Friday, June 9, 2017

Plant identification by scent

Since my patio and the area out front is fully populated, mostly groundcover with all kinds of herbs and other plants in there when they can make it, but rarely a weed, I occasionally spot something I need to pinch and sniff to identify.

Here's peppermint!  very happy to have it. I have tons of spearmint the same flavor as toothpaste, but peppermint is the one you want for mint sauce and other interesting things.  

And here was a surprise, nearly pulled it for a weed until I stopped and checked, and found it was a rose geranium.  This is a mystery, since it's years since I had one in a pot, which vanished over winter, and this one was growing happily in the ground.  But the scent is unmistakeable, and makes you want Turkish delight, often flavored with it.

The Thai basil, tiny little plants, did survive the repeated squirrel attacks, and a pinch and sniff gives you the characteristic licorice sort of flavor.  They're the tiny heart shaped leaves, and I hope they grow a whole lot bigger, since I have plans for them. I saved these seeds from last year's plant, so we'll see how well they do.

No need to name this one.  This lavender is in its third year of absolutely no care, in a pot, just occasional douse with water, and it seems happy.  I often think the secret to growing plants is to leave them alone, not be at them, pruning and pushing and nagging.  And since I'm a pretty lazy gardener, that's not hard for me.  I have neighbors who are much more industrious, and I think their plants die of exhaustion.

Gardening by scent, really satisfying. Dogs must go mad in gardens. Now I'm off to make a pot of tea, haul the pillow out to the patio chair and sit in the sun to read my Hiromi Kawakame.  

I read The Briefcase recently, and it was wonderful.  Great translation, I expect, since it seemed to flow so well.  And I'm starting another, Manazuru, named for a coastal location the protagonist visits.

Are there any Kawakame fans in our blogworld? 

Astute readers may have noticed my radio silence on the subject of Ulysses this year. I may have reached my limit, having got about three quarters there.  Possibly when Bloomsday gets here, I may reconsider.  Or not.

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