God, how I love an overnight rainfall. There is nothing more optimistic than waking up to a bright and sunny day with the soil moist and fresh smelling. These are the perfect conditions for weeding. The softened soil makes it easy to slip weedlings (a spelling slip that I’m not gonna change) from the soil, and the pleasant atmosphere brings an added sense of joy to the task.
I’ve made it a habit over the years to learn about and identify as many plants in the seedling stage as I can so that I know at a glance who stays and who goes. Some seedlings are worth cultivating, but others just suck up nutrients and space — the sooner you can get them out the better.
The mystery seedling with just the seed leaves showing.
A handful of one particular type of seedling that I can not identify has been coming up in a section of the garden. They seem too delicate to be a tree, but don’t look like anything I have grown or even seen before. Some seedlings do change dramatically as they age, so there’s always the chance that they are something I am growing. They could have come in with the wind or birds but I don’t see them in my neighbors’ yard, yet many are situated near the fence. They could have come in the soil with some plants I planted last year… I can’t say for certain where they hailed from, but I do want to know what they are. They are delicate and pretty little things. Their beauty has bought them some time as well as my curiosity.
Can you identify these seedlings? I’m so eager to know I will send one of our t-shirts, any size or style to the first person that can correctly identify them.
Your help is appreciated!
UPDATE: Thanks to Kristen who identified the seedling as jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The plant came in through a bush I bought at last year’s Parkdale Horticultural Society Plant Fair and I left it because it’s such a useful medicinal plant. I completely forgot about it until Kristen made the identification.
The first pieces of flair I added to the garden early last year was a collection of bird and bee houses that I affixed to the left front side of our ramshackle shed. Recently, high winds have been knocking them off and when putting them back up I happened to notice a few stray baby yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) and a big egg case affixed to the back of one of the houses.
Since then I’ve been watching eagerly to see if there was any movement. And look what I discovered today…
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” – The Carpenters
I’m not going to mince words — the weather is shit right now. It’s grey and cold and the coffee I drank two hours ago has been unable to penetrate its dreary, low energy malaise. I feel like a zombie and I look like one, too. I often joke that I’ve spent so much time in the company of plants that I’ve become one. But the plants are bright, colourful, and standing up straight today — we are not in sync at all.
If you can stand to be outdoors, the overcast haze makes the perfect conditions for photographing the garden. I dragged my sorry ass out there this afternoon to capture some recent changes to the garden and photograph these books. The lemon balm is reaching a nice size now and I was reminded on sighting it that a fistful lazily torn and brewed in a cup of hot water is a good rainy day remedy. I added slices of fresh ginger and ginger honey purchased at the market to mine.
The cup is empty now and while I can’t say that I am feeling any more chipper than before, I am at least cheered by the prospect of more drinks made with fresh (rather than dried) herbs from the garden in the coming months.
The other day I posted the above image, a photo of the garden as it was at that very moment. I’ve been swinging back and forth lately between satisfaction with the garden’s progress, and frustration with the weather and the feeling of being behind. Or if it’s not that it’s a nagging dissatisfaction that it hasn’t come far enough and is not enough… yet. And then I find joy in a new flowering bulb that emerges, that fresh look that the soil has after it rains, and the relief in finally having laid down a new layer of mulch and I come back full circle to satisfied again.
It was that seesaw of ambivalence that held me back from pressing the post button for a minute before I got over it and let the image go live. Despite my own uncertainty and/or insecurities I am not Better Homes & Gardens and I have never aspired to be. We’ll leave that to those who are better suited to it. I have intentionally rejected that path as a gardener, and thwarted that role as a garden writer for all sorts of reasons, the most basic being that it’s not me. As a result, I feel a commitment to showing my gardens as they are, as never-ending projects that are always in progress. I don’t stage them for photos or wait for that final moment of “doneness” because in truth that moment will never come.
My pup Molly in the garden. Thankfully she seems to enjoy relaxing on bark mulch just as much as this remaining patch of “grass” as we will be digging it out very soon.
The winners of the Easy Growing give-away are:
- Comment #27 Donna B.
- Comment #48 Christy
If this is you please check your inbox or junk mail folder as you should have an email from me.
Assorted and Sundry: