Friday, May 9, 2008

It's all (almost) about the plants

Thought I would show you a few of the interesting examples of flora that we have growing on our place. This is comfrey and we are allowing it to take over the hill beside the house. Actually, we are encouraging it by digging up the large plants and dividing them. It is fun to watch it get big - probably 4' high - and get it's nice purple flowers. It grows VERY fast. Then it kind of wilts back, so we cut it way down and it grows up big again. We can do this 2 or 3 times during the summer. The bees and hummingbirds love the flowers and the trimmed leaves make great compost and/or mulch. Nutritious to the soil. This comfrey came to us a couple of years ago when my good friend, Linda, spent the summer with us. She took a trip up to Selah, Wa. to see another friend, Sharon, who, among other things, is an herbalist. She uses the comfrey in her healing salves. Linda also brought back many other plants - some made it and some did not. We do have lots of lambs ears placed around the place - the bees also love it. The cages finally came off the trees and bushes (don't tell Dean I said that word - he keeps saying that there will be no bushes on his property.......) This is curly willow from the tree in our front yard in Vancouver (where we moved from 3 years ago). It started out as a branch about 3' long which lived in a bucket until we got the yard in - so for about a year. Once it got in the ground, it really took off, as you can see. Each generation is less "curly" but they are still nice trees and we're going to take a few more cuttings from this one now that we don't have to cage everything. Note Abby on "her" lawn. It was a pretty warm day and she like the lawn because it is cool on her tummy.
This strange thing - I don't have a name for it. It is a sedum of some kind, I think, and one of the few things that the deer won't touch. A lot of people have it in their yards around here for just that reason. That, and it self seeds, so you better like it once you get some! Luckily, we do like it.
And last, but not least, I have some early blooming iris. Of all the iris I have in the yard, these are the only ones blooming. For you folk in the "valley" or west of the mountains, or Virginia or California, I should remind you that our season is much later than yours. I was in the "valley" over the weekend and WOW! all the leaves and blooms were amazing. That is one thing that I miss about being over there.
So, last weekend, I was fortunate to be involved in the Walk to Emmaus in Vancouver. It was an especially good walk, I think. After 3 nights of little sleep and no shower (I did clean up some before I went....), I had to be in Salem on Sunday afternoon to receive the very first Certificate of Laity Theological Education from Northwest House of Theological Education. I was honored and proud. I have to tell you a little story which topped off the weekend. My friend from school, Mary Anne, had spoken of her partner, Katie, but I had never met her. Turns out, I had known Katie 40 some years ago and we had lost track of each other as so often happens. Such a small world it is. We had fun catching up and I'm looking forward to getting together again soon. They are headed to Berkley for school, so maybe it will be an excuse for a road trip...........hmmmmm.
And now, back to the yard work.
Later, peeps

1 comment:

Denise said...

Now I know what else I want for my birthday (I'm so greedy!) -- comfrey, lambs ears, and the mysterious sedum (?)from Aunt S. and Uncle D.'s place.
We must com visit this summer!! (Not just so I can steal plants..)