Trachystemon flowering in the cellar

Trachystemon flowering in my cold cellar

Trachystemon orientalis flowers early in the spring….I found a plant I was overwintering in the cellar in full flower today :)





See my earlier blog about it here:

I had already seen it in flower at Exeter University in the UK on 21st February!

Trachystemon in flower at Exeter on 21st February 2016


Physalis “Indian Strain”?

This Physalis which I’ve called “Indian Strain” is now going into its 7th year. I got  this from Seed Savers Exchange in the US. However, that one is supposed to be a tomatillo and I wonder if I mixed it up with another I got at about the same time, P. heterophylla, clammy ground cherry, although the stems are not clammy (sticky) to the feel. That would explain it’s hardiness as it is found in the wild north to Canada (see  I definitely planted heterophylla in the garden and it’s survived since 2009 without winter protection, but the summer is just too cold for fruit (it does flower).

It lives in a cold bedroom all year and produces a few fruit most of the year, even continuing to ripen fruit despite the temperature being often under 10C.  The fruit are sweet and have good flavour. It’s not hugely productive but little bother (aphids don’t bother it). I cut it back when it gets too straggly. See also Anyone visiting is welcome to to a cutting. I harvested a few this morning:

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Mute swans in the bay

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A new species for me here! I noticed a pair of mute swans / knoppsvaner hanging out in the bay this afternoon. Young birds? No orange bill…

Later, they disappeared behind Malvikodden, the peninsular on the other side of the bay. Then, suddenly this evening they flew back westwards right past my window. I swear one of them winked at me ;)
This is the second observation of this species in my kommune Malvik, the first only 6 days ago of a single bird with a group of Whooper Swans / sangsvane. Mute swans are moving north in Norway.

Norwegian sansai

Good to be back from Japan to Norwegian sansai (foraged vegetables)….
From top left, left to right: Angelica archangelica “Vossakvann”, various dandelions / løvetann (Taraxacum), Rumex patientia (patience dock/hagesyre), Garlic bulbil shoots (forced indoors), ground elder / skvallerkål, Rheum palmatum (petiole), Rumex acetosa (sorrel / engsyre), Myrrhis odorata (with root ; sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel), chervil / hagekjørvel, Campanula latifolia (giant bellflower / storklokke), horseradish / pepperrot ( shoot), Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine; grown inside), Alliaria petiolata ( garlic mustard / løkurt), Hemerocallis (daylily/daglilje), Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine / vårkål), Urtica dioica (nettle / nesle), Allium senescens x nutans, Hablitzia tamnoides (Hablitzia, Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)…made into a stir fry with soba (buckwheat pasta)


Edible rooted chicory

Posted on Facebook on 4th December 2011: “I harvested my root chicory today (Di Sancino) and was pleased with the yield – very long uniform white roots. Only slightly bitter I’m sure I’ll be growing more of these in future. Chicories are easy to grow compared to other roots in that there are no pests that attack them and can therefore be grown organically without any protection!”



Edibles & ornamental plants

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