Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mary Jo Remembered

No one could ignore the Catchfly that is blooming in the garden.   Certainly the butterflies are attracted to it.  Amy managed to catch this Tiger swallowtail with the camera.  Many Skippers visit the plant, but they are all too fast for us. These days Ed and I try to think back into the previous century and remember  how these plants came to be in our garden.  Back in the 1990's I belonged to an amazing herb group.  It seems to me that the first time I saw Catchfly, it was growing in the garden at Mary Jo's home.  I remember being given some seeds.  I would have planted them at our previous location since we did not yet own our homestead land.  After all these years we are thrilled to still have Catchfly with us today.  Its color demands a larger planting and we will seed a patch down by the road when mature seeds form.  Catchfly color will certainly catch the eye of drivers speeding by since it simply is too bright to be missed.

Somehow the camera does not capture the intensely hot magenta of these flowers that I see.  I could change the color saturation I suppose, but I prefer my photos as they are.  It's more natural!

It was that trip to Mary Jo's garden where I first saw Copra onions.   I can still see them laid out to dry.  The stalks were straight.  The onions were large and round.  I was told that they stored very well.  I had to grow them.  At the beginning we grew the onions from seed.  Now we purchase onion plants from Dixondale Farms.  Weeding the onions brought back distant memories of  Mary Jo. We will see if this year we will have those big round  Copra onions to make Bodacious Braids!

The weed patch behind the onion bed was formerly a planting bed.  We have known for some time that we have more garden than we can  properly cared for.  The current plan is to cut the weeds close to the ground then cover the area with grass clippings.  The change in levels between the lawn and the planting bed will be smoothed so that the next owner will have the option of mowing the entire area.  The soil that we have built here is rich, fine and deep compared with the gravel that deeply covers the field.  I would be interested in seeing the pattern if the area is simply mowed.  The stone paths will support only poor weedy growth while the garden beds will grow grass that will be much taller and much greener than what grows in the fields.  For now we are here and can still reach to the center of the planting.  The onions look great and we are still eating last year's crop.  The weather at dry down will determine whether or not braids can be made.  Stems must be dry and solid for the braids to hold the onions although a double strand of twine helps to hold the weight..

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