Category Archives: Fruit

Sweet chestnuts and the lower part of the Forest Garden

A couple of helpers cleared the sycamores and Norwegian maples that had grown up again along the lane at the bottom of the garden. Now you can once again see some of the other interesting trees and shrubs in this part of the garden, below the composting area:

From left to right: Carya ovata (shagback hickory), Morus alba (mulberry), Cornus kousa, Rhus typhina (stag’s horn sumach) and, above, my ca. 17 year old Juglans mandschurica, which has been producing (small) nuts since 2012!
From left to right: Morus alba (mulberry), Cornus kousa, Rhus typhina (stag’s horn sumach) and, above, my ca. 17 year old Juglans mandschurica, which has been producing (small) nuts since 2012!

At the opening of my garden as a Permaculture LAND centre in the spring, I was given a present of two sweet chestnut trees, a grafted Marigoule tree and a seed propagated Marigoule. Sadly, the grafted tree died but I planted the other tree yesterday next to another sweet chestnut that I think came from a woodland in Southern England in the early 2000s and was planted here in 2008. It has to my great surprise survived even a really cold winter when its roots were frozen solid for almost 4 months and temperatures below -20C:

My oldest sweet chestnut is now 3m tall and growing well after several years stagnating.
Seed propagated Marigoule
Seed propagated Marigoule planted next to my older chestnut (behind)
My Carya ovata (shagback hickory) has grown really slowly. It was a seedling in 2000 and is now about 3m tall, planted here in 2008!

 

 

Bulfinch visit at Apple blossom time

Bullfinches (dompap in Norwegian) have an unique biannual appearance in the garden. They feed from autumn to early spring on natural food and on the bird feeder. Of the natural foods, I’ve seen them feeding on nettle (nesle) seeds, maple seeds (sycamore and Norway maple / platanlønn og spisslønn) as well as buds of plums. They then disappear in March, but return again every year about the time when the apple trees are coming into flower. I presume they are interested in the ripening buds, but have never seen them eating them.  A pair appeared again in the garden two days ago and here are a couple of short films. In the second, you can even here a snatch of bullfinch song. I’ve never heard that in May before, but they do sing weakly in late winter sometimes.
There could hardly be more blossom on the apples this year! Looks like yet another good year.

Yellow Yews in Dublin

 At the Dublin Botanical Gardens, there was a superb collection of mature Yew trees – here are 3 yellow deviants…

All posts from Dublin in 2011
The Vegetable Garden at the National Botanic Garden in Dublin in 2011: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20530

Berberis and other unusual fruit at the botanics in Dublin: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20547

Medimental border in Dublin 2011: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20550

Yellow Yews in Dublin: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20580

Other edible plants: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20607

Berberis and other unusual fruit at the botanics in Dublin

In early October 2011, I was on a work trip in Ireland (Cork) and stopped off to see the city’s botanical garden for the first time! Here’s a series of pictures of unusual fruit bushes and trees taken on my recent visit to the National Botanical Garden in Dublin. I’d never seen such a good collection of Berberis before – impressive diversity…

All posts from Dublin in 2011
The Vegetable Garden at the National Botanic Garden in Dublin in 2011: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20530

Berberis and other unusual fruit at the botanics in Dublin: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20547

Medimental border in Dublin 2011: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20550

Yellow Yews in Dublin: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20580

Other edible plants: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20607

The Silk Oak: Quercus mongolica

Quercus mongolica (Mongolian oak or the Shandong silk oak)! Did you know that the Chinese not only produce silk from mulberry trees, but also from Mongolian oak trees? The Chinese oak silkworm, Antheraea pernyi, is the worker employed according to Food Plants of China! See https://academic.oup.com/jinsectscience/article/10/1/180/887115

The Mongolian oak nuts were also sometimes eaten and the leaves were used for tea, boiled with the fruits of Siberian crabapple, Malus baccata!

Cactus pads for my last lunch in Mértola

Thanks to Matthias Brück for preparing cactus pads (nopalitos) from Opuntia ficus-indicus for lunch, a long job by hand to de-spine first, but delicious! Does the old variety developed by Luther Burbank, “Burbank’s Spineless” still exist?