|What's more, they seemed to be completely over-run by local 'weeds' to the point that I couldn't see this one.|
However, since the tiny forest garden that I'm pioneering was slightly chewed up by marauding sheep a couple of weeks ago, I've spotted signs that they are getting some strength back, and noticed some of the other plants that I stuck out growing vigorously.
|This E. Pungens Maculata looks pretty dead, but on closer inspection...|
|I'm not sure if a couple of those new leaves were nibbled by slugs or caterpillars, but it looks like there's some life in this shrub yet.|
|This E. x Ebbingei, just as it was always growing stronger than its counterpart before, still has an original leaf or two at the bottom.|
|This one also has some new leaves forming halfway up the plant.|
It seems a lot clearer now that summer has taken its course and I've learned a bit about local flora and fauna, that the variety of life on this patch of land I'm working is a bit more diverse than the adjacent fields, which are regularly grazed down to almost nothing by herds of sheep; much more than just grass stands out here now.
|Visible here are many white flower-heads of an edible perennial, common hogweed.|
|It's not quite ground cover yet, but these two local soil-repair species are slowly creeping up the bank, and soon I'll be able to plant out some rhubarb divisions that should cover the swale in shade.|
|I planted this crimson clover out after it became quite overgrown on a windowsill. It didn't germinate easily outdoors like the 'fiddleneck' green manure plant did, so I'm doubtful whether it will self-seed and join those local species.|
|Although practically none germinated when planted straight outside, these two globe artichokes (light green plants at top) that I stuck out as quite small seedlings have survived repeated slug attack.|
|Suspected turnip plants on the right (fiddleneck and hogweed on left).|
The tree line is also now more closely approaching Mollison's recommended ideal open-to-equator horseshoe-shape windbreak that I'm trying to mimic, with the addition of a couple of very young crab-apple trees bought for a few quid each at a local summer fair.
|First crab-apple planted between the plum and downy birch. These are usually brilliant for pollenating other apple trees, and have a high pectin content useful for making jam with other plants such as rhubarb.|
|Second crab-apple tree in the northernmost corner of this plot. They are both so short that they should have no trouble with wind while establishing roots, what with the fenceline and all the hogweed around them just now.|
|Left seedling took a little over 2 weeks to germinate, while right one took just over 1 week, after both seeds had been cold-stratified for ~10 weeks.|
|A dozen maple seed pots with the remaining 3 pine seedlings. Re-using some yogurt pots to free up some finer plant pots, since these could take a very long time to germinate.|
|Monkey puzzle baby, hanging in there, to be re-potted soon.|
|From left to right, a cutting of the epicormic side shoot that started growing out of a damson tree (hoping it's rootstock, which would be useful), some sage plants about ready to be re-potted or planted out (some rosemary seeds in the same pot have still failed to germinate), a tray full of mulberry seeds, and the remaining un-germinated arbutus unedo in the back.|