Youtube is full of wonderful tutorials. The is the one you need right now, if your garden like mine is covered in deep snow. Please notice the accuracy in sowing depth!

Thanks a lot to KitchenGardeners.org (and go visit them!)

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Toad in 2007

The toad has not returned from the mating pond in the neighbourhood. I’ve given up the hope of its return. In 1995 we met an adult toad in the garden when we moved in to the house. Now I’m convinced it is dead. We lived many season in our garden in company with the toad. We still think of the garden, as the toad’s garden. Now we hope for a young toad to move in and make the garden its territory.

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Garden with a view

I revisited Merete and Ejners garden. First visit was in spring, this second visit was after the first frost. The garden is situated in a village, with a view over field and wood.

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Sage (Salvia officinalis)

The huge sage with the wrinkled stems made me think of
the oldest oak in Denmark. Age is an important dimension in our garden plants. Never saw a more beautiful sage.

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Kirsten and Merete deeply engaged in garden talk

People fond of gardening always talk a lot, when we meet in a garden. It still surprises me, how different we people can grow our gardens. Even with same plants in same climate. We ate us through the different fruit trees; cooking apples, table apples, pears, prunes, filberts and grapes.

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Old grape wine growing in the apple trees

A very old grape wine has conquered the tops of some of the apple trees. In old days there was a greenhouse around it, but since it perished, the grape wine has continued to grow with no protection. Could it be the old variety Frankenthaler?

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Leaf chicory

There still is a lot of vegetables in the garden. The leaf chicory was served for lunch – mmm…. We also had leek and a mayonnaise spiced with ‘Susan Delafield’ garlic.
Thanks for a nice day.

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Sandleek (Allium scorodoprasum) on top of Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

On a trip to Jutland I had a chance to visit the garden of Inge Lise and Brian. Brian have two garden websites, Gourmethaven (in danish) and Potager.dk – Ornamental Kitchen Garden.
The beautiful bed with sandleek on top of chives touched my heart – I’m rather easily touched by any Allium. The garden is a heaven for both parents and three children, with lawn, flowerbeds, kitchengarden and two greenhouses.

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Kitchengarden in raised beds

The garden is full of small practical details. I noticed the solar lamp in the kitchengarden. Very convenient when looking for greens for the kitchen in the dark autumn afternoons. The compost pile is located in the middle of the garden, easily accessible from all over the garden. No hiding away. A statement of the value of garden compost. More of us ought to use the compost pile as a garden centerpiece, a fine signal to the community around.

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Inge Lise and Brian next to their Caucasian Spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides)

The specialty most admirably in the garden right now is the Caucasian Spinach. It is a perennial very hardy climber from Caucasus. The leaves taste more gentle and fulfilling than ordinary spinach. The plant is very difficult to find, but the danish seedsavers Frøsamlerne offered it on their members exchangelist this year. It grows very well in Inge Lise and Brians garden, it is not allways growing this well in danish gardens. It was grown as a vegetable hundred years ago, but was forgotten. The garden culture was continued in Estonia, from where it has spread to Finland and Scandinavia, including Denmark.

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Caucasian Spinach with a flowerspike

Caucasian Spinach is related to mercury / Good King Henry, as one can see in flowers and leaves. The seedlings could be taken for mercury seedlings. It originates in mountains of Caucasus, where it climbs up in trees, having the root in shadow.

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Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus)

The yellow flag are in a dry spot. This bogplant reacts by growing shorter leaves, thus giving a much better show-off of the flowers. Inge Lise and Brian have used their knowledge on the nature of the boggy yellow flag in an opposite way of what most of us would have done. A copy could be considered 🙂

Thanks for a great garden visit!

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Rie and NO between sweet Cicily (left) and quince (right)

The garden kept by Rie and NO is a paradise of exiting and unusual plants, a true seed saver garden. At the front door of their house a small Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) tree reside, planted to serve as food for the Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) butterfly. The appletrees are all grafted with several varieties, one on the other. In this way they can grow more of the old local varieties in very little space. The harvest of each variety is small, but the number of varieties make up for that, and they harvest apples in a full season.

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Quince flower Cydonia oblonga

Immediately the quince caught my eye. At a distance it looked like a gourgous wild rose. Close up the flowers are also beautiful. I rarely saw anything as romantic as this quince.

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Eggplant, pepper og tomato

The tender plants, like eggplant, pepper and tomato was already in the ground, and was thriving. Am I too pessimistic waiting until a week into june (or even later) before planting them out? I understood it’s first time they try to grow eggplant outside, but they are experienced with pepper and especially tomatoes.

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Camassia sp.

An eyecatching clump of camassia was to be found in the kitchengarden. It is a bulbous plant, culinary to the north american indians, loved so much they even had wars over the rights of its grounds. NO tells it is hardy and easy to grow, but hasn’t tasted it yet.

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A part of the kitchengarden

In the kitchengarden I could find garlic and cereals (forgot wich species) in front of angelica and sweet Cicily in a impressive combination. Some years ago I had some garlic varieties from this garden!
After the garden walk we enjoyed the juice of rhubarb and angelica. A mixture I found most satisfying, having it for the first time in my life.
Thanks for a beautiful experience.

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Bronze Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare

Bronze fennel is easy to cultivate, it is perennial and hardy. I guess most people just enjoy the beautiful view of this plant, but I also enjoy the delicious taste. At the same time I thin out the number of shoots, to get a more pretty plant the following summer. I use it either raw or lightly steamed/fried, just as bulb fennel is used in the kitchen.
Last year I made scallops with kaleflowers and bronze fennel

Normally you buy seeds of bronze fennel and then sow them directly in the garden. Take notice of taste and color as the vary a bit, and select the best plants. I have a single plant with a superior taste that I’m giving special attention. When bronze fennel is established in the garden, it starts to spread seeds, but in my garden it is far from a problem.

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Garlic Allium sativum “Grethes supermarked”

For a short time snow cover the garden, and temperatures are below the freezing point. Only a few days ahead temperature will rise above the freezing point again. Garlic roots will not be frozen this time, but anyway, they can take all the frost we get around here.