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Garden siteseeing in Europe and South Africa

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All aboard for our weekly jaunt to see what's happening in gardens around the world. Today we drop in on gardeners in Denmark, Sweden, France, and South Africa. In the Toad's Garden, a Danish gardener writing as scrubtudsen likes to save seeds of heirloom plants. He has even saved seeds of artichoke and actually harvested a crop from them in June of this year!

It's fascinating to read about vegetable varieties that we in the United States don't generally grow. And to follow experiments such as whether it's possible to harvest true seeds from garlic. Any fan of garlic will love this blog's many entries on the subject.

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Anyone who's into edible landscaping, or just aims to grow plants as beautiful as they are practical, should see the photo of the crimson-flowered fava bean. Wow!

Unless you understand Swedish, the first thing you need to do when the Cape Pine Garden Project home page opens is to click on the tiny American flag in the upper left corner.

That will take you to the English version, where Peter Lindquist writes about his summer garden on the island of Öland, Sweden's second-largest island, which is in the Baltic Sea.

He also maintains webcams of the garden, and you can access live weather data from his private weather station. Since his home is about 225 miles away, all of this allows him to keep a long-distance eye on his garden.

Click on "Blommor" in the left column and you're taken to pages of flowers. Click on any you like and you'll see a slide show of that flower in Lindquist's garden.

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She doesn't live in an easy place to grow vegetables. Temperatures range from a possible -5 degrees F. in winter to 108 degrees F. in summer. Mistral and Sirocco winds sometimes blow relentlessly. The land is steep and terraced.

But Laura manages to grow food organically year-round.

 

The husband, wife, two sons, and two dogs moved there in 1994 when the farm was rundown, so they had to start with the very basics – designing and building a house.

Since then, they've come a long way – although they're still working toward their self-sufficiency goal of being able to bake a pizza made only from ingredients they grew themselves.

 


It's winter in South Africa, of course, which makes me think about the cold season to come where I am but also grateful for the current warmth and all those tasty tomatoes I'm harvesting each day.

If you enjoy thinking about such things and visiting with other gardeners who do, too, stop by again. Our garden siteseeing occurs on Thursdays, but we're here every day with a new post.