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Pics from Greg's Forest Garden

 
steward
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Thank you.  I think this German fig is as you describe.  I live in the Northeast United States in the state of Maine.  We have typically had winter low temperatures of about -20F (-29C), though our lows keep getting warmer and warmer, with this past winter being only about 0F (-18C).  We typically get snow before Christmas that lasts until early spring, though this year we started with 28" of snow which melted away completely and so our plants went into winter without snow.

If you can grow figs then I suspect that you can grow pawpaws and encourage you to do it.  They can handle cold well, but if your growing season is at all short then seek out varieties that ripen quickly.  Mine just barely ripen before the first frosts come.
 
Greg Martin
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Here's a different in ground fig I'm growing.  I pin it to the ground each year under bags of mulch and release it as soon as the snow melts off the bags.  It's sprung back up to 8' tall and wide and is covered in figs...will they ripen in time...starting to worry as it's late September!
20210923_123928.jpg
Lovely fig set, but will they ripen! Might need to pop a small greenhouse over these lovelies.
Lovely fig set, but will they ripen! Might need to pop a small greenhouse over these lovelies.
 
Greg Martin
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Last year I found a chestnut husk, but that was all.  This year the chinese chestnut seedlings that I planted as seeds a decade ago are starting to really bear.  Can't wait to see what's inside these husks!
20210923_123858-(2).jpg
First real chestnut crop from the seeds I planted a decade ago
First real chestnut crop from the seeds I planted a decade ago
20210923_123828.jpg
Nice size, no? Can't wait to see inside (and I have big hands!)
Nice size, no? Can't wait to see inside (and I have big hands!)
 
Greg Martin
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I seeded 1000s of wild lupin seeds into a shady strip along my driveway.  A few survived these conditions and one of them flowers pink!
(took this picture during the slim window when sun shoots down the driveway alley through the forest)
20210605_143458.jpg
Shade tolerant pink wild lupin!
Shade tolerant pink wild lupin!
 
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Glad you can appreciate lupins... In Scandinavia they are one of the very worst invasives, right up there with Japanese knotweed, and probably the most widely spread, so I can not really enjoy them, even if the flowers really are very beautiful.
 
Eino Kenttä
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By the way, do you happen to know if there is a way to get mayapple seeds in Europe? Been looking, but the only seed company that seems to have them charged outrageous prices and seemed all round dodgy, so still looking.
 
Greg Martin
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Eino Kenttä wrote:Glad you can appreciate lupins... In Scandinavia they are one of the very worst invasives, right up there with Japanese knotweed, and probably the most widely spread, so I can not really enjoy them, even if the flowers really are very beautiful.


I've spread wild lupin seeds into that shady bed as well as into my forest garden and I've been watching them closely due to how heavily they can spread.  So far they have not been invasive for me at all.  I think the level of competition has kept them in check so far.  In my forest garden I'm afraid that they will just disappear and I have to help them in small ways.  But your point is very well taken....I'm watching them closely!
 
Greg Martin
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Eino Kenttä wrote:By the way, do you happen to know if there is a way to get mayapple seeds in Europe? Been looking, but the only seed company that seems to have them charged outrageous prices and seemed all round dodgy, so still looking.


Sorry Eino, I don't.  I'd suggest putting in a request in the seeds and breeding forum to see if you can connect with someone out there that has them.  Fingers crossed for you!  For some reason this year my mayapples didn't set any fruit.
 
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Eino Kenttä wrote:By the way, do you happen to know if there is a way to get mayapple seeds in Europe? Been looking, but the only seed company that seems to have them charged outrageous prices and seemed all round dodgy, so still looking.


If you are a member of the Hardy Plant Society, they have a seed distribution each year. I've had some interesting edibles from them: Hardy Plant List You have to be a member, and there is a small charge for the seeds as well. You would need to check your countries import restrictions as well.
 
Eino Kenttä
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Thanks! About the lupins, I mainly meant I'm glad you can grow them without invasive-related risk (They're native in America, right?) I hope it didn't seem like I was criticizing you in any way for growing them, that was not my intention at all. Think I said it before, but your garden is beautiful!

About the mayapples: Yeah, might make a topic in seeds and breeding at some point. At the moment I have rather too many seeds that I need to grow out as it is. I mainly asked because you mentioned them, Greg.
Thanks, Nancy, I wasn't aware of the Hardy Plant Society. Might try that out. Wonder how it works after Brexit, though. Seed firms in the UK are no longer able to send seed to the EU, apparently, but maybe HPS can bypass those rules somehow (by not being a commercial entity as such, or something).
 
Greg Martin
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Eino Kenttä wrote:Thanks! About the lupins, I mainly meant I'm glad you can grow them without invasive-related risk (They're native in America, right?) I hope it didn't seem like I was criticizing you in any way for growing them, that was not my intention at all. Think I said it before, but your garden is beautiful!


Thank you Eino.  No worries.  I assume the best intent!  
Yes, the wild lupin native range runs right to where I live.  That may mean that there are more checks and balances on its spread from other creatures, though I have seen very large swaths of them growing along the highway, though that clearly is a human disturbed area which maybe has helped them???
 
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Greg - "It's like very slow motion fun!"    I just had to tell you how perfect and brilliant that simple description is of gardening! I have often thought how people who require instant gratification would have a hard time with some of the best parts of gardening...  I am still waiting for my paw paws and English walnut and persimmon to fruit... going on 7 years now... so you give me hope.  And inspiration to try a few other things in my shady garden... Thanks!
 
Greg Martin
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As much as I try to give back to nature, nature always gives so, so much more.  I'll keep trying to catch up, but know I have the sweetest end of the deal.  Thank you nature!

An example from this year's forest garden edge.  The previous owner of my land notched two hemlocks and bolted in a horizontal pressure treated beam for a swing set.  I removed the beam hoping that the trees could heal over the large gash, but one didn't make it and was returned to earth as mulch and biochar.  The other is hanging in there, though is struggling a bit.  A pair of pileated woodpeckers pounded open gaps above the saw damage and that side of the tree has bare branches that hawks and owls use as perches to hunt from that overlook my forest garden.  For these uses I've been happy to leave this tree standing, though I'm keeping an eye on its long term health.  This year it gave me a surprise wonder....wild wonderberries!  One of my visiting feathered pals deposited some seeds in the tiny bit of compost that has formed in the saw wound.  They are hanging down to about 8' above ground and so I can just reach them.  What a tactic for a tiny plant to get full sun!  It's been a nice nibble and just wanted to share this gift with you in the form of some pictures along with a Wild Food Girl link on this plant and how she enjoys it.  Cheers!!!

wild-wonderberry.jpg
wild winterberry surprise
wild wonderberry surprise
Wild-wonderberry-in-damaged-hemlock.jpg
fortunately, I'm JUST tall enough to not need a ladder
fortunately, I'm JUST tall enough to not need a ladder
 
Greg Martin
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Philip's post on candying flowering quince fruits inspired me to add some more of these beautiful shrubs to my landscape so I could trial their fruits.  One benefit to buying them in the fall was that I could see their fruit at the nursery before buying them (some modern cultivars are sterile...WTH!).  The other benefit was hitting their 50% off end of season sale.  I picked up 3 that are new to my landscape.  2 with large fruit and one with small.  I'm so glad I picked up that small fruited cultivar, 'Orange Delight', as it is the first flowering quince fruit I've ever found that has a licorice flavor.  I could smell it on the uncut fruit after they sat in a bowl on my table a few days, and happily that flavor came through nicely in the candied fruit as well as in the syrup made.  All of that variety's seeds will be lined out to see how the offspring taste.  Anyhow, here are pics of these 3 plants I added:

Crimson-and-Gold-cut.jpg
'Crimson and Gold' One of the big ones with a pear shape in reverse and a lovely red blush my others don't have.
'Crimson and Gold' One of the big ones with a pear shape in reverse and a lovely red blush my others don't have.
Jet-Trail-cut.jpg
'Jet Trail' also has large fruit, these with a lovely gold flesh.
'Jet Trail' also has large fruit, these with a lovely gold flesh.
Orange-Delight.jpg
'Orange Delight' has small fruit, but with delightful licorice flavor that I've not experienced in flowering quinces before.
'Orange Delight' has small fruit, but with delightful licorice flavor that I've not experienced in flowering quinces before.
candied-Orange-Delight.jpg
Candied 'Orange Delight' fruits were addicting with their apple, floral and licorice flavors.
Candied 'Orange Delight' fruits were addicting with their apple, floral and licorice flavors.
 
Greg Martin
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Some fall throwback pictures I wanted to post and which had to wait until I had a little downtime.  
Some cornelian cherry pictures:
cornelian-cherries.jpg
Cornelian Cherries starting to red up. How wonderful is this?
Cornelian Cherries starting to red up. How wonderful is this?
toona-testing.jpg
My Toona sinensis test bed at the base of 'Yellow' cornelian cherry. Lots of seedlings looking for the ones that don't die back in Maine winters.
My Toona sinensis test bed at the base of 'Yellow' cornelian cherry. Lots of seedlings looking for the ones that don't die back in Maine winters.
 
Greg Martin
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Now looking forward....
smilax-berry-cluster.jpg
Smooth Smilax berry cluster that has donated seeds (now scarified and stratifying) to my forest garden.
Smooth Smilax berry cluster that has donated seeds (now scarified and stratifying) to my forest garden.
monkey-puzzles.jpg
Monkey puzzle babies!!!
Monkey puzzle babies!!!
mulching-helper.jpg
Kissy monkey baby! She loves helping with fall leaf mulching my future garden spaces. Can't wait to play in the snow with her.
Kissy monkey baby! She loves helping with fall leaf mulching my future garden spaces. Can't wait to play in the snow with her.
 
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Those cornelian cherries and smilax are amazing! I admit to being a touch envious of your garden. As usual...
 
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Hey Greg, do you have a layout sketch of your garden? top-down or perspective?

I'm in the long thought process of re-designing the tree portion of my garden and would love more inspiration. I just made some blank sketches of my garden space and printed a bunch of copies to sketch different ideas... but they are slow in coming.
 
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Wait, Greg - monkey puzzle? How does that grow, in Maine? I thought it was a Mediterranean tree - then again, come to think about it, I've no idea what zone temps that means, lol. I wonder if they'd grow here, in 6b, with rocky/clay...
 
Greg Martin
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Thank you, Robin!  The plants do most of the work.
Here's some info on the Smilax from Plants for a Future:  https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Smilax+herbacea
 
Greg Martin
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L. Johnson wrote:Hey Greg, do you have a layout sketch of your garden? top-down or perspective?


I don't have anything decent, unfortunately.  I have been just instinctively planting over a long period of time as I've gotten to know my site.  I've semi mapped out my plantings just to keep a record, but I haven't done a good job of keeping up with it and I'm not really certain where I put those maps.  Someday I'll try to get back to doing that.  If I do, I'll post it here.
 
Greg Martin
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Carla Burke wrote:Wait, Greg - monkey puzzle? How does that grow, in Maine? I thought it was a Mediterranean tree - then again, come to think about it, I've no idea what zone temps that means, lol. I wonder if they'd grow here, in 6b, with rocky/clay...


Maybe they'd make it for you Carla....you'd have a better chance than me
I'm planning on protecting them for a long while and then I'll just see how things work out.  I'm a wicked zone pusher as you might notice by some other pics in this thread (citrus and figs for example) and will keep trying things out.  I watched a video from Hortus Arboretum in NY where they mentioned babying one along and I've read that there are some trees along the NY/NJ line and figured "let's roll some dice" and I bought some seeds from EFN.  I know it's a long shot, but such lovely trees.  

Here's a picture of one growing in Central Park:

source
 
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Love your forest garden Greg.  I would try to grow one as good as yours if I had the acreage.

Mine is a mini version of yours in a PNW suburb.  I would grow lupine here if I had acreage like yours because it's native.  The purple flowered raspberries you have look like our native thimbleberries.  I love your idea of slow motion fun.  That's a good word for how my dog and I appreciate ours.

Cheers,
John S
PDX OR
 
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