Marty’s Gardening Journal, July 16th, 2009

Portulaca and NigellaHowever, there was no need to buy additional plants as moss rose seedlings sprung up in areas where the parent plant had bloomed. A few seeds which had spilled in between stones were left to soften the edge of the patio. In spots where bulbs had previously bloomed, portulaca seedlings were moved to cover the bare spots. Soon I will have small pools of multi-colored blooms intermingling among other plants. While it is a prolific re-seeder, the seedlings are easy to remove, so I don’t foresee it becoming a nuisance plant. Portulaca is part of the Purslane family which encompasses both weedy plants as well as cultivated flowers. Grandiflora’s cousin, Portulaca oleracea, also known as pigweed, found a home in my garden as well. That particular plant though, gets pulled out whenever I spot it.

Curtains are closed during the day to keep the sun out, which in turn keeps the house cool. Windows opened at night allow cool breezes to come in, cooling the house down even further. No need for air conditioning yet, at least so far for this summer. Now, early mornings are spent outdoors again for a quick breakfast during weekdays.

In the process of training the koi to eat out of my hand again I get splattered when food is not dispensed fast enough to those waiting to be fed. At times the fish try to ingest fingers in their race to be fed; if these fish had teeth I would be down to bloody stubs at the wrist by now. My favorite, a yellow and white koi born two years ago in my then new pond, seems to be the friendliest of all. In fact, it seems to be so interested in everything I do, I named it George, after curious George, the little monkey. Because it is so friendly it ends up consuming more food than any of the other fish and will take that last bit of food floating around as I pet it. Yes, my fish trained me well.

The garden party, that annual event, has come and gone and the garden was glorious. Then, two weeks later, members from my gardening club came and visited. Thanks to more rain and some sun my garden looked even better. Jim, our oldest member at 93 years young, enjoyed seeing the many Nigella plants, known as love in a mist while in bloom, or devil in a bush when it carries its seedpods. According to Jim, this plant was much used in the past. My plants came from a packet of seed sent by my sister and, although an annual, it is such a pleasant re-seeder coming back year after year. Occasionally I take the seedpods and scatter seeds around other parts of the garden, just so I can have it all over. Now that my fellow gardeners have seen and want this pretty little plant, I will be collecting all the seedpods and distributing the seeds at our next meeting. Who knows, maybe this somewhat forgotten plant will soon grace many gardens again!

Blue gardenDaisy 'Becky' on both sides of the fence