Learn all you need to know about herbs


I’m offering my ONLINE HERB WORKSHOP again. And the good thing is, you can do it in your own time. There are no time pressures. No restraints. And you have total access to me throughout the course. You’ll learn:

  • Which herbs are best for stress, anxiety and sleep problems (and which don’t work at all)
  • How to make your own natural herbal beauty products, cleaning products and perfumes.
  • The effect of cooking with herbs – and what vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are lost during cooking.
  • How to grow, propagate, harvest and preserve your own herbs.
  • How to grow herbs for flowers


What people have said about the course:

Hi Jane!

I had to drop a line and tell you how much I love this magazine!  It’s the most beautiful and inspiring read I’ve had for a while! The content is very high standard and the recipes!…can’t wait to try those magnificent cakes! Thanks as well for the first module of the Herb Course – I’m just going through it again and revising now – so well written and referenced – what a great way to start learning – fabulous value!
– Poppy

I thoroughly enjoyed Module 4 and can see I will this one too. Thank you so much for making these available online.
– Bev

Module 6 is brilliant! Very informative and helpful – and the table of 25 Herbs to Propagate is just what I’ve been looking for. I’ve started planning a herb collection so this is so useful in terms of choosing what I’ll be planting. I also never thought of planting cumin or cardamom, but I will now, as I use those spices all the time! Keep up the great work, Jane – and thanks again!
– P

I’m really enjoying the modules. They’re really interesting and easy to read.
– Stef

There are six modules to this course, and one module is sent once a week. But you do not have to complete the module in a week. You can read it any time you like. If you don’t want to read it until next year, that’s fine!



Build a strawberry tower + giveaway


My dad and I built this nifty strawberry tower, which is brilliant, if I say so myself. It’s so good for small gardens, and accommodates quite a few strawberry plants.

To find out how to make it, plus to go in the draw to win a bag of Daltons Easy Lift Potting Mix (it’s truly remarkable stuff), click through to my other website, Sweet Living, here.

Good luck!

DIY: Build your own potting bench


Diy potting bench

Need somewhere to pot up plants, sow seeds or simply potter about? Build your own sturdy workbench with these step-by-step instructions. Here’s one of my DIY projects that recently featured in New Zealand Gardener magazine. Click on the link below to download a PDF of photos and step-by-step instructions. And if you do build one for yourself, why not send us your photos for others to see? You could also add something like a corner sink so that your bench would be extra usable. No more running around to grab the hose when you’re transplanting new plants!

Download PDF instructions for potting bench

Sweet Living Issue 8 out now!

SweetLiving_cover 460

The latest issue of Sweet Living magazine has hit this cybershelves! This FREE online magazine is full of home crafts, DIYs, recipes and more. Check it out here – and pass it on!

Pretty paving

At first glance I thought this was paving, but when I read the description I found it was actually cladding for a 1903-1904 apartment building in Paris. I think it’s gorgeous, and it would make the most exquisite paving, wouldn’t it? I wonder if I can make some leaves or petals out of concrete?

Photo from seier+seier’s Flickr photostream.

DIY clay plant labels

Aren’t these the cutest plant labels ever? The little critters are fashioned with cookie cutters and oven-bake clay. A customisable stamp is then used to print the name of the plant into the clay.

It’s so simple, but so very clever! Get the full instructions here.


DIY plant labels

DIY Birdhouse herb labelsThis is such a cute idea for flower and herb labels. I’m not entirely sure whether we have these in New Zealand though, but if you’re handy with a jigsaw you could cut out your own shapes. This lovely project features over at Torie Jayne. Check it out.

Recycled lawn seats

Lawn seats
Lawn seats
Here’s a super smart idea for recycling tyres. Turn them into lawn seats. This park in the historic town of Lima, Peru incorporates tyre planters, tyre seats and a children’s playground made up of recycled plastic and tyres. How clever is that?!

More images from Architizer.

DIY salad bench

DIY salad bench

Here’s a clever idea for growing salad greens and herbs year round – a salad bench that can easily be positioned on a sunny deck, a patio – anywhere you like, really. It can also be used for sowing your cut flower seeds, raising them to seedling stage, before they’re ready to plant out. Head to the Sweet Living website for step-by-step instructions and photos.

Neon flowers

Fluorescent flowers
Fluorescent flowers and felt leaves
Here’s a clever idea from the very talented Sania Pell. Neon flowers – or fluro flora, as she calls it. She dabbed small amounts of neon paint onto flowers, berries and seed heads and came up with this striking effect. For the sprig of berries she also glued on pink leaves cut from felt. Brilliant idea! See more of her fabulous creations here.