A highlight from Native Fruits With Hortus Arboretum- A Way to Garden With Margaret Roach July 4, 2022
50 different possibilities. So my oh my, how your backyard has grown. So just before we get started, tell us briefly how this all happened. Yeah, as we like to say, it started off more as a curiosity and then we went down a rabbit hole and it's become dangerous. I think for most gardeners, once they start learning about different plants, it really opens up a whole world. So even with a focus on native plants, then you have native ornamentals, native edibles, and I think early on for us, we realize there was so many wonderful plants that we wanted to try growing. And then as soon as we had put many of those in the ground, our interests became even more peaked about like, what else is out there? What else can we try growing? And yeah, before you knew it, we had really just planted out our three acres and in 2009, we were fortunate enough to get land across the road, which was about 8 acres, and that was a full southern site, so we put in a nut grow, and we put in European plums, and we put in a lot of magnolias and viburnum collections. And actually recently we were able to just purchase ten acres of land that's adjacent to our field garden. So we now have 21 acres. Oh my goodness. Yeah, it's pretty crazy, Margaret, but yeah, now it's a whole nother opportunity for planting when we get there. But we love all plants, but you know, there has been all this interest in native plantings and in our book. I'd say of a roughly about 20 are native trees, many that people don't even realize are native. Yeah, 20 of the 50 yeah, it's pretty, it's great. So I thought it would be fun to zero in on that a handful of those native ones among the 50 species in the book called hardy fruits and nuts. And, you know, even though some are among my favorites for wildlife and I have many, many plants of each of them, for many decades, I didn't know, for instance, that aurelia race samosa, a giant herbaceous perennial, I knew it was native, because I bought my plants my first plant at a native plant sale, a million years ago. I didn't know it was an edible ornamental that humans could nibble too. So tell me one of you tell me about a rail erase the mosta, for instance, describe it and so forth. Yeah, there's a long tradition in Japan Japanese culture for eating aurelia and their Japanese aurelia is very close to ours and they call it udo. Yes. Shoots are eaten and boiled and cooked. And the berries taste similar. I'd say the American species is better. To me, again, it's a wild plant. So the berries are small and they're in clusters, but to me, the berries are very close to kind of a licorice BlackBerry flavor. Oh. So if they're cooked with a cooked and strained with a sweetener, they make a kind of a delicious, almost root beer licorice flavored drink. It's really a wonderful summer drink. I happen to love that plant. It's a favorite. And there's a lot of sources that say that plant does well in part shade, and I stuck it in part shade. And unfortunately, because we're droughty for the middle of summer, my plants kept dying away, going to, so I kept digging them up and moving them into more and more shade and the area that we were in just couldn't sustain them. They would do beautifully till the middle of summer and then they would go to sleep.