Sunday, October 06, 2013

Herbaceous Mysteries

This picture sums up my weekend.
Saturday was such an astonishingly glorious sunny day that I felt compelled to excavate the herb garden.
I dug up the rabbit-netting, pulled out all the weeds that had grown through it, and then reconstructed the fence.
Inspired by my latest reading (Derek Jarman's Modern Nature), I took a trip to the garden centre for some highly-optimistic fritillary bulbs and purple-sprouting broccoli plug plants.  Into the herb garden they go!  If nothing else, they will fill the gaps where the weeds used to be.
 The salvia and borage are still going strong.
As I worked, there was a continuous buzzing and fluttering of bees and butterflies.  Sadly, only bumble bees, not honey bees.  We haven't seen any of those for years now.
 This area was supposed to be devoted to Californian poppies, but not one seed came up.  Instead, I have these yellow flowers of unknown origin.  Maybe self-seeded from last year's "wildflower mix"?
 And standing proud above them all, the verbena bonariensis.  I am SO pleased with these!  I hope they come back next year!
Mysteriously, I also have about a dozen of these plants, popping up where I think I scattered another packet of Lidl's finest (39p) mixed flower seeds.  I have no idea what they are!  The foliage is a deep pink in the shade, and bright acid green in sunlight.  The flowers are feathery.  Does anyone know what they might be?  They are a dramatic contrast to the colour of the rest of my garden :)
 All that outdoor activity has left me feeling a bit old and creaky.
Today is a knitting day!
This is my latest project:  the Thistle Scarf from Tin Can Knits.  I am using Skein Queen Enchant (an alpaca/ silk / cashmere mix) in the club colourway "Strawberries and Champagne".  This is a gift for a work colleague whose husband's health has taken a sudden downturn.  She doesn't knit and I feel the need to spread the love.  We cancer wives have to look after each other!


Jenni said...

Beautiful Scarf after a beautiful day :o) Your generosity is amazing x

Emma said...

The yellow flowers are Artemis Tinctoria, Dyers Chamomile. There's a clue there for a potential experiment!
It was a lovely, sunny day yesterday. I watched the butterflies on my Asters in the company of my two best friends. Knitting, chatting, tea and apples straight of the tree. Bliss!

Unknown said...

The pink flowers are amaranth - an ancient grain. If you let it go to seed you can shake out the tiny seeds and prepare them like quinoa.

Unknown said...

The pink flowers are amaranth - an ancient grain. If you let it go to seed you can shake out the tiny seeds and prepare them like quinoa.

Where the nodding violets grow said...

Hi Roo. I was going to suggest an amaranthus caudatus. I think it is also known as 'love lies bleeding'.
It is lovely isn't it.

MaryinTN said...

Lovely garden. I vote for some kind of amaranth for the pink flower. I am not sure what the yellow one is but we got some unusual ones this year too after planting a packet of seeds that supposedly draws butterflies.

opportunityknits said...

Such a pretty garden! I know nuts about flowers and I do not have a green thumb, so I am terribly impressed by all your pretty flowers! And what a coincidence, we're both knitting lace at the moment :)

Roobeedoo said...

Hooray! I knew my readers would turn out to be botanically literate :)
Thank you - and how exciting to know they are plants with a purpose!

LinB said...

Oh, yes, dyer's chamomile. I recognized it right off. Don't eradicate it -- it is hardy in your area, not invasive, cheerful, good for keeping soil in place on a slope. Plus, it make a pleasant dye for your wool ... I think it makes a green, let me check ... nope. Light yellow, buff, or gold (with a mordant). The red thing looks a monstrously larger version of a weedy amaranth that pops up around the edges of my lawns. Looks like it would be thorny but it isn't, has a hollow stem, birds resort to it when there's nothing else to eat (at least, in my yard they avoid it when possible).