|Schefflera aff. chapana|
We grow a number of hardy Schefflera species in the garden, this one is Schefflera aff. chapana which has been with us for about 3 years. We featured a number of our hardy Schefflera in this post last year.
|Ginkgo biloba 'Mariken' with lovely autumn colour|
The nut-like gametophytes inside the seeds are held in high regard in parts of Asia, and are a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (as part of the vegetarian dish called Buddha's delight). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities. Japanese cooks add ginkgo seeds (called ginnan) to dishes such as chawanmushi, and cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes.
The method for preparing the nuts is as follows:
1) remove the 'flesh' from the fruit first & remove the nuts inside.
2) Dry the nuts for a week or so - flesh inside the nut too easy to break if too new.
3) Use nut-cracker against the 2 sharp edges of the nut - it should break into 2 halves.
4) The flesh of the nuts can be boiled, stir-fried or oven cooked (briefly) and then eaten either on their own or as an ingredient in a larger dish
Pink cauliflower, at the RHS London Autumn Harvest Show yesterday evening. The show celebrates the season with a good old vegetable show, which reminded me of my childhood visiting my Grandfathers Allotment Society show at the local church hall. As well as pink cauliflowers, there were giant leaks and a giant pumpkin competition plus numerous other seasonal produce. Keep an eye on Alternative Eden for a blog in due course.
|Encyclia prismatocarpa var lonoglossa|
In the 18th century the English Consul Charles Murray, bought a property south of the church in "Monte" to the north of Funchal, then called "Quinta do Prazer" (The Pleasure Estate). At the turn of the century the property changed hands again when in 1897, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues purchased the estate and built a palatial property which was later converted into the "Monte Palace Hotel".
After Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues died in 1947 and the hotel closed, forty years later the hotel and gardens was purchased by entrepreneur José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo, who donated it to a charitable Foundation he had founded to create what is now Monte Palace Tropical Garden.
For more photos from our visit see here.