Ruis (wombbat) wrote,


I have worts?

Nope. Wort just means, technically, "A plant; an herb; now used chiefly or wholly in compound words; as in mugwort, liverwort, spleenwort, lungwort." Some of which, indeed, grow in my garden.

Some of what I'll be doing here is making a central spot for observations about herbs, medicinal plants, my garden work, also the ways in which my work in nature and in the garden intersect with my spirituality. To quote from the Charge of the Goddess: "I am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars..."

With that in mind -- drat the squirrels! I planted two rows of peas and another small square of long vined peas, about 90% of which the squirrels immediately dug up and ate. As I thought it through, however, I realized it was truly a hard winter here in Michigan, so I think they're just hungry. To their credit, they haven't touched the spinach, which are up with a vengence. Germination has been terrible indoors, as well. I have up heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, basil, ornamental peppers and that's about it. The most of the rest of my pots are growing moss.

It is beautiful moss.

Every year, one of the miracles of gardening is not only what survives, but what is a gift to my garden from the surrounding natural world, despite being in the middle of my small town. One year, it was a wild grapevine. Now I have a lovely grapevine wreath on my front door and grape leaves in my freezer for stuffing. I have sternly pruned it back the past two years and I think we are coming to an understanding.

Last year, it was boneset. It showed up in my herb garden, along with wild strawberry. These are both medicinal, beautiful, and in the latter case, tasty. I have had an ongoing battle with an invasive weed known as "creeping charlie" for a number of years, and wild strawberry was one native plant suggested to replace it and fill the niche that creeping charlie has so tenaciously guarded. I worried that the tiny wild strawberry wouldn't even make it through the winter, especially since it was trampled for four months by the wandering paws of our two new puppies. But it is up and thriving. So I feel a renewed determination to root out and/or use up that creeping charlie.

Yes, even creeping charlie has its uses. I had read that it could be substituted for parsley in recipes. The first time I tried it, I was cutting up the nodular vining stems thinking, ".....really???" But last time I used it, I realized that of course, only the leaves are suitable. So I chopped em up, put them in a quiche, and voila, they were fine and tasty and hardly more difficult to use than fresh parsley, which also has to be de-stemmed. Creeping charlie can also be used in brewing beer, but I have to research how to do that.

More on Boneset next time.
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