Monday, June 30, 2008

My Favorite Bloom Today...

So, over the weekend we made a conscious decision to kill our TV. We were given a large TV for our wedding and it was the first TV I have ever owned. Last year we got a second computer and had to upgrade for speed(two teenagers and spouse working on his PhD)along with it came cable TV. Wow. I have to admit that it was I who became addicted to HGTV, food network, all the animal channels, National Geographic and the likes. There are about 5 channels that were cutting into my work day and quality family time, so we had to do something. With the girls being away at camp, we decided to take advantage of the quiet and re-feng-shui. Upon rained. Coincidence? you say...maybe. For me, it was like a baptismal font...I'm back to being my boring self...thinking about things instead of thinking about things I just saw. I spent this morning working in the Green Garden at Zilker and after lunch took a walk around my yard which I have been avoiding. It's been so nice sitting inside with the air conditioner on, sipping sun tea, watching folks on TV deliberate over what to do in their spring green gardens, cursing the heat. I needed to shake myself out of it and get to planing my next project. While I was taking stock though I realized that the healthiest looking little plant in my yard is a gal I didn't really know that much about so I wanted to investigate. She's Perovskia...or Russian Sage, perennial, from the mint family or "dead nettle" about 30in. She grows strong from USDA zones 5a to 9b. I cut her skeletal figure back to 6 inches this spring out of habit and thought she'd died over the winter but Man is she looking hot! I'm super conservative with watering (once a week...maybe if there's weeping going on) and she's full of bloom in this oppressive steam bath. According to my research the northerners just love her as well. I'm going to try collecting seed (after the seed heads dry on the plant) this year and doing stem propagation...I'm excited to see how it all comes out. With the TV gone there should be more going on in the little nursery that is the back of my house.

I always like to see what sort of history plants have in case some ancient use has been lost to my! look at the eye candy generation. What I've found is that it's an aromatic (easy to tell...)that has been used to repel insects in animal bedding and as a coolant. One source states that it's tasty in salads...not according to me...I went out to sample a tender new leaf and almost gagged. It was like licking a new-aged cleaning product off the wall....mmm, lemony, sagey clean. I can see soaking it in my tea for a cool edgy flavor...even freezing the leaves in ice-cubes for a Martha Stewart suburbanite fete but too bitter for a salad! Never the less,
I recommend Russian Sage for you butterfly garden fans and, like my friend Suze...survival gardeners. Udachi Perovskia! She's Russia tough and handles the heat better than I. Happy Hotter n' Hell Gardening:)


Bonnie said...

I'll have to check that Russian sage out! My yard is looking very tired.

east-side-patch said...

Do you have Mexican Bush Sage - a great plant also for the dog days of Summer in Central Texas, a total trouper. I enjoy reading your blog.
Only 3 more months to go!

ConsciousGardener said...

I do have Mexican Bush got mangled when I was pulling out
my agave that went wild so I had to cut it back...that's what's missing! Hang in there:)