Another corner of my garden. This is fuzzy ‘Pineapple’ mint growing in a pot. I’ve resolved to grow all of my mint in pots this year. Contrary to reputation, mints behave rather well over at my community garden. The trick to keeping them under control seems to be growing them in less than ideal conditions. Plus, over there they have to fight against the wild and alpine strawberries for supreme dominance and guess who’s winning that war?
Here though, I expect mint to flourish and then some so I’m playing it safe for now. Everyone in pots!
The pretty floral design seen in the shot (above) is the top of a foot stool I found in the garbage the other night. Going out on garbage night around here is like going shopping! We’ve done well outfitting the garden with our neighbours’ discards.
The stool is red and the top is covered in this amazingly vibrant plastic mac-tac. I LOVE it! If the previous owner comes across this photo and realizes their mistake: I’m sorry but you can’t have it back.
I bought this plant, black horehound (Ballota nigra) ‘Archer’s Variegated’, about a month ago and just recently planted it in the ground (still in the pot) at my community plot where it will live through the winter until I can figure out what in the heck to do with it when the ground thaws this spring.
My original plan was to get myself a white horehound (Marrubium vulgare) plant for the experience in both growing the plant and using it medicinally. White horehound is a drought tolerant herb that attracts pollinators to the garden and is best known as an old-fashioned candy ingredient and cough remedy. While at the store I was distracted by the crinkly, variegated leaves of black horehound (Ballota nigra) and all my plans were lost. I can’t resist a nice variegated plant. It’s a personal weakness.
To sum things up: a fork in the road was presented and I made the wrong decision. Big mistake.
Variegated black horehound may be stunning to behold, but good god it smells terrible. I mean, truly, atrociously horrible.
One of the things I miss most during the winter months is the sensual experience of brushing my hands against fragrant, sun-warmed herbs. Over the years smelling every plant I come into contact with has become an impulse that has landed me in trouble on more than one occasion. A rather unfortunate introduction to Stinging nettle comes to mind!
I often find myself touching plants unconsciously, before I’ve had a chance to register the potential hazard ahead. How will I stop myself from accidentally bathing my hands in the repulsive black horehound? This is one of those times when an out-of-the-way patch of garden comes in handy. Unfortunately, tiny gardens don’t have an out-of-the-way spot or back of the garden to tuck plants into — it’s all up front!
Earlier this year I told myself, No more geraniums, unless it is a nutmeg geranium since my favourite plant bit the dust over the winter. However, that instruction fell out the window when I found this pretty, lemon-scented Pelargonium crispum x ‘Variegated Prince Rupert’ aka ‘Variegatum’ on sale for $1.99.
How could I not get it?
The plant was overgrown with several suckers coming up around the edges that I have since pulled out and put into some water. Interestingly enough, those new plants are not variegated.
This plant was another gift from Barry, a gardener who lives just around the block. I finally got a chance to visit Barry’s garden yesterday and all I can say about that is, WOW. Literally every single inch of Barry’s garden is well considered.
One of the highlights of his garden, among many, is a collection of agaves. I have a special place in my heart for agaves — they’re incredibly interesting plants from an ethnobotanic standpoint, although I suspect they also hold a grass is greener appeal with this Northern gardener.
I have to admit that I am a little bit intimidated by this special agave gift. Now I understand why people are sometimes overwhelmed when I give them a plant. There’s pressure to do well by a gift plant, especially when it’s an unusual variety!
Must not kill the extra special agave. Gah!
More agave photos: in Cuba, in Austin, in San Francisco