And now for something totally different!

I just saw this video on Gardening Gone Wild and felt the need to share it with you.

In honor of spring, and changing the bit of earth where you live, be it in the country, suburbs or the city;  I submit to you this encouraging video!   In all fairness I must warn you that he likes the “s” word, but he has some awesome thoughts to share!

“If kids grow kale, they eat kale.  If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes!”   Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

Now, go plant some [stuff]!


Photo Friday: looking for weeds in all the wrong places

For the past two years I have been searching for wild plants to put in my garden.   They are weeds to the locals, and are often bushhogged or just simply tilled under.  Yet I find them attractive and have scouted for accessible sources to bring them home to my gardens…

The tornado storms of April 11, brought some of them to me, but I continued to look for one.  Goldenrod!  I think it is the most beautiful thing to see in fall, and so do my bees!  They drink its nectar to make stinky (think dirty rotten socks) smelling honey, and bring home it’s pollen to feast on over the winter.

So imagine my surprise when my chicken yard exploded in great yellow, plumes of the stuff!

In the photo below you will see several “WEEDS”  That my neighbors would surely not appreciate if growing in their yards.

However we,

the chickens,

wild bees,

my bees,

and butterflies do.   And, for all our sake, I certainly do.

And then there is the Eupatorium capillifolium…

The common name is Dog fennel, and it is sold as a background foliage plant in Europe under the name of Elegant Feather

I am sorry, but mine is anything but elegant at the moment.  All spring and summer it is upright and a lovely green, looking quite a bit like asparagus, or culinary fennel.

Usually, by this time of the year it has been cut back down to the ground.  This year things got in the way, and feel I let it get out of hand.  Or did I?

For the past week I have been in search of the lovely perfume in the chicken yard, which is never a place to be confused with “lovely perfume.”  This morning the scent was unmistakably coming from here.  Then I noticed the hum, and realized it was a bee magnet!

Buddy was busy sniffing at something in the bush, and found that out the hard way.  Poor Buddy.

Here is a closeup of the Dog Fennel blooms,

and others!


Hm, I have forgotten her name. 

Do you know it?

UPDATE:  Thanks to my Facebook friend Jodi, I was able to locate and identify my ‘salvia’ as Scarlet Sage.  You can find out more about this beautiful flower HERE.     Thank you Jodi!

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood

The air is fresh, and the sun has come out giving the world that special glow that only comes with a good scrubbing of a prolonged and gentle rain.   Even the grasses have revived and are rising to the occasion!

Don’t you love days like these?

Well, maybe the neighbors dogwood will take a bit longer… 😦

But don’t you just love that brand new tree house!  I makes me wish to be a child again, how about you?  😉

~ Herbs in the garden ~


Umbels of Bronze Fennel

The cooling blue of Borage

~ Vegetables ~


Asparagus refreshed by the rain arises to catch the sun and store it away deep down underground,  keeping it there in its roots for next spring.

This morning I see that the runner beans, having been stunted and scorched in the drought, now race to catch up.

~ Flowers ~


We approach the new gate leading into the goose yard, and beyond are the herb and vegetable gardens.  There stands Miss Becky, a weather tough form of Rudbeckia, who grew to a mammoth six feet tall!  (I suspect her roots grew equally deep into the earth to sustain her.)

Miss Becky!

Turning to go another direction I pass the blackberry vines and discover…

a surprise pair of naked ladies where there were none before!  I suspect they were kicked closer to the surface when Bob rototilled this section of the garden in early spring.   I await their grand opening.

~ The Geese ~


My little gaggle will be the first to tell you, that the newest grass shoots are the most tender and fine.  😉  Foreground L to R:  Little Dorrit, Miss Hissster, Polly, Background:  Georgie and Frellnick.

My how those boys have grown!

~ Till next time then! ~


Behind the barn with Lil’ Bit.

~ * ~

Once Upon a Time in the West: the power of a flower

Please click the photo to go to “Caesara Botanical Consulting” the source for this lovely photograph of Cleveland Sage.

Once in my classroom in California I was given a special needs student for mainstreaming.  He was brilliant in math, and very quiet.  He used to follow me around when all the rest of the kids were on the playground and would be waiting for me each morning when I arrived.  Conversation was not his way, but he sure was an observer!

One day, towards the end of a particularly stressful week,  I brought in a long sprig of Cleveland Sage.  I thought it might help me by lifting my spirits if I kept it near to inhale its heady aroma.  Placing it onto my desk my little friend spoke… “Teacher, what’s that?”

I told him it was Cleveland Sage from my garden at home and that I loved to smell its fragrance because it made me smile.  I demonstrated the action and its effect for him.

“Can I smell it?”  he asked.

“Sure!”  I said, and handed it over to him.

He told me he liked it and I asked him if he would like to keep it in his pocket so he could enjoy it for the rest of the day.  He nodded his head and stuck it in his pocket.  Many times during the day I observed him take it out to give it a sniff.  Each time it produced a smile for him just as it had for me.

It was a beginning.  A way for me to see into the depths he kept locked into that quiet little face.

For the rest of that year I would bring in special things from my gardens and we would communicate through the scent of herbs and flowers.  If he liked it, it went into his pocket, and if he didn’t he would wrinkle his nose and hand it back.
By the end of the year we were having verbal conversations.  They were short ones, but those few words between us are a treasure I hold dear to my heart.

I often think of him and wonder if he remembers our herbal communications.  Did I plant a seed?  Does he still enjoy the scents of herbs and flowers even today?  By now I feel he is old enough to plant a garden of his own, and I like to think that if he does have a garden, that there is Cleveland sage growing somewhere in the midst of it.

You may call me a dreamer, but that was a special year, and I hope the seeds we planted were special ones… and that they bore fruit.


A special thank you to Lynda Phillips Kachurek, at Second Memory, for her post on Aromatherapy which inspired me today.