Herb Garden Update – May 31, 2017

Woad

Blooming today: comfrey, sage, foxglove, chives, columbine, woad, and spiderwort. Woad (Isatis tinctoria) is one of the dye plants in the garden. Not a very attractive plant, but the blue it gives as a dye has been prized over the ages. Think of the movie Brave Heart and blue-painted faces. Commercial cultivation stopped with the end of World War II, but home dyers still use the herb.

Planted new today: rue and ladys mantle, as well as some marigolds.

Also planted: borage seeds. Borage seeds need to be sown directly in the garden, not started as seedlings. Borage (Borago officinalis) infused in wine could reportedly have helped the Cowardly Lion find courage. Brave Heart warriors would have drunk this before going into battle. The question probably would be which gives the courage, the borage or the wine. Borage is used to add a crisp cucumber flavor to many foods. The leaves are fuzzy, so you might want to remove them before serving the food.

Advice from today:

1. If the seedlings are root bound (see the photo below left), you need to loosen the roots before you plant or the roots will stay exactly where they are and not grow out into new areas. See the second photo that shows the difference with the roots teased out.

2. Dont sit down if you have your clippers in your back pocket.

3. Dont buy cheap garden gloves that end up being two left gloves.

4. Always wear a wide-brimmed hat while gardening.

roots bound or ready for planting?

 

Content provided with permission by Sylvia Colles. If you’d like to volunteer to help in the Herb Garden, download the volunteer form at http://woldumar.org/get-involved/volunteer/or just join us on one of the general workdays. Questions for Sylvia (about the garden) may be relayed by contacting director@woldumar.org; emails can be readily forwarded to her.
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