Penny Woodward’s Top Nine Plants


  • requires a female plant
  • very vigorous, can train
  • attractive flower heads
  • larger number of cultivars
  • dies down completely in winter

Southern Wood

  • pest repellant when leaves are touched
  • easy to grow from cuttings
  • heat resistant

Bay leaf

  • tough, can be grown in a pot but keep trimmed
  • good screening plant
  • can be espaliered
  • use fresh in cooking
  • can be dried. Will have stronger flavour.
  • use as silverfish, pantry moth, wool moth repellent.

Lemon Verbena

  • strong lemon scent retained when dried
  • makes delicious tea
  • put handful inside chicken instead of stuffing
  • dies back in cold conditions, cut back in early spring to avoid frost damage

Marigolds especially Tagetes.

  • English calendulas are completely edible
  • Tagetes originating in France, Africa or Nexico and are generally not edible
  • Tagetes Lemonii or Tree marigold originates in Mexico is very tough, copes with dry conditions, is strongly scented and long flowering
  • plant with tomatoes to repel insects like white fly.
  • grows easily from cuttings.
  • spread leaves to confuse insect pests.

Lemon Grass

  • grow next to a water source to provide humidity
  • use base of stem in cooking
  • leaves make a good lemon tea for colds and relaxation
  • needs good drainage, particularly in cold conditions
  • makes a good mulch


  • grows easily from seed
  • pest repellent
  • eat leaves for anice flavour
  • fennel pollen being used as a garnish
  • seeds suppress appetite


  • Autumn is garlic planting time
  • Turban group garlic (big clove, thin skin and stores4-5 months ) eg Tasmanian Purple should be early planted end of March/April/ May
  • Creole Group garlic ( will store for 12 months) eg Dynamite Purple, Rohoe DeCastro both available from Diggers
    Should be late planted April/May/early June
  • Artichoke Group garlic eg Delovski can be planted mid season April/May. Don’t always have great flavour.
  • always buy, grow and use Australian garlic
  • needs good sun, water, drainage and organic matter in the soil
  • plant early, mid and late varieties to have garlic year round


  • contain lycopene an antioxidant, a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical
  • to avoid reducing lycopene content pick tomatoes in hot spell and ripen inside rather than leaving on Bush
  • White fly and tomatoes russet mite are major pests
  • good variety- Beef Steak Cherokee Purple is a large Smokey tasty and tart tomato
  • tomatoes now available in yellow, pink, orange, blue black skins, each having different health benefits
  • Blueberry tomatoes are a tiny truss tomato of indigo blue black colour containing the same antioxidant in their skin as Blueberries.
  • Traveller Tomato is a small fist sized cluster of distorted fruit which can be individually separated with a tart flavour.