It’s been great weather here this week, with some lovely rain during the night and bright blue skies in the morning. We’ve been getting on with some pruning and chop and drop this week as well a little cherry harvesting as the first fruits flush pink and are good for eating.
Here are some photos from the gardens and what we’ve been up to
So pleased to see the first of the flowers on our Cornus kousa – Korean Dogwood plants. It’s been 8 years since I sowed the seed of these plants (seed harvested from plants in the woodland gardens of RHS Wisely). Finally the moment for the plant to bear its own seed has arrived. Well worth the wait and we’re looking forward to the fruits in late summer. I hope that a visitor to our humble garden will take some seed from these trees with them one day and extend the travel of this plants progeny, perhaps it will make it’s way back to the far east eventually :)
Lovely to find these volunteer Centaurea sp. in the garden. This genus includes between 350 and 600 species of herbaceous thistle-like flowering plants. There are over 76 species from this genus in Bulgaria and I’m not sure which this is. A lot of the plants in this genus produce good quantities of nectar over a comparatively long duration and are a popular food source for insects that may otherwise attack certain crops so may make a good decoy plant.
A view from the center of the forest Garden after some pruning, mowing and chop and drop.
Around about this time of year, it’s common to find a shrewdness of juvenile Homo sapiens clambering in the crowns of Prunus avium – Cherry in search of the first ripe fruits. Hopefully, we have a few warm weeks with just a little rain and we’ll have an excellent cherry season this year.
Allium moly – Golden Garlic starting to flower in Allium nursery. When looking for some info on this plant I found a reference to a mythical plant called Moly. In Odyssey, Homer describes the plant as follows “The root was black, while the flower was as white as milk; the gods call it Moly, Dangerous for a mortal man to pluck from the soil, but not for the deathless gods. All lies within their power” Fortunately not referring to this plant that we’ll be dividing bulbs from for delivery this Autumn.
Allium amplectens – Narrowleaf Onion is another new Allum we are growing in the nursery this year. The plant grows wild in woods and especially in clay and serpentine soils of North America (British Columbia, Oregon, Washington State and California.)
Rubus fruticosus x ideaus – Tayberry fruits developing. A cross between a Blackberry and a Raspberry and named after the River Tay in Scotland, where it was first bred by the Scottish Crop Research Institute. It is an incredible blend – the fruit is the size of a big raspberry with the sweetness and juiciness of a blackberry, but helpfully does not spread as profusely as the blackberry. Tayberries produce consistently higher yields than Loganberries and the fruit is large – sometimes up to 5 cm in length. The fruit is at its best when it has matured to a purple-red colour and can be eaten straight from the plant but also lends itself well to being cooked, frozen, and for making jam.
This Rubus fruticosus cv. – Blackberry‘ Thornfree’ is really starting to find its place in the forest garden. It took a few years for the plants to establish but now they are growing really well under various trees and have delicious fruits in late Summer. This particular plant is growing under a Ficus carica cv. – Fig that we keep pruned to 2 m high and the fig sits under a 20-year-old Juglans regia – Persian Walnut in the forest garden.