I’ve been attending a great gathering of gardeners from all over Norway the last couple of days, organised by my colleagues at the Ringve Botanical Gardens.
These relatively mild days has brought with it the full first wave of spring migrants to this part of Norway and while we were on a tour of the gardens today, the place was full of newly arrived active migrants, excited by the time of year….fieldfares (gråtrost) were chasing each other through the tree tops, redwings and a song thrush (rødvingetrost and måltrost) were singing as were wood pigeons (ringdue) and chiffchaffs (gransanger) whilst white wagtails (linerle) were feeding in the grass and geese were passing over. It started to rain heavily as soon as we finished…perfect timing…and returning home the muddy water from the small river that enters the bay below the house was evident…and a robin (rødstrupe) was singing his bittersweet song! Life is good!
We’re now going into a period traditionally called the hungry gap, but in my eyes it’s the Full gap, the period with an abundance of vegetables, both perennial wild and cultivated edibles. Yesterday’s dinner was a ryotto (risotto with rye rather than rice). In the last few days, many of these early spring permaveggies have put on a growth spurt! I photographed most of the ingredients in the garden first.
Andrew McMillion kindly picked me up early on Friday morning from the night train at Oslo airport and we drove together to the location of the KVANN / Norwegian Seed Savers annual meeting in Leikanger on the Sognefjord. As we were to arrive earlier than the other board members, I suggested going to Balestrand, about an hour further on as I’d heard that Norway’s largest Monkey Puzzle tree (apeskrekk) could be seen there! Andrew didn’t hesitate as he wanted also to go to Balestrand as he actually had family roots just a kilometer away from the tree!! There was much more than that though! It was an amazing day, first the wonderful trip over the mountains in perfect weather…to see what else we experienced, see the album!!
I’m chuffed to be asked to be a guest at the BBC Gardener’s Question Time Summer Garden Party at Mount Stewart on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland on 9th June! I will be doing a couple of talks and a couple of garden foraging walks and talks on the day!
It’s a ticketed event, more information when I get it…here’s the press release:
Last weekend I attended this symposium in Stans (near Lucerne) with a diverse group of people including farmers, decision makers, bankers, investors, NGOs, students, landscape architects, writers, international organisations, chefs, plant breeders, university researchers, syntropic farmers, permaculturists etc. to discuss the role of perennials in what more and more people are seeing as a necessary paradigm shift in agriculture in the face of climate change and dwindling resources.
The program: https://