Sunday, July 1, 2012

Out and around the garden

Been busy planting and weeding ... it seems like there are more weeds than usual this year!

I just thought that today I'd post some of the photos I've taken over the past few weeks:

Prairie sage
They call this prairie sage here in Oklahoma -- I haven't been able to find the scientific name, but I'm guessing it's one of the Artemisia species.

It's native to the area and according to my wildcrafting teacher can be used in cooking. Some of the Native American tribes use this to make smudge sticks for religious ceremonies. It grows in my front flower beds, and since I don't have anything else there right now I let it do what it likes in the summer

I learned about this during the foraging classes that I've taken from Jackie Dill -- if you're in the area and want to learn about future classes you should visit her website.

Onion flower
Those of you who know me know that I'm a big fan of alliums, especially garlic.

But I love planting onions (even if I haven't learned how to get them to make big bulbs), both because I love to eat them (!) and because I really like their flowers.

This is what they call a "walking onion" or Egyptian onion (Allium ×proliferum or A. cepa var. proliferum). These have little bulblets on top instead of a flower, and when they grow large enough the plant will bend over a bit and drop them off beside it, "walking" itself down the row.

It's kind of funny looking, but fun to grow.

I took the photos of these two daylilies (which are both supposed to be the "Wine Delight" variety) on the same day, just a minute or so apart. They were on two different plants, which might explain the difference in color, but I thought it was odd.

Could the right hand one have bloomed earlier? If you know the answer to this mystery, I'd be interested in hearing it!

This is another native plant called lemon mint or horse mint (Monarda citriodora). You can identify mint family plants by their square stems.

This smells like lemons! I've never cooked with it but I guess you can, and it makes a nice cut flower as well.

It also attracts butterflies and likes clay soil, which is probably why it's native here. ;)

My lavender plant is in bloom, and also smells wonderful. This is one of the easiest plants to take care of -- I really don't do much to it other than pull weeds around it once in a while (which it looks like I need to do again).

I don't water it, it doesn't seem to need dividing, and it grows year round -- snow doesn't bother it one bit. I haven't even seen any frost damage on it, even though it's in an exposed, windy area of the yard where it's officially gotten down to 5F (-15C) but with the wind it was probably colder than that.

I planted this sweet potato (along with a lot of its friends) a few weeks ago and they really seem to like the heat!

This is only the second time I've planted sweet potatoes. They aren't too fussy -- just stick the slips in the ground and water a bit to get them established. I think the vines are a nice-looking ground cover -- I only wish I had planted them earlier, before the weeds got started.

How are your gardens going? Don't forget to enter your edible front yards in my photo contest! It runs until July 31st, and I'd love to see what you've got planted.

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