Garden Daybook 9/10/12

This afternoon was spent gathering plants and seeds to share. I have been taking a six month medicinal herb class with Master Herbalist Mary Colvin, M.H. and tomorrow is our grand finale. We have all presented our final projects – mine was on Stinging Nettle – and now all that is left is a final lunch celebration. I have been talking about sharing plants from my gardens so I thought I would finally bring a few things for everyone.

I found plain brown paper bags and rolled down their sides to make simple “carry-alls”. I filled each rolled down bag with newly dug and potted pieces of Virginia Mountain Mint – Pycnanthemum virginianum and Short-Toothed Mountain Mint – Pycnanthemum muticum. Both of these mints are great for tea and both can be rubbed on your skin to repel insects. I added three seedlings of Purple Giant Hyssop – Agastache scrophulariaefolia (gads!! what a name!!) that were started from seed this past July. Giant Hyssop is great for tea and has a fabulous anise smell. I tucked in homemade packets of seeds of an old fashioned Calendula that has grown in my herb garden for years. I found my original Calendula seed in the medicinal garden at Shakertown in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Oh, I also tucked in an info sheet filled with interesting facts about each plant.

Early fall is the perfect time to dig and share plants. If you have perennials that have overrun their space or biennials that have seeded lots of babies now is the time to thin things out and share. If you are short on time and cannot get things potted up don’t stress – – simply wrap plants in damp newspaper and share them anyway.

Tips for sharing: ALWAYS LABEL everything – if you know the botanical name use that first then follow with the common name. Include information about where the plant likes to grow and any maintenance information you know. If the plants are edible or medicinal I like to add interesting facts such as how Native Americans might have used the plant or how the plant has been used throughout history. I love the idea that I have plants in my garden that came from friends and family. I call them my ‘memory plants’ and they make my garden very special to me. Share some of your plants and start some memories.

Hey from the farm, Fran The Country Cousin



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