SPEAKING OF WEEDS…
It makes me ill when I think of all of the plantains I’ve weeded and pitched. It has a fibrous root system, which makes it so much easier to pull out than a dandelion (which is taprooted), but like the dandelion, it’s only a weed if you’re seeking the Scotts-approved “perfect” lawn. I spent years not knowing a thing about this lovely beneficial herb; now when I stumble across it, I leave it be or dig it up and move it to a place where it won’t be unwelcome or mowed. I don’t cook it or eat it, but I have been known to make a poultice from plantain leaves for spider bites.
Plantain is not Weed. It Fights #Cancer, Prevents Kidney Stones, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Parasite and More https://t.co/CrydPS30jc #herbs #foraging #naturalremedies #homesteading pic.twitter.com/OLbAsICxqM
— Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt) July 1, 2019
I have a thing about blues in the garden; I can’t get enough. From a garden design standpoint, that would be a very, very limiting choice. Blue is a receding color, which is great if you are wanting to create depth or make a garden look larger. But it also makes the individual flowers difficult to discern and as a cool color, there’s very little pop. As a result, most designers use blue as a foil to help emphasize other colors or to cool down an overly-warm palette. Me? I just want blue, blue and more blue. My favorite spring blues:
Geranium pretense ‘Mrs. Kendall Clark’: She’s prolific; she’s a reseeder (which I view as a plus); and she’s beloved by the bees. What more could I ask for?
Mrs Kendall Clark pic.twitter.com/PRJItiXOO4
— Victoria (@My_Happy_Flower) June 26, 2018
Brunnera macrophylla: Big, coarse leaves and tiny forget-me-not flowers; when the hosta are just starting to unfurl; this guy is doing his thing.
I know of no other plant family that does blue like the Boraginaceae; just simple Brunnera macrophylla pic.twitter.com/BuVMkgeQJ0
— linden hawthorne (@Haggewoods) April 24, 2014
Mertensia virginica: Easy enough to find in cultivated gardens, but considered endangered as a wildflower in Michigan. It disappears altogether by late May, which is fine with me, because the foliage is scraggly and unrefined. But, oh, those flowers!
Longing to walk amongst this sea of blue again…… Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) pic.twitter.com/AueuBUZs8B
— Annie (@AnnaBellaPics) November 30, 2017
[S]HE LOVES ME, [S]HE LOVES ME NOT I was never one to pluck the petals off daisies; I’m pretty sure if I had tried that with flowers from my mother’s or grandmothers’ gardens, I would have been buying trouble for myself. But the opportunity was always there, because their gardens all included daisies. I have continued the practice, and my personal favorite for the past 15-20 years has been Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’.
— Monrovia (@MonroviaPlants) May 8, 2015
THIS IS THE ONE AND ONLY RED WINE I LIKE First introduced in 1992 by White Flower Farms; when I ordered my plants from them, I was told I was one of the first 10 to order the variety. The color just took my breath away (and still does). Monarda are not “neat” plants, but since I am not a “neat” gardener (no formal gardens for me…the more natural, the better), its loose habit works just fine. And did I mention the color?
Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’:
— Rosborough Partners (@RosboroughPart) July 23, 2015
One of my favourites, for it’s rich deep tone – Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’. pic.twitter.com/gu9940EiQB
— Fi Reddaway (@Fi_Reddaway) July 8, 2018
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE RUDBECKIA (AND NO, IT’S NOT ‘GOLDSTURM’) Don’t get me wrong…I love ‘Goldsturm’ and have it several of my gardens. But the black-eyed Susan that I look up to (literally!) is ‘Herbstsonne’ (Autumn Sun). She’s a stately 6′ tall in my gardens, and she flowers from late July/early August well into September. The bees and the butterflies adore her almost as much as I do.
— SpecialPerennials (@helenium_uk) August 25, 2018
IF I WERE QUEEN OF THE MIDWEST, I WOULD DECREE THAT MORE GARDEN CENTERS FEATURED THESE PLANTS, BECAUSE I CAN’T POSSIBLY BE THE ONLY ONE WHO COVETS THEM I have no idea why these plants aren’t more widely used. They’re late(r) season plants, so they add color to the garden when the mid-summer, prolific bloomers are a mere memory. They’re both natives, which is an important consideration for biodiversity and as the climate crisis deepens. And they are stunning in the gardens and a perfect complement to the fall leaves as they are starting to change. Yet they’re still harder to find in the local garden centers than a Hibiscus untouched by Japanese beetles…
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale). Late summer and autumn flowering perennial, it got its common name due to the use of its leaves in making snuff! Since it’s insect, not wind pollinated, don’t worry- as long as you aren’t snorting the dried leaves it won’t make you sneeze! pic.twitter.com/BUob1UbHMm
— Heather C. (@BadBirchBotanic) September 19, 2018
Our plant of the day is Vernonia noveboracensis, also known as New York ironweed. This plant was once used as medicine to treat childbirth pains and stomach problems by the Cherokee! To learn more about our native plants, head over to Go Botany!
Photo by: Dan Jaffe pic.twitter.com/o6Acjx2cAz
— Native Plant Trust (@nativeplanttrst) May 31, 2019
What plants do you think of as quintessentially “your region” of the country?
My Tuesday post featured thumbnails of the “top row” candidates; this is a continuation of that overview, this time featuring the bottom row.
On December 20, 2018, the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 passed the Senate by unanimous consent. After 200 attempts since 1882, this was the first federal anti-lynching legislation to pass in the Senate. It was passed again by unanimous consent in the 116th Congress in February 2019 and sent to the House, where it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. (Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2019) If passed by the House and signed by the Current pResident, the legislation will be historic and unfortunately, still necessary:
Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., drafted the bipartisan legislation, which defines the crime as “the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person.” It also classifies lynching as a hate crime that would warrant enhanced sentences.
“It’s a travesty that despite repeated attempts to do so, Congress still hasn’t put anti-lynching legislation on the books,” Booker said in a statement. “This bill will right historical wrongs by acknowledging our country’s stained past and codifying into law our commitment to abolishing this shameful practice.” African-American Senators Introduce Anti-Lynching Bill
I was reminded of this legislation when I was considering the lengths to which white supremacists will go to retain power, which in turn reminded me of a previous anti-lynching bill and the 6-week filibuster. That story follows.
I spent the weekend in the garden, and the repetitive, simple acts of digging up unwanted re-seeders and spreaders (are they “weeds” if their only crime is being in the wrong place?) leaves one time to think. Did I ponder the meaning of life? Did I discover the cure for the common cold? Did I figure out the key to achieving world peace? Of course not. Instead, I found myself wondering why the Ohio state flower is the carnation, when it is far from a common or native plant grown in Ohio gardens. And then I wondered what the Michigan state flower was. (I grew up in Ohio, so I learned these basics in 8th grade Ohio history. I have far less knowledge of Michigan trivia.) This simple train of thought led to a rabbit hole of discovery which was more interesting than I would have anticipated.