Thursday, July 31, 2008

Garden Full Speed Ahead!

This year's garden incorporates vegetables, flowers, herbs in mixed plantings. Delightful to the eyes and senses, mixed plantings also work well for beneficial insects. While you might think we lived in the country from this picture, we actually live in the middle of town. In the far back of the picture is a stand of wild lettuce, burdock, yellow dock and thistle. Wild lettuce can be calming as part of a tea. Burdock is used both as a vegetable (the root), and medicinal herb (root and seeds). Yellow dock is used for food and as an herb. Thistle (all kinds) are supportive of liver function.

It's always amazing to me how slowly a garden seems to take shape, and then it's like it is on a race track, speeding forward with incredible growth. First pictured above is the catmint/echinacea patch in early Spring. The next picture was taken about a week ago in July. The spiked purple flowers to the right are a Russian Sage plant that I thought I was going to kill last year, as I kept accidentally digging up the little start. Now established, it will probably keep up with the cat mint and start to spread next year.

While I do not welcome the green cabbage worms on my red cabbage plants, my son and I celebrate seeing the yellow swallowtail butterfly caterpillars (and others) on my dill plants. The U
mbelliferal family seems to appeal best to them. And our echinacea sp. patch, along with flowering catmip, flowering Russian sage, flowering oregano, garden sage and (somewhere in the mix) lavender appeal to many beneficial insects.

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