Behold a colourful mass of naked ladies emerging from a tangle of periwinkle that I happened upon on an afternoon walk. I highly recommend planting colchicum corms in any-sized garden, even if you are a beginner. [How to grow info is here.]
You Grow Girl was launched in February 2000, as a community for gardeners not unlike myself; people who want to grow but whose garden space is less than ideal. And for those of us with shallow pockets but a big, crazy love for tending plants and making a meal from homegrown fare, wherever home may be. – Read on…
Perhaps it is a small observation, but one worth noting. This morning while working in the kitchen, I witnessed some of the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) seedpods that I had set aside to fully dry bursting open and spilling their contents all around and onto the floor. The sound that they made as the seeds hit my enamel top kitchen table was audible and I wondered for a moment if it was raining.
Later in the day I went back into the kitchen for my afternoon coffee break and discovered more seedpods had burst and spilled their micro-sized contents all around.
While I was unsure about this particular poppy’s chemical constitution (I am always careful to wash my hands thoroughly after collecting the pods), the sight of them spilling onto the floor did make me pause and consider the myriad of garden collected seeds and seedpods that I have sitting in bowls, trays, and shallow dishes around the house at this time of year. I am used to living with an adult human and a cat who couldn’t be bothered with my strange human messes. But since last January we have welcomed a scruffy dog into our life, and like most dogs she is a living Hoover, vacuuming up anything that seems even remotely edible from any surface within reach. Everything is a potential snack until it has been tested and either rejected or approved. This made me think about those of you with young children who collect and save seeds from your garden. I don’t know how you do it. The task is rife with so much potential for little seeds ending up in little mouths.
I consulted a number of books on my shelves in search of an answer as to California poppy’s toxicity, and found it in Marjorie Harris’ “Botanica“:Leave a comment
I’m bringing back the Daily Botanical feature. Since I stopped doing them regularly I have sorely neglected to write about the new and interesting plants that I am growing or run into in my travels. It feels like the right time to bring them back.
The Sinningia you see in bloom here was the topic of a Daily Botanical dating back to September 16, 2010. It is only because I have this record that I now know that it blooms annually literally to the date.Leave a comment
I’m on a staycation of sorts. The last month and a half was overbooked and I’m exhausted. Burned out. Frazzled. Fried. I am trying to relearn that there is nothing noble or brag-worthy about working yourself to the bone at the expense of your health and wellbeing.
There is much gardening and preserving to do. My poor garden has suffered. It is an overgrown jungle. It is a bit of a mess and needs to be refreshed. I had visitors yesterday and spent the entire time apologizing for the state of the garden. Feelings of embarrassment and even shame lingered long after they had left. You could say that I too am a bit of a mess and in need of refreshment.
Clockwise from Top Left: 1. The first thing I did after friends left yesterday was pull out a giant cosmos that had seeded itself at the edge of a pathway. This photo does nothing to show scale. The thing was a multi-tennacled beast. I have a tendency sometimes to hold onto plants that demonstrate resiliency and determination, even when they are a total pain in the ass and need to go. There I go again, always rooting for the underdog. 2. So far I have spent the first morning of Operation Get My Brain Back taking photos of tomatoes and seeds that I am saving. Sounds like work (it is technically), but it is enjoyable, pleasurable, creative work and so I’m allowing it as a way to ease into a week of slowing down that I hope will eventually end in doing nothing. The tomatoes is in this photo are ‘Mennonite Orange.’ 3. A still life portrait of my kitchen this morning. The yellow enamel container in front holds radish seedpods; the basket contains tomatoes that need to be preserved or photographed; that’s edible chrysanthemum in the vase at the back. It too had grown into an unruly mess. I put the cuttings in a Mason jar vase to keep it fresh until I get a chance to cook it. 4. I bought a bunch of plants yesterday at the fall Ontario Rock Garden Society sale at the Toronto Botanical Garden. I purchased several plants gleaned from members’ gardens; however, those in this photo were all purchased from one vendor, Wrightman Alpines. I am planning to expand my Dry Bed this fall by removing a bunch of irises that are taking up space at the edge. I am so excited to have found two hardy agave to try out there this winter!
Assorted and Sundry