Golden Oregano: Aureum

Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’, also known as Golden Oregano, is a perennial that is grown in zones 4 to 9. These plants are not as invasive as other oregano varieties but still spready quickly and are fast growers. Usually they don’t get larger than three feet tall and can be an excellent ground cover.

They can be an evergreen in warmer climates, but still come back in cooler zones if they do not stay perky all year long. These plants are allegedly deer and rabbit resistant. I can confirm that they have the same great taste and smell as other oreganos, but it’s not as strong as their relatives. I haven’t really noticed much of a difference myself but I just planted this herb and it may change as it ages.

Now, we already have one successful oregano growing in our fairy garden. We were sure that it died during the harsh winter this year, but it didn’t. In fact, I feel as though the snow just made it stronger. That’s why we decided that adding different types of oregano would be beneficial to our forest.

Aureum enjoys full sun but can grow in partial shade. We planted this in several places in between our berry bushes and trees. They are still young and they are a nice contrast to the other greens that we have planted.

It blooms in the middle or late summer and attracts butterflies and other pollinators. I attempted to get more than one source but they all seemed to say the same things.

  • This is an ornamental plant
  • Aureum has little to no culinary value and that there are other oreganos that have a stronger flavor than this one. That only made me thing that this might be beneficial for people who have sensitive stomachs. I have not investigated this, it was only a thought.
  • It is edible
  • Aureum enjoys full sun and can be used as a lovely ground cover
  • The leaves are golden and their flowers are purple or pink

I wish I had more information, but I will show off the growth of this perennial as it continues. We haven’t used a lot of the herb since we have gotten it but as we use it in our recipes we’ll let you know if there are any true differences. Once I get more information I will put it out there, but there isn’t a lot to go on when it comes to Aureum or Golden Oregano.

Plant Names and Classifications

Are you like me and didn’t know that common plant names are not the best way of identifying plants because a lot of the common names get confused or could overlap with others? I mean there are trees that are called oak trees that are not in the same group. It’s just a bunch of craziness and I just want to make it clear: up until this point I was entirely ignorant. I’m cool with it.

Now there is a science to plant classification and in that science there are two categories that we should be aware of and that is the plant taxonomy and plant systematic systems. We used to go by common names but it often became confusing  for a lot of people. Today we classify all plants based on their genetic and evolutionary characteristics, this means that the plants are grouped based on who their common ancestors are.

In horticulture they are primarily concerned with the last three levels of classification: Species, Genus and Family.

The species is the most basic level of classification and below this there can be many subspecies. These plants are usually the most closely related to one another and they can interbreed freely.

The Genus is a group of related species.

The Family is the general group of Genus who are all related by a common ancestor.

There are two important flowering plant families that my professor made sure that we covered. Frankly, I’ve already learned more than what I knew before and I am pleased, but we’re only part of the way through so I’ll continue to let you know what I know or I am learning.

First is the dicot family, which is a flowering family with two cotelydons (embrodic leaves). Just to let you know those cotelydons are inside and this is the largest of the two families. There are over 200,000 types and they are everywhere. They are roses, myrtle trees and so many more.

The second flowering family is the Monocot. They are grass like flowering plants that only have one cotelydon per seed. In agriculture the majority of biomass is created through monocots. You might find a monocot as wheat, rice, bamboo, sugar cane, forage grasses and many others. This family includes many bulb flowers like daffodils, lilies, and iris. They are not simply flowers and grasses but also tumeric, garlic, and asparagus.

Both are angiosperms and very popular. I really enjoy these classes and can’t wait to learn more. How many more things am I going to learn? Who knows but I can’t wait.

Although this information may not be useful right away I am certain being able to identify plant families will be useful in the future. These pictures are by a wonderful lady named Vivian Morris.

Plant names are identified not my their family but by the genus and species. Common names change by region and can be confusing because a rose is a rose and can be any different species of rose if you are looking for a specific type. Although common names can be misleading botanical names are not. The Botanic name is a Latin name accepted world wide.

For example: Magnolia alba or Ligustrum album.

Until next time…

Rosemary Indoors

I am having a lot of fun with rosemary. It is one of my favorite herbs to grow in our garden. I started rosemary in 2020 and I fell in love. Have you ever just taken your face and moved your face between their leaves? It is the greatest experience.

Also this is another perennial for my area. One thing I learned is that perennial doesn’t mean that it will live forever. It only gives the promise of three or more years. The more you know, right?

Rosemary is evergreen that boosts the immune system and helps blood circulation. This plant is high in antioxidants, improves digestion, enhancing memory and concentration, neurological protection, protection against macula degeneration, and many other amazing uses. They have this disclaimer that says: do not bulk up on rosemary and try to just eat all of it. Eating rosemary in bulk can put you into a coma and many other not so cool side effects.

This has been one of the easiest herbs that I have been able to grow. Rosemary can get between 1.5 and 3 meters tall- which is awesome. It can be used as an anti fungal remedy as well.

Fun Fact: this is a beneficial herb to help prevent scurvy and certain cancers.

I love that it is one of the many herbs that grows well in containers. I enjoy the smell and that is an evergreen. It is so pretty. Smells good, tastes good in food and has all of the benefits a humble farmer could want. It makes an excellent border shrub and repels certain insects.

I have dried out a large amount of rosemary and I am really excited about grinding it down. I have been making it into a powder and putting them in cork bottles. One day I plan on doing a lot with it. Unfortunately, my plants aren’t producing large quantities of rosemary just yet.

I have been thinking of it’s uses because I do not use powdered rosemary for cooking. Who knows, but the uses are endless.

Not recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or wish to become pregnant. If you are taking medications that are prescribed or provide long term medical care always consult a physician before adding rosemary to your diet on a regular basis- as in more than 4 nights a week.

Just putting that out there so that if people see it prevents cancer they don’t eat three pounds, put themselves in a coma then sue me. I don’t have time for all of that nonsense.

Just know rosemary is easy to grow, does well against cats using it as camouflage to attack one another and my children love running their fingers through it and it doesn’t die. I can forget to water it and it doesn’t act dramatic.

Year Zero: Serious Moment

I have a five year plan. It is not a good plan and it changes from day to day but it is a plan. Right now, I have just left year zero. January 2021 is starting a new year for me.

You may ask:

What is Year Zero? Year Zero has been my year of planning. I also went around the area and looked at local nurseries. I wanted to see what everyone had to offer. It opened my eyes. I also planned to go back to college and learn about plant things.

Why is Year Zero so important? Year Zero is my planning year. We moved in October 2019 and that only started our adventure. During this year I have walked the property over five hundred times. I have learned the land-ish. There is a lot more to starting a permaculture food forest then I anticipated.

This is where I outlined my goals. I learned my property and I planted starter plants- which I will get into later. We have a lot to cover so I will continue.

Some of the trees ready for new homes

What does having a poorly planned year zero do for someone who is just starting out? This is a tough one because I had to reset my Year Zero last year. It was insanity. I killed every plant I got my hands on because I just jumped in. I thought I could just wish my garden into growth. It was poor planning and I wasted a lot of money on plants that died. So, don’t waste money use your year zero wisely. Learn to work with your property and not against it.

Year Zero is the most important year of planning and development. This is my year of research and getting to know my property. Here I started and failed then restarted after some research. Even still I am not 100% sure that everything will work out. My year one began with medicinal plants and evolved into the dreams of a food forest. Somewhere it evolved and I wanted to have real food security.

I learned a lot about the native plants that already live here and it inspired me to start a Monarch Butterfly Santuary. I started by going online and joining many types of groups. They kind of inspired me and so I continued with my year zero goals. I did way better than I anticipated.

The reason Year Zero is important is because it lays the foundation for success but remember: you can always switch it up later if your plans don’t work out. I know it sounds crazy but a lot of people (myself including) thought they could just jump in (like I did) and fail. I’ve learned it’s only a true failure if I stop trying and so I will continue.

It took me the better half of the first year to figure out I was doing things wrong and I might need to talk to experts. That’s why I enrolled in classes but I’ll share all of that information as I get it with you.

Squash flower (I think?)

Sure, I was in the best Facebook groups. Unfortunately I hadn’t been utilizing them. So I went online and I just dove into research on permaculture, companion planting, ph levels, soil samples and I was blown away by how much was out there. I will never know everything but I had started down a rabbit hole that brought me here to this blog.

Spoiler alert: my plants stopped dying. I got better at planting the more I learned and there is this feeling of happiness when you are using your own vegetables and fruits.

All throughout year zero I sat outside my plants hoping they might grow. It does not make plants grow faster.

Now I know I need a plan and in year zero it’s the perfect time to decide what you want and where you see that going in five years. Make it fun and exciting but remember: your plan must flow with the tide. So make sure you are ready for those changes and adaptations as you go. For example: I thought I could just put seeds in the dirt and it would just grow. It doesn’t work that way and now I know thanks to countless people.

Goals for my property and my life for the next five years. This is important because it gives me a general outline to work with. Remember, I am making plans but they are like the wind- every changing and straightforward.

In five years, I want to have every individual breed of plant I want on my property. Even if I do not have every part of my land covered (Which I most likely will seeing my progress already- it is a possibility). I am not talking about a neat little orchard- I want trees and shrubs. I want to be overwhelmed with sight, smell and feel like nature surrounds me.

Keep that in mind- it is the foundation for our success. My goals are not primarily food security, even though it is a reoccurring theme, but instead a food based garden of eden, a place for me to retire my body and my spirit. So, not all of my plants will be solely food based. I am going to continue on that note, but keep your goals in your mind.

Another goal I realized: I want the species here to be closer to disease resistant and ready to produce in five years. This means that in the first few years I have to plant my trees that need to be producing as well as create a water source.

In Year Zero, I am going through plant lists to find edible plants, flowering plants, herbs, and pollinators. I am collecting seeds and planting what I like to call guaranteed success plants such as blackberries. During Year Zero I did a lot of planning but then I began planting samples.

For example: I don’t know of I even like certain fruits- this is a great time to plant one or two and try them. If I don’t like them I won’t plant more of that particular tree. It’s good to know before I make a mass planting decision.

The ones that do well and we like: we plant more of them. The ones that don’t we just move on from and don’t plant more. At least we are keeping those three blueberries (if any of them survive), but I am hesitant of planting more until we know they will survive. That is one of many examples. We keep what we like but we don’t want continue any difficult plants. If something happens we want to make sure we can take care of it. (Eventually I hope it will take care of itself, in my old age I don’t want to be chasing around a 7 acre mess)

I want to cover my entire property in plants that are useful primarily with a little playroom for beautiful things. I want to retire in my own hand made forest and I want to leave it for my kids to enjoy. I cannot wait until I make my dream come true, but Year Zero opened my eyes to the many possibilities.

Frankly, Year Zero did not go as planned and there is a good chance your Year Zero will not be magnificentbut don’t give up. I killed a lot of plants that I want to blame on bizarre seeds from China that I never received. Really it all came down to poor planning.

Year one starts now in January and during that year I have a lot of things I would like to accomplish. But first let’s talk about what i have already got started:

  • 75 thornless blackberries, three different kinds.
  • 33 grape plants, twenty four muscadine, six concord, two seedless randoms from Wal-Mart, and one Spanish grape.
  • 8 apple trees, 4 persimmons, 4 pomegranates, 5 peaches, 3 plums, 4 cherries, 2 pears, 2 limes, 2 lemons, and 2 avadaco trees.
  • Planted many perennials and failed two gardens.

Year One I have new goals.

  • I would like to plant 100 additional thornless blackberry plants. This year so far we have planted 75. We know that blackberries will do great here and we want at least 200. We want to primarily plant thornless varieties which is also why we are not dying into raspberries.
  • Set up the irrigation system that will support the amount of plants that I want to bring in. We already bought two irrigation systems. One is set up for bushes and one is set up for the trees.
  • I want to plant a minimum of 25 different kinds of apple trees, but that may not be possible.
  • I want to focus on the 41 disease resistant breeds that grow in my zone. Zone 8a.
  • Focus on filling in the spaces between my trees with shrubs and berry bushes.
  • Expanding my seed collection
  • Creating a creek system that runs through our property
  • Planting as much as I can as fast as I can and keeping it all alive with magic

So, don’t give up. Year Zero seems hard on everyone. We’ve got this now onward to YEAR ONE.

A much more detailed goal list for Year One is coming but you’ll have to be patient. I am busy looking through seed catalogs while listening to permaculture information.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Victorious

Contributed by Jeremy Sledd

This Groot house plant was sent from Bauxite Arkansas and where a father is homeschooling his 2 daughters, ages 11 and 8.

This amazing father got his daughters an African Violet, which is a perennial and have lovely fat leaves that look like hairy green tongues. That is not a scientific description don’t write that down.

Contributed by Jeremy Sledd

He sent us a better picture to show off the leaves and the flower which I appreciate. African Violets do not like extreme temperature changes and come from tropical Africa. So they don’t to be cold either, don’t do that.

African Violets are associated with moms and motherhood. I am sure your mom will love the heartfelt well thought out idea. Regardless, love the plant love the pictures.

Contributed by Nicola Stohr-Machowski
Contributed by Joely Ann Lindsey

This amazing Gem was her first plant and it is looking happy.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Fun and Short Additions

Contributed by L. McKnight

All the way from Oregon, Groot wants you to know he is proud of you.

Contributed by Adrienne Westbrook

This is a weeks worth of growth on a Sunflower she planted with her daughter. I love the way she made the pictures come together in this photo. I love the family bonding in Indiana. Enjoy raising those Sunflowers.

These bad boys are the state flower of Kansas. They can grow in medium light and in clay soil. I’ll keep that in mind when I am planting. Birds love Sunflower for their seeds and who can blame them really?

But the most amazing thing is the amount of uses:

  • Poultice from the flowers for burns
  • Crushed root to draw out a blister
  • Leaf tea for high fevers

Also, one last bit a little bit of folklore: some places believe that planting sunflowers can ward off malaria.

Contributed by Colleen Esc

Started from leaf cuttings these Violets have grown to be lovely. So lovely she plans on spreading the love this season. I am sure that everyone will be thrilled, I know that I would.

Many are perennial but some are annual and very few are shrubs. The viola category has around 600 species which is amazing and a little overwhelming, but the flower is edible and can be used to add color to salads. If you needed a reason to plant this beautiful flower.

There are so many absolutely amazing people out there. As the pictures flow in I just keep becoming more excited about the outcome. Keep your eyes out for more plants that people are excited about.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Tonasket, Washington

Another lover of plants like myself is out there living the dream. She has sent us pictures of three different plants that are amazing and I can’t wait to look into and mention some cool facts about these amazing plants.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First, we have our Thanksgiving Cactus which is native to Brazil. These are primarily house plants. They are known by many names and there are only around 6 to 9 species of this genus. I found that to be very cool.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First thing that drew me into this picture was the amounts of snow. I could not imagine or survive such a large amount.

Amazingly, the Douglas Fir can. This tree has a hardiness of zones 4 to 6 and is number one in the lumber industry. If you couldn’t see this tree is an evergreen and absolutely amazing looking in all types of weather, but it really seems as though this tree enjoys the freezing temperatures.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

This lovely cactus is unknown for now, if you have the answer comment below and I’ll update it. This was an anniversary cactus so we will call it a love cactus or a cactus of love. This commemorates 5 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children.

Greetings from Tonasket, Washington.

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

Window Shopping

I woke up this morning dreaming of buying trees…. Most people want fancy homes and large vehicles but not this lady. No sire, I want all the trees and all the plants. Being a broke lady, who has already spend well over a thousand dollars with these people, I can tell you they have quality.

This is where I learned there are countless disease resistant breeds that are available in my zone including many variety not available at my local nurseries

If you’re anything like me when you are broke you scroll through nursery pages, websites and other plant sellers (maybe a Facebook group with a bunch of Indian people from India- I dunno what you are doing, only what I am. -dragonfruit groups I am pointing to you)

So while I do this I wrote a song- this is why I am not a singer. If you’re truly a plant lover like I am… you’ll understand and possibly sing along.

Earlier I had been listening to Only God Knows Why by Kidd Rock and then this happened… You’re welcome.

I am just sitting scrolling through these trees,
I want a couple bushes too,
And some healthy seeds.
I have too many plants,
That dont produce me food,
I know it takes some years,
That was not meant to be rude…

I’m just making this up as I go. I can’t help myself. A little background is that I bought a lot of things from them that I can’t get from my local vendors- or I couldn’t get them immediately like I wanted.

I like browsing here as well. They have this lady that will tell you when you made an idiotic purchase and what works best. She’s a real expert. I would love to enjoy her company for hours and just take in the information.

You ever done that? I leave my phone number at every nursery. If there is a nursery within 45 miles of my house- I have been there or I am planning to go there. If I have went there they have my phone number. (I prefer shop locally but some things you can’t get locally- for example white blackberries)

What I tell local nurseries: If you have fruit producing trees or bushes – let me know. I will be there as soon as I can. I will make the extra funds. I have literally sold a piece of furniture to get a tree that was hard to find locally being sold locally. I’ll trade too- I have traded clippings for clippings.

They sometimes post videos, I kind of stalk their page now that I know all of the cool stuff they have

I know that sounds crazy, but I love the idea of having perennial fruit forest. I want a diversity and I buy plants from everywhere, but I prefer to buy locally. I just want to keep expanding out and window shopping online gives me a better idea of what I am looking for on the future.

I boredly go from looking at my viking aronia (that I purchased from Stark Brothers) to thinking about pink lady apple trees (that I find online)… like yum you look like you could produce fruit in 2 to 5 years. I scroll stark bros primarily because I have the fewest issues with their site and they have always sent w amazing plants. I cannot say the same to all pages.

Local nurseries that are the bomb: Red River Landscaping, Yard By Yard (owned by an older man and he is amazing), Steve’s Nursery and, of course, Stark Brothers (which is not local but has an easy to use website that helps people like me browse without getting stopped by bad links) where I do the majorty of my window shopping.

Plant Now: Bulbs for Spring

Year zero was not as productive as I wanted it to be and so I am actively working towards making sure that i am actively adding pollinators and fruit producing plants. One of my favorite ways to do that is with my fall flowers. They will not shoot up until next spring and will add color in front of our berry bushes between our sage and juniper bushes.

I am glad I chose this weekend to do it because the soil was much better than usually. Of course, I went out and grabbed some potting mix to help because the ground around here isn’t the best for most plants.

All of these are spring blooms. Most of the stuff I have already blooms in the late sumer or early autumn. I think having flowers around year round will be the best.

Pickwick Crocus is going to flower to for around three weeks and are said that they can do well in clay soil. They allegedly will come back year after year and the more I read the more excited I become. Pickwick Crocus has flowers that close at night or during the rain and open in the morning when the sun reaches them. A few weeks after flowering they get yellow and die. I think it’ll be worth it.

I also grabbed some Sieberi Tricolor Crocus. I am planting these with the others that I have grabbed. I will dig up other areas later and plant different flowers. Now this plant will only get better with time, each year it will come back stronger and better. She will bloom from late winter to early spring (allegedly) and beautiful flowers. I cannot wait to see what this baby will look like next year.

Scilla Luciliae is a fun flower and it looks like little stars. This one flowers in early spring and then goes into dormancy until next year. I cannot wait to see what that looks like. I think they will be a lovely addition to all of our additions this fall.

Then I just got a random crocus mix. I want it to have purples and blues in it. I figured that this will add it some whites as well. I do not know how it will all turn out in the end but I do know that I want all of the pollinators at my house. One of my favorite things is to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds come in. That was when I found out how territorial they are.

I cannot wait for Spring to arrive so that I can see these beautiful flowers. I hope that you have something you’re excited about as well. Until next time…

Update: Lantanas are Beginning to Flower

It turns out that out of all of the lantas we bought only three survived but they are the prettiest three lantanas. Now don’t quote me on it but I am ninety percent sure that I will be the proud plant mom of two purple lantanas and one white lantana.

They are really loving this little lump of land. The flowers are pretty and I honestly thought that they would be smaller than they are. I heard that lantana can be invasive and I sure hope so. It is just so pretty.

I really enjoy the green of the leaves and it has grown around six ot eight inches since it has been transplanted. Honestly, I am surprised that any of our lantanas survived.

You see my cats enjoy brand new fresh soil to roll around in and play on and around. They are a little crazy but we still love them.

We shall see and I will post more pictures of updates on these beautiful little transplants. Got to say each day that I see how great some of my plants are doing it makes me want to plant more.

Update So Soon: Morning Glory and Bachelor’s Buttons

I am much happier during the early growth season. Here I am planting new seeds right before it starts to get chilly. I know I will bring them in and I already have the best idea for where I want to put them, but for right now I have them outside basking in the sun.

I am just so impressed with the growth on these babies. They are absolutely popping up. The larger plants are the morning glories and they love the sun, they love the water and they enjoy the cool breeze on their hair.

The buttons seem a little insecure and they don’t seem to grow as fast but I am excited to see what they are all talking about. They are allegedly perennial in my zobe, but we shall find out. Something i have determined is that zones are Excellent indicators but do further research. Not everyone who blogs is personally killing plants and documenting it for your entertainment so that I’ll be able to look back on it when I am old and don’t remember anything.

I am enjoying these plants and i plan on bringing them inside and hanging them in my windows in order to get the most sun. I think that sitting back and watching the plants grow is the best way to spend my time. It is amazing to see how much joy watching a plant not die can give you. Regardless i hope my morning glories and bachelor’s buttons make it through the dark and cold and spooky winter inside my home with my whole family. Whose to say what is good or bad? Will my plants survive or will they be trampled, eaten, destroyed or any number of other terrible things? We shall see.

New addition: Bachelors Buttons

Bachelor’s Buttons are absolutely stunning. This is also called the corn flower but there are a few plants called that from different species. Just so you know this is just an honorable mentiom, it is not revelant to what I am trying to do here.

This plant is both an annual and a perennial. It is an annual if planted in zones 7 and below; it is a perennial if planted in zones 8 (my zone) and up. I think that means that these buttons were made to attract me some butterlies.

I planted these babies when I planted my morning glories. They are slower to sprout, and look so cute and tiny. I have to watch these suckers though because they can be wildly invasive in my zone. I sure hope so, I am not just planting them for looks.

They will get to be around two feet tall, long and steemy. They are drought tolerant and enjoy the full sun. Bachelor’s Buttons look like miniature carnations and have beautiful blooms. They are self seeders which is one of the ways that they can just take over an entire area. (My dreams are coming true, flowers everywhere and all the humminh birds I can take pictures of)

September 5

Do not eat them, if you plant them they are not for you they are for the surrounding hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. I cannot wait for mine to get large and in charge and take over my yard.

September 5

Update: Autumn Sage

This plant seems to truly enjoy the clay soil. I did some more research it turns out it thrives in dry heat. Autumn Sage claims to be drought resistant, bug free and doesn’t need to be fertilized. I did it anyway, because I researched but obviously not well enough to see that one coming. I am hopeful that this little plant survives because it has done wonders for my small area.

This beastie has been attracting all of the hummingbirds. I didn’t know that this little perennial was going to attract them like that. It has pulled in bees and butterflies as well. You most certainly see the rise in pollinators and that in itself makes these lovely little devils worth it.

I love how it bushes out. The colors add a nice little pop of red which is probably why they sometimes call it firecracker sage.

You would never guess that those flowers on the ground are from the humming bird wars of August 2020. Those guys get really competitive and beat each other up and I’m like, “Guys calm down, I can plant more.”

I probably will next year- especially seeing how well they are doing this year in attracting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to my home.

This was a couple of days before the rain and before they bushed out. I am really happy with the rain and I will continue to water them even if they are genetically water resistant. I hope that maybe they will grow larger than 3 feet tall but who knows.

Regardless, I think they are happy in their new home.

Zone 8a: Limes

I am tired of citrus only posts. What about limes? They have their own identity. You can’t lump limes in with oranges. Limes are festive, they are a party. Oranges are a breakfast beverage and don’t get me started on grandpa Grapefruit.

Yet, it is all citrus. Well, this is all about limes that grow in zone 8a. That’s right, limes get their own article. Of course, do your own research, but this is my own. Ta-da

My random limes my husband bought at Lowe’s

1) Red Lime– oh yes, this red lime looks like a redish-orange lime/lemon shaped fruit that is slightly larger. They taste like a lime and they are cold hardy.

2) Persian “Bearss” Lime Tree– is listed two ways, a lot of pages are saying it begins in zone 9 and others are saying zone 8. I have seen these trees in area and they seem fine. They are tasty limes. (They also have a seedless version which is fun) They also have a spicy smell that is different than other lime trees. It is also the most widely grown commercially and the largest amount sold in the United States. Very cool information out there. I encourage you to look deeper yourself.

3) Key Lime Tree– most pages are starting that it won’t do well outdoors unless it’s in at least zone 9, but there are pages that claim to have successfully grown them in zone 8. They are probably not right for our homestead, but if you are looking for some extra winter work here it is. They are not frost tolerant and have specific care needs.

4) Australian Finger Lime– some say that it looks like a baby cucumber or a long lime. This is not your ordinary lime, inside are thousands of round prills. It is easy to cook with and has a flavor that allegedly sticks around. It grows in zones 8 to 11.

5) Limequat– allegedly grows in 8 to 11, but a lot of pages are saying don’t try it belong zone 9. Harvest is around November. It might need a little extra attention during the winter but seems to fair well.

Not going to lie, I was hoping for more. I am mildly disappointed in the amount of limes that can grow but as long as there is more than one I can cross pollinate. I’ll take what I can get. Until next time folks.

Zone 8a: Ten Odd Plants

So i went to the Almanac and starting looking into what will actually do well in my area. Yes, I would like some sort of mutated version of Permaculture, Agroforestry, and pretty things that attract bird and bees and things to my property.

Yes. I would absolutely love to have exotic fruits and vegetables that make people say oh-la-la, but I truly want to produce enough to feed my family and not get mad at the birds for trying to survive.

My losing battle against a blueberry bush

I often have to remind myself that nature happens. So, after long debate, I have decided that I was fewer plants that will not survive well. Also did you know that a grown blue berry plant can drink anywhere between 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Each source is different but they all tell you blue berries require a lot more attention.

My juniper bushes are doing well. I just added fresh dirt to it. She was young when I got her and she has not given any berries. My other juniper was murdered by my dogs. I feel successful because this one doesn’t have any brown on it. I call that a solid win.

I can do a lot of apples, that is on the list and there are a lot of kinds of apples that grow in Zone 8a.

Blackberries are doing amazing. I have first hand knowledge that grapes do as well. Online they say pomegranate, persimmon, peach, apricot, pear, banana, and citrus. There are tons more.

Here is the list that I have came up with and found grow here (that I never thought and I find to be a little Odd):

1) The Arabica coffee plant- this plant is responsible for sixty percent of coffee production. It is a shrub and takes seven years to full mature.

2) The Camellia Sinensis plant- is tea, but it is pretty clear you should be careful of which one you get and make sure that it fits into your zone needs. I thought that was pretty cool. It isn’t cold resistant, but with extra winter care it can be an amazing addition in zone 8.

3) Ginger – and to be clear I mean Zingiber officinale, the edible ginger. These are tiny plants that usually don’t grow taller than four feet. They do better in zone 9 to 12, but you can grow them in 8a. Fun fact: if you let your ginger grow for 2 to 4 years you’ll get flowers on your little plant. As you know ginger is a useful plant and a great spice too.

4) Sassafras tree– is not just a tree with an amazingly cool name. This tree also has many uses. The roots can be a tea and the twigs and bark are edible. I don’t know if they are delicious, but I have never had sassafras tea before. Sassafras is also a spice and can be added to dishes.

5) Peppercorn– this is a perennial vine and it is marked as 8b, but with care anything from 8b can be grown in 8a. Here were are some fun facts about the history of the perennial. I just want black pepper and it just seems cool.

6) Cascada Hops– they are vines and have launched the modern Craft beer revolution. It allegedly grows fast and produces earlier. They don’t need anything special because their zones are 3 to 9. Make some beer or wine.

7) Yerba mate– it can be brewed similarly to tea. It can get huge at 28 ft tall and has uses (not including shade).

8) Turmeric– in zone 8a we are in the low end of growing zone. It says 8, but we all know that means 8b. We are a little cold

9) Red Leaf Tea plant– full of antioxidants, this is like the tea above but this one is equally amazing and a specific breed of the one above. They are drought hardy and fit perfect in my zone

10) Star Anise– starts growing in zone 8 and ends in 10. In our zone it’ll need full to partial shade but it is a fun, uncommon thing we can grow in zone 8a

So at the end of the day I want three of each. I am excited to get some of these growing.

I am still looking but this is a great start.

Why Marjoram?

Marjoram is cold sensitive. This herb has the potential to be perennial in warmer temperatures. This plant is a close relative to oregano and in some places they call it oregano all together.

Another member of the mint family, Marjoram is similar to oregano but a bit milder. This is another spice and tea; marjoram is also used as a garnish.

Marjoram has been used for common colds, runny noses, and digestive issues. Early research does indicate that is could be useful to assist with asthma as well- when paired with a medication.

There are a lot of health warnings for long term medicinal uses, but many are generic ones. The one that stands out to me is the one that talks about preventing clotting.

I like marjoram as a spice, I have never used it for medicinal purposes but I do enjoy it. Allegedly it smells really good, but I don’t have any that are big enough to put my face in. (Like my lemon balm. I love that stuff)

You can tell by the leaves it is definitely relayed to the mint family.

This is my first time, but I think from now on I will definitely go HERE so that I can see the side effects. It is good information. I put te link directly to marjoram as it is the relevant topic but please feel free to look into the warnings on your herbs.

Although it is nice to know all of the wonderful things that your herbs can do it is also good to know the negative effects as well. Turns out this plant could mess with some medications. Be careful when you are trying stuff out to look cool.

Mixing things unnecessarily could have side effects that you won’t notice until later. Always speak to a doctor if you are on medications. I do enjoy knowing what my plants do, but frankly- I am enjoying having them.

New addition: radio red salvia or autumn sage

Radio red salvia is pretty. I bought it because it has great red flowers. It likes full or partial shade which means it will do well near my baby fig (do do do do do do).

It is also known as Autumn sage and is drought resistant (which is good in Texas). It is fragrant and it attracts bees and such.

I bought these with two other plants, I’ll put those in another post. Just like all of the other plants I had to buy two of each.

There are a lot of posts that say these plants attract hummingbirds. This is something I can definitely get behind. It is known for pulling pollinators into your garden with their bright red flowers.

I am excited to see the humming birds humming around.

Update: ornamental peppers

I am doing something wrong. I have non idea. I added some stuff to make them feel better but they are just not liking the time of transplant.

I have asked around about it and they have told me “suspected” causes. I wish there was a cure all. Maybe I am doomed to kill all year 0 plants.

Although I read up on the plants before I planted them I suppose I have a lot to learn.

Also, I suppose that 12 hours of sun is not nearly enough, either that or we are watering them weird. They are still producing (my kids like them). Unfortunately, the more I do the more I am concerned that my dogs will kill them.

If and when i find out more information I will share. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. I will do more research and follow up later.

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