Friday, July 06, 2018

After the Berries

From mid to late June until the 4th of July, I pick berries twice a day. My freezer is full of raspberries, blueberries, black currants and gooseberries. I lost (???) my canner, so I'll be on the hunt at yard sales so there will be jelly eventually. There are still some blues, but the birds can have the rest of them. Today I went out there, and it seemed like I was seeing everything else for the first time. Except for the flower garden outside my bedroom window, everything else has been ignored. It was exciting to see, and if you'd like to come along, we can take a little tour.

The birds are possessive about these and set up quite a racket when I walk near.

Right outside the door, the borage is setting off fireworks of its own.

I swear, the echinacea was barely budding last time I saw it.

Baby elderberries are looking good so far.  On the other bush across the yard, beetles have done a number on the leaves, so I'm interested to see how that is going to turn out.  More circulation might mean fewer fruit flies.  Maybe?

Fleabane daisies and chicory cozy up to a little balsam fir in the field.  The fields are filled with masses of these along with drifts of Queen Anne's lace between the trees.  They are mowed periodically, but so pretty.  And they grow back.

Monarda is starting to bloom in the back, but not yet in the front. 

Mountian mint!  Lush and healthy, it's been a couple of years since it took a turn in the still.  We'll remedy that soon.

Oh yeah... the reason I went out was to harvest some nettle seeds.  This patch was a 4" pot 3 years ago.  The bare area in the picture is what I wound up pulling.  Those roots!  Those stings!  What an exciting hour!  Jewelweed grows right next to it and really came to the rescue.  Shorts and t-shirt are a poor choice for this work, by the way.

This is what I pulled, and it isn't quite done yet.  This is a full-sized shower curtain.  Nettle roots are really incredible.  Tenacious... sneaky... strong... I'll have to do this every year.

I was beginning to think the passionflower was not coming back, but low and behold, there it is!  Instead of 100 shoots, I only found 2.  This was a rough winter.  Almost all of the lavender died, and one of the figs.  Guess it was rough for the passionflower, too.

I planted poppies all over the place in all kinds of varieties.  I am completely in love with them.

Finally, I was walking past the raspberry patch and thinking about how this seemed to be one of the years when no St Johns wort would be coming up.  Sometimes there's lots, sometimes there's none. 
I looked up and there was a glimmer of gold off to the right! 
It looks like rest of the summer will be pretty exciting. In the last 12 or 13 years, so many different perennials and "planned weeds" have been added to this plot of land that I don't remember them all, and get pleasant surprises almost every time I walk through the yard!
Here's hoping that you're enjoying the plants in your surroundings too!

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