Broom

Broom

Genista spp and Cytisus spp. This is a new plant for me so I’ll be learning as I write this week. Please feel free to help me along if you have any experience with this shrub. More about this topic: Without the Broom, You’ve Got the Furze … Genista in the Garden … Broom … Wes Thu Hál …

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Hop

Hop

Humulus lupulus Mention hops and the conversation usually jumps straight to beer with good reason. But there’s so much more to the hop plant than that. It’s a plant that I greatly admire and I’m ready to delve into why. I’ll meet you in the garden. More about this topic: A Hopping Good Time. … Hop Into Bed … A Hopping Good Meal … Hops […]

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The Onion

The Onion

I love onions. The more, the tastier, in my opinion. Cooked pretty much any way imaginable and in sweet jams, as well. I keep threatening to make candied onions. One of these days I will. They’re easy to grow and very pretty. There’s very little waste as all of the plant is edible but for the roots. The little wild onions that grow in my […]

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The Willow

The Willow

Salix spp., S. babylonica S. viminalis S. dicolor S.matsudana I have always had willows around me wherever I’ve lived. I played under them as a child and planted them as an adult. I’ve come to love them but even I admit that while they’re beautiful, they’re hardly showy. It’s surprising how large an impact this plant has had on human lives and how long ago […]

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Vaccinium spp

Vaccinium spp

Blueberry Vaccinium spp Blueberry (V. corymbosum or V. ashei) Bilberry (V. myrtillus) Wild Blueberry (V. augustifolia) I have never tasted a bilberry, although I have tried its cousin, V. augustifolium or the low bush blueberry a.k.a. the wild blueberry. I must confess to not liking blueberries. The rest of my family likes them though, so every year I make blueberry jam and brandied blueberries for […]

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Dianthus

Dianthus

Dianthus Dianthus spp. This plant is one of my personal favorites. The scent of the heirloom varieties is delicious and they are visually pleasing. The family is a large one and includes the familiar carnation. I must confess that the reputation of some of the members of this family amuses me. It’s always nice to meet another rebel. More About This TopicThe Ragged Edge of […]

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Lactuca sativa

Lactuca sativa

The Lettuce When my grandfather and I sat down with the seed catalogues in the winter to plan our spring garden we always gave a good look at the lettuce varieties that we wanted to plant. Lettuce is easy to grow only if you give it what it demands and some varieties are more demanding than others. We always had to balance what the lettuce […]

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Tilia spp.

Tilia spp.

The Linden This tree is something of a holy grail for me. As a nature center educator and a beekeeper, I’ve heard legendary stories about this tree. You can smell it for miles. You can hear it from farther away. It’s beautiful! It’s useful! It’s everywhere! I’ve never found one. Ah, well. I’ll learn a bit more this week and maybe I’ll be able to […]

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Sambucus spp.

Sambucus spp.

Elderberry I spent summers on my Grandfather’s farm. Little Pipe Creek flowed through the middle of it and when I was ten, the banks of the creek were covered in elderberry bushes. The good lady he had purchased the farm from came back every year to gather the fruits when they were ripe and always brought back a few jars of jelly as a thank […]

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Urtica dioica

Urtica dioica

Stinging Nettles Urtica dioica This herb is one I’m very familiar with. I’ve used it in a personal tea blend since I was a teenager. I’m just crazy enough that I actually went and did an afternoon’s work putting in a garden for someone else in exchange for a start of it for my garden. It’s a favorite in both the kitchen and the cosmetic […]

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