3-19-19 Welcome to our new website – same content, different format, still stuck in winter. Spring is around the corner!
3-22 Instagram will be accessible via the Campo di Fiori Website under the heading “photo gallery”, and in which photos will be posted concerning plants, the nursery, and the evolution of both throughout the whole of the season. As well there will be photos of wildflowers and other plants documented during my forays into local natural areas. Should be entertaining. This should also be helpful for those who only visit during one particular season, as is often the case. The gardens are designed to look attractive year-round, and are very different given the season. Thanks.
4-1 This season is a landmark season for the nursery concerning the growing and breeding of neohybrid hazels. We have coppiced our very best parent plants, something which needed to be done in order to determine their rate of regrowth and subsequent vigor, and all have proven to be exceptional in this regard. If all goes well, on average, each plant will have produced 30-40 identical clones of itself. Once we unearth these rooted suckers we will then experiment with them in varying conditions.
One plant in particular has my heart. It is the largest of our parent bushes, but also the strongest, most competitive and productive. Whether it is the most productive in relationship to overall biomass is questionable, but the size of the bush and its vigor are equally important for two reasons which the individual merely concerned with production would care little about. One – the larger bush with a deeper structure is better wildlife habitat (these will be poor for machine picking). Who ever thought of that in the realm of food production? To many it is a very important criteria these days in ornamental gardens – why not food? Far more land is utilized in the production of food, far less in ornament. It is one thing to attempt to do as little damage as possible to the natural environment, it is another to actually enhance the health. Better habitat may also translate to better pest control. Second – it is my goal to develop a form of no-till agriculture on heavy-clay land with often high water table. This may be an indomitable challenge (claypan), but so much of the open space here in Bowdoinham and elsewhere is not fit for annual food production because these conditions are very difficult for multiple reasons (I know that rice has been trialed to good effect on these soils, but that is far from ideal, though impressive). Vigor also translates as competitiveness which will help a plant to grow in moisture-laden, heavy-clay sod. A drawn-out but interesting, and potentially promising experiment. If these plants can adapt and remain productive on these soils, these soils have the advantage of greater water and nutrient holding capacity, and the highly erodible soils themselves will be benefited by the binding action of an aggressive root system. We shall see. For those interested, I will be posting the progress through the photo gallery.
4-18 The nursery will be opening on Friday the 10th this season. Hope to see you then.