There’s another old man at our house

Yes, there’s a new old man living at Ligaya Garden… Old Man Saltbush, that is! He’s another addition to our verge garden. A tough old fella who can thrive in the worst conditions but should do just as well with a little love from us Old Man Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) is a favourite in the restraunt game, his dried leaves and sticks are used as a garnish because of their salty taste. Council’s also love him because he’s a ‘plant and forget’ kind of fellow and dense hedges of him are all around in Gawler. We’ve placed this plant at the northernmost end of our row of edible native trees on the verge as it is by far the toughest of our plants. We did have another before, in a wicking bed but it loved things so much that it completely took over. A whole wicking bed for a single plant isn’t good use! Wish him luck in his new

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A Grass Roots story

I’ve a little story on pages 16-18 of the current (#252 April/May 2019) edition of Grass Roots magazine. It’s a little piece about the Australian Native edible plants we have here at Ligaya Garden and why we chose them. I hope you can grab a copy and check out our article and the many others they have in this edition

Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare) 

​Family: Solanaceae Habitat: Forest margins, woodland edges Description and uses: Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare) is one of the amazing Solanum family which gives us so much of our food and lots of our medicines.  It’s a bushy plant that grows to around 3 metres tall down this way but may be bigger elsewhere.  Kangaroo Apple has deeply lobed or toothed leaves and purple flowers in the familiar Solanum shape.  The most interesting part of a Kangaroo Apple plant is the orange fruit.  Note: only eat the ripe, orange fruit. Unripe or green ones will get you pretty sick.  When the fruit is orange it’s ready to eat. I have been recommended allowing it to ripen to the point where the skin splits before eating too.  Besides being a tasty bushfoods, Kangaroo Apple leaves and fruit have some interesting medicinal properties.  They leaves and unripe fruit contain a toxic chemical called Solsadine which is used for the production of cortisone based contraceptives, so don’t

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The Native verge

The Native verge garden is underway and, in true Ligaya Garden form, everything is edible or medicinal as well as being drought tolerant. I’ve put in seedlings of Acacia retionoides (wirilda) Myoporum insulare (Boobiala) and Dodonea viscosa (Sticky Hop Bush). The Acacia is a fast growing legume to stabilize and replenish the soil that was disturbed during the neighbour’s building. It will shade part of the garden in Summer and provide us with tasty seeds and seed pods. The seeds can be roasted and ground to give a nutty, slightly aniseed flavoured powder. It’s the least drought tolerant of the three and so is planted closest to our neighbours drive where he waters every day. Boobiala is a dense, fast growing tree that it would take a nuclear incident to knock off. That’s why it’s in the centre, to provide lots of protection for the garden throughout the year. It will also provide us with tons of little berries that

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I’m talking again!

I’m having a little talk at the Australian Plant Society Autumn Plant Sale on Sun 22 April at 1pm. It’ll be at Stirling Angas Hall, Adelaide Showgrounds (enter off Rose Tce). I’ll be doing my usual carry on about foraging for local bushfoods, edible weeds and wild herbs, so come along, buy some plants, listen to some interesting speakers (I’m not the only one speaking). My spot is for up to an hour, so come along with lots of questions to help us fill the time. I’m sure I’ll be able to make something entertaining up on the spot if I can’t answer them.