by Penny Woodward

Lime green angelica seed head as big as a soccer ball

Angelica seed heads can be as big as a soccer ball

Glossy green leaves and attractive pale green flower heads.

Glossy angelica is a useful ornamental


Statuesque angelica (Angelica archangelica) is a native of North and Eastern Europe to central Asia and Greenland. I love its large fresh green leaves that add a tropical lushness to my garden and it’s huge soccer ball sized, lime green flower heads. It is a fast growing biennial herb to more than 2 m when it flowers. In the first year angelica grows as a large clump with hollow, ribbed stems that are produced from a strong taproot and large soft matt green leaves. In spring of the second year, a hollow stem grows from the centre of the plant; this is topped by one or more large rounded flower heads, the flowers are followed by ribbed seeds. Glossy angelica (Angelica pachycarpa) has glossy leaves, is smaller growing and is a useful ornamental plant. Read more


By Gail Thomas

Small egg-shaped orange achacha fruit

Delicious achacha fruit

Achacha (pronounced ah-cha cha), the Aussie name for achachairú (Garcinia humilis selecto) have been savoured for centuries in the Amazon Basin of Bolivia and are now being grown in North Queensland.
With its name translating as ‘honey kiss’ egg shaped achachas are a cousin to the mangosteen, boast a vibrant orange hued skin, creamy flesh and zingy clean sorbet-like flavour and usually contain one (sometimes more) large brown seed.
The trees produce their first crop at around seven years, have a lifespan of at least thirty years and it is estimated that each mature tree will produce about 3,000 fruit.
The ripe fruit is harvested by hand from December to mid March and are non-climacteric – i.e. they won’t ripen further after being harvested. Read more

Pollinating pumpkins

And other Cucurbits like zucchini, marrow and cucumber.

By Penny Woodward

Rare orange French pumpkin with chestnut flavour

Heirloom French pumpkin Potimarron

Pumpkins, zucchini, marrows and cucumbers need bees to pollinate their flowers before the fuit will set and start to grow. These plants all have male and female flowers and the bees need to fly into the male flowers, collect the pollen while feeding on nectar and then carry the pollen to the female flower. If this doesn’t happen then the little pumpkin (or zucchini or cucumber or marrow) that has started forming at the base of the female flower, will yellow and fall off. Read more

  • All words and images © Copyright Penny Woodward 2019.
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