Eileen O'Sullivan

Eileen O'Sullivan is an English freelance writer, who once lived in beautiful Sydney (sigh!), where her first son was born. She passionately enjoys contributing to global health - and grow-your-own is a perfect start to sustainable living!

Growing Sweet, Sweet Corn

Beans growing up corn plants with squash trailing underneath

Well firstly, we’ll establish the difference between sweet corn and the generic term, ‘corn’. Those lush fields of gold blowing in the summer wind I remember from my English childhood were corn, which in England tends to be a collective term for wheat, oats, barley or rye.  Generally speaking, corn in America and Australia means…

Vegetable Garden Basics: Growing Broccoli

a broccoli head sitting in the middle of a large plant, ready to pick

I always think of broccoli as a kind of superior cauliflower, but that could be something to do with childhood memories of English school dinners, where the ‘caulie’ was boiled to death, grey and unappetising. Yeuch. Talking of boiling, broccoli is a mass of valuable nutrients like glucoraphanin, which the body turns into sulforaphane, a…

How Guerrilla Gardeners are Changing Public Policy

Guerilla gardening crocuses in Glasgow, photo by Michael Gallacher

Guerrilla gardening has taken off around the globe – and it’s not as subversive as it sounds.  It  has many applications, though it particularly refers to the enforced cultivation of public or private land that would otherwise lie fallow, by concerned, green fingered citizens. There are many international schemes to further the aims of guerrilla…

Make and Use Your Own Organic Fertilizer

A home made compost bin, 2/3 filled

Before you consider making your own organic fertilizers, you need to know why they are beneficial for your garden.  So what are organic fertilizers and what do they do?  Basically an organic fertilizer makes soil more fertile – richer in nutrients, more able to hold water and hence to effectively sustain the growth of plants.…

Growing Drought Tolerant Herbs

oregano and thyme growing in a larger blue ceramic container, hanging over the edges

Though you may assume that, like the water loving herbs in my last article, all your herbs will benefit from being planted in organic, loamy soil in a sunny area, then fed and watered well, actually some herbs positively thrive in barren conditions.  Native Mediterranean herbs like marjoram, thyme, oregano and rosemary grow best in…

Growing Popular Water-Loving Herbs in Pots

Mint growing in a pot with some lovage struggling in the middle

Following on from Growing A Container Herb Garden, here is some more specific information about growing particular herbs.  The following  herbs all like similarly moist conditions, so could be grouped together in pots, or grown in the same container – though it is probably advisable to grow mint in its own pot, as it is…

Growing a Container Herb Garden

large painted ceramic pots containing mint, oregano, lovage, thyme and lettuce.

Container herb gardens really are the business.  Wherever you live in the world you can take account of your climate and your cooking needs, and get together suitable edible plants in one place, ideally within easy reach of your kitchen.  A container herb garden is quite simply a collection of herbs in one container, or…

Vertical Vegetable Gardening Ideas

Gutter-gardens-image-by-Sarah-G

Vertical gardening is just plain trendy right now, and it’s definitely a trend worth considering.   If you’re green as well as green fingered (and I’m guessing as you’re on Sustainable Suburbia that’ll be about right!) this method of food growing will suit you (up and) down to the ground. The carbon footprint of this type…

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Tomatoes Garlic Basil - The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden's Most Versatile Veggies, By Doug Oster

No food grower’s garden is worth its salt without a glorious bounty of tomatoes, and they taste even better with a pinch of salt!  This is ironic, as botanically a tomato is a fruit – ie a seed bearing ovary.  More commonly used as a vegetable, tomatoes are a mainstay of savoury dishes around the…

How to Grow Raspberry Bushes in Your Garden

Small twig of six ripe raspberries

In a miracle of nature, luscious raspberries grow on bramble bushes, belonging to the genus ‘rubus’.  This is in the rose family, and includes other fruit bearing plants, such as the blackberry. Like roses, raspberries are fragrant and beautiful, and come in a range of colours –  from bright red  through to purple and black.…