Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finally, an Early Evening in the Herb Garden

I finally attacked the weeds that have been overwhelming my herb garden. This pile shows what I accomplished. The picture below shows the bare ground the weeds were occupying. 

The bare ground shows where the weeds used to cover.

What's left is mostly leggy or almost dead calendula -- the yellow flowers. The blue one is the lily of the Nile I planted about two years ago, blooming here for the first time after I transplanted it. I also noticed as I weeded the distinct smell of mint, and discovered some had escaped the pot it was planted in and spread. I didn't care. If I'm going to have weeds, I prefer good ones. The yellow wave in the back of this next picture are the weeds I couldn't get to this evening.

Herb Garden

In the picture above, are some of the surprises I discovered. One was the tall plant left of the blue Lily of the Nile. I have no idea what it is. I planted it a couple of years ago, and I'd thought it was dead. When I first saw it tonight, I thought a tree had mysteriously appeared, perhaps planted by a bird. A closer look revealed it was in a gopher cage, so I must have planted it. I can hardly wait to see if it blooms. ( As I later discovered, it was a variety of yarrow I had not grown before.)

Right behind the blue lily is the clump of mint that's still growing in its small pot. To the right of the lily, in front, are two unlikely companions -- a purple bull thistle and a pot of lambs ears. The bull thistle is definitely a weed, but somehow it seems to fit and I didn't have the heart to yank it out. I think its flowers are lovely -- even if prickly.

To the right outside the picture I have another lambs ear plant in the ground. When I was weeding part of that side last week, I noticed it had numerous progeny -- even quite far from it. I didn't mind that, either, since I prefer it to the weeds that would displace it were it not there. I wish the little ones much success in their growth.

The oregano, marjoram, and thyme are lower plants and they are behind the taller ones that have grown up in front of them. I was delighted to see they have survived my neglect. One thing I've learned over the years is how much neglect members of the mint family can take and still thrive. 

Butterfly Bush
The butterfly bush I planted about three years ago has really taken off. It is surrounded on either side by different varieties of sage. It all needs pruning, but only after it has finished blooming. This morning I saw a hummingbird visiting the purple flowers, so I guess it's not just for butterflies. I planted a white version of it on the left side, but it doesn't seem to be growing much or blooming. I suspect it's hidden in the sage and / or the rosemary that has really spread.

As I was pulling weeds tonight, it was very difficult to avoid accidentally pulling up some of the calendula with them. Their roots often intermingled. Also, right near the inside edge of the gopher cage where the tall mystery plant is, was a large mustard growing part inside and part outside the cage. It was also very difficult to extract and separate. I had to cut it down on both sides with pruners so I could isolate the root. It reminded me of the sins that so easily become rooted in our lives and even intermingle with the good things so that they are hard to separate. It often takes drastic measures for the Master Gardener to remove them from us. The picture at left I took of the intermingled roots of weed and flower. The skinny weed stem is at the top of the heap. The broad green leaves are from the calendula plant. 

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