Tag Archives: Ringve Botaniske Hagen

Snow onions

A new video on my youtube channel, the wonderfully exclusive SNOW ONION from the China and the Himalaya https://youtu.be/5mOcQ4aUQVI
We’re back in the Onion Garden Chicago at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim, Norway on 10th May and the first Allium is in flower. It’s Allium humile, known as the snow onion (snøløk) and one of my favourites and one of the world’s most exclusive foods, known from the ethnobotanical literature to be wild collected both in Kashmir, where it has also been domesticated in kitchen gardens and sold in markets, and in the northernmost Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Before you ask, I have no idea where you can get hold of seed or plants – my plants are sterile (no seed) – an exceptionally rare edimental (the garden website is here https://www.ntnu.edu/museum/the-onion-garden)

Ringve’s 50th Biodiversity Celebrations

Fantastic day at Ringve Botaniske Hagen’s 50th anniversary garden party for the city. The theme for the day was Biodiversity and Sustainability! KVANN had a stand with a focus on perennial food plants that double as ornamental plants, insect-friendly or bird-friendly. We brought with us a number of such edi-ento-mentals and edi-avi-mentals (insect- or bird-friendly, edible ornamental plants) and many toom home plants or seeds! Eventually, all the flowers attracted biodiversity in the form of two admirals and a number of hoverflies! 
Thanks to all KVANN members and others who visited and helped us, and especially Jurgen Wegter who helped and brought flower meadow seeds from Fagerli Naturgård! 
Thanks also to Vibekke Vange and my colleagues at Ringve!
Pictures by Jurgen Wegter, Stephen Barstow and Meg Anderson!



Meanwhile in the Onion Garden Chicago

I don’t often post here about my other two gardens, the community garden at Væres Venner and the Onion Garden Chicago at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim. 
The onion garden is nicely maturing and will be officially opened this summer on 26th August, 6 years since I started work creating a garden to house a national collection of old Norwegian perennial vegetable onions collected throughout the country, some 100 botanical species from around the world and many cultivars too!
Here’s a couple of videos showing the garden on 25th June 2023 close to peak flowering, although there will be flowering Alliums all the way from May to the first heavy frosts in October / November!
Tasty, beautiful and a great place to study pollinators! Can you smell it?
There are now over 500 pictures from the garden in this large Facebook album 

Artist in Residence Elin Eriksen

We’ve had a lovely 3 day visit this last weekend from artist Elin Eriksen from Nesodden starting a project based on my perennial vegetables. She sketched and photographed candidate plants in all 3 of my gardens, The Edible Garden, Ringve Botanical Gardens Onion Garden and the World Garden at Væres Venner! We look forward to seeing the results!
Elin has earlier created a poster of birds for Birdlife Norway (also for kids) and recently lead a course in botanical drawing for Sopp og Nyttevekstforbund at Valdres.
See more about Elin at http://www.elineriksen.com/om-elin

Fact-finding mission: promoting perennial vegetables

 

On Tuesday 23rd May I spent a great few hours together with Eva Johansson and Annevi Sjöberg from Sweden in my 3 gardens. They were on a fact-finding mission in connection with the project  ”Främja fleråriga grönsaker i svensk matförsörjning” (Promoting perennial vegetables in the Swedish food supply).
The project Främja fleråriga grönsaker i svensk matförsörjning is financed  with funds from the Swedish Agency for Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) within the framework of the Swedish food strategy (den svenska livsmedelsstrategin). The project runs until Dec 2023. The Skillebyholm Foundation manages the project.
Jen from Nottingham in the UK was visiting this week to help and learn, thanks to an RHS bursary! She joined us on the trip and can also be seen in the pictures below!

Jen, Eva and Annevi were on an Allium-high after spending time in the Onion Garden Chicago at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim :)
Me with Eva, Jen and Annevi in the Edible Garden
Sampling Hablitzia tamnoides shoots in my garden



Garden visits with Fosen students

It’s always a pleasure to spend time with students from the Fosen Folk High School from the other side of the fjord. Despite the dreadful weather, we visited all 3 of my sites – the onion garden Chicago at the Ringve Botanical Gardens followed by the Væres Venners Community Garden and, finally, my own garden The Edible Garden (this is the first time I’ve taken a group to all 3 sites!).
Those that took part were two of the “lines”: The Self-sufficiency line and the  The Organic Farming line (small scale).
The Organic Farming line were only on the first two visits, so the picture only shows the Self-sufficiency folk!

Allium atroviolaceum?: Caucasian Turkish garlic

(Note that there is a comment suggesting that this isn’t atroviolaceum and is probably rotundum, although accessions I’ve received as that species are much lower plants; will check in the spring) 
Allium atroviolaceum
is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental. I’ve been growing it for some 15 years now and it is admittedly not very productive as an edimental under my conditions, but it’s nevertheless a beauty and it is currently coming into flower both in my own garden and the Allium garden at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim, where the pictures below were taken.  Its wild distribution is in the Crimea, Caucasus, Middle Asia (Mountainous Turkmenistan, Syr-Darya foothill areas) and Iran.

 

In the Armenian Highlands in Eastern Turkey, there are several ethnobotanical studies documenting its use in local food, presumably wild collected, although there are indications that it might also be cultivated for food including:
1) In otlu peyniri, a herbed cheese made out of sheep’s or cow’s milk. it is used as a flavouring along with many other species (from Wikipedia):
Ranunculus polyanthemos L.(Ranunculaceae)
Nasturtium officinale R. Br. (Brassicaceae)
Gypsophila L. spp. (Caryophyllaceae)
Silene vulgaris (Maench) Garcke var. vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae)
Anthriscus nemorosa (Bieb.) Sprengel (Apiaceae)
Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae)
Anethum graveolens L. (Apiaceae)
Prangos pabularia Lindl. (Apiaceae)
Prangos ferulacea (L.) Lind. (Apiaceae)
Ferula L. sp. (Apiaceae)
Ferula orientalis L. (Apiaceae)
Ferula rigidula DC. (Apiaceae)
Thymus kotschyanus Boiss. et Hohen. var. glabrescens Boiss. (Lamiaceae)
Thymus migricus Klokov et Des. – Shoct. (Lamiaceae)
Mentha spicata L. subsp. spicata (Lamiaceae)
Ziziphora clinopodioides Lam. (Lamiaceae)
Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae)
Eremurus spectabilis Bieb. (Liliaceae)
Allium schoenoprasum L. (Liliaceae)
Allium fuscoviolaceum Fomin (Liliaceae)
Allium scorodoprasum L.subsp. rotundum(L.)Stearn (Liliaceae)
Allium aucheri Boiss. (Liliaceae)
Allium paniculatum L. subsp. paniculatum (Liliaceae)
Allium akaka S. G. Gmelin (Liliaceae)
Allium cf. cardiostemon Fisch. et Mey. (Liliaceae)
2) In another study, the young shoots are used in various dishes and as a flavouring with yoghurt. It us used both boiled and raw. The bulbs are used to replace garlic in food.
Local names in Turkey include sirmo, körmen, and yabani sarimsak.




The Allium garden at Ringve

19th June 2020: Video update from the Allium (Chicago) garden at the NTNU Ringve Botanical Gardens in Trondheim. The heat wave has brought many species into flower and the garden’s looking great! 
The official opening of the garden, planned for August, has been postponed to 2021. We are working on plant signs which will hopefully be added later in the summer.
The garden currently contains some 300 accessions including around 100 Allium species and many old Norwegian onions collected over several years from all over the country and funded by Norsk Genressurssenteret and Landbruksdirektoratet.
The signs for the garden are in part funded through a gift from Skjærgaarden (https://www.skjaergaarden.no) to KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) who have decided to use the gift at Ringve (see https://www.facebook.com/skjaergaarden.no/videos/2972781459487864)

Redpoll workers

Today at the Ringve Botanical Gardens I found the Allium garden was full of little workers eating the masses of birch seeds that had fallen during the winter….saving me a lot of work later. The first summer, there were thousands of birch seedlings in the garden…

Tawny owl in the botanical garden

I was walking through the garden yesterday towards the office at the Ringve in Trondheim  and I heard a lot of noise coming from a group of conifers, magpies (skjære) excited about something. I walked around the trees to see if I could see what it was only to meet a couple of birders with long telephoto lenses! A tawny owl (kattugle), not something you see often in the garden. There are 3 reports of this species from Ringve, all in February during the last 10 years!