The artichokes planted last year have borne fruit and whilst some have been left to seed we set up a temporary kitchen in the landscape office and cooked a number of them with Tsetan and Ritzen to try. They seemed happy with the results and before I knew it had a number others keen to try them too. A number of the artichokes were taken home by the staff so, who knows, it may be more likely to turn up on the local menu.

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In the nursery we started to thin some of the higher undergrowth in the orchard beds; two weeks of hot weather coupled with steady water from irrigation and rain resulted in the Alfalfa and Artemisia beginning to compete with the trees for water. As water supply from the irrigation system is still most “challenging” in the nursery the Artemisia was removed and the Alfalfa more selectively thinned and lowered; the latter is nourishing the soil quite effectively and so worthy of selective retention. Other work included harvesting and replanting Coriander, which would appear to be indestructible, and planting on ornamentals from the nursery into the landscape; The beds for the secondary school were prepared and planted with Marigolds and Cosmos. The irrigation laterals were extended to include the bed and it is now covered by the irrigation schedule. The compost pile was also watered and turned and the smaller Alfalfa plants relocated from the nursery to supplement the beds in the landscape.

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The site is generally really looking good with much of the planting of previous years, and earlier this year, coming into full bloom and shows the full potential of a well irrigated landscape.

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At the weekend I was invited to the school picnic at site by the Indus, which is both idylic and a great example of what can be created to the front of the school with quality planting; I estimate that at mid-day the river combined with the planting lowered to the ambient tempreture by as much as 3-4 degrees so clearly something worth striving for.