Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Planting Theme Gardens in the Herb Garden

Wednesday, another group project day. The gardeners and some of the new interns were in the Herb Garden. We put down a bit of compost and then planted the Theme Gardens. I spent a lot of the day in the Native American Garden. Spectacular stand of Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis. GrayC, of course, is fretting about the overall condition of the garden and really, it was wonderful before we did the project, and is even better now. For many of us, this is our favorite place to work outside of our base collection so it was a pleasant day. I am always amazed at how many different herbs are contained in the Theme Gardens. And the signage is good, so it's always a learning experience.

People are forever asking ,"what is your favorite flower?" I think most of us, excepting the true fanatics, I mean enthusiasts, don't really have one, but whenever I see see the Horned Poppy, Glaucium flavum, I remember that it is my favorite. Hey, I am fickle about plants, so the next day I a new favorite. This is a cool plant though, with dissected, icy, glaucous foliage arranged in architectural rosettes. The flower form is typical oof the poppy family, the color is wonderful too, shades of yellow to gold, not uniform, but varying through the petals, then followed by spectacular horn shaped fruits. It is a biennial, but seems to colonize good sites, which are actually bad sites; it likes sand, and tolerates salt! Another very nice yellow-flowered plant with silvery foliage is visible in this picture, Phlomis fruticosa, Jerusalem Sage. It is a Mediterranean sub-shrub, with whorled flowers. It is one of those plants that can be short-lived without good drainage, but can live for a long time in the right site.

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