Friday, March 14, 2008

New Growth

Now is the time to walk around the garden and look for the new shoots of perennial plants that are beginning to show. It's the tough ones that are sending up their new growth now. The plants are smart enough to know that the cold weather is not over yet. The fragile types will wait until the soil temperature is warmer before they stick their noses out.

This one is valerian. The lovely red leaves will turn green when they get some sun. The roots of this plant are used to make a medicinal tea. Medicine is right! I've read that the roots are liked by cats, and disliked by rats. I agree with the rats; to me the smell is unpleasant and the taste just as bad. Even in my most fervent years of interest in herbs, I could never bring myself to dig up my beautiful plants to use the roots. I grow valerian because I like the white fragrant flowers that will come later.

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