffron, write in and tell us about it.Either via email to. firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675, or post them on Real World Gardeners facebook page, and I’ll post a CD in return.
Vegetable Heroes:Seed Germination Do's and Don'ts
How to get those seeds to germinate?
Design Elementswith landscape designer Louise McDaid
This month, Design elements is still fixing your garden design problems that are based on soil conditions in your garden.
Do you have a sloping garden? Some gardeners like to garden on flat ground because it’s easy to get around. No steps to climb, or drag that wheelbarrow or trug up and down the slope.
But there are ways that make sloping gardens gardenable. My term for not impossible gardening.
Let’s find out how to garden with this type of site in your garden?
Anything from terracing, my first thought, to boardwalks, didn’t think of that one, to make your sloping garden interesting and workable. Even gardenable.
Plant of the WeekCuphea ilavea Flamenco series.
Ever wanted a colourful alternative to mondo grass, or miniature box hedging?
How about something to add a bit of zing to that border?You can zoosh up your garden while giving yourself a bit of a lift with these new plants.
Kew fee ah, sound a bit like ta ra ra boom de aah.
Still Cuphea flamenco series with those latin dance numbers of Rumba, Cha, Cha (picture to the right)and Tango are something you can add to your garden without taking up much room. I’ve got to say though, the breeders don’t know their dances because Tango belongs to the modern ballroom set which includes Modern Waltz, Quickstep and Foxtrot and not Latin dancing.
I’ve seen them used to edge quite a long garden path, much the same way the some people might use mini box hedging or mondo grass.
As with buxus, these plants are dry tolerant once established.
That means they need a good watering when there’s extended periods of heat.
Cuphea llavea Flamenco series like a well draining soil and can cope with light frosts but not sever frosts.
All of the series grow in full sun to a height of 40 cm and 60cm spread.
'Samba’ has deep cherry red flowers with a purple throat, (pictured below) and ‘Cha Cha’ has purple flowers with a deep purple throat.
slightly ruffled petal edges.
Problems with Cuphea Whiteflies and aphids. Prone to root rot, stem galls, dieback, powdery mildew, and a few leaf spots.