Coppicing

Feeling tired but good having worked hard for several hours with my bow saw and axe coppicing this Hazel. A surprising amount of wood on a tree like this. It was probably 15 years ago I did this last… The green bush below the Hazel is a box (Buxus) which is probably 25 years old!

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Added a few more pictures today, worked about an hour sorting the wood into different piles: firewood, tops for peas to climb into, long runner bean stakes and the rest which will be piled up in the garden for wildlife…. It always amazes me how little effort it is in my relatively cold climate to cut enough wood by hand for firewood…

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Garden and views 30th-31st January 2016

Hungry gap sprouts

I moved 10 buckets of roots and stratifying seeds of edible perennials for sprouting and eating before the spring greens come on tap…filling the hungry gap. These have all been outside exposed to the cold since November.

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Bulbils of Egyptian Onion / Walking Onion / Luftløk will have a shock coming from outside into my living room!
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Allium cernuum has been completely unaffected by the extremes of climate we’ve experienced and are ready to eat…also in my living room…
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Seeds and roots in my unheated porch

 

Bear Spinach comes out of hibernation

Bear Spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides)?
Well, my friend William Whitson in Washington State recently reported “I finally had a couple of plants withstand our typical 2.5m of rain winters. They started sprouting again in January. Then a bear dug them up and ate them. No kidding.” ;)
Hence, I’ve renamed it Bear Spinach….Bears in its homeland in the Caucasus surely feast on it too in the spring. Ramsons or Allium ursinum is known as Bärlauch or bear onion in German as bears are known to eat it in spring and if you eat ramsons you’ll become as strong as a bear. I’m sure Hablitzia has the same effect!

Anyway, my plant reappeared from under deep snow this week and the roots are probably fully frozen as a result of the previous very cold, dry and snowless period. It clearly doesn’t mind this treatment :)

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Mass Hablitzia germination for Xmas

In mild but cool weather during early winter the last couple of years, Hablitzia has germinated en masse around my mother plant next to my house. These all died in later cold weather last winter. When mass germination happened around Xmas 2015, I therefore decided to rescue them by potting up and bringing them in to a cool room. It was just in time as it froze solid just after with very low temperatures since and now deep snow…here they are today (it’s been between 0 and 8C where they are growing). P1510764