40 years ago this month I came to Norway to find a place for us to live as I was to start work at Institutt for kontinentalsokkelundersøkelser (IKU; Continental Shelf Institute) in Trondheim in October 1981. The flat I found was here in Malvik kommune (Torp). To celebrate 40 years in Malvik I made a salad with 40 different genera. The names of the genera are below the pictures!
Presenting some of this week’s perennial greens and, in the case of the blanched Hosta shoots, perennial whites! Hosta sieboldiana with ramsons / ramsløk (Allium ursinum) and giant bellflower / storklokke (Campanula latifolia)
This is a long post to document the importance of Norway spruce, gran in norwegian (Picea abies) in my garden. All pictures shown are taken in the garden. Milder weather has arrived with strong southerly winds and the garden around the twin spruce trees was covered in fallen spruce needles (video below), something which is only obvious when there’s snow on the ground. Norway spruce (Picea abies) needles live for only a few years before being shed.
Pairs of spruce trees had been planted by the previous owners in the 1940s-1950s in four different parts of the garden and about 5 others have appeared, presumably self-sown from the original plantings, although gran (Norwegian name) is a common forest tree in this area and an important economic species. Only one of the original pairs still exist as I felled them to make room for a diversity of fruit and berries and because of an area of the garden had been attacked by an aggresive form of honey fungus (honningsopp) (see below). Despite finding honey fungus on the roots of the oldest two trees maybe twenty years ago they still seem to be in good health. On my exposed hilltop they’ve survived extreme winds, particularly Storm Dagmar at Xmas 2011 which felled large numbers of trees also in this area. The film below was put together from a series of still pictures some hours after the storm peak that destroyed my greenhouse; see https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=18189
This Google Street view picture from before Dagmar in 2010 shows the intact greenhouse and the pair of remaining oldest spruce trees and a couple of younger self-sown trees to the right (the yellow shed is in the neighbour’s garden).
There used to be two spruce trees to the south east of and quite close to the house but they were felled when I was terracing below the house in the 90s. We found that the trees were growing on an old rubbish tip with a lot of organic material as nettles grew prolifically here. …and one of original two on the western boundary next to the outhouse: Large numbers of wood mushroom / snøballsjampinjong (Agaricus sylvicola) and a few blushing wood mushroom / blodsjampinjong (Agaricus sylvaticus) have grown under these spruce trees for many years. They are saprobic, living on decaying and dead spruce needles. The best trees were those by the outhouse (last picture above), but we had to take this one down as the neighbour was afraid it would fall over their house or the power cable. They also grew in large amounts around the remaining two spruce trees (pictures below) but I haven’t seen them for several years at the same time that hedge mustard / løkurt (Alliaria petiolata) invaded this area and I wonder if the allelopathic chemicals in this plant have impacted and killed the mushrooms. I have therefore been systematically removing the hedge mustard from the this area in the hope that the mushrooms will return. It’s amazing to think that those fallen spruce needles that we started with can transform into delicious food for us!
Another edible fungi associated with spruce once appeared in the garden; Lactarius deterrimus (false saffron milkcap / granmatriske):
The Ethnobotany of Spruce There are numerous food uses of Norway spruce to be found in the ethnobotanical literature. The inner bark has been used to make bark bread in the past in bad years; the immature cones have been cooked, the seed have been eaten by children raw, the young shoots have been used to make tea and beer (and in modern times to make a sweetened drink), the needles have been used in the French/ Swiss cheeses Vacherin d’Abondance/ Vacherin Mont d’Or and the resin or gum (kvae) has been used as a chewing gum:
Other uses I’ve used the wood of the felled trees of course to heat the house and the ash has been used for various purposes. A stump has also served as a chopping block for many years. I’ve also used branches to insulate and stop leaves from blowing away from areas of the garden like my sea kale bed that need winter protection:
The importance of spruce for birds in my garden The two oldest spruce trees are also extremely important for many bird species both as an excellent song post, the top being the highest point in the garden, and a place with a good view of approaching predators. Both chffinches (bokfink), robin (rødstrupe), blackbird (svarttrost), dunnock (jernspurv), nuthatch (spettmeis), greenfinches (grønnfink), brambling (bjørkefink), redwings (rødvingetrost), chiffchaff (gransanger; the Norwegian name meaning “spruce singer”), various tits, notably coal tit (granmeis; again litereally meaning “spruce tit”) and others sing from these trees. Here’s one video of a brambling singing and various links below to other posts I’ve made over the years of birds on these trees..
Treecreeper and goldcrests are sometimes seen foraging in the spruce trees in winter, hosting favourite hiding places for numerous insects. Here’s a recent blog post of a winter goldcrest: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=27332 Some birds cache nuts and seeds for winter in trees like spruce and others may accidentally discover this and raid the caches. On warm winter days, waxwings (sidensvans) can often be seen hawking after insects from the tree tops. Various species also nest in my spruces, most obviously magpies (skjære) and hooded crows (kråke).
A blackbird (svarttrost) above showing off its improvisational and mimicking skills atop a spruce tree this morning! It’s been a bit too cold for much song activity over the last couple of weeks, but it’s slightly warmer today with a maximum of 7C this first day of May.
Below is a video of a redwing (rødvingetrost) in full song at 1 am on 7th June just 2 weeks away from the longest day!
The first dunnock of 2021 atop one of the spruce trees in song this morning (17th April):
Flowers, cones, seeds to fungi An album of pictures showing the whole life cycle of flowers to pollen to cones to seed and the afterlife of cones and fallen needles colonised by fungi that give us and other creatures food:
Stumps Stumps of spruce trees left to rot are also fascinating to follow through the years as they break down slowly helped along the way by fungi and colonised by mosses:
Hepatica I’m also fortunate having a wild population of Hepatica nobilis (blåveis) and they often grow in dry soil below younger spruce trees:
In a sunnier spot, Hepatica can flower profusely in early spring
Storage Under the spruce trees is also a good spot to store pea and bean stakes as it’s dry.
Growing out of nothing It’s always amazing to see how such large trees grow on hardly any soil and I’ve noticed how, when removing stumps, how the tree itself has broken up the rock to create deeper soil over time. At the bottom of the garden, the lower two trees grow on even shallower soil and here you see large roots clambering over rocks in search of deeper soil:
Assorted celestial and other spruce pictures through the years A final set of pictures featuring my wonderful spruce trees over the years in various poses with the moon, the sun and a rainbow.
WELCOME TO MY NEW SEED TRADE LIST FOR WINTER 2020-21, THIS YEAR WITH 334 VARIETIES 18, 19, 20 indicate the harvesting year for the seed. Concerning seed quantity: as I don’t have many plants of each species, seed quantity is limited in most cases. Therefore, for some species you may only get a few seeds. Many species are harvested in my garden. Others are surplus from trade and purchase. OUT: Means out of stock. NB! Cultivars do not always come true. I offer them anyway, but no guarantees to what you will get! NOTE: I don’t sell seed and I won’t be doing many trades this winter due to a busy schedule. However, I offer all plus many more to members of Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) through our spring (February) “yearbook” and autumn catalogue. To become a member go to https://kvann.no/bli-med. It costs only kr. 250 / year plus postage and packing. For trades, I am mainly interested in uncommon hardy perennials, but I may also be interested in annuals. NB! Not all plants in this list are edible, although almost all are! Botanical name / Cultivar / Year of Harvest / Info Allium hookeri var muliense 20 Abelmoschus esculentus Silver Queen 19 Adenophora bulleyana 18 Adenophora pereskiifolia alba 18 Adenophora tashiroi 18 Adenophora triphylla var japonica Alba 20 Adenophora triphylla var japonica 19 Adenostyles alpina 19 Alcea rosea 18 Allium acuminatum 18 Allium aflatunense 18 From Kyrgyzstan Allium albidum 18 From Kaukasus Allium altaicum 20 Allium amethystinum Ex-Forelock 18 Allium amphibolum 20 Allium anisotepalum 18 From Kyrgyzstan Allium atroviolaceum 20 Allium barsczewskii 18 Allium bekeczalicum 19 From Kyrgyzstan Allium bekeczalicum x alaicum 19 From Kyrgyzstan Allium brevicaule 19 From Tyrkia Allium brevistylum 20 Allium caeruleum Leucanthum 20 Allium caesium 19 From Kyrgyzstan Allium canadense 20 Bulbils Allium carolinianum 20 Allium cepa Newburg onion 19 From Experimental Farm Network i USA; se https://www.adaptiveseeds.com/product/vegetables/onions/onion-newburg-organic Allium cernuum Høg Miks 19 Allium cernuum mix 19 Allium cretaceum 19 From Kazakhstan Allium cyathophorum 20 Allium darwasicum 19 From Tajikistan Allium decipiens 18 Allium douglasii 19 Allium erubescens 19 From Kaukasus Allium fedtschenkoanum 20 Wild collecred Tajikstan Allium fetisowii 19 Allium fistulosum Auen 4 19 Direkte From Nordgen, NGB20168 Allium fistulosum Bygland 19 Direkte From Nordgen, NGB20167 Allium fistulosum Neset 19 Nordgen, NGB14622 Allium fistulosum Leppasyrja 19 Nordgen, NGB24270 Allium fistulosum “Mix” 20 Mix of 20 accessions; can be delivered individually, men likely to have crossed Allium flavescens 18 Open pollinated Allium flavum Miks 19 Mix or individually; likely to have crossed Allium fuscoviolaceum 18 From Armenia Allium globosum 19 From Kaukasus Allium gultschense 19 From Kyrgyzstan Allium gunibicum 19 From Kaukasus Allium hymenorrhizum 20 Allium insubricum 19 Allium jesdianum “Akbulak” 19 Can have crossed Allium karataviense 19 Allium karataviense 19 From Caucasus Allium karelinii 19 From IPK Gatersleben Allium ledebourianum 20 Likely to have crossed with Allium schoenoprasum Allium lenkoranicum 19 Allium lipskyanum 19 Allium lusitanicum 18 From Alpengarten im Belvedere Allium lusitanicum from Moravia 20 Allium macranthum 19 Allium mairei 19 Allium maximowiczii 18 Allium moly Eks “Jeannine” 20 Allium nigrum 19 Allium nutans Ex-“Lena” 19 Allium nutans 18 Ex-Berkutenko Allium nutans x flavescens 19 Uncertain parents; white flowers ( From Kazakhstan) Open pollinated Allium obliquum 19 Allium oschaninii 20 From Kyrgyzstan Allium ovalifolium var. leuconervum 20 Allium paczoskianum 19 Allium paniculatum 19 Allium platyspathum 19 Allium porrum Monstruoso de Carentan 18 For milde strøk Allium praescissum 19 Allium przewalskianum 20 Allium regelii 19 Allium rosenbachianum 19 From Tajikstan Allium rotundum 19 From Kazakhstan Allium rotundum subsp jajlae 19 Allium sarawschanicum 19 From Tajikstan Allium saxatile 19 From Kaukasus Allium schoenoprasoides 20 Allium schoenoprasum Dolores Chives 19 From Experimental Farm Network Allium schoenoprasum Ex-Black Pedicels 18 Allium schoenoprasum Praga 18 Russisk frø Allium schoenoprasum Erecta 18 Russisk frø Allium schoenoprasum subsp sibiricum 20 Could have crossed with other Allium schoenoprasum; From Hokkaido, Japan Allium schoenoprasum var orientale 20 Allium severtzovioides 19 From Kyrgyzstan Allium sewerzowii 19 From Kazakhstan Allium spirale 19 From Russian Far East Allium splendens 20 Allium stenodon 18 Allium stipitatum 20 Could have crossed with other Allium stipitatum Allium stipitatum Mount Everest 20 Allium stipitatum Ex-“Goliath” 20 Could have crossed with Goliath Allium strictum 18 From Kazakhstan Allium suaveolens 19 Allium suworowii 18 From Kyrgyzstan Allium thunbergii “Ozawa” 19 Allium tianschanicum 19 From Kazakhstan Allium trachyscordum 18 From Kyrgyzstan Allium triquetrum 18 Allium unifolium 19 Allium ursinum 18 Allium victorialis 20 Mix of 8 accessions; Mix or individually; likely to have crossed Allium wallichii 20 Mix of 3 accessions; Mix or individually; likely to have crossed Allium winklerianum 19 Allium zebdanense 20 Althaea officinalis 18 Amaranthus “Mix” 18 Amaranthus chlorostachys 18 Amphicarpaea bracteata 20 Anemone rivularis 18 Anredera cordifolia 20 Tuber Aquilegia chrysantha 19 Arabis alpina 19 Aralia californica 20 Aralia cordata “Malvik” 20, 19 Arctium lappa 19 Uknown Japanese cultivar Asphodelus albus 18 Atriplex hortensis BRITAS TRÄDGÅRDSMÅLLA 19 Nordgen, NGB11726 Barbarea verna American Land Cress 18 Barbarea vulgaris Variegata 19 Begonia heracleifolia var nigricans 20 Boehmeria gigantea 18 Boehmeria sieboldiana 18 Brassica juncea Leaf Heading Mustard 19 Gift from Seed Savers Exchange Brassica juncea Giant Red 18 Brassica oleracea Ex-Tree collards Flerårige Kål 19 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Broccolini 17 Brassica oleracea Branchu de L’Embarras 17 Brassica oleracea Ex-Asturian Trekål 20 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Myrrhis Flerårige Kål 20 Brassica oleracea Ex -Pentland Brig 19 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Ex- Heligoland Flerårige Kål 19 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Ex- Cottager’s Flerårige Kål 19 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Ex-Daubenton Flerårige Kål x Late Purple Sprouting Brokkoli 19 Likely to have crossed with other perennial kales Brassica oleracea Asturian Trekål 18 Brassica oleracea Couve Galega 18 From Portugal Brassica oleracea Couve Galega 18 #2 From Portugal Brassica oleracea Daubenton Grex 17 Brassica oleracea Homesteaders Perennial Kale 17 From Chris Homanics in Oregon Brassica rapa Cima di Rapa Sessantina 16 Broussonettia kazinoki 18 Bryonia alba 18 Buddleja davidii 18 Calamintha grandiflora Variegata 19 Calochortus macrocarpus macrocarpus 19 Calochortus palmeri palmeri 19 Caltha palustris himalensis 18 Campanula “Pink Octopus” 19 Campanula latifolia Miks 19 Campanula punctata Ex-“Rubrifolia” 19 Campanula trachelium “Bernice” 19 Capsicum annuum Ausilio Thin Skin Italian Pepper 20 Gift from Seed Savers Exchange Capsicum annuum Midnight Sun 17 Capsicum annuum Sibirsche Hauspaprika 17 Carum carvi Rosa blomstret 20 My breeding line Carum carvi Rotkarve 20 My breeding line Cedronella canariensis 18 Centaurea solstitialis 18 Chelidonium majus 20 Chenopodium bonus-henricus 19 Chenopodium bonus-henricus 19 From IPK Gatersleben: CHEN75 Chenopodium quinoa Stephe 19 Selected by Stephen Barstow in Malvik over 30 years. From a variety Dave Chrysanthemum coronarium 20 Mix of varieties Cicerbita plumieri 19 Cichorium endivia Cornet de Bordeaux 17 Cichorium intybus Catalogna Gigante di Chioggia 19 Cichorium intybus Bianca 17 Cichorium intybus Rossa di Verona Sel. Arca 17 Cichorium intybus Da Taglio Bionda a Foglie Larghe 16 Cirsium eriophorum 19 Cirsium oleraceum 20 Cladrastis kentuckea 19 Claytonia virginiana 18 Clematis alpina 18 Not edible Clinipodium vulgare 18 Commelina coelestis Alba 20 Conopodium majus 20 Cornus mas Elegant 20 Early variety Cornus mas From Ringve 19 Crambe maritima 20 Mix of varieties Cucurbita maxima Hokkaido 19 Cucurbita maxima Sweet Fall 19 Gift from Seed Savers Exchange Cucurbita pepo Paydon Heirloom Acorn 19 Gift from Seed Savers Exchange Diplotaxis tenuifolia 20 Diplotaxis tenuifolia Wasabi Arugula 18 Diplotaxis tenuifolia Wildfire 18 Diplotaxis tenuifolia Dragon’s Fire 18 Diplotaxis tenuifolia Heirloom Rustic Style 18 Dystaenia takesimina 20 Eleutherococcus sessiliflorus 19 Elsholtzia ciliata 20 Erythronium oregonum subsp leucandrum 19 Eschscholzia californica 18 Fagopyrum tataricum 20 Filipendula ulmaria Variegata 20 Foeniculum vulgare 20 Fuertesimalva limensis 18 Gentiana lutea 18 Girardinia septentrionalis 18 Gladiolus caucasicus 20 Not edible Hablitzia tamnoides Miks 20 Mix of 10 accessions; Mix or individually; likely to have crossed Heracleum sphondylium x sibiricum 20 Hosta gracilima 18 Hosta sieboldiana 20 Hypericum perforatum 20 Inula helenium 20 Lactuca sativa Jebousek 19 Gift from Seed Savers Exchange Lactuca sativa Veneziana 19 Lactuca sativa Freckles 18 Lactuca sativa Rossa Ricciolina da Taglio 18 Lactuca sativa Navarra 16 Lepidium latifolium 18 Lepidium sativum 20 Leucanthemum maximum Alaska 18 Libertia grandiflora 19 Not edible Ligularia dentata 18 Ligularia dentata “Desdemona” 18 Ligularia fischeri 20 Ligularia sachalinensis 18 Lilium Ex-Black Dragon 18 Uncertain edibility Lilium martagon Tsingense 19 Lonicera iliense 20 Uncertain edibility Lycopersicon esculentum Imur Prior Beta 18 Gift to KVANN From Heritage Seed Library in the UK (claimed to be a Norwegian variety but this is uncertain) Lycopus asper 18 Malva mohileviensis 18 Malva moschata 20 Malva verticillata 18 Medicago sativa Cache Valley Alfalfa 19 From Experimental Farm Network i USA Mertensia ciliata 19 Mertensia paniculata 18 Nicandra physalodes 19 Nicotiana rustica 18 Not edible Nicotiana africana 18 Not edible Nicotiana kawakamii 18 Not edible Nicotiana repanda 18 Not edible Nicotiana velutina 18 Not edible Oplopanax horridus 20 Ornithogalum pyrenaicum Fra Metz, Frankrike 19 Osmorhiza longistylis 20 Uncertain species Oxalis tuberosa Rød 20 1 knoll hver; Rotgrønnsak From Andesfjellene; trenger lang frostfri høst. Jeg dyrker i store bøtter som flyttes inn i huset i oktober og høstes i juletida Oxalis tuberosa Gul 20 1 knoll hver; Rotgrønnsak From Andesfjellene; trenger lang frostfri høst. Jeg dyrker i store bøtter som flyttes inn i huset i oktober og høstes i juletida Parasenecio hastatus 19 For the woodland garden Parasenecio hastatus subsp orientalis Ex-“Shiro Sankou Hakikomi Fu” 19 For the woodland garden Parietaria judaica 18 Pastanica sativa 20 Unknown variety Phaseolus vulgaris Anasazi Bean 19 Wikipedia: Anasazi beans are a dappled red and white bean first cultivated by Ancestral Puebloan people around 130 CE in what is now the Four Corners region of the United States. They were adopted by commercial growers beginning in the 1980s and marketed under the name “Anasazi”; traditionally they were known by the Spanish names frijol conejo (rabbit bean), vaquita (little cow), or pajaro carpintero (woodpecker) Physalis Indian Strain 20 Grown indoors in Malvik; seed from 10 year old, 2m high plants Physalis spp. 19 From Eric Toensmeier, Holyoke, USA Phyteuma globariifolium 20 Wild collected in Austria Phyteuma nigra 20 Phyteuma orbiculare 20 Phyteuma persicifolium 18 Phyteuma scheuchzeri 19 From IPK Gatersleben PH1 Phyteuma sieberi 20 Wild collected in Dolomites Italy Phyteuma spicatum 20 Phytolacca americana 18 Pisum sativum Carouby de Maussane 20 Pisum sativum Askerert (=Ringeriksert?) 20 Pisum sativum Chinese Snow Pea 20 Pisum sativum Jærert 20 From Torfinn Leikvoll 2011 Pisum sativum Marie’s Høye 20 NGB20121; Read about this one here: https://tinyurl.com/y4q3uzns Pisum sativum Purple Podded 20 Pisum sativum Ringeriksert 20 NGB17881 Pisum sativum Robinson 20 Pisum sativum Rättviksärt 20 NGB17879 Pisum sativum Salmon Flowered 20 Pisum sativum Slikkerten fra Våler 20 NGB20044 Pisum sativum SVARTBJÖRSBYN 20 Sugar Pea; NGB17837 From Agneta Magnusson in Sesam 2020 Pisum sativum Winterkefen 20 Pisum sativum Dwarf Grey 19 Pisum sativum Green Beauty Snow 19 Pisum sativum Hurst Green Shaft 19 Pisum sativum Sugar Magnolia 19 From Alan Kapuler Pisum sativum Sugar Snap Cascadia 19 Prenanthes spp. 19 Primula japonica “Mix” 18 Primula veris 18 Proboscidea louisianica ssp fragrans 20 Prunus tomentosa 18 Raphanus sativus Runder Schwarzer Vinter 19 Raphanus sativus Purple Plum 18 Raphanus sativus China Rose 16 Raphanus sativus Minowase 16 Rheum ribes 19 Rhus glabra 19 Ribes heterotrichum 20 Rorippa amphibia 18 Rorippa palustris 18 Rosa canina 19 Rosa ecae 19 Rosa platyacantha 19 Rumex acetosa Russisk miks 20 Mix of 6 Russian varieties Rumex acetosa Belleville 19 Rumex acetosa Champion 19 Rumex acetosa Shirokolistny 18 Rumex crispa 20 Rumex patientia 20 Rumex scutatus 18 Ruta graveolens 19 Salvia sclarea 18 Sanguisorba canadensis 19 Sanguisorba menziesii 18 Saxifraga pensylvanica 19 Scandix pecten-veneris 20 Scorzonera hispanica Miks 20 Mix of 6 varieties grown in Væres Community Garden Silene uniflora 18 Silybum marianum 20 Smilax rotundifolia 18 Solanum spp. Gbognome Greens 19 From Experimental Farm Network i USA Sonchus oleraceus Alba 20 Streptopus amplexifolius 20 Taraxacum albidum 19 Taraxacum californonicum 20 Taraxacum officinale Vert de Montmagny 16 Taraxacum rubifolium 19 Taraxacum sublaciniosum Delikatess (Moss-leaved) 20 Tellima grandiflora 18 Thalictrum aquilegifolium 18 Tigridia pavoniana 19, 20 Tragopogon samaritanii 20 Urtica circularis 18 Urtica galeopsifolia 18 Almost stingless Urtica kioviensis 18 Viburnum cassinioides 19 Vicia faba 20 Tilby en miks av former From KVANNs demonstrasjonshagen hos Væres Venner i Trondheim. Et bilde av mangfoldet av former vises her: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=27037 Viola kamtschadalorum 19 Viola pumila 19 From Kyrgyzstan Youngia japonica 18 Zea mays Pink and Purple Popcorn 19 Gave From Seed Savers Exchange
There were unusually many plants still flowering in the garden in October this year as we experienced a bit of an Indian summer. We’ve now had our first frost, so time to publish this album of 116 pictures of over 100 species. Most but not all are edible / edimentals and, yes, I should have made a salad.
My house was given the name Bergstua by the previous owners, literally meaning house on the rock, a rocky hillside overlooking the fjord. Not a natural place for a pond. I wanted to have a pond somewhere, initially mainly for wildlife, habitat for frogs, drinking water for birds etc. I eventually chose a small depression in the rock where the previous owners had presumably blasted a hole in order to erect a flagpole. Not being one for flags, I decided to convert this area into a pond and this involved removing both the metal support and concrete base and this took a couple of years of hard work as I also wanted to avoid machines. If it was feasible by hand I would do it by hand, even resisting an electric drill for many years. I used to come home from work and spent half an hour every day hacking at the concrete with a metal digging bar and when that was eventually removed deepening the depression in the shale-like rock (phyllite).
The hedge you can see behind the pond was Cotoneaster lucidus which has non-edible berries that not even birds take until they are desperate. We bought a rubber liner for the pond in the UK on one of our trips to visit family. I initially filled the pond and the boggy marginal areas with wild plants and creatures like water boatmen and frog spawn from lakes in the area, but regretted a few of the introductions like Equisetum fluviatile (swamp horsetail). The frogs never really thrived but a few survived for a few years and one took up residence in our septic tank… I later gradually converted the pond to an edible pond and the hedge behind was dug out and replaced by a diverse edible/bird friendly hedge including Morus alba, Crataegus, Viburnum edule, Sambucus nigra “Variegata”, Viburnum opulus, Amelanchier “Thiessen”, Rosa spp., Staphylea (bladder nut) and a few others. About 10 years ago, I overhauled the pond, digging out all the soil and replanting from scratch in order to remove all the horsetail and other aggressive plants. Below is a video of my little collection of water and bog plants this week and below the video is list of plants we see:
Featuring the following plants: Gunnera tinctoria (G. chilensis) is one of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants (ATW80) Althaea officinalis (Marsh mallow/ legestokkrose) Allium validum (Swamp onion, Pacific onion) which is also included in ATW80 Caltha leptosepala (Western marsh marigold, White marsh marigold / hvit soleihov) Darmera peltata (Umbrella plant, indian rhubarb / skjoldsildre) Lilium canadense ssp michiganense (Canada lily, Michigan lily / Canadalilje) Saxifraga pensylvanica (Swamp saxifrage) is also in ATW80 Typha angustifolia (Reedmace, bulrush, cattails / smal dunkjevle) Filipendula ulmaria “Variegata” (Meadowsweet / mjødurt) Polygonum hydropiper (Water pepper / vasspepper) Eupatorium cannabinum (Hemp agrimony / hjortetrøst) (for insects and butterflies) Zizania latifolia (Manchurian wild rice) – not very useful as it’s the swollen stems infected by a fungus which is used. Lycopus spp. Apium nodiflorum (Fool’s watercress, European marshwort) Oenanthe javanica (Water dropwort, seri)
I often shown pictures of moonglades from the house (the long beam-like reflection of the moon on the fjord), but I’d never noticed a venusglade before. Then three nights ago a long beam reflection of the fjord was clearly visible under venus (very bright at the moment) with the naked eye. I only had a hand-held camera and this was the best I could get, just weakly visible:
Then, last night it was clear again and armed with tripod I made a one minute exposure of the scene. Of course, in the course of a minute we’ve moved some distance and venus is unclear…and the stars are stripes in the sky. The venusglade is wider also as it too moves, but it nevertheless makes for an interesting picture with the bonus of an auroral glare over Forbordfjellet. I must try over-exposing next time:
10 years ago today I had my first celebrity visit, from the UK! On 10th April 2010 I received the following email message entitled Permaveggies: “I am a garden writer based in Birmingham, England. I came across your work via an interview with you on a website and am very interested in learning more about your garden. I also share a love for unusual edibles that can be used in an ‘ornamental setting’. I suppose my garden has one foot in the forest garden camp and the other in a cottage garden. The greatest majority are edibles (everything from your typical vegetables to the more unusuals) with the rest being useful plants for medicine, feeding the garden or pollinators. I suppose the interesting part is that it’s a typical row terrace garden that’s about 60 ft long- cramped in is one way of looking at its design principles. I’ve written a book about it called the Edible Garden with it in conjunction with a programme on BBC2. Anyhow I would love to talk more about your work and what you’ve discovered. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely Alys Fowler” The interview was the one published on my friend Telsing Andrews’ blog, The Veggie Patch Reimagined (see https://veggiepatchreimagined.blogspot.com/2010/02/stephens-edimental-oasis-interview.html). As part of this BBC series, permaculture had just been featured on 7th April 2010. The BBC crew visited Tim and Maddy Harland’s (my publishers) garden and were bowled over by their mature forest garden full of food and wildlife. In my reply I jokingly wrote “Stop by next time you’re in the area”! Little did I know that she would do just that a few months later! It turned out that she was researching her book “The Thrifty Forager” and was “looking for people to interview who boldly eat what others might not think to…”! Alys’ book The Thrifty Forager was published the year after but my book with Introduction by Alys took another 3 years! She devotes a whole section to my garden, its plants and The Modern Monk (guess who?) :) In the foreword to my book, there’s a picture of Alys reading my old coverless copy of Cornucopia II in the garden! Below are 4 albums of pictures taken by Alys’ cameraman Brian Wheeler! I have fond memories of this visit during a really hot period after the coldest June since the 1960s. The first album are pictures from the garden, the second from a forage and swim in the fjord, then a trip up to a local mountain Vennafjellet , via a second swimming spot, Nevrahølet (we were finished quite quickly with the pictures and interview in the garden due to the wonderful weather) and finally some pictures from Trondheim! Alys was also a presenter on BBC’s Gardener’s World and writes a gardening column for the Guardian!