Nasturtiums are such a bright addition to the garden. I enjoy them a lot; in other people’s gardens. They attract so many aphids that I stopped planting them in my own. However, I came across this beautiful container today. Completely aphid free & such a wonderful trailing flower to brighten the box. I believe having them in a box & off the ground gives enough air flow to deter aphids.
I’m inspired to use nasturtiums as a new addition next year. Since I create my containers using ikebana principles, I view the trailers as symbolizing the Earth Realm. Red nasturtiums to symbolize the rich, red earth is going to be stunning. Nasturtiums are also edible. They add color and spiciness to a salad. I’ll post my inspired photos next year! But in the meantime, enjoy the photo I took today!
Which plants do you like to use as the trailers, aka the Earth Realm?
Drunk on the powerful potion
Not on the green grass,
but the pavement.
Cohorts nearby, but still alone
Will you climb onto my hat?
picked up and carried to safety?
Lavender buds beckon,
but the pavement compels you
to twist away in a dance
a sacred circle all its own.
by Tea Leaf Gardens
Trees are the portals of prayers guided into heaven. —Tea Leaf Gardens
Part of my Spring gardening rituals is getting ready to water. Watering is an important part of gardening, but it’s tricky. I want to be wise in how I use the water. This is part of my partnership I want to have by working with nature for the benefit of all. Water is a precious resource. It’s not enough to just put water on the plants – I don’t want to waste water.
I like using soaker hoses because I can place them where I want the water to go without unnecessary run-off. I check & set up my soaker hoses, making sure any kinks or tears are repaired. Sometimes I need to reorient the hoses to be more efficient. I like to water as early in the morning as possible; this encourages the most soaking in of the water into the soil and the least chance of evaporation. So after I set up the hoses, I set the timer and make sure it’s running properly.
This post is about watering annuals. Annuals are those flowers and plants that usually live for part of the year, then die. You generally need to replace annuals every year. Some of my favorite examples of an annual are impatiens, geraniums, pansies, fuchsias, etc. Most annuals have a shallow root system. Generally, the roots are going to be in the top 12 inches of soil. Then the roots spread around, close to the plant. The general guideline for annuals is to look and check the soil often. You want the soil to be moist 1 – 2 inches below the surface.
Here’s what to look for to know when to water your annuals.
- Is the soil dry below the surface? (get your fingers dirty to check!)
- Leaves look tired or dull. (most plants will die or stop growing if they dry out)
- The stems start to sag. The flowers are drooping and dry out faster than usual.
Please comment if you have any questions.
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world:
dangerous, wounding, and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.
by Linda Hogan
As I mentioned in my post, Solstice, my calendula plants didn’t make it through the winter freeze this year. I was intending to plant seeds this Spring to begin again. However, while hand weeding, I noticed several calendula starts already. Last summer, once I gathered enough seeds from the plants, I just scattered any additional seeds around the bed. I had wanted to encourage more plants, but also wondered if they would survive the winter. What a delight to see their tru-leaves now. Calendula seeds remind me of little crescents and it’s been fun to see the seed remnants on the new leaves.
I didn’t know much about calendula before a few years ago when I interned at a Children’s Garden. Did you know that the previously, accepted treatment for burns was to use butter? No longer, because the butter just traps the heat in, intensifying the burn instead of healing. However, I learned the reason why butter used to be put on burns. Previously, calendula was used as the dye in butter to make it appear yellow. Calendula is an excellent treatment for healing the skin after a first degree burn. (After following the Red Cross’ First Aid guidelines, cool the first degree burn by running cool water over it, making sure it’s clean and dry. Then apply calendula oil or salve to the area. I don’t know about using this for a second or third degree burns – best to consult your medical practitioner before using it for those.) So that’s why people used to put butter on burns – not because the butter helped, but because the calendula did.
This Saturday, April 5th, heralds the beginning of the April Spring Sales. The Audubon Society Plant Sale consistently has one of the nicest selection of native plants that work well in the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorite eco-friendly growers, Tadpole Haven Native Plants will be there. From their website, their philosophy of growing natives is very similar to mine to partner with nature for mutual healing.
“We plant native plants because they are good for the environment. Native plants heal damaged land, provide food and shelter for creatures large and small, filter runoff and cool streams. It only makes sense that growing native plants be done in a way that heals.“
I highly recommend taking the time this Saturday from 10am – 4pm to stop by & see for yourself.