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Sun, Apr. 23rd, 2006, 06:44 pm
More garden

1. Keep track.

You know how sometimes you'll get a reminder about Thing Wanted stuck in your mental queue, and a few shopping trips later you'll be wildly oversupplied with worcestershire sauce, or paper towels, or Campbell's chicken broth? If I had to do that with something for my garden, why did it have to be Colocasia esculenta, a.k.a. elephant-ear caladium?

2. Bugger all.

My vasty tray of perfectly seeded and labeled perennials, mentioned last time around? O the dreadful wind and rain: those big fat substantial petals from the magnolia tree next door -- the ones that fell last year during a string of dead-still days, so that I could literally hear them plopping onto the sidewalk -- all came whirling down and plastered themselves over the top of my seeded Jiffy-7 peat pellets. After it stopped raining today, I cleared them off and found flattened dying seedlings underneath them. Except for the Johnny-jump-ups, which were busily justifying their names.

3. Reminder.

If you are an author, and you write scenes in which people use various herbs for mystical purposes, please include mugwort. If enough writers mention mugwort as an essential ingredient in witchy formulations, the woo-woos will start using it, enterprising persons (probably first-generation immigrants) will start gathering it and drying it, and the godawful stuff will become just a tiny bit rarer than it is.

If you want to be politically correct, do the same for purple loosestrife, a gorgeous but invasive perennial that's the bane of northeastern wetlands. You might mention that it forms very sturdy root systems that can look just like creepy monster claws.

4. Jim, Duncan, Meg.

Drunken Lady, completely taking over its area of the garden. I see why your mother was impressed. The Murgy Rose, doing just fine. Jim's hedge rose from his yard in Colebrook, showing distinct imperialist tendencies. Roses, roses, roses.

5. Luck!

And there in the pocket of my gardening overshirt, left over from last fall, a forgotten wad of bills, bastante para dos cenas de pernil! And I am so very tired from digging. I phone out to La Parada for dinner. On top of the pernil, chopped spring onions from the garden. It's perfect.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
sdn

ooh, you're feeling better. good.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
papersky

Remember you said a while ago that fantasy writers have to compete with computer games now?

Well, in the very pretty computer game Oblivion, someone is clearly listening to you -- the herb Mugwort "Restores Health". Of course I didn't notice it because I have an Expert Alchemist character and have memorised all the herbs and their effects, I noticed it because all the others are either made up or reasonable -- of course Carrots give you "Night Eye" as well as "Restore Fatigue", naturally Flax Seeds help reduce your encumbrance, obviously Nightshade does three bad things plus Restores Magicka, but Mugwort? Restore Health? Hmm....

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
tnh

Bravo! Someone's listening! That, plus a fashion for flower arrangements featuring purple loosestrife (it's very pretty) might be enough to reduce its numbers.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
kirizal

Mugwort was an essential component in the magical system of the online RPG Asheron's Call, as well. Still is, I guess.

Strange how both games are from East Coast design teams. People here in California would design systems around the healing powers of pampas grass and oboe cane and Caulerpia taxifolia.

(Also? Oblivion eats my life and I am so very glad for it. Except I wouldn't mind having some of my life back soon, thanks.)

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
redbird

If the woo-woos start using purple loosestrife, they might get the idea of cultivating it.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
tnh

If they try to cultivate it, they will succeed. It's an alarmingly vigorous plant.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
redbird

This is precisely my concern--some of them might cultivate it in places where it hasn't yet invaded.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
merlinpole

Something that preys on purple loosestrife was with malice aforethought put out into selected sprawls of purple loosestrife in Massachusetts within the past several years. Thinking about it, I think the invasive ubiquitousness of that particular invasive pest plant has dropped way down in Massachusetts since then. On the other hand, the blasted phragmites plants tower higher that the purple loosestrige ever did.

As for mugwort... perhaps soil amendments would discourage it?

In other garden neep, I have a perennial clary sage plant. I noticed that it wasn't the usual biennial form years ago, when it was still there past when biennials should have perished. Last year, which was several years later, it bloomed, and it's still come back this year. I had planted it in what at the time was the shade of a rhododendron, and these days, I have to show rhodendron bush parts away to get at/see the clary sage; the clary sage appears to be happy where it is, hiding under the rhody.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
sraun

Re: Mugwort

You are an evil woman! I like that.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
metalfatigue0

Er…the "woo-woos" already use mugwort. It's one of the most common ingredients in herbal remedies.

Doesn't seem to be helping, does it?

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 11:41 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)

I'm sure it's helping; just not enough.

Mon, Apr. 24th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
jenwrites

The purple loostrife seems to be doing fairly well along the Charles River near where I live. I've been walking along the Charles for about 10 years now, and it doesn't seem to be increasing its acerage there, so balance has been found.

However, if someone would like to take the black swallowwort out of my back garden for whatever nefarious purposes they have in mind, I'd be happy to let it go. It's not only ugly and aggressive, it's stinky too :P

Tue, Apr. 25th, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
mswagner

You know how sometimes you'll get a reminder about Thing Wanted stuck in your mental queue, and a few shopping trips later you'll be wildly oversupplied with worcestershire sauce, or paper towels, or Campbell's chicken broth?

I did that with dried fruit a few years back. Apricots, bananas, cherries, apples. Every couple of months I'd be at the store and think, "I should get some dried fruit." Then I'd bring it home and not eat it. Then I'd forget I had it. Repeat a couple of months later, several times over, until we had quite a stockpile of dried fruit. Which we eventually threw out.

To this day, it's a running joke in our house. "I'm going to the store now." "Don't forget to bring home some dried fruit." Oh, the laughter which ensues!

Tue, Apr. 25th, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
elisem

Yay, pernil! The pockets of Cerridwen, eh?

Thu, Apr. 27th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)
coalboy

"do the same for purple loosestrife, a gorgeous but invasive perennial that's the bane of northeastern wetlands. "

The damned stuff has reached Wisconsin already! Maybe farther west, but I haven't been there in blooming season.

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