Pickerelweed is blooming in many
wetland areas of northwestern Pennsylvania. It is an impressive and
important native plant to North America. It has blue flowers on a
spike which can rise three feet above the water level. Native
bumblebees and honey bees are attracted to this water plant as are
species of butterflies and even an occassional humminbird.
Amazingly, there is even one species
of native bee which lives simply on this plant. Pickerelweed also
provides a habitat for several aquatic species. It is generally
accepted the plant, well unofficially, get it's name from the
pickerl fish or more commonly called, the water wolf or the northern pike
It can be purchased in many garden
centers and is a great addition to any water garden or pond.
For more information on this important
native species, Pickerelweed
Rosemary is one of the most healthy
herb in any garden. Once a native of the Mediterranean regions
(think healthy diet), it is now grown around the globe. It is a
flavorful herb and an easy plant to grow, best of all, it can be
harvested at just about anytime of the year.
In northwestern Pennsylvania, it needs
to be brought indoors during the winter months because, well,
winter's can be a little brutal. But, no worry. The herb does just
fine in a sunny window sill. Another plus, it really doesn't like a
lot of water or fertilizer. The herb goes well with fish or wild game
and there's something special about rosemary roasted potatoes.
It is a well known and respected
medicinal herb and recent research indicates it could help brain
power and memory.
Rosemary also makes a good tea and other garden herbs, honey or maple syrup, can be added to it to personal tastes.
What I just write?
June and July were really, really, wet months. Hopefully August will see drier conditions. August is a good month to re-plant many crops for a later fall harvest. The growing season is far from over. For some hints and tips, August Garden
: Cyclospora is the latest food illness making headlines. Hundreds of people have fallen sick after eating infected packaged lettuce. While not present just yet, in NW PA, the warning lights are once again flashing about foods we consume. For some medical info on this parasite, Cyclospora
Lettuce is one of the simplest crops to grow in the backyard and it's very healthy. There is plenty of time to plant it in August to enjoy in late September and August.
Garlic, at least in my garden, is ready to be dug and dried for winter, and re-planting again in October. It is best to take the largest cloves in the garlic bulb and save them for planting sometime before Halloween.
On the Wild Side
Both blackberries and blueberries are ripening fast, both crops seem to be good this year. Here, the apple crop is also very heavy as are the acorns. I have heard it said several times now that those heavy crops are a sure sign of a bad winter. I'm not so sure, all winters get hard after the first few storms.
But back to acorns and oak trees, grow your own this fall. It's a fun, easy and cost free family project which could last for hundreds of years. Plant an Acorn
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