We didn’t get a chance to grow a garden this year, so we let some of the weeds grow. We now have 3 gorgeous acres to contend with, and will need to prepare our garden spots in order to be ready for 2010 planting. The summer is flying by SO fast!! We managed to do a little bit of container gardening which consists of a few tomato plants obtained from my dad, and several contained perennial flowers. I still have a slew of seeds from the spring. I put together an order through Jasper’s school in California, but they didn’t make it here until early June. They’re super nice heirloom varieties, so they should be ok for a few more months! I do plan on setting up some pots with soil this week so I can start some herbs that will winter over in the house. We have a ton of nice house plants now, and they are thriving in our bay window! Our plants have never looked so nice! I truly believe that house plants thrive on human presence.
So I’m sort of happy that we let the weeds grow in some areas, because it allowed me to really get acquainted with the native plants in the area. I’ve found that hummingbirds and honeybees (I’m assuming that this is a honeybee) absolutely adore milkweed! We have at least one hummingbird that visits the milkweed blossoms several times a day. It’s such a pretty sight to see. They are such beautiful creatures. It’s really cool when you can be in a three to five feet proximity from them and see
Three days before 4th of July, Leaf, Jasper and I went out for dinner at a local restaruant in the town of Remus. After that we went for a stroll through town, and walked down the “alley” behind the local hometown health food store. I wanted to go check things out over there on foot to see what wild things may be lurking down that path. Just prior to this I had a long family conversation discussing the alleys of Detroit. This is where I grew up, and by the time I was a teenager the alleys were gravel and dumpsters, with a few trailing weeds/garden remnants were left here and there. I was told by the elders in that area that in the old days the alleys were grassy with two tire tracks down the middle and neighbor’s garden bounties trailing from the back yard metal fences. We had a little of that going on, but not to the extent of the stories that I had been told.
When we approached the greenery near Hometown Health, we immediately noticed blackberries, catnip, a very beauteous milk thistle and some honey bees feasting on motherwort. We then turned the corner and spotted a variety of things, some of which I could not recognize. The property next door appeared to have been vacant for a time. The new owner of this property happened to be in the yard at that very moment and greeted with a smile. He said “You can take any of those plants home with you if you want. I’m getting ready to cut all of this down within the next couple of days.” He mentioned that he recently purchased the house and that it had been vacant. So we pulled quite a few of the motherwort stalks and several other items that I couldn’t identify. We proceeded to clear out a decent size patch and gathered the pullings into a pile as a way of saying thanks for letting us take some plants from him.
We took the plants home and broke the ground for thier new homes. The very next day while I was looking out the kitchen window I noticed honeybees feeding from the motherwort! I’m not sure if the bees I’m seeing are wild or are possibly from people in the area who have hives. Well, I finally got into doing some research on those little critters and it appears as though wild honeybees are having a rough time right now. You can read about it in this article if you are interested: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/25/opinion/america-s-endangered-honeybees.html
So I’ve vowed to cultivate a native plant landscaping scene on our property next year, which would be super good for the environment and can be pretty too. It will be a fun research project and awesome to keep a nice habitat going for the local “critters”. I’d also like to get into homesteading with endangered/heritage breeds of farm animals, but that’s another story. My next post will be some pictures of the local sheep farm around the corner! Those little guys are So cute!!