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Potager Y in mid October 2014

July 26 cosmos dwarf 024

I have missed my blogging friend, Lrong from Japan. He was sick the past few months + I would stop by his blog to see where he was for I missed seeing his amazing photography. He is a gifted artist and gardener + he teaches,too!He also grows the most beautiful food! His posts are filled with some of the best “macro” photography; I have ever seen and inspires me to grow + eat foods that I have never tried before…+ also to experiment with macro!


He sent me seed from his garden for Molokhia ( Corchorus olitorius) + I grew it out this summer. I also received seed from Ezad from Egypt for it is known as Egyptian spinach. I have not blogged about Molokhia yet because I grew mine a bit too late, and I have to learn to cook with this new vegetable. Growing new food on your potager is not that easy when people in your area have not grown it or know how to cook with a new vegetable. I am leaving the discussion of this vegetable for a blog post later where I can talk about my adventure growing new vegetables out that I never grown before!

I started reading Lrong’s blog back in 2010 with Annie’s Kitchen Garden which was one of the best blogs for young gardeners to learn from about “tricks” of the trade. I have been talking to a lot of young gardeners over the past few months and will be growing vegetables + flowers out for them next year. If you want to learn about  growing visit Annie’s Kitchen Garden. She passed away earlier this year from cancer, but her family has left her blog up for us all to  learn from!


I wanted to share two of the great bloggers that I learned from when I first started blogging…they are exceptional. I have met the most amazing people blogging, and we share seed that is one of the great things about garden blogging.


 Sharing seeds is sharing food over the cyber fence….so to Eliza Waters, your seeds are on the way! Go check her blog out for her paradise on 7 acres…. is a must….I am so lucky to have met these amazing bloggers over the years since 2010!

Please make them your “over the cyber fence” garden neighbor…they are well worth the read!

also check out lrong’ s other blog which I just discovered! Great photos about his life….

Potager Y @ Japan

It has been a long while since I last wrote. Reason is, I had not been feeling well (see here for the story).
Still, I could not just sit still and watch the days go by. Weak I was/am, I am a gardener… 🙂

Being absent for a good portion of August and September, my potager had grown somewhat wild.

Our chestnut tree is about 4 years old, I think.
The tree is still ‘practicing’ how to fruit, and we can enjoy just a few of the fruits this time.

The lushness of the moroheya and the cosmos…

The Korean Perilla and the Malabar spinach in the background provided us with lots to eat…

The insides of a freshly harvested fig… so sweet and tasty it was…

Bit by bit, I cleared the remnants of the summer vegetables, and sowed seeds for the autumn season. Yes, I know I am late…

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30 replies »

  1. I can see why you love Lrong’s blog, Robbie! Wow-so gorgeous (like yours!) and such an interesting writer. I loved “The tree is still ‘practicing’ how to fruit”, it made me feel like he was talking about his child. (I do that, too!) His other blog looks fascinating, too.

    Thank you for sharing Annie’s (Granny) blog. I remember when she died you wrote a beautiful post and I never got a chance to go see it. Now I will spend more time there, where her beautiful photos of all the things she loved leaves one feeling so good! (It was very generous of her family to leave a bit of her legacy for us!)

    And Eliza’s blog is another big Wow!. How about that hydrangea wreath. I just wanted to grab it off the page, lol!

    Loved everything about this post of yours. I always do but this one was extra special–just like you! ❤❤❤

  2. Hi Robbie… thank you very much for reposting my simple words and humble photos in your fine blog… as I read through your writing, I had to control myself from running off to the back of the wall, hiding in embarassment… 🙂

    Still, you are too kind with your words…

    I recall your post that you did on Granny when she passed on.
    I re-read her posts and she is (yes, she lives on in cyberspace) indeed a very funny lady… hilarious, joyful, and delightful right up to the end…

    I am also honored to hear you say that I am one of your oldest blog-friends.
    I remember being impressed by your excellent photos and I emailed you asking if I could comment directly on your blog.

    This morning, I went barefoot walking… the sky and the air, after the passing of a strong typhoon, is so crisp and ‘translucent’… each and every breath of the air brought much happiness to me…

    I also thank Mandy for her comment on how I described the chestnut tree. Thank you for reading…

    Have a good day, ladies!

    • I am glad to hear your are feeling better:-) Barefoot walking now that reminds me of being a child:-) the best thing about summer!
      Yep, you are one of my oldest blogger friends:-)
      You + Granny inspired me to keep on blogging and to open my blog for comments:-)
      Once I figured out how to work the thing-lol
      Your words + photos are to treasure:-)

    • I understand that:-( since I can’t send seeds to some of my blogger gardeners since they are not allowed:-( We trade in the USA freely as long as it is not invasive species. Your country is very strict so we can’t trade. They have their reasons:-) mostly trying to protect your country from invasive species:-) that is good, too.

  3. I can’t wait to visit these blogs! I tried to grow Malabar spinach – germinated on the second try direct to ground but never flourished. I may try to start it next year in pots and set out bigger plants. I planted my cukamelons too late but I do have one little baby on the vine incredibly! So, next year the cukamelons will be a priority. How fun to try new things. I try to grown one new vegetable a year. It’s hard to be that disciplined ha ha!

    • You are so right:-) I grew out purple hull pea from my friend from Alabama. He saved the seed and shared it last year. I tasted the purple hull peas and they were amazing!!! I grew his seed out this year,but did not understand how to eat /grow this food. My Dad was from the south and he grew up with them, so I thought how neat to grow these. Well, my dad does not live near by so I had to figure it out:-) I kept bugging my friend and his wife ( who I bike with weekly in the summer)- “What should I do, what do they look like etc. I grew them out but I waited too long!!! I needed to eat/freeze them when they were fresh. Positive thing; I now have a mason jar full of seeds for my garden-FOREVER-lol. I was worried his 20 seeds would not be enough. Next year, I will do a better job-fun to grow new foods. It is a learning experience:-)
      I usually grow “Red” Malabar spinach + have some saved seed from my first year. I have found that one takes a bit to germinate, so don’t give up on it. It is a beautiful plant. I have never grown the cukamelons, but they sure do look cute-how did the “one” taste?

  4. Better late than never as my gran used to say and also, what actually is “late”? I think we spend too much time looking at our watches and not enough time listening to natures cycles. Your cycles should be slowing down now, cooling, rugging up, retracting, folding in and up and curling up for the winter ahead. It’s only we humans that run ourselves ragged year round. Your garden is stunning. I am on the hunt for perilla (shiso) at the moment. My Korean-o-phile daughter wants to grow it and we think we might have found a mainland source…this gardening lark is most interesting and can take you all over the place and you meet the nicest people over the cyber garden gate. Cheers for the lovely bloggy shares and I hope you feel better soon. Sometimes we just need a bit of time off to reroute, regroup and reformulate ourselves before we tackle the world again. Sometimes we just need to withdraw ourselves “for a time” and come back when we feel like it. I am SO with you. I am finding myself not wanting to be here, online. I got back from my daughters and have an itch to get out in the garden, to wander around outside and to be AWOL from social media for a while. I think it’s a seasonal thing. Hugs from Sidmouth where its still cold but the sun keeps waving from time to time. I love this post by the way 🙂

    • I was reading your comment and it was meant for Lrong:-) He was sick but I might of confused people by posting all about him before his “reblog”…my bad!!!!lol
      He is an amazing blogger + I know you would love to read and spend time with his blog. He is one of the first bloggers, I ever had comment on my first blog. I started out on blogger and never enabled the comment section or took it off at times-lol. I never was into commenting until he and granny started talking to me:-) They inspired me to talk to people for they were so encouraging and
      mentors…just think if I would of quit , I would of never met all of the amazing “over the fence cyber gardeners” I have met!!! I would not of know about your “sancturay” and witty humor-what a loss that would of been! My life is so much richer now:-)

      • I feel the same. I started my blog as a kind of daily email to my mum and the rest of my family that I left interstate when we moved here to Tasmania. I have always loved words and it was fun to slather them into a blog post and make a narfy sandwich. Steve signed me up to WordPress and it took me months to write my first post because I was being bolshie. I don’t like to be shoved in any direction by anyone thank YOU! 😉 I was just amazed that anyone found anything that I talked about to be of interest. When people other than mum started to comment I was a bit worried about what on earth they would find to keep them interested here. I posted daily for a year and then dropped it down to twice weekly and then once a week. I think if you post daily you can burn yourself out where once a week is a nice steady reliable number. I really enjoy engaging with people now. I love the fact that I can talk to people from all over the world and can visit their lives, their thoughts and their virtual homes without having to leave my own little space. Social media is full of amazing possibilities. You just have to dodge the minefields (like Facebook 😉 ) and find the precious places to land, like a butterfly. Some places are more precious than others. Little oasis’s in the social media desert that make you feel like you came home when you land there. I would never have thought that I would EVER get up at 3am (I didn’t this morning, it was 4 😉 ) to want to answer comments and read other people’s blog posts but I do it with joy now because there is just so much to discover, to understand, to learn and to feel “out there” in other peoples words. I am so glad that I was pushed gently into blogging by Steve otherwise my life would not have been anywhere near as rich and varied as it is today 🙂

      • awww…that was beautiful:-) I am stubborn like you=no one pushes me or tells me what to do, if I don’t want to-lol. I will drag my feet:-) I agree-once a week is all I can handle + I write a quarter of what you write! Yours just seems to slip off your fingers with such ease + always just what you think-that is what makes you so special- I know I look forward to seeing what you and others are doing around the world. “I love the fact that I can talk to people from all over the world and can visit their lives, their thoughts and their virtual homes without having to leave my own little space” SPOT ON!!!

      • I will let you into a little secret, so long as you don’t tell anyone and dash my reputation (in as much as I haven’t dashed/thrashed it to death all by myself 😉 ). I don’t actually “write” my blog posts. My muses do. I just sit here and channel the angsty and most motley crew who inhabit my brain space. We have come to an agreement. I won’t try to force them in any direction and they won’t blow up my brain and force me off to be certified. We work together and I am sure that I inherited some pretty priceless muses from some amazing literary giants. They must be incredibly frustrated having to live inside my head ;). I just keep the flow going and allow them to vent and moderate (sometimes) the pressure. We wouldn’t want the muses to blow! 😉

      • They tend not to invite me…exclusivity and all that. I must have signed something when they moved in that kept me on the outside and them on the inside. Thinking about it, it was probably a good idea! 😉

      • Okay..I am heading outside…but have to say..”Narf leaves brain to science to study her muses!!!”…someday when you are gone they can study your amazing mind!

    • Hi narf77… greetings from Japan… thank you very much for your kind comments… you are quite right about taking time out to breath and not get too bogged down with ‘time’… luckily the seeds are germinating well and I hope they can grow to a nice size before the cold comes in…

      • Hi Mr Lrong, I was a bit confused about this post and thought that Robbie wrote it BUT I am very glad to make your acquaintance and I am most excited to follow your wonderful gardening blog thanks to discovering it via Robbie. We live in Tasmania Australia and are just starting to make inroads into our 4 acres out in the “bush”. I love reading about people who are passionate about gardening. My husband (Steve) and I studied horticulture and fell madly in love with plants and everything about them. We want to create 4 acres of wonderful, productive garden here and are learning what it takes to manage the voracious native wildlife and everything else that comes with living in the country. I am very sorry to hear that you have been unwell. The wonderful thing about a garden is that you can head out and sit among your plants and they feed your soul like nothing else can. Whenever I feel sad, or depressed or am ill a walk in the garden sometimes feels better than medicine. Thank you for a most wonderful blog post and for a wonderful blog. I just put your blog into my RSS Feed Reader so that I don’t miss any more posts. I really hope you feel well soon and look forward to sharing comments with you in future posts 🙂

      • I put your response to Lrong on his blog for he gets busy sometimes + I was worried he would miss it.—so I made sure he would see it:-)….he is amazing + I would not want him to miss your response!!!!:-)

      • It looks like Mr Llrong has an amazing blog, thank you for introducing me to it. I am sure that I can learn a great deal through reading it 🙂

  5. Your little patch of cyber space looking great, it sure has been a while since I last looked, possibly when you made that post about Granny that you mention 🙂

    • Yep + it seems a long time ago she passed. I sure do miss visiting her blog:-( It is good they kept her blog up but I miss her humor and energy in the garden. Granny could OUT work a dozen young people! She is missed by this blogger-BUT- I know she is gardening where she never has weeds now:-)

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