Breeze Magazine Central Coast Issue 10

Page 1

Adri’s Shop


Norah Head Lighthouse is an important piece of our coastal heritage. Still on duty, it is also open to the public. Norah Head Lighthouse has been keeping mariners safe for over 110 years now. Standing on what has to be one of this counrty’s most stunning headlands, it’s almost inconceivable that this beautiful place lay neglected not so long ago. When the lighthouse was built in 1903, the life of a lighthouse keeper was a very busy one. A permanent keeper lived on-site with his family and had a first assistant keeper and second assistant keeper, also living on-site in cottage duplexes behind the main dwelling. It must have been an isolated life. The keepers typically worked three alternating four-hour shifts each night. The massive light burning at the top of the of the 27 metre high tower had to be wound with a mechanism, similar to a grandfather clock, to keep it rotating. This was done every 20 minutes while the light was active.





Head keepers were also the weathermen of their day, logging weather and sea conditions every three hours and reporting on them. They also communicated with the passing ships and warned local shipping and fisherman of imminent storms. Maintenance was also a huge part of the job. The prism of the light has 700 lenses and each of these had to be cleaned regularly. Brass had to be polished, whitewash renewed, gardens weeded and everything generally kept in shipshape condition. The light was originally powered by a vapourised kerosene burner and mantle. This was upgraded in 1923 and electrified in 1961. In 1994, after 90 years of serving keepers, the light was fully automated. Without the keepers and their familes the site, including the three cottages fell into a state of disrepair. It wasn’t until 2007 that the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve Trust was appointed to preserve, conserve and manage the site. Today there is an on-site caretaker and the grounds and lighthouse are imaculate, greatly due to the work of dedicated volunteers. The walkways around the headland are delightful and the views are simply spectacular.



The lighthouse is open daily for tours and it’s a great adventure to climb the 96 stairs, peering out small windows on the way up, until you reach the catwalk that surrounds the prism and light. The volunteers who man the lighthouse are extremely knowledgable and bring the site alive with stories of shipwrecks and how the lighthouse was operated this was a treacherous section of coast before 1903, with some significant losses. Since the lighthouse has guarded the headland there have only been three wrecks, but as one was torpedoed and the other struck a mine, both during WWII, I don’t think they should be chalked up. The third, a small collier sunk in 1917, still lies three nautical miles off the headland, 43 metres down and resting on the sand. The Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve is a very pleasant place to visit. It’s a hive of activity, with people walking their dogs, bringing their children, taking tours and general sightseeing. There is a staired walkway from the headland to the beach which is quite extraordinary, featuring a large rock platform formed some 180280 million years ago. Experience it for yourself: You can book a tour or try your luck on the day. Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve 40 Bush Road, Norah Head To book a tour: 1300 132 975


16th and 17th August 2014 is International Lighthouse weekend. The perfect time to visit Norah Head Lighthouse.


What’s better than visiting a lighthouse?

S taying at a lighthouse!


For t he few days that we stayed in the Head Keeper’s Cottage at Norah Head Lighthouse, the forecast was for a cold snap accompanied by high wind. What better place to be than in a 100-year-old cottage with 40cm thick, cement block walls?

We had only driven for 40 minutes but this felt like an adventure far from home. We had packed soup, hot chocolate, chocolate and, well, more chocolate, for our chilly mid-winter stay in the selfcatering cottage which sits out on the headland directly behind the lighthouse. We were warmly met by Karl the resident caretaker who, with his wife and family, is coming to the end of a 10 year stint as on-site caretakers. The house is typical of its period - a hallway carves the building in half, creating a breezeway (not necessary on our visit!) and access to the rooms on either side. These were kitchen, lounge and children’s bedroom (with two single beds) on one side, and dining room and two double bedrooms (with queen size beds) on the other.



To the rear of the house is a large laundry and bathroom and verandahs surround three sides. Cottage 3, the Assistant’s cottage that is also available for holiday letting, seems (from the tempting photos) to have a rather nice bathroom. But the bathroom in the Head Keepers cottage is an 80s renovation, looking a little tired. It also has an outside loo! It was something I weighed up during our stay. After all, it was cold! Would I trade the spectacular site of the Head Keeper’s cottage and its outside loo for the slightly less spectacularly situated Cottage 3 with its inside toilet and clawfoot bathtub? The answer was a resounding “no”. In fact, when we return to that cottage, and there is no doubt that we will, I’ll be quite sad if the toilet has moved inside. Although our stay was short, we established something of a family ritual - whenever one of us needed ‘the facilities’ during the evening, we would rug up, dash out the back door, turn right to stand in the yard and watch a few rotations of that awe-inspiring light within its magestic, white tower. Then a dash left to the back yard where you could watch the light form a fascinating scribble across the tops of the bushland shrubs behind. Once we were done with our real business we’d quite possibly repeat the spectating again before dashing back into the warmth.



I really can’t explain the beauty of the lighthouse at night. It’s a silent yet massive ghostly presence that seems to take on a personality once that light comes on. And those stolen , solitary visits were solemn and beautiful, a kind of homage. I’m sure that had we a nice warm indoor toilet we would have all trooped out, en famille, clutching our hot cocoa to watch the lighthouse by night. But I’m sorry, it just wouldn’t have been the same. Although the nights were satisfyingly chilly, inside the house was lovely and warm. Heaters are in all rooms - some rooms have flame heaters - but we really only used the lounge room heater and put the bedroom ones on for an hour before bedtime. Like most sensibly built homes of that time they retain heat (and stay cool) much more effectively than their modern counterparts. The rooms are all of lovely proportions with soaringly high ceilings. The cottage is pleasantly fitted out, spacious and light, with timber colonial-style furniture throughout and comfortable leather lounges. The cottages are soon to receive a facelift - they could quite easily be turned into a stunning accomodation option. But for now they are pleasantly decorated and well maintained.



I suspect the bathroom and kitchen will come in for the most revamping, and they’re both in need of it. They do have a nice, grandmotherly charm though, and the spotlessly clean utensils in the kitchen seem to match the age of the cabinetry, so it was a litte like stepping back in time, although only three decades or so! The thing is, sneaking peeks at that lighthouse, lying back listening to the ocean crash and the wind swirl, decor becomes a very secondary concern. I wasn’t sure whether I was caught up in a Brönte novel (or Kate Bush song) or a Famous Five tale but it was magical and we enjoyed every second of it!

Our days were spent outside walking the well maintained tracks and the stairs to the beach. The beach is wonderful for a walk and has a stretch of sand for the kids to play in. The rock formation direcly below the headland is fascinating, formed during the Perian and Triassic eras. Plenty of outdoor seating and a BBQ ensure that you can soak up that wonderful view as much as possible. The yard is fully fenced with a high picket fence so our little one crawl about in safety. I was surprised at how many people come up to the reserve, especially in the morning. We were up early, for photographic opportunites and also simply because it was exciting, and



there was a steady stream of people taking a morning walk. You can watch them, as we did, from the perfect privacy of the cottage, feeling rather smug. The early mornings were well worth it - the sunrise over the water, behind the lighthouse is ridiculously beautiful. You will absolutely need a camera. And the nights were so clear ... I have never seen so many stars, and certainly didn’t expect to so close to major communites and a great big torch! Our stay in the keeper’s cottage was one of the best short stays we’ve had. You are close enough to Toukley for regular supplies but once you’ve gone through the gate into the reserve you feel a million miles away from everyday life. It’s the perfect break for a family, laid back but with a trouble-free sense of adventure. We will definitely be going back, perhaps to experience a summer there. Although the romance of a winter’s night under the shadow of a lighthouse is hard to beat! For more information on booking the keeper’s cottages at Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve, call 1300 132 975 or visit the website:

The Annual Whale Dreamers Festival, celebrating the humpback whale’s migration, is on Sunday 6th July at the lighthouse reserve. Take a picnic or visit some of the food stalls, pull up some grass and enjoy a day of entertainment. There will also be fascinating whale talks by Jeannie Lawson.



those stars...

...and that sunrise



You’ve been busily preparing and recording what will be your third full-length record, in which you recorded live! Tell us about that process. Tracking a record live in the studio is something I’ve never done before. The usual process for me, and most musicians these days, is to go into the studio and apply layer upon layer of sounds one at a time, making sure they are perfect! Then doing lots of cutting and pasting and editing to get all the best bits. Then I’ll go in and sing 4 or 5 takes over the top of the band track and we’ll cut and paste them together. But sometimes when you’re so busy looking for the best bits, you miss the magical bits. So we headed to Nash Chambers’ Foggy Mountain Studios with an incredible band of musicians from all over the country, (Syd Green - drums & percussion, Liz Frencham - double bass, Kasey Chambers - backing vocals, Bill Chambers - guitars, Kris Morris guitars, Michael Muchow - banjo/ mandolin/guitar and Harry Hookey - harmonica & backing vocals) and played the songs together and hit

record. I sang and played with the band, we could see each other, we could feel the song each and every take. There’s no chopping, no hiding, no editing. Just us, playing from the depths of our hearts with all the years of shows under our belts, giving it all we had. It was beautiful, exhausting and really emotional at times hearing all that love in the room… Four of the best days of my life. Being your third album does it make the creative process any less daunting in the lead up to the release? Oh wow it is my third album isn’t it? Sometimes I forget that! Of course, I had butterflies in my tummy in the lead up, but funnily enough the nerves were never really about the music. I knew we had the songs and beautiful musicians to play on them. I think I was mostly nervous about the regular things I get nervous about, being in a new place, being the person that all of this revolved around... it feels like a lot of pressure if you think about it too

much. But as soon as I get into the studio it just feels like coming home to a part of me that waits inside patiently. The part that loves to create things out of thin air where before there was nothing. It’s such a special feeling. I understand you worked with Kasey Chambers on the production, how has her input influenced the album? Kasey Chambers has been a musical lifesaver for me. Sometimes when I feel a bit “bleh” about the industry, I think of her, smile and I feel believed in. She has that affect on people… She makes you feel comfortable and understood and inspired. She would never admit it, but she has incredible ears that know just what a song needs. She is wonderful at bringing people together. She knows exactly how to bring the emotions of your heart to life. She is a wonderful songwriter and human being. I am lucky to have her as a friend and as my producer.

You’ve got a few gigs coming up; can we expect to hear some of the new material included in the set list? I’m going to be really annoying and play a lot of my new stuff at upcoming shows because I feel the closest to it. But luckily for the people listening, I really do think these songs are my best work and come straight out of my raw heart. But if people want to hear old stuff, heckle me and I’ll probably do that too! Your music encapsulates life and all its sneaky little intricacies in a way that is just inescapably affective; tell us a little bit about your song writing process… Oh that’s a lovely description, thank you! My songwriting process is basically to be as honest as I can be, to sing to you with all the truths I’ve uncovered over the years. It really does flow out of me pretty easily, I’ve been writing for a long time and it feels as natural as breathing. I don’t have as much time as I used to now that I am a



mother to my beautiful son, Jude, so I sleep less and probably do write fewer songs. But, whenever I pick up my guitar or my pen or sing a song into my iPhone - I feel that flow coming straight back through me. As Jude gets older, I find more time to create, which is important. I feel like I was made to do this and the balancing act is getting easier whereas when he was tiny I just felt it was all a bit hard to do it all at once. So I give myself the gift of taking things slowly. Who, What and Where influences you? Folk music, singing country and western songs with my Dad in his old brown falcon when I was a little girl, beautiful pop songs and dancing to ELO and The Beatles with my Mum around the house, the incredible musicians I now call my friends who I’ve met over the last 10 years of playing around the country, songwriters, storytellers and singers that heal people with their music like Archie Roach,

magical performances from artists at all the folk festivals I’m lucky enough to go to, and anyone being authentic and real and brave in whatever they’re doing. Is that a long enough list?! Obviously your son, Jude; plays a key part in your inspiration. Just looking at your social media outlets the bond that you guys share simply beams out the screen… What does motherhood mean to you and how has it changed your perspective? Motherhood has filled me with love, more love than I could have ever imagined I’d be lucky enough to hold inside me. It also makes me take care of myself better than I used to, because I am someone’s mother. Actually not just someone, the most beautiful child I’ve ever known. And when I take care of myself, ask for what I need and only play shows I’m truly passionate about, I can be a better mother and a better human being. I am more patient, kinder, and softer. Jude has been an exhausting and beautiful gift; my perfect, sweet masterpiece.

Image by Khahn Hoang

Premier If, like Kyal and Kara, you’re in need of window dressings, we’ve got it sorted for you!

Premier Shades in West Gosford has been around for almost 20 years. Over those years their reputation, integrity and incredible customer service have become renowned. Current owners, Coast locals Jim and Sharon Tieman, are experts at making good businesses great. When they had the opportunity to purchase Premier Shades almost five years ago, the core values of the company were the ultimate decider. The couple have worked hard

shades ~ awnings ~ blinds over those years to add window furnishing expertise to their many other skills, bringing the business into the future while always maintaining and nurturing those qualities that have kept customers returning for so many years.

The Premier Shades showroom in West Gosford is a must-visit. If it’s been a while since you’ve purchased blinds you’re in for a treat - the beauty and technology of modern blinds and awnings is staggering.


The recently refurbished showroom houses a stunning range of options, presenting almost endless possibilities for both interior and exterior window treatments. The table full of fabric sample books is like a jar of lollies, each one more tempting than the last, and everywhere you look you notice another intriguing blind or awning design. Sharon and the team are incredibly knowledgable and also genuinely passionate about their products.


There are beautiful high-end designer ranges, such as Peter Meyer Blinds, for whom Premier Shades are the exclusive retail stockist on the Coast. Based on verticals, the Peter Meyer Panel blinds are channelled panels of stunning fabrics that fold back, looking almost like a beautiful wall hanging. The latest range has a natural feel with earthy colours and texture but with an overlaying of almost oriental opulance, with silky, lustrous fibres.

Premier Shades are able to supply just about any window treatment, indoor and out, with made-tomeasure products creating a quality, but cost-effective, solution. For a luxury finish they also stock exclusive lines such as the beautiful Peter Meyer Panel blinds shown on this page (top).


Premier Shades’ vertical blinds were a real eye opener for me. They are so practical but are often dusty dingy additions to office spaces and rentals, a hangover from the 80s. At Premier Shades they can make verticals from a huge range of fabrics - limitless colours, gorgeous patterns ... They can even revamp your existing verticals. Modern verticals don’t have the linking chain at the bottom, making them a safe, practical and now beautiful addition to your home.


Another standout product for me was the cassette and channel block-out blind. Like a standard blockout roller blind but so much better and so much safer. The blind sits in a cassette at the top of the window and runs in the channels either side of the window frame. This means there is no light leakage and also the blind can’t flap in the breeze or be pulled out from the window. Get rid of the chain at the side and add motorisation to this blind and to my mind you have the best and safest option available for your child’s room.


The awnings and shades on display are also impressive. Of course we all know how important it is to control sun penetration into our homes - it can save a lot on heating and cooling. Impressively, almost all of Premier Shades’ outdoor products can be motorised and set to a timer, as can the inside blinds. Imagine being able to automate your windows so that the morning sun streamed in, heating your home, and then blinds and awnings lowered to keep out the afternoon chill. In summer a good awning can mean a temperature difference of between five and 15 degrees, a big saving on air conditioning!


Motorised blinds are pretty amazing. They can be solar-powered or rechargable, and even integrated into a CBUS home automation system. Premier Shades are gold-licience dealers for Somfy, the world’s largest blind automation specialist. Sharon and some of her team have even attended “Somfy School”, an intensive motorisation training programme for Somfy dealers.



Because the Premier Shades team manufacture on-site, they’re able to offer a one-week turnaround on their standard range of verticals, venetians and roller blinds. These blinds are still made-tomeasure, using the generous range of materials that Premier Shades stocks in bulk. It’s the perfect solution for offices or rental properties, or when you just need some privacy quickly! They look great and come in a range of stylish neutrals. Jim and Sharon have definitely managed to maintain the focus on customer service while expanding Premier Shades to employ a team of skilled locals and provide access to an amazing range of window finishes. The team is committed to competitive prices, personalised service and giving locals the best quality products. Premier Shades continues to expand the reputation established by the original owners all those years ago. Visit their website for more details or to arrange a free quote.


Venetians, roller blinds and vertical blinds are all custom-made on the premises, meaning they’re not one-size-fits-all and any problems can be quickly and easily dealt with. Also great for homes with expanses of glass! Premier Shades are committed to using the best quality parts - Australianmade, or even local where possible - to ensure their products are durable and reliable. They also carry a range of spare parts in their online store. Premier Shades Factory and Showroom is at 1/305 Manns Road, West Gosford. T: (02) 4324-8800 F: (02) 4324-8867

Julie’s Place Julie Goodwin serves up something fresh for the Coast

Words: Jayne Molony

It was 2009 when Julie Goodwin took the title of Australia’s First Masterchef. Fast forward five years and this Narara mother of three has released three recipe books, her own website, is a regular on channel 9’s Today Show, is also involved in various charity work and if that was not enough to keep her busy - this month she opened the doors to her very own cooking school “Julie’s Place” located in a renovated warehouse building in Gosford.

Photography by


Julie says that she only developed her love of cooking once she left home and had her own family. While experimenting and trying to recreate things that she had tasted and enjoyed elsewhere, swapping recipes and ideas with her friends, she learned a fundamental truth about human beings, a truth understood by generations of cooks before her “if you make nice food – people love you”. Julie noticed just how pivotal food was at any gathering, how any celebration or get-together revolved around the dishes that were served and she began to really observe the kinship that occurs naturally over the shared meal. It’s obvious that she has kept these observations in mind when creating Julie’s Place. The styling is trendy and industrial, not unlike the Masterchef kitchen with its stainless steel bench tops and cool, industrial fittings,. But there is a warmth about the space that is unique to Julie’s Place. She has managed to create a home-style environment to cook, share, eat, laugh and enjoy. When launching Julie’s Place, Julie said “cooking isn’t about technique; it’s about enjoying the food that you have created with people and the experience”.

Julie’s Place will host a variety of cooking classes delivered by a team of presenters (including Julie) and guest chefs, suitable for everyone from beginners to the most competent of cooks. The classes will cover all aspects of cooking – seasonal, savoury and sweet, simple and technical. “I have always loved sharing food with people and now I am so thrilled to have a place where people can meet, cook together, learn something and then share and enjoy the food that we have made”. Julie launched her newest venture to the media last month showcasing the talented chefs, incredible food and unique charm that is Julie’s Place. Humble and grateful, Julie credits her success to simply being surrounded by good people. Those good people were right behind her beaming with pride; her husband Michael, their three sons and her closest girlfriends were among the faces credited with making her dream a reality. As well as offering hands-on cooking classes and corporate team building events, Julie’s Place can be hired for special events. I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be a party pie in sight.

JULIE’S PLACE Lower Level, 370 Mann St, North Gosford P: 4337 0777 E:


Bulbs {on the Coast}


If, like me, you’ve cherished visions of naturalised flowering bulbs popping up each year just as everything else outside has gotten a bit dull, you may also (like me) have an untold number of the thankless little beggars buried artistically under trees and throughout your lawn. It can be a bit of trial and error but there are bulbs that will perform well in our temperate coastal climate. And ways to make the others perform whether they want to or not!

Spanish blubells


Naturalised jonquils


Let’s start with a wish list ... Daffodils, bluebells, tulips, hyacinths, snowdrops, freesias ... Just to get started. Let’s not go crazy. But who doesn’t love spring bulbs? They commonly annouce spring in the northern hemisphere and colder parts of ours, but here in our temperate corner many of them are out to cheer up winter. They’ve been in the better florists for quite some time now, even the supermarkets are teasing us with half-wilted hyacinths. So, although we’ve missed the planting boat for this year, it’s a great time to work out a plan of action if you want some in and flowering for next winter/spring. The first reality check is that you’re going to have to compromise on a few of the big names in the bulb world. Or else be willing to put in quite a bit of extra work. Unfortuately, in our climate, you can’t fill a pile of those lovely shallow terracotta bulb pots with tulips and hyacinths and expect flowers. You might get one initial flowering, depending on when you plant and how the bulb seller has prepped them but they’re just not going to enjoy their seaside home.

Daffodils are another one I have struggled with. My lawn is littered with them. I got flowers the first years, foliage for a year or two more, and then ... silence. Oh the Pheasant’s Eyes! I still mourn them! We wont wallow in disappointment though, let’s move on to compromises.


So you love naturalised daffodils eh? There are some more suited to our area (try ‘Golden Lion’ if you can find it) but generally they’re a little fickle. Whereas jonquils live to please. They’re basically a daff, just smaller. They smell divine (although some also hate the scent) and will live quite happily in your lawn before popping up to fill your heart, and vase, with love. You can also get early and late flowering varieties that can give you almost five months of flowering. ‘Erlicheer’ is a popular cut flower, creamy coloured double flowers with a beautiful scent. The bold, yellow ‘Soleil d’Or’ is another good one to try. My favourites are two white jonquils - ‘Paperwhite’ and ‘Silver Chimes’. ‘Paperwhite’, as the name suggests, features papery, white single


flowers. They smell lovely and are very reliable naturalised bulbs. They’re an early flowerer with foliage coming up in early June and flowers by the end of June. ‘Silver Chimes’ have a more refined flower with beautiful deep green foliage. These also perform well naturalised and flower in September. And if you really want some big, heavyheaded yellow trumpets, settle for a few in pots.


What is more beautiful than drifts of bluebells? It’s a very English scene, but other areas of Europe have bluebells too, including the Mediterranean. The Spanish bluebell isn’t popular in the UK where it’s become an invasive pest, but out here it’s a lovely little compromise for the English bluebell. There’s not a whole lot different about it - you don’t get the fragrance but the flowers are a little larger and a little paler - a lovely subtle blue. It’s very happy lying forgotten at the bottom of your garden beds and reliably sends up foliage and spikes of divine blooms in early spring. They look particularly nice under early flowering roses.



Snowdrops are beautiful, delicate flowers we associate with cold climates, and they’re best left there. We do however have the very beautiful snowflake. Unlike the snowdrop, snowflakes have a wide naturalisation range in their native Europe and are found in the Mediterranean. I love these little flowers, they are one of the joys of winter. Dark green, succulent foliage comes up in June with flowers following in July. You get a good month or more out of the flowering period and they increase each year until you have great thick clumps of dark, spearlike foliage appearing. They look lovely nestled under deciduous trees but also perform well in grassed areas where there’s no foot traffic (or parked cars!)


When it comes to freesias we’re in safe territory. These are originally a South African plant and seem more than happy living on the Coast. In fact if you keep an eye out you’ll notice banks of wild freesias growing around the region. These wild versions are a little straggly compared to other cultivars but they have a divine scent. You can get a huge range of bright colours as well more muted ones. I think the best



‘Erlicheer’ jonquils


is Freesia refracta ‘Alba’, sometimes called ‘granny’s freesia’. It’s a gutsy naturaliser with beautiful creamy white flowers and one of the best perfumes. Plant out a garden bed and they’ll reward you for years. My only complaint with freesias is that they sometimes send their foliage up too early (something to do with our climate). This doesn’t affect flowering at all, it just means that I’ve occasionally had metre-long freesia leaves!

the rebels ...

So what about tulips and hyacinths? If you want to give them a go you’re going to have to give them what they want - a cold snap. This usually means a holiday in your fridge crisper to trick them into thinking it’s gotten frosty.


Tulips benefit from a good two months of cold before planting. Buy them as early as you can, pop them in a paper bag and into the fridge, then plant them in May when the worst of the heat is well and truly over. When refrigerating bulbs, don’t store them with fresh produce as the gases produced can upset their flowering times.

Try and choose a cool spot in the garden for them (though not full shade) and keep the sun off the soil with a thick layer of mulch (the foliage and flower will push up through it). Water well at least once a week to keep the soil cool and moist. The same applies if you are planting in pots, just keep the bulbs away from the edges of the pot as it’s hotter. Whether in the ground or a pot, the bulbs can benefit from planting a little deeper than what’s recommended on the packet, so ensure your pot is deep enough. Keep caring for the plant after flowering until the foliage has died down, as this is when it’s collecting energy for the following year’s flowering. This applies for all bulbs never chop back the foliage after flowering. As messy as it can look, let it wither down naturally and remove once it’s dead. With tulips you are going to have to remove them once the foliage has died down. Give them a bit of a brush off and store them somewhere cool and dry, ready for the fridge next year.



Hyacinths are much the same, benefitting from two months refrigeration. They can be planted in the garden but because of their heavy heads of flowers they are much better in pots and will grow quite happily inside. You can even get special vases to grow them in - the bulb is held suspended over water into which it sends roots. If grown in vases the bulbs are best disposed of after flowering as they’ll rarely perfom well a second time. Those in pots are treated the same way as tulips - dug up and stored in a cool, dry place. Be aware that bulbs make a tasty meal for any furry visitors to your garden shed you might find nothing but the outer husk come the following autumn. Most bulbs are poisonous for us though so do be careful when storing them in the fridge, sepecially around children.

grape hyacinths

These strangely attractive little bulbs are much easier to grow than their high maintenance cousins. They’re a small meadow plant and naturalise quite well in our climate.


bulb lore

n April to May is the best time for planting

spring flowering bulbs on the Coast. n Bulbs are usually planted to a depth

equal to twice their height and that same distance apart. For cold climate bulbs, plant them a little deeper. n The pointy end should be up, rounded

end down. n Most bulbs like free draining soil, making

them ideal for pots. n Most bulbs like a fair bit of sun but in our

climate they’ll tolerate some shade. n Start watering regularly as soon as

you see the green tips emerge and stop watering when the leaves start to yellow. Naturalised bulbs will often look after themselves but if it’s been dry, water them during the growing season. Bulbs like to be dry during their dormant phase so a wet summer can result in the loss of bulbs. n Top-dressing with fertiliser after flowering

can help produce good blooms the following year.

Grape hyacinth



thank you for reading!

Look out for Issue 11 in Sept