Holma Forest Garden video!

Really nice video showing off the Holma Forest Garden in southern Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVLEC-dtRdk

Link to my post about Holma here:  http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=138

In a special part of the garden, many of the plants in my book Around the World in 80 plants will be planted in the spring   :-)  http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=30

Stratifying seed record frost heave

Exactly 3 years ago, we were having the coldest winter ever. I stratify (cold treatment) a lot of seed of perennials under a cold frame in the garden. I’d never seen frost heave like this before in these seed trays, tripling volume like a good loaf of bread…Unfortunately, it had also heaved a lot of the labels out…
Here, Crambe koktebelica from the Ukraine and Russia from Alpine Garden Society seed, a potentially interesting perennial vegetable…..but, no plants resulted from this attempt!




Alys Fowler on ATW in the Guardian

Thank you so much Alys Fowler!!!

She has apparently been “trailing round the house with my copy (of ATW), unable to put it down.”  :-D


Here’s a few shots from Alys and “hard working” cameraman Simon on assignment in my garden on that wonderful visit in July 2010 when Malvik was showing off its best …I remember Alys saying that this must be paradise….

Alys in Malvik

The garden later featured in Alys’ book The Thrifty Forager:


SRGC seed has arrived

For the unusual vegetable enthusiast, the place to find seed are the alpine garden clubs’ seed exchanges: Scottish Rock Garden Club (SRGC), Alpine Garden Society (AGS) and the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) are the main international ones and each puts out a seed list of several thousand varieties donated by the members…by no means just alpine garden plants! I remember reading an article in the North American Herb Companion with a recommendation to source seed of unusual herbs from NARGS.
My SRGC seed arrived today  and here they are, a mixed bunch including the yellow form of Kamchatka Lily (Fritillaria camschatensis “Aurea”), one I’ve been looking for for some time! You can probably read some of the names but there are Phyteumas, Ligularias, Alliums, Dahlias, Lilium, Polygonum macrophyllum, Agastache, Zanthoxylum simulans and Boehmeria…

The Live in London tapes

While I was in London in  December I met London Permaculture’s Stefan Geyer at St. Athan’s Hotel in London for a chat and it’s now available for all to hear on Stefan’s 21st Century Permaculture radio show live on Shoreditch radio:


Amongst other topics, we talked about the book, how I travelled the globe researching the world of edible plants (both for real and through reading foraging and ethnobotanical literature from all continents), talked about some of the best perennial vegetables like Udo from Japan and Korea (now sold on markets in London), Sea Kale (the most British of all vegetables?), Sea Kale’s giant sister from the Caucasus (Crambe cordifolia), how a popular vegetable was harvested from the chalk cliffs of England  using ropes and was shot down from cliffs by a friend of Charles Darwin  (Death Samphire), and how a famous UK garden may have the most productive food forest (forest garden) in the UK unbeknowns to the owner…

The Highgrove Food Forest!
Blanched Crambe cordifolia, the so-called Ornamental Sea Kale is a high-yielding edimental from the Caucasus






Foraging Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire) from the crumbling chalk cliffs was a dangerous occupation (NB! I did mix this one up in the interview, referring to it as Marsh Samphire, Salicornia….to many a cheap imposter of the real Samphire!)









See also http://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/2001155978/stephen-barstow-permaculture-radio

My way of sharing FUN – write about it!!!

Thanks very much to Joan Lambert Bailey for the nice remarks and great review! Yes, you’re absolutely right when you say “I am convinced this book is his way of sharing the fun” :) :) :)


Must check out your blog….never been to Japan and had planned to make the trip this spring but it wasn’t to be, highest on my places to visit….next spring :)