We’re hitting that magical time of the season when a growing portion of our meals are gleaned from the garden. I enjoy moving around the space, snipping bits of this and that from here and there. I have edibles tucked in everywhere. There are lettuce seedlings in every bed, except the dry one. They would not fair well there.
Yesterday’s lunch, a simple salad (Except the eggs. No chickens here. Le sigh. Oh, and the cheese.) came from the garden.
Here’s my process:
- Photo Top Left: ‘Four Seasons’ lettuce. This is the same lettuce that miraculously overwintered. I dug up the seedlings and planted them here and there.
- Photo Top Right: Harvesting assorted edible greens. These include: Two types of spinach, bloody dock, chive flowers, viola flowers, French Sorrel, pea shoots, curly parsley, violet leaves, another type of lettuce (I forget), curly cress, ‘Green Wave’ mustard, mizuna, ‘Red Frills’ mizuna, spring onion, lemon balm, mint, and borage seedlings. These are just a few examples of salad fixins you can grow.
- Photo Bottom Left: Easy dressing done right in the bowl. Just add your greens and toss. Olive oil, a dash of Balsamic vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped chive blossoms and parsley.
- Photo Bottom Right: And eat. With boiled eggs and asparagus. Enjoyed with a kefir milk smoothie.
I am loving this combination of the chartreuse ‘Designer Genes’ hosta, flanked by the delicate Claytonia virginica ‘Spring Beauty’ blooms.
See also: Sierra Spring Beauty (Claytonia nevadensis).
God, how I love an overnight rainfall. There is nothing more optimistic than waking up to a bright and sunny day with the soil moist and fresh smelling. These are the perfect conditions for weeding. The softened soil makes it easy to slip weedlings (a spelling slip that I’m not gonna change) from the soil, and the pleasant atmosphere brings an added sense of joy to the task.
I’ve made it a habit over the years to learn about and identify as many plants in the seedling stage as I can so that I know at a glance who stays and who goes. Some seedlings are worth cultivating, but others just suck up nutrients and space — the sooner you can get them out the better.
The mystery seedling with just the seed leaves showing.
A handful of one particular type of seedling that I can not identify has been coming up in a section of the garden. They seem too delicate to be a tree, but don’t look like anything I have grown or even seen before. Some seedlings do change dramatically as they age, so there’s always the chance that they are something I am growing. They could have come in with the wind or birds but I don’t see them in my neighbors’ yard, yet many are situated near the fence. They could have come in the soil with some plants I planted last year… I can’t say for certain where they hailed from, but I do want to know what they are. They are delicate and pretty little things. Their beauty has bought them some time as well as my curiosity.
Can you identify these seedlings? I’m so eager to know I will send one of our t-shirts, any size or style to the first person that can correctly identify them.
Your help is appreciated!
UPDATE: Thanks to Kristen who identified the seedling as jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The plant came in through a bush I bought at last year’s Parkdale Horticultural Society Plant Fair and I left it because it’s such a useful medicinal plant. I completely forgot about it until Kristen made the identification.
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” – The Carpenters
I’m not going to mince words — the weather is shit right now. It’s grey and cold and the coffee I drank two hours ago has been unable to penetrate its dreary, low energy malaise. I feel like a zombie and I look like one, too. I often joke that I’ve spent so much time in the company of plants that I’ve become one. But the plants are bright, colourful, and standing up straight today — we are not in sync at all.
If you can stand to be outdoors, the overcast haze makes the perfect conditions for photographing the garden. I dragged my sorry ass out there this afternoon to capture some recent changes to the garden and photograph these books. The lemon balm is reaching a nice size now and I was reminded on sighting it that a fistful lazily torn and brewed in a cup of hot water is a good rainy day remedy. I added slices of fresh ginger and ginger honey purchased at the market to mine.
The cup is empty now and while I can’t say that I am feeling any more chipper than before, I am at least cheered by the prospect of more drinks made with fresh (rather than dried) herbs from the garden in the coming months.
‘Yalta’ is another of the crocus varieties that I planted last fall. It has alternating purple and soft, silvery lavender petals with a delicate and long throat. Apparently it is a C. tommasinianus hybrid, which is another species that I prefer, particularly ‘Ruby Giant’.