Saturday, June 4, 2011

Garden Flowers, Early June

I've been just so busy--as always--sounds like a broken record I guess.  Haven't had time to do much of anything but work.  BUT today was sort of a sick day.  I didn't feel great so I took the time to rest pretty much all day.  This evening I walked in the gardens (unweeded as they are) and took a few photos.  To be candid, I took them because a far away friend posted some flowers from her garden and I really enjoyed looking at them, so I returned the favor!

This first is my Peace Rose.
It's planted symbolically near our door, to bring peace to the house.

 This is a salvia of some description; it's a perennial and several years old, so I no longer recall which one!
 Next is Feverfew, one of the medicinal herbs which is known to be useful for migraines in modern times and was formerly used for all sorts of ailments.
 This is catmint, mentha nepeta.  It forms a spreading mound and the leaves are used in teas and pultices.
 Here are some of my tiger lillies--they are just starting to bloom here.  Where I grew up they bloom a bit later, and are naturalized.  These were given to me by a friend and are hard won around here.
Here is one of my very favorites: Asclepias tuberosum, a.k.a. Butterfly Weed, Pleurisy Root, orange milkweed and other names.  I wanted this herb for years when I lived in my first house.  It is native to North America, and when I moved a little bit south of where I grew up I actually located 2 or 3 places where it grew wild.  I tried to grow it from seed which I collected on the roadside from one bunch, I bought a plant locally, and finally, when road workers were cutting in a new shoulder along the road where one native plant had been growing for years, I stopped and dug up the plant before it was graded into oblivion and brought it home to my seaside garden.  None of those ever survived in the harsh salt-infused microclimate where I lived. 
At my new house it's a completely different story! I planted this large plant/group of plants from seed one year and it has actually self-seeded throughout my garden.  I love this plant because it's a true native herb and there is lots of evidence that the native peoples used it for pleurisy, fever, cough and diarrhea as well as non-medicinal uses.  Even better, modern analysis has proven that it has "medicinal" properties: it contains cardiac glycosides!  I enjoy pondering how natives a thousand years ago identified and learned to use these herbs.
Just writing about my herbs is getting me enthused to get out in the garden again. Thanks for the opportunity! 

Have a comment? Advice? Random observation? I'd love to hear it. Click "COMMENTS" just below.

1 comment:

  1. The Pleurisy root is beautiful. I love that you're seeing your plants through a medicinal eye. I used to study herbology, but have forgotten so much.
    Lovely lovely flowers!


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