It was a fine Spring morning last Saturday at Rick's with a light, crisp cool breeze to keep things lively. My big excitement was to see the Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) – not a great photo – coming up strong through the grass mulch, and in true Mint Family fashion, has spread its roots out and is coming up around his neighbor buddy, Oregano (Origanum vulgare). We'll see how that goes as things warm up and really get growing...
The Angelica (Angelica archangelica) has tripled in size since my last post. And the Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is coming back strong.
I planted California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in this sunny corner with the Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor) and Sorrel (Rumex acetoca). Cross fingers that they love it here.
Rick has Hops (Humulus lupulus) vines growing all along his fence. It makes such a nice place for birds and bugs to explore, while softening the space. Not to mention the lovely bitter and aromatic strobiles. This summer, I'll make a nice bitters formula with them.
Last Fall, Rick cleared out his side yard so I could try to grow Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). This was an unused area in his backyard, so we have nothing to lose. Crossing more fingers that the seeds will germinate. All of the seeds I planted this day can be sown in the Fall or well ahead of the last frost in the Spring. Many seeds need the cold, freezing weather to germinate. We've had a nice, yet erratic, Spring with the weather shape-shifting by the hour. This one is not going out like a lamb. More like an upset teenager that doesn't want to get up in the morning.
Spring can be a bit frustrating, as I would love to just go crazy with planting. At home on my lanai, I have already put in pansies, watercress, kale, peas, and some daffodils. And sowed some Nettles (Urtica dioica) and Calendula (Calendula officinalis) seeds – some of which are coming up already. But I can't resist going to the Flower Bin in Longmont to do some planning and take photos to satisfy my need for all things green and growing.
It's the last day in March and things in Rick's garden are neat as a pin. This is my second day back here prepping and planning for the summer ahead, but Rick has been busy all winter growing all types of greens in his covered beds and planting a zillion types of garlic in the main vegetable garden.
I am fortuante to have been invited by Rick to share the work and bounty in his amazing backyard. He is an avid lover of all plants and a very talented gardener, so when he gave me several beds to create an herb garden, I was overjoyed!
This will be my third summer digging in the dirt with him and he never ceases to amaze me with his sense of gardening adventure, so I decided to follow his lead and document our progress along with my other herbal adventures here and blah blah blog about it. You can read his blog at Expanding the Circle Gardens.
Last year we grew sucessful patches of Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica). This year I have my heart set on a nice harvest of California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Rick wants to try his hand at growing Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).
Rick has a collection of five different types of mint. I split and repotted all of them today. Now we have ten lovelies to pick from for our teas and oils.
The Angelica (Angelica archangelica), Wood Betony (Stachys officinalis), and Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) – of course – are coming up well after their first winter. Lots of other herbs coming back for more love too. We'll have Calendula (Calendula officinalis) and Borage (Borago officinalis) that will volunteer in the bed corners and fence lines. Garlic chives and parsley will spray forth here and there. I love this so much.
Next week, I'll harvest some violets and make a honey, or maybe a butter... ox mt