Monday, December 5, 2011

Spring has Sprung

This season spring has definitely sprung in our organic urban garden. We don't have much land, but my partner and I surely put what we do have to good use. Even the weeds eventually find their way into our salads. 

Whenever work is too stressful, or life too complicated, I make my way into the back of our section and sit in the garden. Sometimes I pull out weeds. Other times I just sit there, and stare at the growth, the color, the life. I smell some crushed lemon balm leaves, and touch the feathery wings of a fennel plant. Before not long, I am grounded, and feeling connected again. 

 Food is becoming more and more expensive, which is why it is so important to grow food and learn how to live more sustainably and cheaply. After all, home-grown food is the cheapest, and the freshest, you can get.

The first blackboy peaches of the season. My, my -- how delicious you will be.

Heartsease adding color and life to the herb patch. These flowers can be used for skin creams, but I am leaving them where they are. They are too beautiful to harvest, and I have more than enough other herbs for my creams.

A cute vegetable patch resembles a miniature urban farm, complete with flowers, vegetables, herbs, chickens, and orchard trees.

Stinging Nettle is a frisky and delicious native to our garden. Wild and wandering, it creeps up everywhere, even in the sidewalk cracks. Most people spray it or pull it up -- but when I first moved into this house and saw the nettle, I was just too happy. When studying herbal medicine a few years back, I learned about Nettles. The leaves are rich in minerals like iron and magnesium, and contain ellagic acid -- a natural anti-cancer compound that is gaining increasing attention from the scientific community. Herbalists use nettle extracts to treat rheumatic complaints, allergies, skin conditions, and fatigue.

Lavender is such a gift... smelling just a few sprigs, and already I feel calmer and clearer. These lavender flowers might find their way into a homemade sleep pillow.

Elder has a long history of magical and medicinal usage. These flowers are often brewed into liquid extracts for the treatment of seasonal allergies -- but that's not what I have in store for these pretties. A few more weeks, and dark black elderberries will emerge. Perfect for antiviral syrups for the winter.

Coriander is my favorite herbal ingredient for soups. Just one tiny fresh leaf packs so much flavor and energy.

Convolvulus is a bit of a pest in our vegetable patch. It comes up as tiny shoots through the ground, and weaves its way around the herbs, flowers and vegetables. Here it is strangling an innocent lemon balm. Convolvulus flowers are beautiful, but it is a bit of a headache.

Here is Sylvia... one of the resident hens, who so kindly provides us with eggs for breakfast every day. 


  1. You love the same plants I also love. Coriander is my favourite fresh herb and I like oodles of it on top of soups and rice dishes. Happy growing. Also nettles are the preferred food plant for many caterpillars. Have fun in your little part of Paradise:)

  2. Hi Gwen! It really does make you feel connected to the earth to be able to grow and harvest these brilliant plants, doesn't it? I didn't know about the caterpillars... I'll have to make sure I don't steam them along with the nettles for tea! :)

  3. Mmmmmm... coriander. :-)
    Beautiful pics of the plants! I wasn't expecting Sylvia in the last shot, so it made me smile. Thanks for sharing.
    (found you via CED)

  4. Hi Pauline!
    Sylvia is a beauty... and she has a lovely sister too. They bless us with an abundance of eggs, though at the moment unfortunately they are beginning to brood.
    Glad you enjoyed the pics :)

  5. Hi Zeba!
    Thanks for that, glad you liked them. :)

  6. Great post... our herbs are going great guns, and I have just started preparing our beds for some asian greens, but it is a bit hot for much else here over the summer... lucky we all like them so much... a bit jealous you have chickens... so many houses in our street have them, but we have no room and a dog that just wouldn't cope... maybe one day ...xx



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