Our Noble Interest this week is from a family surrounded by controversy and confusion. “Broom” is the common name. There is Common broom, French Broom, and Scotch Broom. There is Spanish Broom, Dyer’s Broom and Sweet Broom. The plant I had in mind is Planta Genista, the badge of theContinue Reading

In his book Five Hundred Points Of Husbandrie, Thomas Tusser gives these instructions. March drie or wet,hop ground go set.Yoong rootes well drestproove ever * best.Grant hop great hillto growe at will.From hop long gutaway go cut. According to the old calendar, now is the time to see to yourContinue Reading

The culinary onion – Allium cepa – has been in cultivation for at least 7000 years. We have no record of what its wild form was like. There are a few closely related onion species found in the wild today but they are not the onion we find either inContinue Reading

Humanity’s association with the willow has been a long one and, for humanity at least, a profitable one. There is evidence of use of willow all the way back to Paleolithic times. It is only comparatively recently that we have tamed and cultivated it. The most recognized member of thisContinue Reading

Vaccinium spp. are shrubs. Depending on the species they can grow anywhere from 1′ to 8′ tall. All of them require full sun and a well-drained soil with a P.H. of 4.5 to 5.5.Here’s some good basic growing information from the Minnesota Extension Office and here’s an article on howContinue Reading

The Dianthus genus is made up of over three hundred species. The wild form of the species can be found in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Most sources say it was first documented by Theophrastus around 300 BCE but at least one source reports that this statement has been provenContinue Reading

The wild ancestors of lettuce were originally found in Asia Minor. We don’t know exactly when it was domesticated but the first recorded cultivation of it was in Egypt around 2500 BCE. It traveled to Rome around 50 CE. It was brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in theContinue Reading

The Linden tree makes a beautiful addition to the garden if you have enough room for it. It can achieve heights of 50′ to 80′ with a horizontal spread of 35′ to 50′, although it frequently stays smaller. It generally grows between 13” and 24” inches a year, depending onContinue Reading

A deciduous shrub native to both Europe and North America with an enthusiastic growing habit and a rangy appearance, elderberry has graced our gardens and tables since ancient days. Most varieties are hardy to Zone 4, with a few being hardy to Zone 3. Cornell University offers this excellent informationContinue Reading

Stinging nettle is a hardy perennial native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa and western North America.It spreads by both seed and rhizomes, which means it’s fairly invasive given the opportunity. It prefers moist rich soil in partial shade, but if there’s enough moisture, it will grow in full sun asContinue Reading