xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: February 2013

Thursday, 28 February 2013

a sherry anyone...

Well we are a little off the track from the gardening world this week....but wine and food have always been up near the top of the list for this family and gardening creates produce, so there is a lovely link between the two somewhere there.
An opportunity arose to go to a sherry tasting recently and it was of course irresistable.
Sherry has always held a little bit of a fascination for me in the wine world and its been hard to actually find and taste a range of sherries in Australia.
I can remember the cream sherry and dry sherry in the glass flagons from the seventies but from my travels in Europe, I knew there was another class of interesting and lovingly made sherries out there.
Its just been challenging to find them and taste them in Australia.

But recently, one of our local itialian inspired food stores in hobart....Bottego rotello held a sherry tasting as part of  their producer nights series.

It goes without saying that it was interesting and informative.  The sherry and the lovely company representative were from Aecovi in Jerez in Spain - an important sherry producing region.
As we learnt about the production of specific sherries, we tasted a fino, oloroso and a pedro ximenez (PX) and they were superbly matched to just a little food to enhance the experience.

We had a fabulous gazpacho shooter with cold pale fino, a rocket, pear and subtle goat cheese salad, a strong but delicate ewes milk cheese from the manche region to match the fruity oroloso and a wonderful dark chocolate to go with the sticky dark PX.

I must say the oloroso was my pick and the one I would go back for to buy and serve on a regular basis.
We also had a little taste of two interesting sherry vinegars...one of which was fabulous used to marinate the pear for the salad.

It was a great experience and I now know lots more about sherry. The company was good, the food was yummy and there is now a bottle of sherry waiting in the fridge for a good dinner.

Bon apetite!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

a hidden gem of a garden

I know....I know.......
its been far too long since I got my act together and I can only apologise and promise to try and do better.  This summer has been fairly busy and time has slipped away from me and I have also got to admit I have enjoyed the weather a bit too much to be indoors on the computer.   But I am back at it now and there is lots planned for 2013, so I shall endeavour to be more prompt and regular....!
I mush also thanks a few of my regular readers for their gentle kick start to get back to it and the reminder that they were waiting......so thankyou.  It's really nice to be reminded that there are people out there who check regularly and enjoy my ramblings.

I had the delightful pleasure of visiting a private absolute gem of a garden the other day.  It was so inspiring and in the lovliest spot tucked away where you would never suspect it to be.  A big thanks to Simone for letting me peak and have a good garden chat.  I have posted lots of photos of it.

It has the most wonderful modern planting with lots of interesting plants and Simone and I talked plants and gardens and all the other things gardeners chat about and of course in the true nature of a gardener get together, I came away with some cuttings. Gardeners are such generous sharing people - and I find this to be true the world over.

Tucked away in quiet solitude with fabulous views of a little bay, this is an absolute treasure of a garden and I applaud the gardener for her knowledge and progressive approach. I was truly inspired.

But not only has the garden been done with a contemporary and clever approach, large parts of it have also has been done with strict adherance to landcare and native indigenous plant protocols required of garden areas backing onto reserve and natural landscapes.  And these plants are performing and looking great and fitting into this garden fabulously.

You will see from the photos, that it being a garden full of plants that can survive our dry climate in Hobart, it has thrived in our strange weather of hot windy days we have had this year.  It is fairly well sheltered which has helped but we certainly have lacked rain this year, and this garden is still looking great.
A sight better than my poor more exposed hot wind scoured garden.

The garden also boasts some sculptures from Simone's Mum, Roslyn.  She makes some fabulous sculptures.  We get them in the garden store occassionally and I recently visited Roslyn and her garden also.  They shine when put into the garden setting, so look out for them.

The setting is fabulous.  The garden is tranquil and clever and perfect for the young family that live in and love it.  There's lovely sandstone walls and beautiful plants and lots of great plans for the front and continuation of whats already been done.    I loved it! Thanks Simone for your generosity.  Its such a treat to peak at people's gardens and chat with them.

This blog is dedicated to Helen....get well soon and thanks for the inspiration to get it written!