Herbaria (August 10, 2012)

Again I am posting last week’s herbaria late. Tomatoes made their mark for a second week, especially since I am now bringing in harvests that are large enough to be preserved. For the first year ever we have had overlap and are still eating jars from last year’s mega crop!

Zucchinis are the other standout in the garden. I was late getting started so my crop is well behind for this time of year, but we have enjoyed a handful of fruit from a compact, early variety called ‘Astia’ that is not shown here.

From Left to Right:

Top Row: 1. Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis) I haven’t been using this herb nearly enough this year and now that it is flowering I’ve been reminded that I had better get on it pronto. 2. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’ I purchased the bulbs for this sweet little orange flower in the early spring at the same time that I picked up the impulse buy dahlia. Both were only $2.97 each. I just did a little research on them and have discovered that they are hardy to zone 5, so just about right for my area if I am careful to tuck them in for winter with mulch. Had I known this I would have planted them in the ground rather than in a big pot. They are doing well where they are but I am debating whether I should try planting them out in the fall or if I should overwinter them indoors and transfer to the garden in the spring. 3. Tomato ‘Piedmont’ Aren’t these bicolor plum tomatoes cute? They remind me of candy corn.

Middle Row: 4. Tomato ‘Czech’s Bush’ This is a wonderful, sturdy determinate variety that I have been growing faithfully for years. It does very well in pots, but I am growing this one in the ground for the first time. 5. Asparagus I planted asparagus last year and while we do not yet have a real crop, we have enjoyed the odd stalk now and again. They’ve been popping up sporadically since the springtime. 6. Zucchini flower ‘Benning’s Green Tint Patty Pan’ I grew this prolific patty pan variety last year and found myself flush with a daily harvest of at least a dozen flowers. I had space to fit two of them this year since the seeds of another variety I had intended to try did not germinate after 2 tries. Unfortunately, their season is behind as a result, but the plants are catching up and I have collected enough flowers to make a meal of a seasonal favourite: stuffed squash blossoms. My recipe is on page 156 of “Easy Growing.”

I originally purchased this variety because it was touted as “compact.” I said it last year and I will say it again: this is not a compact zucchini by any means. In fact, I’d say it is a monster that expands and sprawls into one of the largest varieties I have ever grown!

Bottom Row: 7. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) Surprise! It’s another plant that is referred to as sage but isn’t. I’ve always admired the look of it in other people’s gardens, but have never had the right conditions to grow it. 8. Shungiku aka Garland Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coronarium) Do you know this plant? It is an edible crysanthemum that is used in Asian cuisine. I have always grown it in pots in the past but decided to experiment in raised beds and in the ground this year to very good result. Able to reach their full potential, the plants are HUGE, several feet high and growing! With so much greenery at my disposal I intend to do some thorough experimentation. This year’s seed were purchased last April in Thailand in the gift shop at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Chiang Mai.9. Onion seed pod This seed pod is the follow up to an onion flower from an Italian bunching variety that I included in the a previous Herbaria on June 15.


Herbaria F.A.Q

What is this?

An herbarium is a collection of plant specimens. Herbaria is the plural form. A collection of collections.

Every week, until I can no longer find anything living to fill up the boxes, I am photographing and posting a collection of flowers, leaves, stems, and other plant parts that are in my garden. This is an experiment in celebrating diversity and I hope it will allow me to focus more closely on the beauty that is inherent in the different parts of each plant. It also serves as a visual file of the seasons and a record of my garden, my gardening practice, and the plants that I choose to grow.

Why doesn’t this start at the beginning of the calendar year or garden season?

I would have preferred starting this project at either of those times, but alas, that is now how things worked out. The idea for this project came to me rather spontaneously one May morning as I sat pondering how I could best use a stack of nine wooden, pint-sized fruit boxes that I had recently purchased at the flea market. I have a thing for wooden boxes and I love to display little collections of cherished items within them. These nine little boxes begged to be kept together as a display — it didn’t take long before the idea came to mind: little boxes within a box, framed within weeks and months of boxes. Within the hour I had worked out the logistics of the project and was photographing my first box. That was May 16, 2012.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

One thought on “Herbaria (August 10, 2012)

  1. Love the herbaria! It’s what caught my eye a few months ago and has kept me reading and following your blog. Thanks for the information and the wonderful photos.

Comments are closed.