Summer Solstice, Woad (hopefully) and Weld

Happy Summer Solstice and all that.  On the garden front the Fennel has begun blooming and I have Woad on the way or at least like to think that I do. Last year I misidentified Weld for Woad. Hopefully I’m growing what I think I’m growing this time around. The Weld did however turn out – a good clear yellow dye – and I swapped Weld for Woad seeds with another dyer I met online.

This should be a Woad plant from last years seed swap.

New Woad and Weld covered with screen to keep the local beasties out.

Weld on the way.

This is the rest of the herb garden – some Calendula, Rosemary, Yarrow poking up in the back, Lavender and Sage. Also tucked in there are Valerian, Vervain and Thyme.

And the garden supervisor.

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Gardening: Backyard Corn

I never get tired of this – watching stuff come up in the garden.  In fact, seed-saving and gardening (along with radio or infrared astronomy) are probably the closest thing to magic that exists for me.

This year we added Stowell’s heirloom Sweet Corn from Seeds of Change to the vegetable/dye/fiber plant garden.

It’s about shoulder high and maybe taller if you stretch out a leaf.

Corn is one of those plants that grow “prop roots” to steady the plant. This one has just started producing the prop roots.

Tree lawn, parkway or devil strip

Thank you Wikipedia for clearing this up. See tree lawn.

Most of my misspend youth and otherwise adult life has been spent living in apartments. The house-thing is still somewhat new to me. In particular, lawns I don’t get. Other than a source of compost and yellow dye they seem like a rediculous affectation. This is a desert – yes? As I have probably already said – should you have any doubts about where you are (climate-wise) having the car breakdown in the San Fernando Valley in July should be your wakeup call. But to keep peace with my neighbors I maintain a half-hearted lawn that provides compost and yellow dye. 

Dusty Miller, CA Poppy and Yarrow

Area in the front is apparantly called a “parkway” or “treelawn” (see wiki). Although I’m from Warren, Ohio I don’t remember my parents calling anything a “devil strip”.

To the existing Japanese Yew tree and ratty lawn grass I’ve added some Dusty Miller, California Poppy and Yarrow. Dusty Miller because of my ongoing conflict with Snails. They want to party in various plants such as Basil (they mowed down an entire flat in one night but that’s a story for another day). Rather than kill things I generally perfer to annoy them so they go away on their own. The snails appered to like Geraniums so that came out. I have yet to see a snail on anyone’s Dusty Miller so that went in.

California Poppy. Well it is the state flower and drought tolerant. Yarrow. I just like Yarrow. It’s both a dye plant and a medicinal and I think its a nice looking plant. That seemed reason enough.