The ‘taste of music’ with tromboncino

The delicious and highly productive zucchini-like squash, tromboncino.

Tromboncino squash (Cucurbita moschata), also known as climbing zucchini and serpentine squash amongst others, is a delicious, zucchini-like vegetable (technically a fruit) which grows on an energetic 4m vine. If left, fruit can reach up to 1m and can be anywhere from straight-ish to significantly curved.

This heirloom plant has many attributes, including a fast growth rate, being highly productive over an extended season, it’s aesthetically pleasing and, most importantly, it is delectable! The sweet, nutty fruit with firm flesh can be picked when 25cm and used fresh or cooked as you would a zucchini. Once mature, tromboncino has a flavour not unlike butternut pumpkin and can be prepared in the same way.

Tromboncino is easily grown from seed in mid to late spring; sow seeds into pots or trays of seed raising mix and keep moist in a warm sunny spot until germination occurs. Plant out once the frosty weather has passed. Alternatively, around mid-November, sow seeds directly where they are to grow in small mounds with a well in the centre, then thin back to the strongest seedling. Tromboncino needs a strong trellis to grow up, making it the ideal subject for shading a window from the hot afternoon sun. Apply regular applications of organic fertiliser throughout the growing season.

Upcoming open gardens

Railway Park Organic Community Garden

The Railway Park Organic Community Garden on Henderson Road, Queanbeyan, will be holding a spring open day. There will be planting guides available, plants for sale and plots available to rent. Morning tea will be provided for a gold coin donation. Visitors are asked to wear enclosed shoes for safety.

When: Saturday 20 October 10am-12pm
Cost: Free

Open Gardens Canberra 

A Relaxed Garden in Garran, on show as part of Open Gardens Canberra.

Els’ Garden, 3 Ramage Place, Flynn: A large, established, mostly native garden featuring a small pond and creek; a wisteria-covered pergola creates a shady outdoor area for a cuppa.

A Relaxed Garden, 17 Gilmore Crescent, Garran: This spring garden will showcase flowering fruit trees, including crab apples, and bulbs. The back garden has a sustainable water feature with many water plants and resident frogs.

When: Both gardens are open Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October 10am-4pm
Cost: Entry is $8 per garden or $25 to join Open Gardens Canberra, which provides entry until 31 August 2019. Children under 18 are free if accompanied by an adult.

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Crookwell Garden Festival

Running for the fifth consecutive year, the Crookwell Garden Festival in Crookwell, NSW showcases the best of local town and country gardens with eight magnificent examples on display.

Idyllic and historic Binda Mill, open as part of this year’s Crookwell Garden Festival. Photo: Megan Shields.

Featuring in the festival is showpiece garden, Markdale. The historic sheep and cattle station boasts a wonderful Edna Walling designed garden. Transformed by Walling in 1947, the two-hectare garden retains its quintessentially ‘Walling’ features including densely planted shrubberies, low curved stone walls and sweeping lawns leading to the lake at the bottom of the garden.

Located in the nearby village of Binda is the historic Binda Mill. The cottage garden was designed by the much acclaimed Michael Bligh and offers shady reprieve with its established birch trees softened by groundcover plantings.

Also on display will be two immaculately presented town gardens. Showcasing roses, perennials and terraced vegetable garden plantings, these beautiful gardens optimise use of their small blocks and will provide a great source of inspiration to those with similar plots.

When: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November10am-4pm. The popular Garden Lovers Market will be open on Saturday 10 November 8.30am-2pm.
Entry: $20 for all gardens or $5 for single garden entry.

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