Braving the Boxthorn for berries

While I was out photographing for updates to our bushfoods & bush medicines page, I found that most of the Boxthorn bushes (Lycium ferocissimum) where I was wandering were in full fruit. Boxthorn is an edible weed, a prime candidate for delicious berries and it was a bounty that I couldn’t pass by. So I spent half an hour braving the thorns to get enough berries to make a jar of Boxthorn jam. For more info on this prickly customer, check out this page where I go into more detail.

Last week in Ligaya Garden #4

So much is happening, both here and out in the big world that we thought it worth doing a little catchup every Sunday and publish it on a Monday, Oz time. All of the posts will be listed here on this page for your elucidation and convenience. Spring is edging its way closer every day and the garden’s going crazy. Buds, blossoms and leaves are everywhere you look. We lost a couple of plants to the cold and a couple more are suffering but I think will pull through. Those lost were young Tamarinds. That was a pricey loss but you can’t always. I love the way that deciduous plants, especially young trees can look like dead sticks for most of the season, then, when you’re not looking, burst forth in flowers! -The aquaponics has seen a few fish deaths. I think this is due to lack of oxygen in the cold water at night. I’ve extended the frequency and

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Gardens can be anywhere

Though we may struggle sometimes to get certain favourite plants to grow in our garden, I am always surprised (and sometimes frustrated) at the way some plants thrive in difficult locations outside of our carefully tended gardens. Take a look at the pic above. It’s one of our most useful seasonal plants, Chickweed (Stellaria media) growing happily in a gutter on the roof of the newsagents next to the NAB bank on Murray Street. It’s happily taking in the Sun on this Winters day, oblivious of the fact that none grew in our garden this year until I forcibly transplanted some from the wild. Plants grow best where they’re happiest and this one is obviously happiest just out of my reach!

Surviving well

They’re usually finished in the garden at by this time of Winter but the Blackberry Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) just keeps on producing flowers and juicy black berries. They often survive in patches in the parks and by the creeks until now, being a short lived perennial. We usually take ours out when they slow right down in the cold and the leaves go all brown and sick looking. This year though, they’re in for the long haul. Note: only eat the Black berries, not the green ones, they’ll make you sick. When the black berries fall right off into your hand, they’re ready.

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 tale of roadside lust…

Can you feel the love in this picture? The couple in the photo were just ‘getting it on’ regardless of the hundreds of passers-by. I often say that ‘gardening is all about sex’. That’s not just true about gardening but the whole of nature and this couple definitely agree! What am I talking about? Not the nude frolickers you may have been looking for but the two Sheoaks by the roadsides. As you look at the picture, the tree on the right of the road, with the orange colouration, is the boy and the darker tree on the left of the road is the girl. Both are in full flower and pollinating like crazy! I couldn’t capture the puffs of pollen that the boy was sharing with his lover but if you were there, closer, you could see them. We can tell that they’ve been together before, the roadside was littered with old cones and many were still on the

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