Marcelle Nankervis is a Horticulturist who has worked in the Horticultural Media for over 16 years.
She is passionate about Permaculture, Sustainability and Gardening for the Future.

Marcelle regularly writes for Your Garden magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.
Her first book was Plants for Australian Dry Gardens (Murdoch Books).
Marcelle's second is Smart Gardening (Exisle Publishing).

Welcome to my Blog!

As a horticultural writer I often come across people, stories, tips, tricks and real gems of information that never really make their way out of my notebook. I am hoping to share a few of these insights here as well as my own gardening experiences, which includes getting my children excited about plants.

I believe that a strong connection with the garden and our landscape when we are young is vital. I am hoping that educating my children in "Green Living" and "Smart Gardening" will provide them with the fundamental building blocks necessary for them to live long and healthy lives, while also doing their bit in helping to create a sustainable and green future for all.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Herbs - Passionate about Parsley

I love parsley. It is undoubtedly one of the easiest herbs to grow, you rarely need to manually resow it as it self-sows every year (if you let it) and it is packed with Iron.

My love affair with parsley probably started when I had my first child in hospital. I had complications during the birth which left me weak and pale. The nursing staff ordered pineapple juice with parsley and I drank it for several days. Some days it was blended together; others it was rough chopped. I can't be sure how much it helped because I was also put on stronger Iron related products, but even now I use parsley whenever I can. We use parsley in freshly squeezed juice, spaghetti bolognese and salads, to name a few. Reportedly good for bad breath, I prefers it's nutritional boost and antioxidant qualities.

My children love picking it and subsequently, they love to eat it … even raw!

The other wonderful thing about parsley is that it can make anyone look like they have a green thumb! It is lush and green when other plants are anything but glamorous. Grown in pots, planters or garden beds, parsley is one of the best entry level herbs available - not only because it looks good and is easy to grow, but because you can admire it and then eat it!

Right now, my parsley is bulging from its garden beds, providing my family, our rabbits as well as our chooks, with plenty of crisp greens. I grow both Curly-leafed parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and Flat-leafed parsley (Petroselinum neapolitanum). More for the different foliage textures in salads than for any believed flavour comparisons. They are beginning to blend together in the garden, but I don't mind as long as they are growing happily together.

Fabulous edging plants, parsley prefers full sun and a well prepared, free-draining soil. A biennial that is commonly grown as an annual, I continually harvest it, picking the outer leaves first. While it is easy to grow, it can be difficult to germinate, sometimes taking several weeks. Patience is required. The other option is to purchase seedlings. These will get you started straight away and then you can leave some plants to go to seed. At the end of summer after my parsley has bolted, I throw a couple of handfuls of good topsoil over the area to protect the seeds. They will then germinate when the conditions are right.

Buy a pot today and start your own romance with this versatile herb.

Happy Gardening!