Garden Fresh Festive Fare At Bellis, Brisbane’s Sustainable House And Garden.

Festive fare picked from the garden on Christmas day, including street picked green mangoes.

A taste of summer from Bellis, a sustainable house and garden in drought-affected subtropical Brisbane: 108 edibles available for my kitchen.

We are officially in drought, a consequence of a strong Indian Ocean Dipole which is being enhanced by sudden stratospheric warming over Antarctica (as posted on my public facebook page).

I can’t complain though, as we have had four drier years gardening here: 2006, 2007 and 2014* and this all fits with accelerating global warming.

Anticipating a hotter, drier climate, in 2003-04 I set up a water sensitive landscape design to capture every drop that falls. The wettest day ever was when ex-cyclone Debbie delivered 219mm on 30.3.17 and the systems didn’t let me down; not a drop ran off the property.

A waste water system processes all water, eliminating the need to discharge into Moreton Bay via the Brisbane sewer system, and providing sufficient water to keep the garden ticking over if we end up with another hosepipe ban.

In January, a tutor from the University of Queensland’s School of Architecture will be visiting to illustrate our waterwise garden for student training.

Fortunately for us, December brought almost average rainfall, so the rainwater tank is almost full. A good start a new year with a hot, dry outlook.

Season’s greetings!

Bellis, Brisbane’s subtropical sustainable house and garden’s Christmas Menu:

Roots, bulbs
Australian okra, Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus;
Beetroot, Beta vulgaris;
Carrot, Daucus carota ‘Lunar White’;
Christmas lily, Lilium longiflorum;
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolium;
Galangal, Alpinia galangal;
Ginger, shell, Alpinia zerumbet;
Krachai, Boesenbergia rotunda;
Mangelwurzel, Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris;
Queensland arrowroot, Canna edulis;
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Ace of Spades’;
Turmeric, Curcuma longa;
Turmeric, black, Curcuma caesia;

Fruits, pods
Bitter melon, Momordica charantia;
Capsicum, Capsicum annuum ‘Bull’s Horn’;
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Piri Piri’;
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Lieutenant Pearl’;
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Black Beauty’;
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Early Long Purple’;
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Listada di Gandia’;
Guava, Psidium guava;
Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus;
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix;
Pawpaw, Carica papaya ‘Southern Red’;
Pineapple, Ananas comosus ‘Spanish Red’;
Strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa ‘Red Gauntlet’;
Tahitian Lime, Citrus x latifolia;
Tzimbalo, Solanum caripense;
Winter melon, Benincasa hispida;

Australian okra, Abelmoschus moschatus subsp tuberosus;
Cosmos sulphureus;
Kings salad, Cosmos caudatus;
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Red Dandelion’;
Scarlet rosemallow, Hibiscus coccineus;
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘John May’s Special’;

Aralia, ming, Polyscias fruticosa (four cultivars);
Aralia, geranium, Polyscias guilfoylei (two cultivars);
Australian okra, Abelmoschus moschatus subsp tuberosus;
Basil, camphor, Ocimum x kilimandscharicum;
Basil, sacred, Ocimum tenuiflorum;
Basil, Thai, Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora;
Cassava, Seed Savers’ cultivar, Cassava manihot;
Cassava, variegated, Cassava manihot ‘Variegata’;
Celtuce, Lactuca sativa var. augustana;
Ceylon spinach, Basella alba;
Chicory, Cichorium intybus;
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum;
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum;
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolium;
Coleus, Solenostemon scutellarioides (various cultivars);
Cosmos sulphureus;
Cranberry hibiscus, Hibiscus acetosella;
Cranberry hibiscus, dwarf, Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’;
Curry leaf, Murraya koenigii;
False cardamom, Alpinia nutans;
Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’;
Fennel, Florence, Foeniculum vulgare var. azorica ‘Zefa Fina’;
Four season’s herb, variegated, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’ and ‘Bayside Beauty’;
Gac, Momordica cochinchinensis;
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum;
Ivy gourd, Coccinea grandis;
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix;
Kang kong, Ipomoea aquatica;
Kings salad, Cosmos caudatus;
Krachai, Boesenbergia rotunda;
Lat lot, Piper sarmentosum;
Lebanese cress, Aethionema cordifolium;
Leek, Seed Saver Multiplier, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum;
Lemongrass, East Indian, Cymbopogon flexuosus;
Lemongrass, native, Cymbopogon ambiguus;
Memory herb, Bacopa monnieri;
Mexican pepperleaf, Piper auritum;
Mexican tarragon, Tagetes lucida;
Mexican tree spinach, Cnidoscolus aconitifolius;
Mint, Moroccan, Mentha spicata ‘Nana’;
Mint, native, Mentha pulegioides;
Nardoo, Marsilea mutica;
Okinawa spinach, Gynura bicolor;
Old man saltbush, Atriplex nummularia;
Pandan, Pandanus amarylliifolius;
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum;
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Red Dandelion’;
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘John May’s Special’;
Society garlic, giant; Tulbaghia simmleri;
Society garlic, variegated; Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’;
Spring onion, Allium fistulosum;
Spring onion, Seed Saver’s multiplier, Allium fistulosum;
Sweetleaf, Sauropus androgynus;
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’;
Talinum fruticosum;
Taro, celery stem, Colocasia esculenta;
Thai coriander, Eryngium foetidum;
Tree onion, Allium x proliferum;
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata;
Vietnamese paddy herb, Limnophylla aquatica;
Vietnamese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica;
Wall rocket, Diplotaxis tenuifolia;

Chinese celery, Apium graveolens;
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolium;
Edible fern, Diplazium esculentum;
Elephant foot yam, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius;
Florence fennel, Foeniculum Azoricum Group ‘Zefa Fino’;
Giant timber bamboo, Bambusa oldhamii;
Leek, Seed Saver’s multiplier, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum;
Monastery bamboo, Thyrsostachys siamensis;

Nuts, seed
Chilean wine palm, Jubaea chilensis;
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan;
Sesame, Sesamum indicum;

Aloe vera;
Burn jelly plant, Bulbine frutescens; species and a cultivar;  2
Celandine, Greater, Chelidonium majus;
Sugarbag, Tetragonula carbonaria;
Sugarbag, Tetragonula hockingsii;

Total: 108 taxa

* Annual rainfall recorded at Bellis:

2019 810mm; 
2018 959
mm; 2017 1,112
mm; 2016 834
mm; 2015 1,344mm; 
2014 752mm; 
2013 1,362mm; 
2012 1,325mm; 
2011 1,310mm; 
2010 1,755
mm; 2009 1,056mm; 
2008 1,295mm; 
2007 681
mm; 2006 688
mm; 2005 904mm; 
2004 922mm rainfall.

Jerry Coleby-Williams Dip. Hort. (Kew), RHS, NEBSM
26th December 2019
Director, Seed Saver’s Network Inc.
Patron, National Toxics Network Inc.
Founder, Bellis, Brisbane’s award winning subtropical sustainable house and garden;

Tour East Timor with Jerry, 15 – 25th June 2020;

Tour the North Island of New Zealand with Jerry, departing 31st October 2020;

* Winner, Save Water Awards, 2009 (Built Environment);
* Winner, HMA Horticultural Laurels, 2011 (Best Technical Television Gardening Story);
* Finalist, Banksia Awards, 2017 (Food for Thought);


One Comment Add yours

  1. Cherry says:

    Jerry, please tell me how you use Coleus, Solenostemon scutellarioides as an edible leaf? I was led to believe it should not be eaten. Is there a particular variety that is edible?
    Many thanks for the inspiring lists of plants. 😊

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