Back to Back Issues Page
Diggers Rest – What plant is that in Latin; Eco gardening tips; Easy salsa goes with anything
June 10, 2013

June 2013 Issue #94


What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.

1) What plant is that in Latin
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Easy salsa goes with anything.

ladybug flying on a seed

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

~ Roald Dahl

Why use Latin names?

Did you know that because Latin is a 'dead' language, it is used to name plants. Latin will never change so in every country of the world a certain plant stays a certain plant in Latin, whether the language used in that country is English, Chinese, Arabic or any of the other roughly 7000 languages or thousands of dialects.

Every plant has a unique Latin name, always written in two parts and italicized. The first name is the genus name (first letter capitalized) and the second name is the species (all lower case).

Take Coriandrum sativum; Whether you know it as a common name of coriander, cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania, it will always be Coriandrum sativum.

What about us? Our naming system is similar? I belong to the genus Carter, and my species name is Megan, despite the nicknames I'm often called! Other species in my genus include: Stacey, Giles and Toby.

Eco gardening tips

  • Pea straw bales:
    Straw bale gardening is becoming popular, due to smaller gardens and sometimes only a porch or balcony to grow your own. If you can only get pea straw bales, use them instead of oat straw, Just remember they are not so dense, hence you may find that water runs out a lot, so you may need to pack more soil/compost on the top and in the plant holes you make.

    Pea straw may sprout peas... hooray; these are good for fixing nitrogen in the soil when they rot down. Certainly using pea bales are excellent for helping to fill raised garden beds

  • Chicken wire garden:
    Another option for small spaces is to go up. Make a column with chicken wire any size you like, but 60cm (2ft) diameter x 1m (3ft) or less is good. Too high and it's hard to water the bottom of the column.

    Line the column with paper layers, cardboard, moss or straw, then fill in with compost/soil. Just jab holes through the wire and lining, poke in seeds or plants and stand back and smile. Try strawberries, cherry tomatoes, herbs and vines.

  • Pretty but slow:
    Variegated foliage is often admired, and as well as ornamentals there are a few variegated veggies and herbs. Thyme and sage both have pretty cream and green-leafed varieties.

    Remember to plant them in out of the shade in a very sunny spot or their growth will be slow. They have less chlorophyll than full green-leafed plants, so are less productive at converting the sun's energy into sugars for growth.

I love and use this garden planner; it's one of those things that you don't know what you've been missing until you've got it. Feedback from readers is the same... "How did I garden without it before, thanks for putting me onto this!"
Online Garden Planning Tool

Easy salsa goes with anything

If your chilies are ready, then other ingredients for a salsa should be begging to be picked in your garden too. You can't go wrong with homemade raw salsa for top taste and good health.


  • 3 large or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 chilies (or 3 if you're into heat)
  • 1 small to medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Bunch of coriander and/or parsley (about 1 cup loosely chopped)


  • Finely chop tomatoes, chilies, onion and garlic and add to chopped coriander/parsley.
  • Mix well and keep in fridge.
  • Great with vegetables, eggs, fish or meat… in fact anything from savoury breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Note: Adding a dollop of plain yogurt makes a change and will also tone down the chili heat if too strong.

Preparation: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 1-2 jars

Happy gardening

Back to Back Issues Page