Come for another ramble in this magical Spring garden

Come for another ramble in this magical Spring garden

The gifts of Spring – new growth!

 

Rhubarb gives abundant stems and leaves at this season. Well-fed growing beside the compost bin!

 

Here the lemon balm is growing lovely new leaves. Herb Robert, with its delicate, frilly, divided leaves is a welcome addition to our salads too. It likes cooler weather so we’ll make the most of it now.

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Lemon balm and Herb Robert

 

Mizuna is a lovely greens when it is young and tender. Then it quickly bolts to flower and seed as the weather warms up. The old leaves become bitter so we leave them to feed the flowers and seeds for the next generation.

 

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Mizuna flowers

So many tiny flowers combine on each stem. The bees love them so we leave them until they finish flowering. Then we collect the seed heads to sprinkle around the garden. They grow quickly so we’ll have new greens again soon!

 

Hey, the yacons are finally poking through the mulch too! They have been dormant as tubers under the ground over winter – invisible from above.

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Yacons sprouting new growth from the tubers below ground
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Yacon tubers to re-grow next seasons crop

Knobbly yacon tubers starting to sprout from the ‘eyes’ and ready to plant.

The knobbly tuberous root grows new stalks like sunflowers [with smaller flower heads though], up to 2 m tall.

Then they form different storage tubers which are smooth, rounded, without eyes and grow over summer/autumn so we harvest them early winter here. They are crunchy, a little sweet and crisp like an apple. Can be eaten raw [slices work well] or slice and stir-fry is how we use them most.

 

The choko vine is also sprouting new shoots and leaves.

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Choko vines starting to re-grow

We gave it a trellis and it climbs up into the trees [which are kept about 2 m tall] so we can still reach the fruit when they grow in autumn. Absolutely delicious when they are tiny – about thumb-size – buttery, sweet and melt-in-your-mouth. Only thing is, the vine can be rampant and take over the yard so needs training!

Food sources for bees in a winter garden

Food sources for bees in a winter garden

Bees find a great food source in this bush laden with flowers  full of nectar [smells like honey] and pollen. C flowers in winter when there are few other flowers in my garden providing food for bees.

Bee landing on a flower searching for pollen and nectar Bee finding pollen and nectar in flowers of Camellia microphylla

Bee finding pollen and nectar

 

Bee finding pollen and nectar – pollen bags on it’s leg is visible – for carrying pollen back to the hive.

Bee finding pollen and nectar

 

Food sources for bees in winter mean they are strong and healthy to pollinate fruit tree blossoms in early spring.

Check there are food sources available all year so bees are ready when needed for pollinating our crops.