It is a chaotic blanket of thin, tangled branches smothering the lilac bush. A wild thing in a garden that has gone mad with wild things and wildness. And once it got going that poor potted dahlia hardly stood a chance.
I’ve realized that it is a living approximation of my grandmother’s “Christmas tree.” My garden’s tribute of sorts to the mass of potted tropical vines and houseplants that she decorated with small glass balls and assembled into a triangular “tree” shape each December.
I took a break from posting the Herbaria recently. I did continue shooting the photos so I am resuming where I left off a few weeks back.
This week marks more tomatoes. All varieties have come in and many were already starting to wane at the time of this photo a few weeks back. It’s turning into a hustle to ensure that the remaining varieties as well as other frost tender plants make it into these photos before their time comes.
Behold a colourful mass of naked ladies emerging from a tangle of periwinkle that I happened upon on an afternoon walk. I highly recommend planting colchicum corms in any-sized garden, even if you are a beginner. [How to grow info is here.]
Perhaps it is a small observation, but one worth noting. This morning while working in the kitchen, I witnessed some of the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) seedpods that I had set aside to fully dry bursting open and spilling their contents all around and onto the floor. The sound that they made as the seeds hit my enamel top kitchen table was audible and I wondered for a moment if it was raining.
Later in the day I went back into the kitchen for my afternoon coffee break and discovered more seedpods had burst and spilled their micro-sized contents all around.
While I was unsure about this particular poppy’s chemical constitution (I am always careful to wash my hands thoroughly after collecting the pods), the sight of them spilling onto the floor did make me pause and consider the myriad of garden collected seeds and seedpods that I have sitting in bowls, trays, and shallow dishes around the house at this time of year. I am used to living with an adult human and a cat who couldn’t be bothered with my strange human messes. But since last January we have welcomed a scruffy dog into our life, and like most dogs she is a living Hoover, vacuuming up anything that seems even remotely edible from any surface within reach. Everything is a potential snack until it has been tested and either rejected or approved. This made me think about those of you with young children who collect and save seeds from your garden. I don’t know how you do it. The task is rife with so much potential for little seeds ending up in little mouths.
I consulted a number of books on my shelves in search of an answer as to California poppy’s toxicity, and found it in Marjorie Harris’ “Botanica“:
It is exquisite close-up. Design by nature.