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Clover Aboretum

A secret garden is nestled in the alps, resting in the mountain off the Bogong High Plains Road that winds its way up to Falls Creek.
The arboretum was once a village of 17 huts that hosted the men and their families who worked on the Kiewa hydro scheme from the early 1940s before its damp and cold conditions were deemed a health risk in the 1950s and its residents moved back to Mount Beauty.
The huts were sold off and the place was flattened with the trees the workers planted left to thrive.
The arboretum has suffered losses in its years, 2003 bushfires wiped out 60 per cent of the trees and deer have prevented more trees from being planted until the local committee in charge can obtain metal guards to protect them.
Among the non-native trees you find the very European horse chestnut, Japanese Acorn, the Tulip tree and the inevitable Rhododendrons.

Full article, see:


Vollständiger Text und Originalquelle:

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Botanische Hosentasche

From next week on it will be again pick(ing)s from the wayside: weird kangooroo flowers, fake verbena, seemingly ordinary thistles and other plants gathered from the land around Bogong,  Mt. Beauty and Falls Creek…

blue fern


fake verbena

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texan garden video

6 out of 12 from the “Garden Pieces” compositon series (Wurfsendung/deutschlandradio kultur, 2012) have found their visual expression and are now online!

Infos für Texan Garden:

Eine Wurfsendung von Gabi Schaffner
Visualisiert von Juliane Kuhnt
Produktion: Bauhaus-Universität Weimar und Deutschlandradio Kultur

Here are the other ones:






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Datscha Radio sends forth a wintry whirlwind of Best Wishes for the upcoming year!
A fruitful and happy 2017 to you! :)

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21st October broadcast now online: Ms Schaffner digs into her (Datscharadio) archives to see what kind of acoustic earthworms she can extract from the dirt. Cued up – among other things – are the lawnmower micro-symphonies and some cross-pollinating studio guests. With Mark Vernon.

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The Sortino Honey Festival starts on the 23rd of September, a three day fiesta dedicated to this most cherished product of the region: Hyblean Honey. A definite reason to visit one of Sortino’s most reknowned bee farmers.The honeys of the Sortino region are famous for their delicate aromatic mixture of sweetness and character. The honey making culture here is one of the oldest in the world. Hyblean Honey is only produced within a small region of Sicily and the towns of Sortino, Ragusa and Ferla belong to the heart of it.


Gianfranco Pagliaro is a beekeeper in the 4th generation already. There are 4-5 professional apiculturists made their home in the region and there are many more that produce on a smaller and more private scale.
Signore Pagliaro owns about 400-500 hives that are located in different parts of the country. Asked about the amount of honey that gets produced in a year, he says that this can be very different, depending on the weather and the flowering seasons of plants. Our aim that day was twofold: a) recording the sound of bees in their box b) capturing a true Sicilian song. Together with the musician Sebastiano, Gianfranco and me set our to visit his farm that is located some kilometres outside of town.

The wide room inside the farm hosts three big steel containers, a work table, staples of new as well as used bee homes; a side room serves as an office. The containers currently hold three kinds of honey: Thyme, Millefiori and Eucalyptus.

bee hive

To keep the bees from stinging while putting the microphones into the bee box Gianfranco brings up a traditional “smoke machine” with an attached bellow:


While the recording is made, Signore Pagliaro comes forth with his truest treasure: a spirit made from honey. Each beekeeper of the region does his/her own version of this but all of them keep the recipe secret, it is only delivered from father to son.

the spirit of honey 1

the spirit of honey 2

In order to describe its taste one would have to write a poem… enough said!


In his office Gianfranco shows us the picture of his grandfather fabricating one of the boxes then used as beehives by hand. One of these still sits on top of his shelf.

Signore Pagliano's grandfather

Of course we have a degustation. While Millefiori (onethousand flowers) is the offinical “wildflower honey” of Siciliy and probably the one best known in the world, Signore Pagliari also produces thyme honey and the eucalyptus and orange blosssom kinds. Thyme is the sublest in taste while  eucalyptus is the darkest, in mood as well as in colour. There was no orange blossom honey this year, alas: It has been unusual and the reason for it is unknown yet, but the flowering of the orange trees this year was very poor and so: No orange blossom honey in 2016!


After tasting the honey and some more shots of the miraculous honey spirit we came to the musical part.

Sebastiano's guitar
All recordings can be accessed on this blog, not now though, but in a later update :)






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The garden of the Cappuccine convent in Sortino lies deserted, enclosed by high walls, and less than 2% of the inhabitants have ever set a foot into it. Padre Matteo opened  its doors for us. A former orchard and herb garden that hasn’t been tended for years. It is overgrown with Iopomea, oranges lie in the grasses, giant fennel (Ferla) stalks stand briskly in your way. There are olive, almond and lemon trees. Crumbling stone steps lead up to the high cedars that flank the North side of the enclosure. To the South we can see the lands of prehistoric Pantalicca and the valley of the invisible river – “Anapo” means invisible and it is called like that because this river disappears three times in the ground and resurfaces again.


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Columbia Road Flowermarket

Columbia Road’s flower market explodes into whirls of colours… mixed with voices and plastic bags, hats, hands and hair-dos.

Here come some views:

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London in August, a vist at Roots and Shoots, located since 32 years in the council on Lambeth. Founder Linda Phillips leads me on winding paths through a wonderous maze of plots, meadows and espaliers. This biotope unfolds on just an acre of formerly contaminated industrial grounds in the mid of London. The garden started out as a community project and is now supported, next to private donors, by charitiy organisations and the council of London. Roots and Shoots offers educational training to disadvantaged youths, works with school classes and kindergardens and collaborates with international environmental organisations. It encourages neighborhood activities and is strenguously committed to green the world and our thinking.

Datscha Radio wasn’t lazy in other ways as well and therefore forthcoming on this blog:

– Audiowalk Roots & Shoots including a visit in the dragon’s den  + picture gallery
– Audiowalk Flowermarket Columbia Road + picture gallery
– Talk Wild Flower Garden + picture gallery
– Views of Chelsea Physics Gardens

Webseite: Roots and Shoots

Photos: Garden gate, view garden, sleeping young fox at pond, guava in “Paradise Corner” (in memoriam William Blake)

View Roots&Shoots: gate to the garden  View Roots&Shoots: flowers View Roots&Shoots: sleeping fox  View Roots&Shoots: paradise corner

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Young ZilpZalp

A young chiffchaff fell from its nest and will soon return to his temporary cardboard box home: A visit to the National Ornithological Station,  Hessia,  Enkheim, Frankfort.

In a very interesting talk the director of the station, Dr. Martin Hormann, told interesting stories about the wood pidgeon’s “slovenly built nests”, the polygamous habits of the wren and the jay bird’s relevance for the endurance of oak forests. One of my favourites though was the shitty tactics of male fieldfares  in combat with magpies: A true alternative to consider now as the cherries are ripening.

1. wacholderdrossel_cut2.mp3     

Moreover, some views of bird homes adapted to the needs of different kinds of birds in size and nesting habits. Details on this will possibly follow when I find the time…

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