Kookaburra Gardening


The local Kookaburra perched on the arbor at the Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock.

Kookaburra Gardening

A kookaburra cackles,

And laughs,

As I pull the weeds,

Clip the overgrown herbs,

In my garden plot,

At the Warrandyte Community Garden,

Owners from plots near by,

Are my neighbours,

That pass by me,

A friendly chat,

With the pick of their crop,

Then I’m all on my own,

In a gardener’s dream,

Immersed in activity,

With my herbs,

And my grand plans,

Preparing my next crop,

Clip crop the lavender cropped,

Scatter the cuttings to deter,

Those overfeeding slugs,

Grubs and other insect thugs,

A little laughter I hear,

As a comical Kookaburra,

Lands on the fence,

Near me,

Near my plot,

In good cheer,

Showing off,

The slug he caught,

Between his beak,

A little chuckle he gives,

With a grub stuck in his beak,

I guess the kookaburra,

Is gardening too!

From the Kookaburra’s,

Point of view,

What grubs and slugs,

Have you caught?

I guess my weeding, digging, and clipping,

Must be a funny way,

To find a grub,

He flies off,

With a bit of a chuckle,

I guess he’s enjoying his grub,


Kookaburra loves our Community Garden,

Checking out our plots,

For grubs, slugs and insect thugs,


By Trisha Haddock






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In the mood for hot soup!




Jerusalem Soup in the making. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/jerusalem_artichoke_soup/ Photo by Kerrie Dobrynski


This Sunday morning was a bit cold and I wanted to check on my garden plot. Not much was going on in my plot except for parsley growing well with all the extra rain and my row of coriander is starting to look like something. Lately, I’ve been making soup and so I picked a few bunches of my parsley, to make for a soup recipe.



Cooking Jerusalem Artichoke soup. Photo by Trisha Haddock. 


Last month I made Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with the load of tubers that I pulled up from my garden plot. I gave some to my friend Kerrie, who texts me, sharing with me her wonderful hot Jerusalem Artichoke Soup she is making (first picture). At this time I was flipping through Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. I decided to give Rose Elliot’s recipe a whirl and I was extremely pleased with the result.


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Jerusalem Soup with a creamy texture and chives as a garnish. Photo by Trisha Haddock.




Tony preparing plot for a punnet of spinach plants. Photo by Trisha Haddock.


On arrival at the gardens, I spotted Tony planting something. I thought I would check out his patch and all the other plots too. Looking at the other seem to be inspiring even on a cold Sunday morning. The broccoli, kale, silverbeet and other green foliage vegetable plants are loving the rain and the bit of sunshine our garden is receiving at the moment. Marigolds add a bit of colour and brightness to some plots. I noticed Tony has a nice bright orange one in the corner where he’s planting his spinach. Marigolds are good companion plants for vegetable plots as they are known to deter insects from our edible vegetable plants.



Tony’s plot with Marigold. Photo by Trisha Haddock.




Silverbeet popping up next to mint and the flowers in a plot in the gardens. Photo by Trisha Haddock.




Kale in the front with other brassica type plants in the background and also some beans, in a plot at the garden. Photo by Trisha Haddock.




Broccoli growing well with chives or onions in a plot in the gardens. Photo by Trisha Haddock.




Broccoli peeking through to find the sun. A close up of broccoli plants in the previous photo. Photo by Trisha Haddock.


Today when I arrived home I chose to make Carrot and Bean soup. The recipe is from Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. This soup is easy to make and delicious, it really warms the insides. Recipes of Rose Elliots can be found in her books or on her website: http://www.roseelliot.com

To warm up try making a new soup recipe!



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Winter is here!



Broccoli growing well in plots at the Warrandyte Community Garden. Photo by Trisha Haddock.


Many garden plots are growing strong with winter veggies. Last month The Warrandyte Community Garden celebrated it’s 20thbirthday with planting a lemon tree and a Lemon Myrtle tree. Many came for the tree planting and celebrations!



Marion preparing hole for the Lemon Myrtle tree. Photo by Warrandyte Community Garden.




William planting the Lemon Myrtle tree, Photo by Warrandyte Community Garden,




Tony planting a Lemon tree with lots of instructions from onlookers. Photo by Warrandyte Community Garden.


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Keith Walker making a speech prior to cutting the cake.Photo by Warrandyte Community Garden.



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Summer to Autumn




Raised garden bed at the Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock.


The hot summer provided some extra gardening skills to keep plants moist under the stress of the hot sun.  Some plots were being prepared for the next crop.  Plants in the raised garden plot are growing well with a bit of shade from the gazebo.



Garden plots in the summer months. Image by Trisha Haddock

From March 22 to 24thwas the Warrandyte Festival with the theme, ‘Stars of Warrandyte.’ The Warrandyte Community Garden took part with a stall. Many thanks to those who donated the produce to sell – from plants, jams, and preserves to guessing the weight of the pumpkin and a pumpkin basket raffle. Also not forgetting the bunch of herbs given away with every purchase. Thanks to all volunteers who helped with the stall. The festival stall was a success with many happy customers. It was a great team effort!




Setting up for the festival stall. Image by Warrandyte Community Garden


















Preparing for the festival, making herb bunches. Images by Trisha Haddock




Welcoming sign on the gate of the Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock.


On Sunday, May the 5ththe Warrandyte Community Garden turns twenty years old. There will be a celebration with cake and the planting of a Lemon tree and an Olive tree.



Warrandyte Community Garden, April 2019. Image by Trisha Haddock.


Twenty years ago on 10/4/1999, the Warrandyte Community Garden held a grand official opening, with a Member of Parliament and the Police. The Warrandyte Community Garden is situated behind the Police station in Warrandyte.



Warrandyte Community Garden showing autumn colouring on plants with Police station in the background behind gardens. Image by Trisha Haddock.


Approval for the Community Garden came to fruition by a group of people from two groups, Warrandyte/Park Orchards and the Wonga Park Police Community Consultative Committee. The group worked with the local people and organizations to secure support for a community garden in Warrandyte. When approval arrived Bev Hanson drew up a garden plan. The garden progressed rapidly and was completed within a year. Organizations that contributed to the Warrandyte Community Garden are displayed on a sign on the front entrance to the garden.


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New broccoli plants with homemade white butterflies. Cabbage white butterflys have a territorial behavior and the fake ones are an attempt to keep the pest away. Image by Trisha Haddock.



Enjoy the Easter Holidays in the garden because there might be a surprise!

Happy Easter everyone!



Easter Bunny amongst the herbs at the Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock


Article by Trisha Haddock, 17 April 2019.




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Happy New Year with Anise Hyssop!


The Summer Garden at the Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock.

When arriving at the Warrandyte Garden to water my plot and check to see how my garden survived after a few weeks away on holidays. I was greeted first with a friendly message on the noticeboard. Happy New Year and watch out for snakes. In these summer months, it is a good idea to check your garden plot before gardening. As you might be surprised, whilst working a long slithery creature might make its moves towards you!


Message on notice board in Gazebo at Warrandyte Community Garden. Image by Trisha Haddock.

My garden plot receives a lot of shade and I found all my plants standing upright and looking happy. The compost mix I put on top of my plot at the start of December must have kept the soil moist. My Jerusalem Artichokes are going berserk and my spinach is growing prolifically. Before Christmas, I picked some of my celery plants and cut the top edible thick stems off and I replanted the bottom parts of the celery (with roots) in another part of my veggie patch. I smiled with delight finding my celery stumps had started to grow leaves and a few stems. What I was particularly surprised with was the flowering plant, Anise Hyssop, I planted seeds earlier last year with the hope the plant will repel slugs and snails. Having a shady plot increases more of these slimy pests. I found no sign of slug and snails in my plants.



My vegetable plot with a scarecrow amongst Anise Hyssop, Jerusalem Artichokes, celery and other vegetables. Image by Trisha Haddock.


I have a few of the Anise Hyssop plants scattered throughout my plot and thought they were getting too big and the flower spikes have many seeds on them. I decided to pick flowers and top leaves so seeds don’t spread to other plots. Also picking top leaves to stop the plant from growing too tall. I thought I might do some research to see what I could do with the Anise Hyssop’s flowers and leaves.


Anise Hyssop growing in my vegetable plot. Image by Trisha Haddock.

My Research About Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop is not related to the Anise family of plants or the Hyssop family. Anise Hyssop is apart of the Mint Family of plants and is not as vigorous spreading like most mints. It is a perennial and it’s a small shrub that grows to 90cm high. Anise Hyssop origins are in America and the Native Indians use it for medicinal uses. It grows in zones 4-10 and is a hardy plant that doesn’t mind being in full sun or part shade and is drought tolerant. Its flower spikes can be lavender colour or white. It’s also known as Liquorice Mint, Anise Hyssop and Blue Giant Hyssop and its botanical name is Agastache foeniculum. It can be grown by seed and likes moist to well-drained soil.

Interesting facts

  • Deer and rabbits do not favour Anise Hyssop and this plant is recommended as a border plant to deter these animals. I wonder if kangaroos and possums dislike it too?
  • Anise Hyssop grown around fruit trees will repel pests from the trees. As a companion plant, Anise Hyssop can be placed next to almost any plant as its fragrance repels most insects. The leaves have more flavour than the flower.
  • Anis Hyssop has medicinal uses that help relieve depression, coughs, fevers, wounds. Make Anise Hyssop as a tea or eat fresh in small portions.
  • The flowers fluffy spike is well known to attract bees along with pollinator insects and beneficial insects.

Anise Hyssop smells and tastes a little bit like licorice and some people compare the flavour to Tarragon. The flowers and leaves are edible fresh or dried. After I learned you are able to eat this flower I had to have a taste and it sure is sweet with the licorice flavour. The flower and leaves can be dried for tea making. The flowers and leaves can be added to salads in small quantities.  Flowers can also be used to garnish cakes and added to other desserts. It is added to rice desserts, is great with scones, muffins, biscotti and the dried leaves can be used in biscuits in replace of anise seed. Flowers and leaves can be eaten with other fresh fruits in a fruit salad. Anise Hyssop tastes great with peaches, nectarines and berries.



Picked Anise Hyssop flowers and leaves put in a shallow basket with mesh lid ready to be put out in the sun to dry. Paper towel is placed under and on top of leaves and flowers to stop them from blowing away. Image by Trisha Haddock.


On a hot sunny day, I prefer to dry my herbs under the sun, as it doesn’t take long for herbs to dry. I keep my freshly dried herbs in a recycled jar. I put my leaves in the basket and cover herbs with some paper towel then place in a sunny spot. When moisture is gone from leaves the flowers are dried. The Anise Hyssop flowers take a bit longer than the leaves. I place dried leaves and flowers in a jar ready for use.


Pouring Anise Hyssop tea. Image by Trisha Haddock.

Anise Hyssop dried tea leaves and flowers are in the teapot. I have placed a dried flower in a cup for extra flavour. The tea is sweet and is a refreshing treat with the licorice taste.

Anise Hyssop seeds can be bought online at https://littleveggiepatchco.com.au/collections/heirloom-seeds

Enjoy Anise Hyssop and cheers to a Happy New Year to all!

By Trisha Haddock.










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Merry Christmas!

IMG_6876.jpgThe Warrandyte Community Garden Christmas celebration held on the 9th of December. Many turned up with a plate of yummy food to share in the peaceful setting of the garden.


Some people arrived on their bikes with a smile and found a comfy seat! Others arrived in the usual way in a car. Everyone cheered when the bike riders arrived.


Cheers and Merry Christmas to all from the Warrandyte Community Garden! Everyone was merry and enjoyed a good chat eating and drinking. With plenty of fresh produce in the homemade dishes, there were smiles on everyone’s face.


Fresh fruit, gourmet sandwiches, finger food, cakes and more were all delicious. I especially liked the frozen berry treat.


This year is coming to a close and December brought lots of rain and hot days with Christmas celebrations everywhere. I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas and everyone’s summer crops grow in abundance of fruit and vegetables. Have a Happy New Year!

By Trisha Haddock

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Ready for the Scorching Summer



Warrandyte Community Garden Rainwater Tank. Image by Trisha Haddock.

In November we experienced a few days of downpouring rain. I was caught driving in the rain on Tuesday 20th and it was hard to see what was ahead, on the road. It was like a big bucket of water was dumped onto the car and my surroundings. Thankfully the big bucket of rain stopped and I was grateful for all the rain. Anyone with a rainwater tank would’ve found it full after so much rain.


New rainwater tap. Image by Trisha Haddock.

This year the Warrandyte Community Garden was lucky enough to have the Bendigo Bank fund a tap and a pipe that travel from the tank to garden plots. Many plots were not able to access the rainwater tank. H2-Pro Plumbing gave a discount for their labor and completed work professionally.  Now all gardeners can give their plots a good soak with rainwater over the summer months. Thank you Bendigo Bank and H2-Pro Plumbing!





A mulched plot with hollyhocks peeking up through the garden bed. Image by Trisha Haddock.


Many gardeners have placed straw or other kinds of mulch down on their plots, around plants to keep the soil moist for longer.



Food Swap sign. Image by Trisha Haddock.


Food Swap

On the first Saturday of the month at 9 am to 10 am a Food Swap is held at the Warrandyte Community Garden. The Food Swap is only fruit, vegetables, herbs and plants that people have grown. Jams and Relish and other homemade products are made from fruit and vegetables that were picked up at the previous food swap. No meat products are to be brought to the Food Swap. Also on offer are seeds and gardening magazines.




Homegrown cabbage and herbs are free to pick up! Image by Trisha Haddock.


When you arrive at the Food Swap place your produce in the baskets available or on the bench in the gazebo.



Fresh mints and kale to choose! Image by Trisha Haddock.


If you don’t have anything to swap, you are still welcome to come and take something, as there is always plenty to choose from.



Plants, Jam and Relish to give away!. Image by Trisha Haddock.


Tea and coffee are provided along with muffins. Everyone is welcome to come and swap something, have a cuppa and join in on all the fun!



Many gather on the 1st of December in the gazebo swapping food! Image by Trisha Haddock.


Sunday 2nd of December was the Warrandyte Community Garden working bee.



Image by Trisha Haddock.

Tidying up and weeding jobs were the high priority.




Angus and Renae are working together pulling out weeds and keeping the children’s area tidy. Image by Trisha Haddock.



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Finding tools in the shed. Image by Trisha Haddock.




Weeding and jobs to do in the garden plots. Image by Trisha Haddock.




Morning tea with delicious fruit muffins. Image by Trisha Haddock.


After completing many tasks, morning tea was made and served with delicious muffins. After a long chat and a laugh, morning tea was over. Some workers left and more gardeners arrived to tend to more working bee tasks. Apart from sitting and enjoying the view, there is always something to do in the garden!



Gardeners share good garden tips! Image by Trisha Haddock.



Have fun in the garden!

By Trisha Haddock







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2018 Warrandyte Community Garden Open Day!

Warrandyte Community Garden Open Day situated in Police sr Warrandyte

A gardener with no place to garden is truly lost and quite bored. I know because I’m one of those gardeners who had nowhere to put my gardening skill into action. About five years ago I gazed through the fence of the Warrandyte Community Garden and thought what a beautiful garden and a wonderful group to be a part of.  A sign to book plots with Barbara’s phone number hangs on the wire fence. I called the number and I was allocated a plot.

Steve greeting visitors and looking at all the plants to give away!

On Sunday the 11th of November the Warrandyte Community Garden held its Open Day, for everyone to experience our community garden.  After walking through the gate, visitors found the gazebo and were welcomed with a gift of free vegetables and herb plants. Many visitors looking at the productive vegetable plots found inspiration and ideas for their own gardens.


“I love it…It has such a peaceful ambience and looks so productive.”                                           Carmel, a visitor to the Warrandyte Community Garden on Open Day.

Vegetable plots with composting area and garden in the background.

Stroll past the enormous cabbage plants in the first plot and then the desirable strawberry patch in the next plot. See the Rose Arbour that invites you to wander up the small hill to the vegetable plots towards the back.

Looking through the Rose Arbour towards the Gazebo.

At the top of the hill you can see scarecrows that have been made out of recyclable materials. The composting section on the right is where all the plant waste is placed, to rot a bit. Then the waste is turned over with the pitchfork. After a while it becomes the good stuff, compost and it’s placed back on the vegetable plots.

A scarecrow amongst the veggie patch.

Steve sits enjoying the view.  In the background is the glasshouse, Children’s garden, sandpit and to the left crate for gardening with a disadvantage.

Ornamental flowers and herbs grow in between the garden plots making the area inviting. When you walk back down the hill and past the seated area with a small fire pit, make sure you sit for a while in the brown wooden chairs. See the glasshouse where many cuttings are struck into plants or the seed is nurtured and raised into seedlings.


Children’s cubby house.

Children’s garden with raspberry plants trailing the trellis in the background.

The children’s garden is delightful and a joy to look at. See the garden in the crate that makes gardening with ease for those who are prone to sore backs or other difficulties. Note, the cubby house with the geraniums and sandpit, they’re available for the children to play in, while the adults do the hard work in their veggie plots.

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Raspberry plants showing fruit but not ripe yet.

What I enjoy here is the trellis of raspberry plants that grow for everyone to share. It’s a nice treat to find a raspberry after pulling out weeds or digging up the soil in your plot.


My garden plot, with spinach, celery, chamomile, globe artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, anise hyssop and a scarecrow.

The Bendigo Bank helps fund the Warrandyte Community garden over the many years, since the garden has been established. One of the most recent assistance was to help fund the new garden edging around all the plots. Thank you Bendigo Bank!

Thank you to all who came to our Open Day. If you missed it we all hope to see you next year!

By Trisha Haddock







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Monthly working bee

Our next working bee will be this Sunday, 4th November.  As usual we will have a number of small chores to do and of course a chat over a cup of tea.

Weeds are popping up everywhere (especially the dreaded flick weed), so please keep your weeds down as far as possible so they don’t spread everywhere.

Another little reminder to all, if you have a surplus crop, please share them around or save them for Food Swap on market day. 🙂

Our open day is coming up on Sunday, 11 November so do your best to keep the garden looking lovely and weed free.




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Spring Planting

Species September October November
Artichoke (globe)
 Bok Choy
 Jerusalem Artichoke
 Kohl Rabi
 Mustard Greens
 Pak Choy
 Rhubarb (crowns)
 Snow Peas
 Spring Onion
 Sweet Corn

Courtesy: http://www.yummygardensmelbourne.com

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