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Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Forest Garden is Taking Shape

This sunny if cold weekend we have spent planting trees and shrubs for the forest garden.  Partially they were gifts for my birthday, some I brought back from Bulgaria from the Permaship project and a couple I just bought here in the last days.  Let me introduce you to the new members of the crew from top to bottom:

This is Raffaela the hibiscus (after the person who gave the plant to me for my birthday):

She was planted in the bed Ben made in the summer just beside the road.  Did you know that you can eat the flowers and leaves of hibiscus?

Next to Raffaela we planted... now I can't for the life of me remember who gave me this shrub, will the donor please come forward... so for the time being this is Myrtle, the myrtle shrub:

This produces excellent aromatic edible berries and leaves.  Great for making liqueurs.

Just below the caravan we planted a tiny Oregon Grape called Cat, after our first helpXer, who came from Oregon.  She is getting married soon too, so best wishes to you!

We planted another small one of those below the pond.  They are shade tolerant shrubs producing edible blue berries.

A few terraces down we planted Declan, the Decana Inverno pear tree:

This is a late ripening pear.  After I lost one of my 3 pear trees to the landslides, which damaged a second tree, which has now succumbed to illness, I've been meaning to replace them.  The other remaining pear tree is a very early variety.

Another two terraces down we planted Ronaldo the Portogallo fig tree, named after Portuguese footballer and probably most famous living Portuguese person Ronaldo:

Having also lost a fig tree in the same landslides two years ago, I wanted to replace it with a purple fruiting one, which is so much sweeter.

The main planting area was near the bottom of our land, where we already had two bay trees growing happily:

The centre piece here is Jenny, the Rotello apple tree (again after one of the donors of this tree)

Rotello is a local apple variety, relatively late ripening with a squat shape (the apple that is, not the tree) and sweet and sharp flavour.

This is Heike, the maidenhair or Gingko Biloba tree (also named after the donor, my friend Heike who came to see us all the way from Germany)

Maidenhair trees are not only decorative but they produce edible nuts and the leaves are also edible and have medicinal uses.  The only problem is you need a male and female, and whilst this one has a female name now, I have no idea what actual sex it is.  So must find it a partner once I do find out.

Not pictured are Yukako the Japanese quince tree (after my good friend Yukako in Kyoto), Conny the cornelian cherry, and a baby autumn olive, for which I haven't thought of name for yet.

On a slightly different matter, I have a habit of picking up seeds of various trees and then putting them in some pot to see what happens.  Sometimes I don't know what the tree is in the first place and I always forget what I put into the pots even if I did know.  Often of course those seeds don't show at all, but this one here did and I don't know what it is.  Anyone got any ideas?  It looks very pretty:


Anonymous said...

Hey, isn't Ronaldo brazilian and not portuguese?
For a portuguese fig tree personally I would have chosen "Figueroa" (or, more briefly, "Figue", but probably you'd better not in Italy...) :)
Your land is really blooming: very nice!

Heiko said...

Haha Maiemi, There are / were two footballers with that name, the latter and still active one is Portuguese!

Anonymous said...

the plant grown from seed is a german medlar, yellow fruit, 4/5 cm oval, hardy to -10°C, best grafted onto quince rootstock for hardyness. bonne appetite(-;

Heiko said...

Thanks for that. I know and like medlars and I don't remember picking seeds of that, but hey! you never know.

wildcraft diva said...

Buon Belated Compleanno! Just reviewed your book ; )