There was a pair of marsh tit (løvmeis) in the garden one day this week and they showed some interest in a nest box. Hoping for first time nesting in the garden of this species! In the video, it can be seen interested in an unopened hazel catkin, which are eaten by other tits.
A new species of fungi discovered growing on an old wild hazel nut in the garden this week, nut disco (Hymenoscyphus fructigenus), not found earlier in Malvik kommune. Thanks to Edel Humstad for the ID.
Last night we made a green pea soup and apart from the Hablitzia (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), I used perennial vegetables growing in a wild part of the garden. With little or no help from me there’s a bounty of wild edibles in this area under wild hazels (Corylus avellana) and this made for a delicious pea soup with masses of greens. Campanula latifolia is documented as used in spring soups in the 16th century in my area in Norway and Heracleum shoots are also a tradional soup ingredient, in particular Russian borsch now thought of as a beetroot soup was originally made with hogweed shoots.
Everything was much brighter today after a very wet Wednesday and wet heavy snow was weighing all the branches down and I even had to avoid hanging branches to get out of the front door. Wonderful to have some snow at last, but it sadly won’t last… Below are pictures of hazel in flower (the branches bent so far that the catkins are pointing upwards) and my yew tree bent so far that it touches the ground.
Documentation of yet another amazing day during last week’s Perennialen III in Hardanger!! Pictures taken on a fantastic 6-7 hour round trip from Eirik Lillebøe Wiken and Hege Iren Aasdal Wiken’s house to their shieling (støl or seter in Norwegian). We took our time botanising on the way up, passing through different types of forest on the way up, from alder (or), ash (ask), planted spruce (gran), lime (lind), elm (alm), hazel (hassel), aspen (osp) and birch (bjørk) at the highest levels. Lower down, old apple trees witnessed that these steep slopes had at one time been worked for fruit production, no easy matter….
Eirik and Hege are planning to rejuvenate and replant some of this area and have planted a multispecies forest garden above and below the house, probably one of the most dramatic forest gardens in the world (more later).
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!
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…