Lemon cake recipe - Nov 08, 2012

Dear gardening friends

If you are like me you will be admiring all the beautiful Jacaranda trees flowering around Macarthur. The older suburbs have the best trees because they have had more time to grow plus these houses were built in an era when there was no airconditioning so people planted trees to shade their houses. I took a photo of a Jacaranda tree flowering out the front of an old house in Campbelltown this morning. The shade from this tree cools this house all summer long. I love the spectacular flowers. Imagine this house without this tree?

There was an interesting article in the Telegraph this week about how Sydney City Council has set a target to boost the tree-top canopy over Sydney by 75%.

The city has become a concrete jungle causing higher temperatures, lower productivity and increased water demand. Studies have found that lack of trees could also be responsible for higher rates of domestic violence.
Currently only 15.5% of the city is under shade. A report commissioned by the council has found that if they can shade 30% of the city by 2050 summer temperatures will drop by 2%. The trees will also improve air quality and reduce pollutant levels in storm water. What's not mentioned in the article is that trees just make a place look nicer, give the birds somewhere to live and give our kids some where to climb.

If you go to google earth, and type in your address you can see how much of your property is under the canopy of trees and shrubs. Perhaps there is an opportunity for you to plant more trees in your garden and reduced your reliance on air conditioners too.
We are excited about the release of our new tomato plant called Tim's Tomato Delicious. We have grown these plants from seed because this variety was unavailable in Australia. Tomato Delicious is the current record holder for the biggest tomato in the world! The best news is they actually taste delicious.

We only have 140 plants and we are offering them to our Tim's Garden Club Members first. The plants cost $4.99 and we are donating all this money to the African Aids Foundation in Camden. Plants are available this Saturday.
Yates has been very kind and they have donated us a sample sachet of their new organic fertiliser called Yates Uplift. When you purchase the new tomato we will give you one to trial. We have been using this to fertilise our Tomato Delicious seedlings and they love it! Mix the sachet in 9 litres of water and give all your vegetables an organic treat.

We like Yates Uplift because it contains fish which is a natural source of organic nutrients. It also contains Seaweed which encourages root development and Fulvic acid to improve nutrient uptake. It also contains a natural wetting agent to ensure the nutrients reach the plants roots. People are often put off by the smell of these organic type fertilisers but this one has very little smell. A 500ml bottle costs $10.50. One of the reasons these products work so well is you have to add them to water.
Auntie Una's Lemon Cake Recipe caused a bit of a stir this week because it turns out my mother actually gave her the recipe!

We never had a lemon tree in our back yard as kids but Aunty Una did so perhaps that's why the Lemon cake recipe became hers.

Now of course I have the "Kevin The Lemon Tree" which has produced at least 400 lemons this season. If you want to see the you tube clip type in Kevin The Lemon Tims Garden Centre.

Auntie Una's Lemon Cake


  • 125g of Butter or Margarine
  • 1 cup of castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 11/2 cups of self raising flour.
  • ½ cup of milk.1/2 teaspoon of salt.


  • Rind and juice of one large Kevin Lemon.
  • Extra ¼ cup of castor sugar.

What to do.

  1. Cream butter well in an electric mixer 
  2. Add sugar, beat. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  3. Sift flour and salt and add to mixer alternatively with milk.
  4. Add Lemon rind.
  5. Pour mix into a greased ring tin ( this cake tin looks like a dounut). Non stick spray works best.
  6. Cook in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees until top is brown. Spike the cake with a skewer. If the mix doesn't stick to it, it's cooked.
  7. Remove cake from oven and let stand.
  8. Mix Lemon juice and ¼ cup of castor sugar to make syrup.
  9. Remove cake from tin and pour lemon juice mix over the top. Cake has to be still warm so it absorbs the juice.
  10. Share with friends. 

We all lost our money on The Melbourne Cup. Poor pig lost everything! I hope you had more success.

It's the first time I didn't know the name of one horse in the race!
The Petunia Raspberry Blast that we planted at the front of the nursery is starting to flower already. They are going to flower non stop for the next 5 months at least. If you want some Christmas colour in your garden you can't beat these.

Sunjewels have arrived. These pretty little ground covers thrive in those hot dry spots in your garden. Our grower plants several colours in the one pot so they are great value. Sunjewels are great in pots or hanging baskets and because they are succulents they require little water.

I walk through Mawson Park almost every morning. This little green oasis in the centre of Campbelltown is like a tree museum. Most of them are named which is a great idea. There is also a beautiful statue of Elizabeth Macquarie in the park. Elizabeths maiden name was Campbell and our town was named after her. Apparently when she came here on regal visits she would give out irises. Have a walk through this park one day and it will make you feel better.
We have put the shade cloth cover over the roof of our shop so you will notice how much cooler it is the next time you visit. Russell gave me a hand and he managed not to fall through the fiberglass sheeting. He was off last week with a sore back after helping his mum in the garden.

We had a nice email from Graham Ross last week suggesting we should give people an organic alternative to Mancozeb. Graham has had great success spraying Mango trees with Eco Rose mixed with Eco oil. This product is friendly to the environment and safer for you.
I'm going camping this weekend for my son's birthday but the crew will be here to answer all your gardening questions.
Happy gardening