No Image

Planning and planting

2012/08/12 deej 0

We have four new additions to the food forest on Gallifrey: two carob trees, and two icecream beans. The icecream beans will need a bit of nurturing through the summer, but I believe that they’re fairly drought tolerant once they’re established. Icecream beans are fairly unusual here. They’re nitrogen fixers, like honey locusts and wattles, and reasonably fast growing. Apparently, the sweet pulp inside the seed pod, between the seeds, tastes a lot like vanilla icecream. I’m not sure how similar to icecream they will actually taste – after all, carob is meant to taste like chocolate, and it sort […]

No Image

Roses and Ghost Berries

2012/08/09 deej 0

I know this isn’t really exciting unless you’re a massive plant nerd, but I grew roses from seed! I have baby rose seedlings, sprouted from some seeds I collected at my very first permablitz from the prunings of some heritage roses. I have no idea what varieties they were, so my babies are of unknown parentage, and I’ll probably have a long while to wait until I see the first flowers, but even so – how cool is that? Roses. From seeds. From rosehips. There are people out there who don’t know that roses even produce seeds; one of my […]

No Image

More trees

2012/06/26 deej 0

It’s tough, resisting the desire to plant all the fruit trees as soon as possible. We’ve planted a few, but only the tough species which can take our WA summers without too much coddling. Figs, pomegranates, honey locusts, natal plums, a mulberry. Dates and carob will go in soon, and possibly a quince and a few olives. To make up for that patience, though, we are going a bit crazy planting support species. Mostly that means wattles and a few black locusts, Persian silk trees, and pepper trees. But it also includes oaks. Oak trees aren’t the first “support” tree […]

No Image

Plant Profile: Roselle

2012/06/21 deej 0

Roselle, better known in Australia as Rosella (like the parrot, but less feathery) is an annual (or sometimes biennual), fast growing shrub in the hibiscus family. Like most hibiscus and mallows, it has edible leaves and flower petals, but Roselle is most famous for its edible calyx.  The calyx, stems and leaves are acid and closely resemble the cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) in flavor. The calyx is used to make jams and sauces, and dried for tea. The tender young leaves may be cooked and eaten as a substitute for spinach, though somewhat spicier in flavour. Young roselle shoots, leaves and […]

No Image

Pink Siris, Sleeping Tree, Persian Silk Tree

2012/05/29 deej 1

Albizia julibrissin, known variously as the pink siris, the Persian silk tree, the sleeping tree, or (incorrectly) as a mimosa, is a common ornamental garden and street tree. It has a graceful, elegant shape reminiscent of a jacaranda or acacia, with smooth light brown or grey bark and feathery, bright green leaves. The tree grows up to 12m tall, with an open, umbrella shaped canopy, providing dappled shade and allowing enough light through for other plants to grow underneath the tree. At night, and during periods of rain, the leaves close up as if the tree is sleeping, leading to […]