Saturday, July 30, 2011

V.G.T. - North to Betsy's Place in MI

V.G.T. = Virtual Garden Tour
I thought we'd cool off a little bit and head north. This summer there just aren't too many places in the US that aren't baking, but we've found a couple of them, and we'll visit them over the next few posts!
I can't really tell you how long ago I came to know Betsy Stevens. She's one of those people who it feels like has just always been there. One of the biggest benefits of being the publisher of The Essential Herbal magazine is getting to know some really wonderful people who wouldn't have come my way otherwise. I am grateful for that on a daily basis.
Betsy and her family live on a 1/3 acre lot in a mid-20th century sub-division in mid-Michigan. From the following pictures, you'll think she lives in the middle of the wilderness.
Let's see what we have here. First, a lovely stand of Culvers root.There's boneset growing...Is there anything prettier than echinacea and daisies growing together? So carefree and lush.
The elderberries are forming and there is some coloration beginning. It won't be long before time for elderberry pie, jelly, tincture, syrup, drying and freezing.
Here is Betsy's interpretation of permaculture - herbs instead of ornamentals. Each of us can do a bit of permaculture wherever we are, and every bit helps. We can't all be living in intentional communities off the grid, so we make our peace in our own gardens.
Beetles love the Queen of the Prairie.The marshmallow is very happy growing by the compost.Mint for many things - especially Mojitos!The motherwort is in bloom...This is the stage we use for tincturing or to dry. We want those flowers!
Here is the path to the garden shed.... and the side view of the path to the garden shed.Pennyroyal in bloom.In the days of old, people planted pennyroyal in their dooryards to discourage fleas from getting into the house.
St John's wort volunteered under Betsy's elderberry bush.In some parts of the country SJW is considered invasive. My own personal experience is that it migrates around my property, and one year will be almost explosive followed by a year with very few blooms.
Wow! Isn't it amazing that 1/3 of an acre feels so much like we just took a walk through a country garden?
Stay tuned, we'll be going to Washington state and Maine in the next week or so, and I'm hoping that we get a few more from other subscribers. All I need is a few pictures and off we go!

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