April 30, 2016

Saturday Gardening Thread: Shake Your Groove Thing [Y-not and KT]
— Open Blogger

Y-not: Good afternoon, gardening morons and 'ettes!

Today's thread is brought to you by Bird Seed:

BirdSeed.jpg

Hat tip: @frogmother1 on Twitter.

Recently, the Mister and I visited the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, a bit south of Lexington. We enjoyed a tasty "farm to table" dinner and strolled around the grounds where I collected a few tidbits for today's thread. It was rather chilly that day and Spring seemed somewhat distant. Many of the trees on the grounds were still bare:

ShakerPanoTrees.JPG

But others were leafing up:

ShakerPanoLeafy.JPG

Fortunately for the oxen, the grass was already green:

PanoOxen.jpg

(You might be interested in this article about how oxen were used in 19th century farming. Are they making a comeback? I'm sure the hipsters who can afford artisanal produce would love that.)

OxenCloseup.jpg

"What YOU lookin' at, Willis?!"

I headed straight to the "backdoor garden," which although somewhat untended at this time of year, had a nice assortment of plants. Some of them were ones I had not seen before, harkening back to an earlier time.


Here's a brief description of what I saw (I won't bother with pictures of most of the plants since very few looked like much of anything at this time of year!):

ShakerGardenEarlySpring.JPG

Calendula officinalis, or pot marigold, has been used both as a medicinal plant* and also as a companion plant, the latter because of its tendency to attract hoverflies. (Hoverflies are used as a natural pest control for aphids.)

Calendula has been used for centuries in a number of ways:

The bright yellow blossom of this herb was used to make a dye to color cheese and butter. In the kitchen, leaves and florets were added to sauces, soups, porridge, and puddings for color and medicinal benefit. The dried, powdered blossoms have also been used as a substitute for saffron in cooking. During the Civil War, calendula was used to stop the blood flow from battle wounds. Calendula blossom preparations continue to be valued as an antiseptic for external application to scrapes, burns, cuts, or wounds. Local application, in the form of a plant poultice or an infusion soaked in a cloth and applied to a wound, is an effective healing remedy. The Romans valued the herb for its ability to break fevers. During the Middle Ages, calendula used for protection against the plague. In early American Shaker medicine, calendula was a treatment for gangrene.

In addition to its first aid uses, calendula also acts as a digestive remedy. An infusion or tincture of the flowers, taken internally, is beneficial in the treatment of ulcers, stomach cramps, colitis, herpes viruses, yeast infections, and diarrhea. An infusion may also be used as an external wash helpful in treating bee stings, eye inflammations, boils and abscesses, varicose veins, eczema, acne, and as a gargle for mouth sores or a rinse to relieve toothache.

Calendula should not be confused with French or Mexican marigold, both from the genus Tagetes.

Calendula is easy to grow. And behaves as either a short-lived perennial or a self-seeding annual, depending on local conditions.

Yarrow, aka "Milfoil" from the genus Achillea, was used by the Shakers to staunch bleeding, as well as for seasoning. It's a hardy perennial.

Elecamp (or Elecampane) is a large perennial with a myriad of uses. A bit about it here:

Elecampane is named after Helen of Troy. As the legend goes, she was holding elecampane in her hand when she left to live with Paris in Troy, another legend says that it sprung up from where her tears fell. It was used in ancient Rome for culinary purposes as well as medication. Elecampane is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but it is cultivated all over the world. Research has shown that elecampane contains insulin that can provide bronchial relief. It can also stimulate the immune system. It was once used in the treatment of tuberculosis infections.

Horehound is a member of the mint family, with many of mint's characteristics, including a tendency toward being invasive. (You might have heard of it when you were at an old-fashioned candy store.) It's one of the few plants that were already flowering when I visited the Shaker Village a few weeks ago. Being a fan of mint, I naturally crushed some leaves to check out its aroma.

HorehoundCropped.JPG

Ugh. It wasn't a very pleasant smell. If I was a member of The Tribe, I might've known better:

The name may suggest a breed of gray dog, but that's misleading. "Hore-" does mean hoary (gray or white in Old English), but "-hound" is not canine; it's simply an old name for the herb. The generic name Marrubium is the name by which the Romans knew the herb, and vulgare means common. Other opinions are that Marrubium refers to "an ancient town of Italy" or to a Hebrew word for bitter. Some references list horehound among the bitter herbs Jews eat at Passover, but according to Jo Ann Gardner ("Bitter Herbs: A New Look at the Plants of the Bible," The Herb Companion, April/May 1990), it is not among the original bitter herbs of the Bible.

Several other herbs of the mint family also are called horehound, resembling Marrubium in that their flowers are clustered in the leaf axils. Water horehounds belong to the genus Lycopus, and black (stinking) horehound and Greek horehound to the genus Ballota.

According to this source, you should be cautious in your consumption of this herb.

**UPDATE:
Polliwog the 'Ette points out this is not horehound, but is more likely to be catmint:

Catmint has a very strong and fairly unique scent when crushed like what you described as well. I've always had a "thing" for it because my first encounter with it was in elementary school shortly after reading a fairytale about a boy turned into a dwarf who was rescued by smelling an oddly scented herb. Can't get much more oddly scented than catmint.

Although Black horehound has purple flowers, catmint seems to possess more of the characteristics of the plant I saw.**

Mountain Mint, or Pycnanthemum muticum, is a species of mint that is particularly valued for butterfly gardens. It did smell good. (I checked.) Some people grow it as an insect repellant.

Silver Wormwood, also known as Prairie Wormwood or Silver Mugwort, is a member of the genus Artemesia:

Important in medicine, in cooking, and as landscape plants, the artemisias are richly deserving of the honour. They include tarragon, one of the finest and most important ingredients in French cuisine, sweet annie, the source of a medicine crucially important for the prevention and treatment of malaria, and wormwood, the defining ingredient of vermouth, without which the martini could not exist.

Man's connection to artemisia goes back a long way. They are found growing in large expanses throughout the world and surely would have caught the eyes of early hunters and gatherers. According to the Greek myths, Artemis, the goddess of the wilderness and of the hunt, gave the power of the plant to Chiron the Centaur who was a great healer and teacher. It was Chiron who then developed the first medicines from artemisia.

Soapwort, or Saponaria officinalis, can be used to make soap. Although that last link says that soapwort prefers enriched soils, the Missouri Botanical Garden suggests otherwise. The flowers look quite pretty.

Costmary, or Tanacetum balsamita, is a plant with many uses:

Native to the eastern Mediterranean, Costmary was introduced into England in the 16th century and very quickly became extremely popular. With a multitude of uses it appeared in all gardens and was once considered to be one of the most common of garden plants.

Costmary is an incredibly useful perennial herb. Its leaves have a eucalyptus-like aroma which has been described as like garden mint with hints of balsam. The long, broad and resinous leaves support loose clusters of tiny, daisy-like flowers that emit a pleasant, balsamic fragrance.

Costmary was used for many purposes, culinary, medicinal aromatherapy or ornamental. It was known as Alecost, used to clear, flavour and aid in the preservation of beer and ales before being superseded by hops. Today it is usually used in the kitchen as a salad green or potherb. The leaves or stems or flowers can be cooked and used for food or seasoning, preparing tea or adding essence.

Some advice on how to grow it here.

Apothecary Rose is believed to have originated in ancient Persia. Valued for centuries because of its beauty, the Shakers used them to produce rose water (and probably for other things, such as making jellies from the rose hips). I love rose water in Indian food, myself.

Orris Root is derived from Irises:

From ancient times the stately Iris stood as a symbol of power and majesty - it was dedicated to Juno and was the origin of thesceptre, the Egyptians placing it on the brow of the Sphinx and on the sceptre of their kings, the three leaves of its blossoms typifying faith, wisdom and valour.

Cultivation has produced a great number of varieties, both among the bulbous or Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium) and the herbaceous, or Flag Irises, which have fleshy, creeping rootstocks or rhizomes. Among the latter, many have a considerable reputation for their medicinal virtues; in all the species belonging to this genus, the roots being more or less acrid, are possessed of cathartic and emetic properties. The chief economic use of the Iris at the present time is for the production of Orris Root (Rhizoma Iridis), which is derived from I. Germanica, I. pallida, and I. Florentina, collected indiscriminately in Italy from these three species, well-known and very beautiful ornamental plants, natives of the eastern Mediterranean region, extending into Northern India and Northern Africa, and largely cultivated for their rhizomes in Southern Europe, mostly on the mountain slopes.

More about Orris Root and irises here.


If these Olde Timey plants appealed to you, this link describing the (now defunct) Herb Garden at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary might also be of interest. It provides a nice overview of five types of herb beds: culinary, dye, fragrance, household, and medicinal.

I found this post at Old Sturbridge Village that provides a brief description of how some of these herbs were used to be interesting, as well:

Most of Mrs. Child's advice about herbs was related to their medicinal uses, especially soothing teas for indigestion and headaches. Her book was dedicated to economy, so she recommended growing one's own herbs. "Those who have a little patch of ground will do well to raise the most important herbs; and those who have not will do well to get them in quantities from some friend in the country." It was not economical to buy from apothecaries who made money by selling herbs!

"Herb tea, to do any good, should be made very strong," she wrote. For digestive disorders, she recommended several herbs -- summer savory, pennyroyal, tansy, thoroughwort, succory and elderflowers. For "inveterate coughs" a tea of coltsfoot and flaxseed sweetened with honey was recommended, while "an almost certain cure for a cough" was a blend of lungwort, maidenhair, hyssop, elecampane and horehound steeped together. For a fever, a tea of sweet balm or catnip was recommended.

Yum!

For a more modern take on the medicinal properties of these and other herbs, check out this blog.

That's a short report from my visit. The village also has a grove of apple trees including many older varieties that I had never seen before. There were also indoor exhibits showing how they prepared and stored what they grew (and raised), as well as a working farm. It was a good opportunity to reflect on how intentionally the Shakers lived. There's much to admire about that, although I am glad that I don't have to be as accomplished in the garden as they were!

This is the closest I come to living like a Shaker:

Where do you go for gardening inspiration?


Now, without further ado, heeeere's KT:

Hello, Horde. I will be away from the intertubes until later today, but I thought I would give you an update on my one off-season crop this spring:

Baby Broccoli

A while back, I saw among the last of the 6-packs of cool-season veggies at Walmart some "baby broccoli". I decided to try a pack even though I expected that the weather could be warm, or even hot, before harvest time. What the heck. I had a couple of big pots that needed something new in them. I figured that even if it bolted, I could eat the flowers.

I had never seen the cultivar name "Artwork", but the tag said resists bolting in warm weather. Turns out that this cultivar is a 2015 AAS winner. The directions called for picking the central heads when they were an inch across, or maybe an inch and a half. I tried some raw. I am not a big fan of raw broccoli, unless marinated, and this veggie was pretty close to raw broccoli in flavor.

IMG_1628small.jpg

You may have encountered "baby broccoli" as "Broccolini". In case you have never tried it, this relatively new vegetable is a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese kale (kai-lan). It has small broccoli-like heads and long-ish, tender stems. It looks sort of like Sprouting Broccoli or like the lusty-flavored Rapini (Broccoli Raab). It is sweet and mild, with suggestions of asparagus, according to some. Here are the side shoots of "Artwork" that I picked about three weeks after harvesting the central heads:

IMG_1722small.jpg

As Broccolini gained popularity in fine grocery stores, gardeners started to look for seeds. But the commercial trademark holders had the market cornered.

Sanbon Incorporated originated a commercial program for "asparation" (its registered trademark) in Mexico in 1994 and took it to the US market in 1996; Mann's took it to the US market in 1998 under its trademarked name, Broccolini®. It is grown near the central California coast during the spring, summer, and fall seasons and Yuma, Arizona throughout the winter.

It was interesting to watch the quest in the Gardenweb forums to identify this veggie and obtain seed. A few determined American gardeners went to the expense of ordering seed from commercial wholesale sources overseas. Now, several similar cultivars are available. Johnny's calls Happy Rich the best-tasting selection. I think they bred it. Apollo and Atlantis were among the first widely available hybrids. Burpee featured Apollo in its catalog a while ago, and although it is still on the website, it has been replaced by a unique cutting broccoli"> called "Royal Tenderette" in the catalog. I am not sure if this indicates low popularity for Apollo or just Burpee's quest for novelty. If you try it, let me know how it performs for you.

You can now get seed for Sakata's original commercial Baby Broccoli cultivar Aspabroc. (Asparagus/Broccoli - get it?) "Available as seed to home gardeners for the first time! Known as Broccolini(R) in the produce section of your grocery store and on restaurant menus . . " I see that Pinetree is carrying it. Ditto Twilley, aimed at market growers in the Southeast.

Here is my Baby Broccoli sauteed with some chicken sausage (with apple) and a little carrot. I added some red pepper because the sausage was kinda sweet. Nice combo. Some of the lower stems of the Baby Broccoli were not as tender as I had hoped they would be, but we had some hot weather. I snapped the stems and peeled the lower sections. I liked the flavor even though the side-shoots grew in less-than optimal weather. Broccoli Raab or even Sprouting Broccoli would have been very intensely flavored under these conditions.

Next time, I will plant Baby Broccoli the fall. Hope you get to try a new garden veggie soon.

IMG_1723small.jpg

I will probably not be around when the thread goes up, so here are a couple of observations on the plants Y-not saw emerging in the Shaker garden:

I have tasted horehound candy. I remember its nasty flavor better than I remember the history lesson that went with it. Maybe if you had a really, really sore throat it would be more appealing.

Y-not's historical links are especially fine this week. I recommend the one on the Apothecary Rose, in particular, to history buffs.

I have grown some of the plants she mentioned above, or at least their close relatives. Though not in the setting of an herb garden. Maybe I can add a few nitty-gritty details next week. Just gritty in the case of Soapwort.

Y-not: Thanks, KT!

To wrap things up, how about a brief update on the nature preserve at Casa Y-not?

The house finches fledged. I even manage to catch a picture of one of them on his (or her) first flight:

LeavingTheNest.jpeg

I've seen a male finch visiting the now empty nest. No sign of a second brood yet.

Mama Duck continues to tend the nest of eggs she laid under our boxwood bush:

DuckNest.jpg

Now that she's finished laying eggs, she stays on the nest most of the time, leaving briefly in the early morning and late afternoons or early evenings. I've spotted Mama (and sometimes Papa) duck returning to our yard most mornings. It's a pleasant ritual.

And it also gives Bailey a chance to work on her herding skills!

BaileyMamaDuck.jpeg


What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?


*Please note: Although the plants I described today were all part of a Shaker herb garden and ostensibly safe for human use, please do your research before using any of these plants, particularly before eating them.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:30 AM | Comments (73)
Post contains 2939 words, total size 24 kb.

1 So much content! Thanks Y-not!

Posted by: BunkerinTheBurbs at April 30, 2016 07:44 AM (7TOkf)

2 test

Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 30, 2016 07:44 AM (t5zYU)

3 Oh, and 1st

Posted by: BunkerinTheBurbs at April 30, 2016 07:44 AM (7TOkf)

4 @1 You're welcome!

Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 30, 2016 07:44 AM (t5zYU)

5 The Grosbeaks have arrived in NW Ind.  Good thing I minioned the bird feeder back into operation Thurs.  Deer keep wrecking it to get at the sunflower seeds.  Might need a deterrent.

Posted by: DaveA[/i][/b][/s] at April 30, 2016 07:45 AM (DL2i+)

6 I planted the last peppers this week, so last night a large walnut limb fell into the middle of my collection of pepper containers during the nightly thunderstorm. Somehow it missed damaging anything except for crushing half of one plant. I have metal supports around some of the transplants so that helped. Now I have to cut it up to get it out of there. Fortunately, the thicker part was rotten, so it's already busted up. I've only yet skimmed the thread, but thinking how oxen and mules never get the credit that the more glamorous steeds do for helping build civilization.

Posted by: stace at April 30, 2016 07:46 AM (ozZau)

7 So much content! 

Pot Marigolds self-sow very well here.  Orange ones are hardier than the yellow.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 07:50 AM (044Fx)

8 We are getting april snow showers will bring may flowers here. Snow is not even sticking to the leaves and bending tree branches but still a good day to stay inside and read about the real gardening some folks do.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 30, 2016 07:51 AM (wYRTH)

9 What is labeled "Horehound" is actually catmint, a different mint relative. Horehound is more grey and the blossoms aren't purple. I've grown both and am surprised a professional farm would mislabel like that.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 07:52 AM (GDulk)

10 A minion meme? It's like AoS got taken over by my grandmother's email account.

Posted by: bskb at April 30, 2016 07:52 AM (dH85l)

11 I planted the best specimens from my seed starting experiment this week, two gorgeous cucumber plants and six peppers (although I have no idea whether they're hot or sweet, as labeling evidently wasn't a part of the experiment). Also started some leaf lettuce, which has sprouted, and some spinach, which hasn't. Bought a cherry tomato plant, and planted everything in used Dutch ovens and pasta pots and restaurant half pans. Looks good, but we'll see.

Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 07:56 AM (9n14Y)

12 Is it possibly the black variety of horehound? https://www.strictlymedicinalseeds.com/group.asp?grp=267

Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 30, 2016 07:57 AM (t5zYU)

13 Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 12:50 PM (044Fx) I need to plant some of those and some more chives around my Muscadine grapes sine I saw aphids this week.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 07:57 AM (GDulk)

14 And horehound tastes nasty...

Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 07:58 AM (9n14Y)

15 No gardening around here for a while. We got 8" of snow yesterday.

Posted by: Ronster at April 30, 2016 08:02 AM (wILdd)

16 Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 30, 2016 12:57 PM (t5zYU) Those do have purple blossoms, but they're *under* the leaves instead of on spikes above the leaves like an expanded version of your photo appears to show. Catmint has a very strong and fairly unique scent when crushed like what you described as well. I've always had a "thing" for it because my first encounter with it was in elementary school shortly after reading a fairytale about a boy turned into a dwarf who was rescued by smelling an oddly scented herb. Can't get much more oddly scented than catmint.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:05 AM (GDulk)

17 @16 Ok. I'll update when I get back to a computer. Thanks!

Posted by: Y-not on the phone at April 30, 2016 08:10 AM (t5zYU)

18 Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 12:58 PM (9n14Y) Yes it does. And the medicinal properties only work if it has been boiled. Unfortunately, candy-making is far above my cooking skill level (anything that *requires* a thermometer is not going to happen) and I'm lucky my in-laws still speak to me after I planted some at their house.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:10 AM (GDulk)

19 Posted by: Y-not on the phone at April 30, 2016 01:10 PM (t5zYU) You trusted the well-made sign on the professional farm. *What* were you thinking?!?

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:11 AM (GDulk)

20 isn't calendula used for cigars?

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 08:14 AM (Cq0oW)

21 It's been warm and nice around here in the Texas Panhandle lately, so my neighbor planted his garden a few weeks ago.  Talked to the neighbor Thursday, their garden looked great, things were really growing.  Thursday night, we had a hailstorm.  Six inches of pea to golf ball sized hail.  Manuel's garden got shredded.  Mine looks great.  It's still sitting on a table in the front room in its little seeding pots.  Maybe next weekend it will be dry enough to put them in the ground.

Posted by: huerfano at April 30, 2016 08:17 AM (NSb9d)

22 oops sorry candela is what I'm thinking of

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 08:19 AM (Cq0oW)

23 With the "cooler" weather and all the rain, my garden looks overgrown already. My citrus trees are loaded. The grass is green. My flowers are blooming. And my dog has eaten all my red kale!! It was birfday yesterday so I'll let it slide.

Posted by: lindafell de spair at April 30, 2016 08:19 AM (xVgrA)

24 I tried horehound drops candy from the Vermont Country Store once. Didn't like them much.

Posted by: Insomniac at April 30, 2016 08:19 AM (0mRoj)

25 22 oops sorry candela is what I'm thinking of Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 01:19 PM (Cq0oW) Those are the green wrappers IINM.

Posted by: Insomniac at April 30, 2016 08:21 AM (0mRoj)

26 A little cloudy and drizzly in So Cal today which is nice. Tomatoes are doing well and I think the mystery plant I got at Tomatomania is going to be some Roma variant. I also have started a few plants from seeds for a change this year...that one from U FL that's supposed to be great, garden gem, but wow does that take a long time. They're only about 4 inches tall. Not used to this. Beans are doing nicely but slower than last year because it's cooler. I'm trying a new runner variant called Lady Di. I mostly like these because of the beautiful colored blossoms. Gotta plant some bougainvilleas now!

Posted by: keena at April 30, 2016 08:22 AM (RiTnx)

27 After every cat in the neighborhood rolled in (and dined on!) our catmint patch, the poor plants all died. 

Our cat would still occasionally visit the spot, perhaps hoping for a *fix*, until I planted a couple of Beach Wormwood.  She would nap under them, lol.  Smelly plants.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 08:23 AM (044Fx)

28 It's been very windy here, not much going on. The tomatoes were planted on the ranch but I haven't went and checked yet. We found a small bee hive in the grapes. The guy here moved the queen to a bee box yesterday. I did manage to get a few pics before he moved them. http://tinypic.com/r/29610td/9 http://tinypic.com/r/11khwjm/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 30, 2016 08:25 AM (egOGm)

29 Posted by: CaliGirl at April 30, 2016 01:25 PM (egOGm) Does that mean you're keeping the hive, just not in the grapes?

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:27 AM (GDulk)

30 Polliwog, Yes, he moved the box away from the grapes. He needed to spray the sulphur on the grapes. We are going to order some bees for the other bee boxes I have. I have 5 boxes. We rent bees for the blueberries and blackberries and they gave the guy here some old bee boxes. I swear he is dr Doolittle. He is going to show me next year how to get the honey and wax.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 30, 2016 08:33 AM (egOGm)

31 Posted by: CaliGirl at April 30, 2016 01:33 PM (egOGm) Very cool.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:36 AM (GDulk)

32 30 Polliwog, Yes, he moved the box away from the grapes. He needed to spray the sulphur on the grapes. We are going to order some bees for the other bee boxes I have. I have 5 boxes. We rent bees for the blueberries and blackberries and they gave the guy here some old bee boxes. I swear he is dr Doolittle. He is going to show me next year how to get the honey and wax. Posted by: CaliGirl at April 30, 2016 01:33 PM (egOGm) Keep the wax Melt it down Add the floss Swish it around

Posted by: Insomniac at April 30, 2016 08:37 AM (0mRoj)

33 I've got an overgrown lawn to mow and it's been raining so much here lately :/

Some time ago I think Y-not or KT posted a link to some hedging ideas, would you happen to have that handy?

Posted by: chemjeff at April 30, 2016 08:43 AM (uAvJJ)

34 Y-not, can we get an open thread? That last one that seems appropriate to that seems kind of dead.

Posted by: Methos, AoS commenter since 2006, now apparently non-voting democrat at April 30, 2016 08:53 AM (ZbV+0)

35 Posted by: Methos, AoS commenter since 2006, now apparently non-voting democrat at April 30, 2016 01:53 PM (ZbV+0) She said she was going to be away from the computer for a bit, so it may be awhile before she can. Hopefully CBD or MH can get something put up.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 08:56 AM (GDulk)

36 For digestive disorders, she recommended several herbs -- summer savory, pennyroyal, tansy, thoroughwort, succory and elderflowers ====== be careful with herbalist advive pennyroyal is an abortifacient from long ago.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 09:02 AM (Cq0oW)

37 Chemjeff, here's a link to garden thread archive (as of oct 2015):

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/359728.php

I can't recall a hedge discussion, must have missed that one...

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 09:02 AM (044Fx)

38 Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 02:02 PM (Cq0oW) I was under the impression that tansy shouldn't be taken internally as well. It's been awhile since I was researching medicinal herbs though.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 09:07 AM (GDulk)

39 She said she was going to be away from the computer for a bit, so it may be awhile before she can. Hopefully CBD or MH can get something put up.
---
Okay. I'll keep an eye out.

Posted by: Methos, AoS commenter since 2006, now apparently non-voting democrat at April 30, 2016 09:07 AM (ZbV+0)

40 dunno about tansy but i would not be surprised if there could be bad consequences

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 09:08 AM (Cq0oW)

41 So, chemjeff-- tell us about what you'd like to accomplish with hedging....

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 09:08 AM (044Fx)

42 Pennyroyal is a well-known abortificant which causes the uterine muscles to contract, it is said to be very effective and is sometimes combined with Blue Cohosh, or mugwort. ==== makes you wonder what was going on in those Shaker gardens, no?

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 09:10 AM (Cq0oW)

43 Well I have this area in front of my house that is basically weeds, I"d like to put some nice easy-to-maintain hedging in front for some curb appeal.

Posted by: chemjeff at April 30, 2016 09:10 AM (uAvJJ)

44 Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 02:08 PM (Cq0oW) I looked up thoroughwort and succory since I'd never heard of them. Turns out succory is just *chicory* so that one should be okay.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 09:10 AM (GDulk)

45 I bumped CBD's tinfoil hat thread so you guys have an open thread. I think pets and/or chess are coming up soon.

Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 30, 2016 09:13 AM (t5zYU)

46 My vegetable seedlings are outgrowing their solo cups so they'll get planted a bit early, as soon as the peonies bloom. There are baby cucumbers on staked vines in the living room and dining room windows.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at April 30, 2016 09:14 AM (GzDYP)

47 Ok, just throwing this is in since there's not much going on. I've mentioned here that I'm one of the ladies that helps put on one of the biggest US parades, the Battle of Flowers parade. This year I got to carry a radio, and it was pretty funny listening to the parade marshall ladies yelling things like "Someone get the cavaliers out of the bar!!! They're after the Aggies!" "On it!". It went pretty smoothly though, or as well a possible when dealing with boozy/hungover entrants, high schools, and horses.

Posted by: stace at April 30, 2016 09:16 AM (ozZau)

48 tansy was used for pinworms amongst other things. large doses are bad.

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at April 30, 2016 09:18 AM (Cq0oW)

49 "...the 15th century, Christians began serving tansy with Lenten meals to commemorate the bitter herbs eaten by the Israelites.[8][11] Tansy was thought to have the added Lenten benefits of controlling flatulence brought on by days of eating fish and pulses[5][6] and of preventing the intestinal worms believed to be caused by eating fish during Lent." From Wikipedia, for what it's worth.

Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 09:18 AM (9n14Y)

50 Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 02:18 PM (9n14Y) Sounds like I misremebered on the tansy. Pennyroyal was used to keep out bugs so I'm not surprised it wasn't a good idea internally.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 09:25 AM (GDulk)

51 The trees around here in the Appalachians are budding very late this year. Not sure why.

Posted by: Grey Fox at April 30, 2016 09:28 AM (bZ7mE)

52 Apparently, tansy is a good insect repellent, too, and they used to bury it with the dead to ward off worms and such. Especially good for repelling spiders.

Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 09:30 AM (9n14Y)

53 Posted by: antisocialist at April 30, 2016 02:30 PM (9n14Y) That's probably why I conflated it with pennyroyal. I studied herbs fairly thoroughly, but it was 20 years ago. All the research I spent months on can probably be done in one day now.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 30, 2016 09:32 AM (GDulk)

54 Chemjeff, this link looks interesting:

http://www.diyhomedesignideas.com/landscape/privacy.php

A thought--

*Hedges* require trimming/pruning to maintain shape, no matter how "low-maintenance" they claim.

A well-planned landscape (especially in front yard) wouldn't be as demanding yet would still provide cover for, or *replacement of* an unsightly lawn.

Good luck.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 09:32 AM (044Fx)

55 used to bury it with the dead to ward off worms and such.

I read that as bury in the head, and thought ouch.

Posted by: Ronster at April 30, 2016 09:51 AM (wILdd)

56 JQ, thanks for the link and tips

Posted by: chemjeff at April 30, 2016 10:08 AM (uAvJJ)

57 You're welcome, chemjeff. 

Here's one more:

http://www.hgtvgardens.com/photos/front-yard-facelifts

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 10:14 AM (044Fx)

58 Y-not and KT, thanks for another wonderful garden thread. The baby broccoli looks worth checking out for future seasons. The post and links about herbs is especially interesting. I have a growing (no pun intended) interest in the possibility of natural cures and health benefits of herbs, spices, natural fermentation and especially vinegars. No, I'm not becoming a Hippie in my elder years and I'm not rejecting modern medicine. But I suspect there is a lot of benefit to be derived from these plants than is generally acknowledged.

Posted by: JTB at April 30, 2016 10:30 AM (V+03K)

59 Finally have 2 green beans sprouts after trying for 2 months so guess I'll have to buy a few plants soon. Have a dozen lettuce plants and a few spinach sprouts. Don't know why seeds didn't come up for me, tried a few different things but not much happened.

Posted by: Skip at April 30, 2016 10:50 AM (PFZvJ)

60 59 skip Beans and Peas need nitrogen to sprout. Try some garden soil inoculant ( nitrogen based). I've had great luck using it.

Posted by: seamrog at April 30, 2016 11:12 AM (Al718)

61 Lots of crazy weather here in Central Texas. Hail has pretty much finished off my garden, I have spent the last 2 weeks cleaning up the debris. I managed to save a few tomato plants, 1 pepper and 1 eggplant, the rest is gone. Oh and 2 lemons on my little lemon tree. So sad. But at least I still have my windshield!

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 30, 2016 11:15 AM (z1kKI)

62 Will try, Also I rescued cabbage cores from the compost that were starting to grow. Have two I saw and moved into the garden as a experiment to see if they will actually grow.

Posted by: Skip at April 30, 2016 11:20 AM (PFZvJ)

63 This has been an odd spring in Virginia. By this time we often have a period of hot, steamy weather and everyone is running the A/C. The past week has been rainy off and on and highs in the 50 and lower 60s. At least it hasn't hurt the seedlings we are hardening off. And it helps with the electric bill. Hasn't kept the damn grass from growing, though. But I read about Horde members dealing with snow, ice and hail and our area doesn't seem so bad.

Posted by: JTB at April 30, 2016 11:38 AM (V+03K)

64 Am losing my mind... so embarrassing to not have seen the archive posted below this thread, but posted one (outdated, even!) to cj upthread. 

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 30, 2016 12:33 PM (044Fx)

65 Posted by: Skip at April 30, 2016 04:20 PM (PFZvJ) You can do that with onions, celery,all sorts of things...

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at April 30, 2016 01:21 PM (b0kNU)

66 Skip,I just happened to be cleaning out some old iPad bookmarks this morning and saw this: /here-are-10-vegetables-and-herbs-you-can-buy-once-and-regrow-forever/ Full link in my name. I got it from some Moron here--maybe it was Tammy! I really need to try some of those.

Posted by: stace at April 30, 2016 01:40 PM (ozZau)

67 Skip at April 30, 2016 03:50 PM

I think some of your bean seeds may have rotted in cool soil.  Can you plant them directly outdoors now?

Where we have clay, I make holes for bean seeds with a dibble, fill the holes with moisture control potting mix and plant the beans in the potting mix. 

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2016 03:18 PM (qahv/)

68 Good work on the herb I.D., Polliwog the 'Ette.

I have never grown horehound, but thought I had been taught to identify it in the wild.  The "Black Horehound" Y-not found seems to be in a different genus than regular "White Horehound".  Wonder what it is like? 

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2016 03:22 PM (qahv/)

69 Shaker Village is so lovely at Christmas, you'll have to go back! So is the Maker's Mark distillery, just sayin'... My dad tells a story about horehound (the candy). His grandma used to give him two eggs and send him up to the store to trade them for a couple pieces of horehound that they could enjoy together. We're talking east KY in the late '40s so that was big stuff.

Posted by: Shinypie at April 30, 2016 04:08 PM (3nZXa)

70 Good luck with your beehive project, CaliGirl.

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2016 07:20 PM (qahv/)

71 dreadpirateroberta at April 30, 2016 04:15 PM

Hail can be so disheartening.  When it is not downright dangerous.  Hope you can get a few things growing again. 

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2016 07:25 PM (qahv/)

72 stace at April 30, 2016 02:16 PM

Love your flower parade stories.

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2016 07:45 PM (qahv/)

73 Just my $.02 about catmint: catmint (nepeta racemosa) is the decorative member of the nepeta family so it's different than catnip (nepeta cataria) which the cats really go nuts over. I grow catmint in my 'hell strip' along the road & when I started I planted both catnip & catmint because I didn't realize they were indeed different. Catnip is not as showy as catmint & like many herbs it's aggressive. I soon got rid of the catnip & have a much easier time keeping the catmint under control. Its only bad habit is getting tall over the summer & flopping over to try to smother the surrounding plants. There is a lot of commerical breeding of nepetas & the newer varieties are supposed to be more compact. I just cut mine back periodically & get several cycles of blue blooms over the summer. It forms a clump that gets bigger of the years but it's not a self-seeder like catnip & it doesn't put out runners to spread like the mints do.

Posted by: badgerwx at May 01, 2016 07:07 AM (W0CSO)

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