RTBG Thursday 28 November 2019 – post 2 of 2

After lunch next to the Food Garden of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG), I was surprised to see the developments in the area where previously concrete had been removed and a gabion wall had been built.  Now soil covered a slope, and steel sheets were waiting to be placed to cover the background logs then to be left to rust gently and fit into the landscape. Adam was giving a new soil a test run with a few plants. In the third photo below, the plant on the right with it’s compact of tight glossy green leaves is a Tatsoi. I chewed a leaf and realised it would do very well in a salad mix.

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I took myself off for a wander to see how other Food Garden plants were flourishing. First I looked at the Red Currant with most of it’s fruit still green.

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I could see the plumping fruits on the fig tree.

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The blueberries hadn’t been plucked by black birds like mine have at home.

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The quinces were growing.

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Chives with their purple pom poms grew in lots of places.

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A Lemon Thyme ground cover was blessed with a carpet of pinky purple bee-attracting flowers.

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For the first time I looked closely at the Sweet Chestnut tree and was surprised by the serrated edge of the glossy leaves.

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IMG_8057.JPGThe asparagus was still shooting skywards.

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Then I went back to the tomato bed I planted last week and was relieved to see the heat hadn’t killed them off. However they didn’t show much sign of growth.

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Two weeks ago I helped M with the planting of the wild rocket. I couldn’t help remarking how much they looked like weeds.

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For the remainder of the afternoon I was directed to clear the Medieval Garden of it’s dying blue borage plants, trim the Sorrel of it’s seeding heads, silver beet that has shot up towards the heavens, and given the option to remove the Calendulas or dead head them. I was surprised how prickly the hairs were on the borage leaves. Later S potted a couple of mini self sown borage plants growing under the white borage.  Previously we had tried to collect seed with great difficulty – so now we hope these are self sown white and not the more common blue flowering borage.

When I had finished, new growths of blue borage, white borage, trimmed  Sorrel, and a swathe of orange and yellow flowering Calendulas remained.  For some reason I took no photographs of this garden before or after the clearing.  Alas.

Before leaving RTBG, I grabbed a plastic bag from my backpack and set off foraging; into the bag went a couple of onions that were not being used elsewhere, a fresh pulled garlic not yet divided into cloves, a few young Sorrel leaves, all the stinging nettles I could find, and lots of flowering chive heads. Why? It’s my job to make a weed soup for Sunday. We have played with the idea of soup ‘shots’ to be drunk through the chive heads. Could be fun!

After six hours in the Food Garden, I walked off to the bus stop again feeling very satisfied. Very calm. Very grateful for another superb day. Thankfully, there were few travellers on the bus and their smells weren’t unpleasant. Besides my mind was geared to arriving home and making the soup from all the fresh produce.  I will let you know how things turn out.

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