The "weedy" joke is on me!
I checked my seedlings today and I had a good laugh :) Because most of them are of 2 plants: Lamb's Quarter and Chickweed! Ahahhahahahaha!
Normally, most people would be ticked to find these weeds in their pots, but I was happy and smiled. Many were of Lamb's Q, so I'm guessing there's going to be lots of green juices and wild green "protein" powder ahead! Oh goody! I love both plants, they are stellar stars.
That also means that the seeds I planted (and bought from Richters) are not viable. I almost always plant a lot more seeds in 1 hole than just 2 or 3, whatever the size of the seed. I planted a lot of seeds from different plants, as you know, but fail to see seeds from these plants. I could always plant more seeds (and I just might), but I'll wait a few more days and see if others show up. I also saw a few Dill seedlings, but not in the pot for Dill, ha ha!
There are a few "true" seedlings, namely that of Basil, Scullcap, Zinnia and Wood Betony. I haven't checked every pot on the front balcony yet, but I do know that I've seen seedlings of Nasturtium, Candy Tuft, Marigold, Lemon Balm, Borage and Pennyroyal. I do hope the other seeds I planted ~I'm thinking especially of Marshmallow, Hollyhock and Malva because of their mucilaginous, medicinal property~ do show up. The weather has been just fantastic, we're actually having a heat wave now, but it's not as bad as later in the summer because the full humidity hasn't arrived yet (oh, but it will).
Good news: Mallow Zinnia and Yellow Mum have already flowered! Not all of the blooms have come in, but it's nice to see a few of them already. Some Mums prefer cooler weather and will wait to showcase their beauty 'til the fall, but it doesn't seem to be the case with this one :)
Planning on going to get Garlic Mustard tomorrow...and any other beauties I come across. Which reminds me that when I passed behind the mall, I double-checked a plant I had gathered last year but never used because I wasn't sure if she was really a type of Horsetail. The one I had seen during my herbology class was growing in wet water on a mountain, which is where my herb teacher said that equisetum arvense is usually found growing. However, when I spotted this plant and did some research, there are many other varieties of Horsetail.
Sure enough, the distinguishing feature of Horsetail, which is its knob-like stem, was found on these plants. Horsetail is an ancestral plant according to Botany, part of a class of vascular spore plants including Club Mosses and Ferns. Horsetail is high in silica and is excellent as a tea for soft and healthy skin, teeth and nails.
You see?! I am progressing in learning about the plant world...well, from a highly structured and scientific approach ;) Indeed, my next goal is to make cue cards on the different properties of the major plant families and then go about and see how many I can classify. I'd also like to do some research on different flower arrangement patterns, because I haven't seen any in my book yet. I am slowly noticing leaf patterns in some of my plants and when someone on the FB botany class mentioned the word bipinnate, my ears perked up. I know you wouldn't think of ears perking, but it was my ears that had this association, because they "remembered" the sound of the word when I was reading my botany book, hearing the word in my mind. Strange psychology you might think, I know, but while most of us are visual, it's also true that some of us are auditory learners and many are visual-auditory. The best kind of learning, of course, is when all senses (aka see, hear, touch + also taste & experience) are engaged.
FYI: here's a good resource about Poison Ivy, now that it's foraging time. My teacher used to say that where there's Jewelweed, there's Poison Ivy. To be honest, I've never worried about it, let alone thought about it. I go out and use my intuition and let the plants tell me what's what and what to take and what to leave alone! Like when I had an encounter with Baneberry. Oooh, those scary doll eyes...I'm sure there are uses for Poison Ivy, for its oil, perhaps...someone would have to sit and get to know her a lot better than slapping with her with an "evil" label. I know one of my herbology classmates said her grandfather used to take a tiny bit internally before the season started and could brush up against her without getting any rash or itching. I think he used a homeopathic dose, would have to ask her to be sure.
So, since the seeds haven't taken, that means more plant shopping time, YAY! I actually picked up a Rosemary plant today at the health food store as the seeds I planted didn't take and the one I have now isn't doing too well (due to the cold snaps we had probably). I'm thinking to also get Oregano, Marjoram, Stevia and Anise Hyssop. I might get some Basil, not sure because I planted 2 pots with Basil and one has lots of seedlings while the other doesn't. That's fine, because Basil likes a lot of space and when you buy Basil as a plant, they put in so many shoots into 1 pot that they don't actually survive long. Last year, I counted about 2 dozen Basil shoots in one little pot!! I ended up planting them in several planters, and even then, they stayed small because they were still overcrowded. Basil is one of my favorite herbs, I confess, but I'm also partial to Dill and Coriander...OK, all of the Italian herbs!!
Indeed, I'm planning on making an easy-peasy marinara sauce tomorrow using sundried and fresh tomatoes, with those Italian seasoning herbs of course. The pasta? Steamed spaghetti squash and Glucomannan noodles! You can read more HERE about other healthy pasta alternatives.
Just went to go have a look-see at the pots out front. Yep, pretty sure there must've been Lamb's Q seeds in the compost because almost every pot has tons of seedlings. While I'm amused, I told them already that they can't all stay. I am disappointed that the other seeds haven't turned up, because I do so enjoy the variety of them all. Anyway, going to add Pennyroyal to my list of plants to get and see what other goodies the flower market has. Tomorrow would be a nice day to go and have a visit :)
Think I will plant some more seeds after all. The growing season is short, June is almost upon us. I'll add the Lamb's Qs to a wild soup --- time to make more soup as I'm down to my last container. There's going to be lots of wild leaves: Motherwort, Hosta, Strawberry, Violet, Red Clover, Dandelion and I'll add fresh Garlic Mustard from tomorrow's mini foraging adventure. Think I will get some fresh Basil too. Mmmm the smell of soup! I'll add in some Carrots and some Chard, maybe some Rutabaga and the Rhubarb my neighbor gave me. I know, everyone associates Rhubarb with Strawberries, but added to a soup with tons of other ingredients, you'd never even know it's in the soup. In fact, you're not quite sure what is in the soup when it's all pureed, ha ha! Lots of goodness, that's for sure ;)
Update on the garden at work: my boss seemed stressed when we went to explore the possibilities of digging up a garden. I was teasing him and laughing inside at seeing his distress, all for a silly garden! I was planning on telling him we'll drop it, because really, he's such a stickler for the past and things staying the same, just like my OCD and autistic clients. I could see him trying to persuade me that digging up the grass was a bad idea because there was too much shade, and there was no hose (even though there is a hose in the front of the hose, just would have to get a really long one). I watched the whole scene, laughing inside, not caring whether there would be a garden or not. He suggested a tiny patch of sandy soil right close to the porch we were on, because it could be easy to water, ya know? Sure, I said, not minding at all...
So often, you think you're having a talk about gardening or swimming or something innocuous, but there's really so much more happening behind the scenes than what's really being talked about ;) Anyway, we'll see if he decides to actually take up the bit of grass and weeds there and buys some topsoil for it...If so, I'll probably be able to plant all of 3 Tomato plants, maybe 4, ha ha! ;)
OK, sunshine, keep you posted on future flower adventures. Keep shining bright, ya here :)
Ps. Here's a list of beneficial insects you may find in the garden. Google the names to see pics of what they look like. I learned the name of those red bugs I've seen always mating on Queen Anne's Lace flowers: red soldier beetles! They eat aphids (muhaha!), so perhaps a few might not mind a change of scene if I introduce them to my balcony garden should the need arise :)
Curiosity Got The Cat: