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,