The Gardener

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If you love gardening, but are looking for ways to take it to the next level, then join Tanya Visser for a brand new season of The Gardener. Loaded with spades full of new ideas, Tanya shares fun DIY projects, practical tips and even some of her favourite recipes. In her Potting Shed is where you’ll find out more about tools and gadgets that will fuel your passion…

Episode 1

Nasturtiums…. Cute to look at and a magnet for aphids, but did you ever think of serving them as a delicacy to your guests?? In this weeks episode of The Gardener, Tanya shares some fabulous ways for you to enjoy nasturtiums at home. We find inspiration in a modern food garden and plant up some eye catching baskets…

Special Thanks:

Click to view the recipes from this episode


  • Nasturtium Butter
  • Chop up a couple of Nasturtium flowers and mix with butter. Delicious on toast.
  • Stuffed Nasturtium flowers
  • Mix ½ cup cream cheese, ½ teaspoon crushed garlic, salt and pepper, chopped chives, zest of 1 lemon
  • Spoon into the flowers and close up the petals.

Episode 2

Have you ever fallen head over heels in love… with a pot recipe?! Be sure to join Tanya Visser in this week’s episode of The Gardener as she shares three of her favourite pot plant combinations… She’ll also show you step by step how to create a terrarium… and lettuce for breakfast?! You heard right…

Click to view the recipes from this episode

Lettuce Recipes:

Quick and tasty salads with lettuce and herbs

Lettuce, roasted butternut, pumpkin seeds, feta

Crispy fried sage would go well with this – throw the pumpkin seeds in a pan with a little olive oil, add the sage leaves and crisp up, add violas for colour – great contrast with the orange of the butternut.


Breakfast Caesar salad

Cos lettuce fried in a pan, fried egg, Bacon bits, croutons, dressing. Parsley would go well with this one.


1 egg yolk

2 anchovies (optional)

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Squeeze of lemon juice

¾ cups vegetable oil or mild olive oil

Salt and pepper

Place the ingredients in a food processor and blitz adding the oil in a thin stream like you would do for mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.

Episode 3

Zantedeschia… Arum Lily… Varkoor… Call it what you like, but this is a plant for every garden… Join Tanya Visser in this week’s episode of The Gardener as she shares a plant combination from her garden that includes some old favourites… We make pretty through recycling and take chinese greens into the kitchen to make the most delicious ramen…

Click to view the recipes from this episode

Ramen bowl

500g pork rashers for 4 bowls

Rice or any other noodles, cooked in boiling salted water for 3 – 4 minutes

5-minute boiled eggs, peeled and halved

Spring onions, chopped

Mushrooms (we used shimeji mushrooms, but any type will do)

Bok choy, halved

Carrots, grated


3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons black Chinese vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon hot chilli sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon sugar or honey


1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

2 tablespoons dashi stock powder (optional – if you can find it, dashi stock powder makes a richer stock)

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 teaspoon chilli sauce

Microgreens to serve (optional)


Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and cover the pork rashers. Marinate overnight or for at least an hour. Grill the rashers on a high heat until crispy, then cut into pieces.

For the stock, add all the ingredients to a saucepan and cook until well combined.

Prepare all the vegetables and make up the bowls using the noodles as the centre base and filling in around the sides. Top with the pork rashers and microgreens and pour over the stock.

Episode 4

Ever felt like you need a little pick me up – well when it comes to our plants, they often need a little help to keep them upright and proud – join Tanya Visser for this week’s episode of The Gardener where she’ll show you step by step how to stake your more delicate plants… We visit a tiny but eye catching show garden and praise thyme for its flavour in the kitchen…

Special thanks:

Click to view the recipes from this episode

Thyme Soup


  • 1 Can Butter beans
  • Chorizo sausage
  • 1L Stock (chicken or veg stock)
  • Hand full of Thyme
  • half an Onion, chopped


  1. Start by chopping the onion and frying in pot with some olive oil
  2. Add the chopped chorizo
  3. Add 1L of stock, along with thyme and butter beans
  4. Let cook for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Quick bread in a terracotta pot

  1. For a quick and easy bread serving on the side, use store bought dough.
  2. Roll a small ball of dough and place on a piece of baking paper.
  3. Place the “parcel” of dough inside a washed terracotta pot and bake at 180degrees until golden brown

Episode 5

Bug hotels are all the rage – inviting the good guys into your garden… In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya will be showing you how to build your own… Then she’ll share her  grassland garden with you… and we enjoy celery in the kitchen…

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Celery salt

For quick and easy drying, place the celery leaves between pieces of kitchen paper and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Crush together with ½ teaspoon salt.

Bloody Mary Notes

There is no clear origins of how the cocktail Bloody Mary came about. Bartenders have claimed to invented it, or it could be a simple mispronunciation of a Russian name, and perhaps it’s even related to Britain’s infamous Mary Tudor, Queen of England and Ireland in the 16th Century. She soon became known as Bloody Mary for her dispatching of opponents by means of beheadings, burnings at the stake, and executions. Maybe it’s time for a Virgin Mary which is also known as a Bloody Shame by loads of Australians.

Bloody Mary

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Dash Tabasco
  • Dash Worcerstershire sauce
  • Tomato juice
  • Tot of vodka
  • Celery salt
  • Stick of celery
  • Ice

Stuffed celery snack platter

  • Celery sticks
  • ½ cup bacon bits
  • ½ cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 tub cream cheese
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ packet white onion soup powder (sifted – discard the bits)
  • Celery salt

Mix together the cream cheese, onion soup powder, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. It is best to leave this to sit for at least an hour before using. Spoon into celery stalk segments and sprinkle with bacon, walnut bits and celery salt.


Episode 6

In this episode of The Gardener, Tanya plants up a pot that is sure to make a statement. Rubber trees are back in vogue and we look at why you should consider it as an indoor plant. A sure way to take your salsa to the next level is by incorporating tree tomatoes as the secret ingredient!

Click to view the recipes from this episode



  1. Also called Tamarillos – pronounced tamarios
  2. Come from South America
  3. Hot salsa goes with potatoes, fish and meat, bread, rice and beans, just about anything
  4. You can eat the seeds, but the skin can be tough and bitter
  5. To peel, add them to a pot of boiling water, turn off the heat and leave for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Can also be eaten fresh in a fruit salad, cut in half and scoop out the flesh and seeds from the skin
  7. Make chutney or BBQ sauce with tree tomatoes.


Tree tomato salsa

  • 4-5 tree tomatoes
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Sprinkle of sugar
  • Olive oil
  • 2 chillies
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut a cross in the top of each fruit. Place in a bowl and add boiling water. Let it sit for a few minutes then peel the skins off. Chop into a bowl. You can eat the seeds, but the skin can be bitter.
  2. Chop the onion finely, add a sprinkle of sugar, chopped coriander, a splash of olive oil, juice of lemon and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.
  3. Serve with chips, toasted bread, fish, meat, rice and beans.

Episode 7

This week on The Gardener, Tanya puts a plastic bottle to good use by making a bird feeder. She shares her must have tools for successful seed sowing and visits a show garden with different rooms that will speak to the whole family. If you love samoosas and garden mint, then this week’s recipe will tantalise your taste buds.

Special thanks:

Garden World – //

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Mint and coriander samoosas with pineapple chilli dipping sauce


  • Samoosa pastry – called “pur” (ready-made)
  • 400g mined beef
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic (pre crushed)
  • 2cm of ginger
  • Chillies
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying
  • Cornflour and water to stick the pastry
  • Pineapple
  • More chillies


  1. Start by adding mince to a frying pan and cook out the juices. You do not want a wet mixture.
  2. Blend together; handful of mint, handful of coriander, 1t garlic, 1t ginger, salt and a chopped chilli.
  3. Add the blended mint mixture to the pan with your dry mince.
  4. Lay out the PUR covered with a damp cloth.
  5. Create samoosa parcel by placing a spoon of the mince mixture on one corner, and folding the triangle samoosa. Glue the end down using cornflower and water mixture.
  6. Deep fry the samoosas until golden brown.

To make the pineapple and chilli dipping sauce, simply blits a cup of pineapple cubes with one chilli until a liquid paste forms.

Episode 8

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya plants up a pot within a pot, looks at pathways and garden wall options, and shows you why Kale is a must have in the kitchen.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Deep fried kale, brinjal and feta salad


  • Grilled aubergine
  • Feta
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Start by cutting the aubergines into discs and grilling them on a griddle pan.
  2. Cut the washed kale leaves from their stalks and fry in a bit of olive oil (be careful of the splatter if there’s water and oil mixing)
  3. Layer grilled aubergine and fried kale and top with feta.

Episode 9

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya creates a decorative mosaic bird bath; shares her must have gardening tools; and harvests chillies to make Muzavaroo.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Mazavaroo Recipe

This well-loved Mauritian hot chilli sauce is traditionally made with chillies, ginger, garlic, preserved lemons and spices and Mauritians will eat it with everything from curries and breads to fruits. It goes well with braaied meats, seafood and even as a taster with bread and cheese. This version is a little different from the traditional, but equally as tasty.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


  • 200g Green Birds Eye chillies
  • 50g onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Remove the seeds from the chillies.
  2. Using gloves will help to avoid those nasty eye burns should you touch near your eyes.
  3. Blend all the ingredients and then simmer in a saucepan to reduce the liquid to a thick paste.
  4. Pour the mixture into sterilized jars and seal. Refrigerate after opening and use within a month.

Episode 10

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya adorns a piece of driftwood with airplants; visits a water-wise show garden and shares a mouth-watering mustard leaf dip to go with braai tjops.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Mustard leaves yoghurt sauce for lamb chops


  • Chopped mustard leaves
  • Yoghurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Serve with braai’d lamb tjops


Make vinaigrette with mustard leaves, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, for a cucumber salad with feta, chick peas, baby tomatoes and herbs from the garden.

Episode 11

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya shows you a cost effective way to make your own pots; look at various container options; takes a walk through her shaded fern garden; and makes a delectable gooseberry trifle.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


Cape Gooseberry trifle

400g fresh Cape gooseberries

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon custard powder

½ cup water

1 readymade jam Swiss roll

Dash sherry

250 ml cream, whipped

100g castor sugar

500g cream cheese

1 lemon, juiced

Dash of vanilla extract

Place the gooseberries in a saucepan with the sugar and water and heat. Mix the custard powder with a little water and stir into the gooseberries when they are just soft. Stir gently until thickened and set aside to cool. Cut the Swiss roll into slices and line a serving dish. Sprinkle with a little sherry (optional). Beat together the cream cheese and the castor sugar, then stir in the whipped cream and vanilla. Pour over the Swiss roll and top with the gooseberry mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8-10.

Episode 12

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya finds calmness in a pot mobile DIY; she shares her must have potting mix essentials; and puts kitchen scraps to good use by demystifying Bokashi.

Episode 13

In this week’s episode of The Gardener, Tanya shares her take on lawn games to make the most of your garden; visits a show garden with a weird and wonderful planted pod; and puts lemons to good use by making limoncello.

Click to view the recipes from this episode


5 cups

6 lemons (organic lemons) If not, soak in water for half an hour before zesting.

1 lime

1 bottle vodka

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Remove the lemon peel with a sharp peeler, remove any pith. Place in a large sealable jar and cover with half the vodka. Leave to mellow for 2 weeks in a dark place.

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cool to room temperature – do not put it in while hot or the end result will be cloudy. Use a fine sieve or coffee filter and strain the vodka and peels mixture, mix in the rest of the vodka and the syrup together and pour into bottles. Store for 10 days before drinking. For straight drinking, store in the freezer.

Use for ice cream, making trifle, with fresh fruit or add to lemonade for a cocktail.

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