Turmeric in the tropical garden

One of my favorite additions to the rooftop garden this year has been turmeric. Here in Sri-Lanka, and most of the region, turmeric (locally kaha) is used to add a warm flavor and rich yellow color to curries. It is also very good for dying fabrics and can create shades from sunshine yellow to burnt orange. Other uses include skin care and medicinal … Read More

Waterfront gardens of the Mahaweli river

On a recent trip to Kandy I enjoyed an evening boat ride during which I was surprised by what at first appeared to be mostly jungle on the riverbanks. On closer inspection I discovered they were actually gardens deliberately planted and maintained along the muddy banks. The crops were mostly tarrow and banana for home use, but others included green and yellow … Read More

Rainy season all-star: Okra + recipe ideas

After struggling through the monsoon seasons last year, I set out to find a green(ish) veg crop for our rooftop garden that would not suffer from overwatering as our tomatoes and pumpkins did. Enter okra, which was until recently my least favorite vegetable. I don’t know why I did not consider okra sooner because we actually eat it somewhat regularly. Popular back home … Read More

Modern espalier

My favorite thing to find in the garden is fruit trees in bloom. The smell, the pop of delicate blossoms, and tiny burgeoning fruits. Unfortunately in most small gardens, fruit trees spend most of the year as thorny tangled messes whose branches lazily droop into nearby vegetable beds. The kindly gardener has to tip-toe around her lemons lest they reach out and tear her sleeve, or worse, … Read More

Espalier Avocado

In our design for the Rosmead Garden we have included several espalier fruit trees to maximize production in our small space without losing much room or sunlight. We plan for one of these to be an avocado. Typically, avocado trees grow very large and cumbersome – 5 to 8 feet at maturity. This would take up most of the small kitchen garden … Read More

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