Monday, May 14, 2012

Busy, Busy Spring

We have had the most beautiful Spring this year. Many times here, it seems like Spring lasts about 2 days then Summer sets in. But, other than some pretty hot weather a few weeks ago- a harbinger of Summer, surely- our days have been in the 80's and the nights in the 60's.... quite pleasant for Texas, to be sure! 

Arp Rosemary. Lots of new growth!
The garden herbs are looking very good, after being overrun by bluebonnets and nasturtiums earlier in the season. I've removed the bluebonnets since their seeds were flung out. And, the nasturtiums were not looking too good anymore, so I took those out, too. The rest of the little garden plot is now able to grow.

The mullein I planted last year is looking great and should flower this year. I'm hoping it'll reseed and I plan to save seed, too, for planting.

 I have room now to plant basil in the garden now, and hope to do it this week. I have several varieties of Holy Basil that I'd like to grow out to dry for tea.

White Yarrow just starting to flower
I planted a small native, white yarrow in late winter and it's spreading nicely and blooming. Yarrow is good for staunching blood flow from wounds. It's also antimicrobial, so it disinfects as well. Yarrow Tea is a diaphoretic- it causes sweating, and has been used as a cold and fever remedy. I like it because it attracts butterflies and other beneficial insects, even though it can get a little out of hand. There are other colors of Yarrow that have been bred: yellow, red, pastels- that don't seem to run as much as the native white, but I suspect their medicinal properties have been lessened. I plan to make a Yarrow Hydrosol from the flowers when I have enough.

Even with lots of positive energy and healthy plants, there is a blot on my garden. I have acquired a gopher... or mole... or some underground critter that enjoys certain of my herbs. Fennel seems to be a favorite. I've lost all the fennel plants that were so lovely earlier, and my big flat-leaf parsley was taken out, too. Tell-tale signs are wilting leaves even after a rain. When I pull on the plant, it just comes up with no roots at all! What to do?? 

Poison is out of the question... the cats seem totally uninterested in catching him... I don't have a dog any longer... any ideas would be welcome. 

There you have a quick overview of what part of my garden looks like.... I didn't take pics of the parts not yet cleaned out!! 

I hope you're all having a wonderful Spring, enjoying your plants and gardens.
Until next time, 


  1. Hi Cindy, learned something again. I was pulling out the native Yarrow, like it was a weed. Will now let it grow so my favorite beneficial bugs will be happy. On the groundhog/mole, we use a certified wildlife trapper to remove them from our property. Groundhogs are soooo destructive and my dogs would be dumb enough to fall down the hole and not be able to get back up.

  2. Glad I sparked something new. Yarrow is a wonderful plant.

    Re the groundhog/mole situation. I'll check around my area and see if anyone does that. I somehow doubt it, though. Around here most people just poison them. :(
    I suppose I could try trapping them myself. Sigh.... it's always something, isn't it??

  3. Cindy, yes, spring has been lovely this year here in Texas, especially after the brutal summer we had last year. Your photos are lovely! Your mullein plant will happily reseed itself and sometimes in the most unexpected places! I have really enjoyed all the wild yarrow this year and have been making quite a lot of yarrow oil for salves. We ,also, have the underground beastie troubles. I am going to have to grow my parsley in pots! They get so beautiful and then they are gone! And they love Chicory, too! Hope the doggies will stay out of the holes. You must have small doggies! Our dogs have dug up 7 acres trying to catch the beasties. It is their full time job! Herbally, Susan

  4. Thanks for commenting. My one concern with the Mullein is the underground critters will get it before it has a chance to flower and set seed. I sure hope not!!

    I'm excited to have the yarrow and make some hydrosol for heat rash in the summer and to soothe other skin irritations. Growing parsley and fennel in pots looks like my solution, too.

    I wish I had some dogs to chase the gophers, but, alas, all we have are some lazy cats! Maybe they'll wander off... the gophers, I mean, not the cats.

    Where are you located in Texas?