Late Harvest & Spring Plans

This Thanksgiving I spent some time cleaning seeds I grew this year: gold-leaf feverfew, jasmine tobacco, wild tobacco, variegated nicandra, purple morning glory, Ocean Dawn Japanese morning glory, and wild white petunia. Unfortunately, the white petunias didn’t make many flowers this year and so I have very few seeds and will have to try again next year. That’s part of gardening, IME–ups and downs, sometimes with no rhyme or reason to it. I’ve still got a bunch of wild purple petunia seeds out there to collect. Most plants that are staying outside in pots have been shifted to a south wall of the house and covered with leaves, but I still have to drag the fig onto the patio–and we’ve already had snow flurries a couple of times. It’s still doing fine, but I think my marsh rosemary has bit the dust. It turned brown in the past month, even though this kind of weather is not a problem for it. And once again, it made what should have been seeds but wasn’t. I think it needs another plant for fertilization. I did manage to score some bog myrtle seeds this past month. I was hoping eventually to have all the seeds for the plants that go into gruit, a medieval ale without hops. Gruit uses marsh rosemary, bog myrtle (sweet gale), and yarrow for flavoring (and added psychoactive punch). The marsh rosemary plant was $35. I’m not sure if I’ll be getting another couple plants soon.  For now, that is on the back burner.

I have been adding more seeds to Alchemy Works from a list I created of European culinary and medicinal herbs, herbs used in European witchcraft, Hoodoo, dyeing, fiber, and more. Right now I’m adding culinary herbs, like fennel, feverfew (regular and the gold leaf I grew), and a flax variety developed for seed harvest (I’ll be adding a variety for fiber later). It takes me several hours to create each page, since I research as many different folk uses as possible to go with accurate growing info.

I’ve already got my seeds for my own garden for next year. Besides the food plants, which I wrote about in the last post, I’ll be trying a bunch of plants for possible seed harvest. One I started already was a packet of mixed black-leaved angelica. The regular version of this plant is doing really well in my garden, so I am hoping that I can grow the black-leaved variety as well, since no wholesalers are carrying them. I’ve also got some seeds for a variegated angelica to start. However, even if those seeds sprout and the plants prosper, they won’t be providing a seed harvest for two years. Gardening with seed-grown perennials–it’s all about learning Saturnian slowness, I tell ya!

At the end of December, I’ll start cold stratifying not only a bunch of black and white mandrake seeds and belladonna for live plants in spring, but also rowan, agrimony, genipi mugwort (this is an alpine type of mugwort used to make a liqueur in Italy), dark-leaved forms of elderberry, a double-flowered variety of soapwort, Greek mountain tea, violet-flowered wood sorrel (I’ve been waiting so long for these seeds to come in stock with the supplier), scarlet globemallow, purple giant hyssop (a native I’ve grown in the past and which I like the smell of), rabbit tobacco/pearly everlasting, thimbleweed, long-headed coneflower, and sweet black-eyed susan.

Seeds I’ll start in spring include kidney vetch (lady’s fingers),  variegated borage (sooner or later I will actually get to harvest some seeds from this thing–this year I will grow it in tomato cages so it doesn’t flop over and throw its seeds everywhere), a double-petaled version of  celandine (the single version grows all the place here), autumn oxeye, ivy-leaved toadflax, ma huang again (my seedlings got lost in the shuffle this year), and wild pasque flower.  A number of these are British wildflowers with strong histories of folkloric use. I would like to obtain more such seeds, but none of the suppliers I have found in the UK of this type of seed will ship to the US.

I have been very much enjoying building a garden of perennial wild flowers and herbs.  I just wish I had more space!

8 comments to Late Harvest & Spring Plans

  • petoskystone

    i enjoy the reading the names of perennial flowers & herbs. they give me to smile! your thanksgiving was certainly a productive one. i am still deciding on what to plant in one corner of the wee patch. it needs to grow in the same conditions as mugwort…

  • herba15

    Clary sage is nice to grow because it’s not easy to find in good quality dried. What kind of uses are you thinking of?

    • Would clary sage survive a Florida “winter”? I’d love to start growing some, but the first chance I’ll have will be in August, unfortunately.

      • herba15

        It would survive the winter just fine. I think it would have more trouble with the summer. You might want to plant it where it will have partial shade. I used to grow temperate climate plants in south Florida by starting them in October there.

        • I had clary seedlings mixed in with some peppers, by mistake, and those are the biggest sages I’ve seen now that they’re coexisting w/ the peppers in a brick planter that used to be an outdoor grill. It gets hot as an infernal demon’s asscrack where I live, in the summer and early fall, on that patio where the brick planter is. But the point is these are partly shaded by the bricks, and by the peppers which grow next to and behind them.

          The clary growing in the plum tree’s pot are less happy, being more exposed.

  • petoskystone

    i am looking toward dream recall/meditation, uncrossing, &/or herb tea to help with sinus congestions. the corner of the patch i have the hardest time with has heavy soil/poor drainage & has partial sun.

    • herba15

      Mugwort is great for dream recall, and in the wild will grow at the edge of a woods, like along the paths. In my garden I have it in as much sun as I can give it, but I know it can grow in partial shade. It isn’t particular about soil.

      Sinus congestions I’d try a mint. I like spearmint myself, which I grew this year because I drink the tea as a digestive, but I found by accident that it also helps clear my sinuses when I am having allergic stuffiness. And mint loves shade and watery places. What’s great about mint too is that there are so many kinds to try.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>