Mid-may is technically late spring, although the cool weather has retarded the growth of plants at the moment. Still, old friends are slowly making their way to the surface, to rise and shine and offer up their bounty again!
There have been a few days with brilliant sun, and one day I took the opportunity to "forage" ---aka "weed"--- my neighbor's garden!
What manner of goodies, or shall I say plant friends, did I find?
Violets. I mentioned in my last post that you can infuse the flowers in honey, although I am not one who does that. Instead, I love to add the mucilaginous leaves to salads, soups, smoothies and stews. Because of that slippery feel to the leaves, I DON'T use them in green juices. I like to add the leaves either fresh or dried to soups and stews and use fresh leaves in smoothies. I also dry the leaves and flowers and then add a tiny bit to herbal infusions, especially infusions that are bitter or astringent (e.g. horsetail infusion). Adding a touch of mucilaginous herbs is HIGHLY recommended in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as it helps to protect tender mucous membranes and helps to alleviate the body from getting too dried out (in TCM speak, it helps to protect the yin).
Gardening-wise, Violets are VERY easy to grow and they make one of the BEST plants to grow in the shade!! I have found leaves as huge as my palm when I've found Violets hiding among some other plants and also along a forest trail. Definitely consider planting some Violets, Pansies or Heart's-ease if you have a shady patch in your garden :)
Creeping Charlie. Gardening-wise, if you have a patch of empty earth, consider planting this creeper. That's right, Charlie is a real creeper and will creep all over that bare earth in no time! Being in the mint family, as I mentioned in the last post, you can add the flowers and leaves to soups, stews, salads and even smoothies. I also mentioned that she has a particular taste (<-don't mind me, I call all plants "her" in reference to the divine Mother Earth as opposed to calling a plant an object "it") which is rather astringent. Thrown into a smoothie with fruits or into a soup or stew, trust me when I say you won't even taste her. For soups and stews, may I recommend that you puree them and add in some sweet veggies like carrots, beets and potatoes. It's my go-to trick for adding bitter herbs to a big pot, cooking everything up and then pureeing. Once you do that, no one will have a clue what goodness is in that puree!!
Dandelion. Speaking of which, Dandelion is a good one to add to soups and stews and pureeing makes all the difference! I add the greens fresh or dried to soups and stews. I like to juice the greens with some other less bitter greens like kale or chard, then take this green juice and blend it up in the blender with some sweet fruit like mangoes or some veggies such as carrots and tomatoes. Again, the taste of that sweet fruit or veggie masks any bitter taste from the greens!! Oh and if you were wondering why on earth we should be eating dandy greens: because they are exceptionally good for your liver and are high in Vitamin C and many minerals. Dandy greens are FREE FOOD...and your neighbors will be more than happy to let you weed their garden for free!! Free food for you and a happy liver---win, win!! Remember that you can dry the leaves, store them in a paper bag and then use them during the colder months :)
Plantain. Really, perhaps we should just call her Plantago, because when we say plantain people think of that fruit that looks like a banana. Plantago has small leaves which are cooling and likes compacted soil. Where there's one, there's more! Leaves are quite small at this point, but they are perfect to add to salads because they are tender---they toughen as they age. Fresh or dried, add them to soups and stews, and add the fresh leaves to smoothies and green juices. I also add them to infusions for their healing and cooling properties. They are a green which is recommended to help those dealing with digestive inflammation, such as Crohn's, colitis, IBS, etc. You can even take the dried leaves, grind them to a powder and then pack them into empty capsules (you can buy the capsules online or sometimes at health food stores).
Forget-me-not. These blue flowers are such a pretty addition to the garden, but they do spread and can be rather invasive. The flowers don't have much taste, but they do pretty up a salad and make an OK garden nibble. I had a flower or two while I was perusing the garden :)
Malva or Mallow. This wild one is in the malvaceae family and all plants have a soothing, mucilaginous property that is sought after by those with inflamed intestines. She's another one that you can dry ALL parts of her and use her to help offset the drying effect of bitter and astringent herbs. You can find her growing in the wild and she's often sold at flower markets. Some of them have pretty striped flowers while others are solid colors, like solid pink or purple.
I like adding the leaves fresh or dried to soups and stews, and adding the fresh leaves to smoothies or chopped up in salads. Some of the leaves can be as huge as your palm and make for excellent leafy green wraps!! That'll be later in the season, though, because at this point they are still small and need to grow.
I transplanted 2 of them into a shady area of a little plot of land close to my house and I will see how they fare in the shade.
Tulips. Tulip petals are edible, yes! They make for tasty additions to salads and I like to stuff them with pate. The inner part is NOT edible and you do NOT want to eat flowers (any flower) from the flower shop. No pesticides or herbicides, please! Tulips do come in different colors and that means each color has a different taste I rather fancy the red and yellow ones, which are reminiscent of bell peppers. The white ones aren't bad tasting and the pink one I tried wasn't to my liking. I spotted an orange on on the way to work today but I'd have if I could have a nibble to see what that one tastes like! See which ones tickle your taste buds!!
Garlic Mustard. I spotted a plant the other day and have yet to have a peek-see behind the mall, where I found a big patch last year. Some people say the leaves are less bitter BEFORE they go into flower and I do tend to agree. HOWEVER, if you are adding them fresh or dried to soups and stews, you won't notice the difference in taste. Some do add the leaves to salads and some add them to herbal vinegars. You can also dry the leaves and then grind them to a powder and use as a garlic powder substitute. This plant does have a window of time where you can pick her, FYI. Generally, by June she's all dried up with the heat, so befriend her now while she's around :)
Hostas. Yes, these plants which many plant for their ornamental and hardy nature, are edible! They are in the same family as asparagus and are quite tasty! When young and furled like in the photo, they are called hostons. At this stage and when the leaves are growing in, they are the best tasting. I add them fresh to soups and stews. I've also juiced them with veggies, but prefer them cooked. When they are older, the leaves toughen up and they get holey with snail bites. I've still juiced them and have even added some of the bigger leaves (cooked) to pate recipes and have found them to be a bit more on the bitter side, but still tasty. There are different varieties but they are all edible! Knowing this, you can plant them in your garden and have FREE FOOD all season long! The flowers are also edible, although not much in the way of taste, and I've added them to salads to pretty them up.
Strawberry Leaves. The white flowers are out! And yes, the leaves are edible! I add them at any stage to salads, soups and smoothies. I also dry them, store them in paper bags and then add them to soup recipes as "greens" during the colder months. They do have an astringent property about them and you can dry the leaves, make an infusion and drink to help with diarrhea. Blackberry leaves in an infusion, FYI, make a much better medicine for diarrhea.
As I write this post today, I know there are other plant friends that I am sure I will talk about in future posts. Friends like Creeping Bellflower, Lamb's Quarter and Sow Thistles --- all of which have leaves to add to the soup pot, juicer or blender! And then there's Red and White Clover...and perhaps some Yarrow...ah, but such encounters will have to be seen!
Enjoy the good weather while it's here, sunshine, and keep burning that light steady on :)
Churchground Foraging: Phlox, Bloodroot, Hosta, Day Lily, Bee Balm n More And Bra Adventure with Japanese Lover-boy Beetle
Thursday seemed to be another promising day for foraging, all except for the weather.
I realized that I've actually become a fussy forager: not too hot, not too cold, and certainly not wet at all!
Since I was invited by my neighbor to peruse the church grounds for weeds, and since it was close by, I decided to hop on my bike and pay a short visit.
On the way there, I stopped to smell the Roses.
The Roses were mostly spent, and the ones that were left were lodging Japanese beetle couples! I took a few white and deep burgundy ones, then off to the church I went.
I parked my bike and walked up to the side of the church.
Hm, rambling plants toppling over onto the concrete walkway.
I immediately noticed the trailing vine of Wild Grape and took a few leaves for a future pesto.
There was Sow Thistle and Dandelion, of course, those familiar friends!
I spotted Bee Balm, now with flowers almost spent. Most of the leaves were still viable, so I picked a good fistful for a future tea (or soup, as I've added the leaves to the soup cauldron in the past ;)). The minty smell as I picked the leaves off the stalk was a welcoming burst of olfactory delight :)
Purple Loosestrife, bent over by a strong wind most probably, was another looker that I noticed. I took none of her showy flowers, but did collect several of her leaves for a future pesto.
There were 2 plants that looked exactly the same, with opposite lance-shaped leaves and 5 heart-shaped petals. One had white petals while the other had pink petals. On quick glance I thought them to be Dame Rocket, except that rockets and cresses, being in the Mustard family, have 4 petals not 5, plus they come out in the spring and not in the heart of mid-summer.
And then it came to me that there is a someone who looks like Dame Rocket, but has 5 petals....Phlox!! Ah yes, that sweetie has petals which can be added to salads, the taste being a bit spicy and reportedly best in fruit salads. Growing some Phlox in a flower box myself and having a nibble, the taste is quite nice actually, no need for fruit :)
Then there were the Day Lillies. Orange ones, pink ones, mauve-yellow, red and white ones. There have been reports of allergies to the edible flower, although I suspect that when the opened flowers are eaten, it may also be because of the pollen. The closed buds are quite tasty, and I collected a few from each of the 5 different colors. While great dipped in a tempura batter and then fried, I like steaming mine and then adding them to.... pestos! Just be mindful that they are laxative, so a few go a long way ;)
I couldn't believe it when I spotted the unusual leaves of Bloodroot, but it was true: a patch of that strong medicine was growing right here by the wall of the church! Usually Bloodroot grows in woodlands, and plants that grow in the forest contain strong medicine. Bloodroot, so-called because her dark red root looks like the color of blood, is actually an endangered plant. Being highly toxic yet excellent to help those with tooth/gum disease and chronic lingering lung issues such as bronchitis or pneumonia, the dosage of Bloodroot is just ONE measly tinctured drop per day!
I then walked along to the front entrance of the church. There were a few plants on the terrace (hullo Mallow!) and then a hodgepodge of plants growing along the other side of the church.
Interestingly, before writing up this diary post, I had to ask for a bit of help identifying the cultivated plants! Yes, while most gardeners would recognize a Dahlia or Hydrangea, it would seem that I have only weeds on the brain ;)
On my way back from running a few errands, I collected a few Dock leaves then popped into my balcony gardening to do a bit of harvesting/pruning:
And speaking of lymphatic herbs, I also had the opportunity of collecting a few handfuls of Prunella from my neighbor's lawn. It was a such a lovely evening. I felt so calm and happy at the same time, just being out there in the evening sunshine, simply bending and squatting down to collect tiny little blue flowers that were smiling and winking at me...Such simple moments, living in the now....
I also discovered while hopping around my neighbor's front lawn that the Mallow plant I gave her last year made good on making babies: there must be about a dozen Mallow plants growing under her birch tree! I pruned them, of course, divesting each one of a few large leaves, to be dried and added to future infusions to heal and soothe irritated mucosal linings. And finally, I collected a large handful of Violet leaves. The ones hiding under the bushes were a dark shade of green while the few I plucked growing between blades of grass were such a light green in comparison.
Aaaah, my dehydrator trays all full, I'll be onto the next harvesting/foraging adventure soon enough! Keep smilin' sunshine, cuz you're brightness is just the sweet light that's needed :)
PS. True story: I was feeling something sticking into my back when I went to the mall after mini-foraging on the church grounds. I removed my backpack, trying to dislodge whatever it was that I thought was on the outside of my tshirt. Right there in the middle of the store, I wrenched my tshirt around, looking for the critter. Not finding it and still feeling something poking me mid-back, I reached my hand up under my bra to remove a lil wise-guy, who fell onto the floor of the store. Ah-ha! A Japanese beetle!
Where's your girlfriend, lover boy? I asked him.
I picked him up off the floor with a tissue, encasing him in the tissue and left the store. I couldn't very well leave him in the middle of the aisle, now could I?
His thanks was to poop right on my hand when we got to the big outdoors.
Gee thanks, I said, wiping up the mess with the tissue.
He wanted me to bring him to the Rose bushes.
You can find them yourself, I told him, especially after that last gesture.
He made a few small movements like he was hurt (yeah right, you're fine), then with a harrumph, opened his wings and took flight.
Interestingly, I saw a Japanese beetle the next day hanging onto a Nettle leaf. Same little guy, I wondered? Was his sense of smell that strong to find me out? And what the heck was he doing playing around with Stinging Nettle, of all plants?!
He stopped when I got close to stare at him, then took off with a harrumph ;)
Japanese Beetles, gotta love 'em :)
PPS. I took lots of pics, so Enjoy :)
Yep, yet another pit stop at the flower shop, er, market.
This time I really went there to get some fresh Basil to make a mean green spread. I mentioned in the previous post that I had collected Hosta, Loosestrife and Daisy Fleabane leaves, so pesto is definitely on the menu! To the pesto, I'm going to add some Dandy leaves, Mallow leaves, Chickweed, Lamb's Quarter and perhaps some Lemon Verbena and/or Anise Hyssop. I also purchased some GF Miso from the health food store and I find that this simple ingredient can really add a nice touch of flavor to any pesto/spread.
Since I'm planning on making 2 or 3 types of pesto this week (foraging for Milkweed and other lovely edibles is on the schedule), I got 3 Basil plants, 2 of Cinnamon Basil and one of Pesto Basil. And to add flavor (and because the plants I have I've used enough of their leaves) I also picked up a Lemon Verbena and an Anise Hyssop.
Once again, I spent some time chit-chatting with the flower market man. I was telling him about my pesto with Hosta leaves and that I was going to add the Verbena and A-Hyssop to it.
Interesting about the Hostas, he said. What else can you do with them?
I said I added them to juices and smoothies, and they were fine in soups and stews too. They're in the same family as asparagus, you know.
Really, he said.
Then I mentioned the flowers were also edible, not much taste, but fine to add to salads to pretty them on up. I broke off a flower and he tried it and said that yep, it tasted like a flower. As he continued chewing, he said it tasted like salad and he could see how the flowers could be added to a salad. Of course, he's a meat and potatoes kinda guy, so salads are a side dish on occasion ;)
While it had rained earlier today, by now the sun had come out and talking and being in the sun was such a pleasant moment...
I looked over the perennials, asking him if he had any Mums or Blanket Flower ~gifts for my neighbor~ but I finally just got her a Pepper plant as her seeds didn't take and he was out of the others.
I did bring home a few other friends, of course!! The Stevia I had gotten had one of her stems broken by the wind, so I picked up a friend for her and now there are two sister Stevias in the same pot :)
I also picked up 2 Butterfly plants, aka Pleurisy root. I had planted seeds 2x and still nothing showed, so when I saw them at the flower market, I said of course I'll bring them home and plant them in their pot! And I did indeed...now to wait to see them flower and attract the butterflies :)
I did see a monarch butterfly the other day, so rare to see them I find. Indeed, I think I see more flies that come and pollinate the flowers than any other bug ;)
And yes, I did get one more plant: Gentian. I know the root is used as a digestive bitter and to stimulate the liver/gallbladder to produce bile. It's also so bitter that other bitter plants seem not much compared to her.... I don't know, Dandelion, Wild Lettuces and Sow Thistles seem right up there on the bitter principle to me ;P
Now that I come to think of it, I placed her in a small pot, so will have to see if I can't find another place for her...maybe get another large pot. Her root is supposed to be as thick as a man's arm....better make that a tall one then! Maybe I'll pick up 2 tall planters next week as I need to repot one of my Aloes.
I had picked this Aloe up from the health food store, thinking I could use her sap to use in salad dressings. Of course, I never did (softie me about plants being friends and all), and she's gotten quite huge. Her leaves are spread out quite horizontally that she really reminds me of an octopus. She's a bit toppled to one side, so it's going to be time to upgrade to a bigger home.
And speaking of planting, after I got home, I planted all my new lovelies from the flower market (except the Basils, they can stay in their pots for now). I also staked the Tomatoes --- there are 3 plants and there's even another baby one coming in! And I made a trellis for the Cumber plants (there are 2 of them) by tying 2 small bamboo trellises together that I had purchased from the dollar store in a previous year. Not bad, since they are all growing in the bottom of a ferret cage :)
With the hot and humid weather, many of the plants have been surging forward:
Other news: I dug the garden at work!! It didn't take long to take up the weeds (I apologized to them before and did NOT dig up Dock or Dandy roots, heheh) and grass in this small area beside the deck. The earth is sandy and rocky, but that's what the boss OKayed. I spread various veggie herbs, the usual ones like Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Tomato and Pepper, then all got watered and now it's to been whether anything will grow. I mentioned to my boss about the compost/topsoil, and then, ah, how the ego changes! At first, he was OK with the garden, then a new one came along that seemed put out at the "extra work" of procuring earth and having to water the veggie patch. What chores, I know ;)
I discovered a new friend growing right beside the Rose bush and Rhubarb that my landlord planted downstairs: Malva! The same Malva Rosea that I acquired just this year, but perhaps had given to my neighbor in a previous year (?). Question mark added as I'm not sure whether this was the kind she had last year, thinking more that the seed found its way to the area.
Also checked beside the shed and there are Violets, Plantain and Common Sow Thistle to be foraged ---probably on Wednesday to give time for the water to evaporate. I have to agree that the Common Sow Thistle is very mild tasting when young and the arrowhead leaves make it easy to identify. I'd definitely add (and have added) this as a green to pestos, smoothies and the soup pot (high in calcium, phosphorous and iron). The other types I find too rough and/or bitter and are better suited for green juices.
I remember that one of the Sow Thistles, the Field one (or arvensis) told me she was edible. I took a few of her leaves, cooked her and yet still found her disagreeable. Too rough for my tender intestines! The next year when I saw her and several of her friends growing in the same spot behind the mall, I decided to pick her up and add her to the juicer. Perfect! In small amounts, and paired with other greens and fruits, I'll take those minerals and Vitamin C she offers up to my body, thank-you very much!
Interesting what she didn't tell me was that her root can be used as a coffee substitute. Oh ho now, looks like I'll be digging me up some Sow Thistle and Dandy roots come fall...Oh no...digging for roots is not exactly on my fun, fun list. Doable, and done for the health benefits of course...and exercise, I suppose...
Alrighty, enough blah-blahing for now. Time to get out there foraging, sunshine, so sweet me, treat me, I'll be sharing all the details...soon enough. 'Til next time, sunshine :)
Don't you love those posts that start with "there's good news and bad news?"
To be honest, it's mostly good news, but let's start with the ho-hum first.
The ho-hum in question was passing by the environment day event in my neighborhood. Note the word passing by, because that's exactly what I did. I went to check on the plants being sold by the horticultural society: the ones that were left weren't looking too great and there wasn't that much choice. I spotted some Iris plants and some Girl Guides helping out, did a quick tour of the other booths (yep same as last year), stopped by one booth briefly to see if they had seaweed fertilizer (nope, just worm castings), debated on the worm castings, and left.
Now on to the good news: I picked up a few more Strawberry plants and managed to find 2 coir baskets. I'm happy to say that both baskets and all lovely ladies are enjoying themselves on the sunny back balcony :)
I also did some planting: I decided to plant both Mallow plants I purchased (I'll pick up another one for my neighbor and maybe some more goodies for me, hee hee! <- once I get started, you know!! and I have a pot that I purposefully left empty "just in case" for a few other friends :) ), both Yarrows (had to remove a few yellowed leaves due to the cold weather), and the 3 Mint plants along the side of the house. All are doing well and thriving.
I also transplanted a bunch of Sweet Cicely seedlings,the seeds from which I got from Richters. She requires a cold stratification period first, so I put all the seeds from the package onto some paper towel, folded it up, wet it, placed it into a plastic bag and stored it in the fridge for 2 months. I never added any additional water and there always seemed to be moisture in the bag.
After 2 months, when I thought to transplant the seeds, my intuition told me to wait. I put the seeds into a mini seed pot with soil, added water and some plastic cling wrap to cover the earth. Another 1 to 1 1/2 months passed. I took out the seed pot, added water, and what with the warm spring temperature in the house, within 1 week the seeds started sprouting. The shoots look just like grass, very cool indeed!
Not sure of the germination rate, it seemed that all, or if not all most of them, sprouted. Richters says the germination of Sweet Cicely can be difficult and they recommend germinating the seeds within 6 months of receiving them, in other words, the viability or shelf life of the seeds is around 6 months. I'd say up to 1 year, as I bought these seeds last spring and only soaked them this year, in February. Needless to say, I was quite delighted at their appearance, and I can tell that they will grow up to be strong plants. They are perennials and Richters notes that they do come back year after year. You can read the pdf from Richters about Sweet Cicely HERE.
Leaves and stems are supposed to be used like a sugar substitute, like Stevia I'm guessing --- can't wait to try and make recipes! Ooh, food adventures and new plant friends, what delights!! Will keep you posted on how things turn out :)
Other good news is that the seeds I purchased from Richters are on their way. Don't expect to get them 'til Tuesday, which means Monday might be a good day to explore the flower market and get in a few more friends. I remember seeing Pennyroyal there. She's in the Mint family and I think she'd be a good choice for a nice shady spot beside the house.
That also reminds me that I planted a few other seeds there: Shepherd's Purse, Dame Rocket and Violet. I got the seeds from Shepherd's Purse from a wild edible plant that came to stay with me for a bit, nice friend! Same story with Dame Rocket, only she was a "home girl," having been found growing in the garden at work. As for Violet, not sure where I got the seeds, maybe the local big box store or Richters. But wherever I got her from, last year she was blooming in full sun and there were flowers and leaves galore! I spent most days picking a few leaves from her or just sitting beside her and enjoying her company.
When the flowers turned to seeds, too late I realized that in order for them to be viable they had to be black, not brown. Then the cold weather came and I was hoping some of the green seeds would turn color, but they didn't. Oh well, live and learn --- a must where gardening is concerned ;)
More about Violets: when I came to work yesterday, I had noticed the lovely white-flowered ones peeking out from behind some tall bushes and winking me on over. Today was a better day to come for a visit, and I was enthralled by all the Violets, both white and violet. It seems the violet ones flower first and then the white ones follow suit. The ones that are situated behind bushes or other taller plants end up with enormous leaves, some almost as big as my palm! They are a rich, dark green color and make an excellent demulcent tea (dry leaves and flowers first, then infuse 4 hours), especially for those with leaky gut. Instead of tea, I add the dried leaves to the soup pot, then puree everything.
If you're into honey, you can infuse the fresh flowers to help with colds and sore throats during the colder months.
Violet Syrup Sore Throat Soother
To do: Simply add the fresh flowers into a mason jar to the top (be sure there is no moisture on them, so wait 2 days after it has rained to pick them). Add in the honey to cover them and use the handle of a wooden spoon or a bamboo skewer and stir to ensure all flowers are coated with the honey. Add more honey to the top of the jar, put on lid and screw cap and let sit 6 weeks. Strain out honey using a fine mesh sieve, pushing down on the flowers in the sieve to strain out as much honey as you can. Then, store your honey in a clean mason jar and enjoy :) If you're wondering what size mason jar to use, how much flowers you have will depend on the size. The flowers are small and don't take up that much space, so I'd look to use a 250ml/1cup or 500ml/2cup mason jar. But if you have loads of flower, a 1 liter mason jar will be right up your alley ;)
Dosage: Add 1-2 tsp to a cup of warm water and drink to relieve sore throat.
Since the garden project seems to still be on at work, I gathered up a few Violet plants to take home. They are really low maintenance plants and that love the shade. Although they can be prolific as they have divide by runners, their root systems are so shallow that you can pretty easily pluck them up and transplant them where you want them to grow.
Ah, the garden project.
Digging up grass is not my idea of a good time.
With a a shovel and a pitchfork, I dug up a little patch of grass to reveal bare soil. I sighed and reminded myself why I had recommended to my boss the no-till NO WORK method!! I went to fetch the cardboard boxes I had laid aside, only to discover half of them missing. I took the ones remaining and laid them out on the edges to show my boss where HE can have the pleasure of putting muscle to bone ;) The good news is that the clients seemed intrigued, so I think a garden will be definitely be in the works :)
What will be planted? The usual easy-to-grow culprits, like Cukes, Lettuce, Spinach and Tomato. AND, I think also Potato. I have 4 Potato plants with shoots about 8 inches long growing in my cupboard. Not being a Potato grower, I did a bit of research and there were different viewpoints about whether to chit (cut) them or not and whether to remove the sprouts or not. I rather fancied the person that said to do both, plant as is and chit and compare the results, but I think I'm just going to plant them all as is and see what develops.
Thinking to also add a few, um, wild edibles to the landscape. The soil is quite sandy in some areas, but I thought, perchance, some Mullein, Dock and Queen Anne's Lace might enjoy a sunny view? I'd to make sure they are planted quite close to the house, because the lawnmower doesn't take any notice of such plants, neither does the one driving the lawnmower ;) Yes, I noticed that the lawnmower had been passed due to the absence of the brilliant mat of purple flowers from Creeping Charlie. There were but a few close to the wall of the house, the rest....smooshed like everything else :(
3 last bits of good news to mention: besides the cold stratification of Sweet Cicely, I had the done same thing with Rose seeds. They are tiny seedlings, very fragile still, but I have a pot full of soil waiting for them to grow into big and strong plants.
Also noticed lots of tiny seedlings in the pots, just 1 week since I've planted them. How exciting! I noticed Dill, Basil, Sweet Trefoil, 1 baby Stevia, 1 baby Thyme, Tansy, Cleavers, Purslane...oh, so many! A few like Mustard and Chive had none, it might be because the seeds are too old. If nothing appears, aaaaaah! The fun of finding other plants that need a home! Some of the plants on the front balcony are also sprouting, Candy Tuft and Borage are two that I noticed just this morning.
Last great tidbit: collected a few edible goodies from work: red Tulip petals to eat with tomorrow's meal and Dandy leaves to add to the juicer in the morning. Mr. Wilson will be pleased, as there's not a speck of dirt to be found on them ;)
Alright, sunshine, off to enjoy the bright sunny day, full of promise and many delights :)
PS. And oh, the delights! Lilacs are blooming --- what scent! And yes, you can make a lovely tea with them, like this recipe or jelly, ice cream and other goodies, see Here for some ideas. Plantain, I found you! And so have the bugs, because they've left their holey tell-tale signs ;) And Hostas! Young Hostas are called hostons, but they are edible at every stage, including the flowers. I picked a good fistful full of young leaves to add to the steamer basket tomorrow :) You can read more about Hostas and other edibles, including Dame Rocket, in my article Here.
Curiosity Got The Cat: