Monday, August 25, 2014

Botanising at the Beach

This afternoon we stopped for a few minutes at a beach on Lake Huron. There were families with dogs, kites and beach chairs, swimmers - everything that you would expect on a hot day by the water in August. However, in the sand dunes leading to the water there were also interesting plants that are not very obvious, although they are very attractive.

Singing Sands, Dorcas Bay on Lake Huron, Ontario

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mostly Moss and Sedum

You would not expect mosses that like moist and shady conditions, and xeriscape plants that have the opposite requirements, would grow well together. They do, however, in our  Hobbit Garden.

It is called the Hobbit Garden because it is made up of small plants, and they are all growing on top of a stone wall that is only about two feet tall. Both the plants and the setting are diminutive. I wrote a post about it last year, but Hobbit Garden is more settled this year and worth revisiting.

Part of the Hobbit Garden

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not just red and pink

I let a lot of annual poppies self-seed, mostly in the vegetable section of the garden. At first glace, you would think that there are only lots of identical pinkish opium poppies (Papaver sommiferum) and red  corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas). But when you have a closer look, you realize that hardly any two flowers are alike.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Achocha or Caigua?

Had you presented me with these two names a couple of years ago, I would not have had a clue what you were talking about.  In fact these are two names used for a single South American vegetable, Cyclanthera pedata, which is supposed to have been grown by the Incas. I am growing it for the first time this year, having got seeds from my friend Glen.

Achocha, Caigua
Cyclanthera pedata

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Conversion

A few years ago, friends retired and bought a house in a village. They were quite pleased with the house but not with the in-ground swimming pool. Being keen gardeners, they resented the fact that almost half of the lot was given over to the pool and the cement patio surrounding it. They decided to transform it into a garden pond.

The new pond