Tag Archives: Hairy Bittercress

Greens, munchers, and seeds.

As I woke on Sunday morning I saw through the slats of my window blinds the full moon going down, against a background that was being colorized from gray to pale blue. Well, it probably wasn’t quite full — because Kate had sent me a picture she took from Panama City, of the full moon on Friday evening. Pretty close, though.

When I went to church I admired the flowering plums, and after my ZOOM church school class that afternoon, I planted SEEDS! A day after the full moon, a few hours before March dawned….

I was so glad to have a surprisingly balmy afternoon to work in, out in the garden. The day before, I had set up lots of little 6-pack  trays with potting soil, so that the soil could wick up water and be thoroughly moist. And because I ran out of time to plant anyway.

Two friends, Tim and John, had at different times given me seeds of Love-in-a-Mist from their gardens, one nearby and one in Oregon. So I planted them together, equal amounts, but in such a way that I could tell them apart. When they start sprouting I’ll update my blog report on what I’ve got going in there.

In the planter boxes I poked another (double) row and a half of snow peas into the soil, near where chamomile is coming up through the volunteer sweet peas:

I did some trimming and weeding in the rest of the garden, and discovered these caterpillars munching at my Yellow Bush Lupine. They are Genista Broom Moths, and I threw a few dozen of them into the green bin along with the trimmings. I’ve never noticed them as moths, but they look like they would be easy to miss. Maybe they will be a regular thing now that I have my lupine, which is the type of perennial and evergreen food they are known to like.

I feel about my collard patch the way some people feel about their chickens, or dahlias. They are so beautiful and healthy this year, I feel very proud and thankful, and want to take their picture again and again. Especially now that they are starting to flower, and I know I will need to pull them out and put summer squash in their place in another month or so. There were jungles of Hairy Bittercress in the grove of collards. I pulled weeds and pretty much scalped the plants to cook up a truly huge mess of greens.

Hairy Bittercress

Here is my absolute favorite way to cook collards. It’s a great recipe for church fast days and I make a big batch and put containers in the freezer.

COCONUT BRAISED VEGAN COLLARD GREENS

1 bunch collard greens
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
1 Tblsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tblsp. rice vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 pinch red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 tsp. sugar

Wash the greens and chop into bite-sized pieces. Put everything in a pot and simmer until tender. Add a little water if necessary and adjust seasonings to taste and to the quantity of greens.

I have made these several times with different amounts of collards every time. This last time I had at least eight quarts of chopped raw collards but still only used 1 can of coconut milk.

If you have a springtime garden, I hope it contains the minimum
of unwanted munchers and plenty of tender greens. To your health!

I watch the birds, bees and weeds.

gl P1030454

In the back yard I heard the jay before I saw him, as he remarked in short screeches about the breakfast I’d laid out. In the last couple of weeks I’ve taken pictures of doves, chickadees and juncos at the feeders, but the jay was the first to come since I moved this one closer to the window, and he is a larger target to focus on, so his picture came out best.

As soon as he flew off I went out front to tackle the perennial bed that was a mess, but before ten minutes of weeding had passed, I had a burning need to go back indoors and fetch my Weeds of the West.  I returned to sit on the bench swing and leaf through the whole book, trying to find the names of two or three weeds that had challenged me that morning. It’s good to know your enemy.

Though it’s hard to think of Persian Speedwell as an enemy. It is pretty, and the book says “It was probably introduced as a border or rock garden ornamental.” See, the ladybug likes it.

I spent a lot of time on the beds where chard, collards and kale grow, and I picked a big bowl of greens which I washed later in the day. In the picture below you can see Swiss chard behind the speedwell and also the feather-like arrangement of “scattery weed” seed pods that exploded a few minutes later at the touch of my hand.

I still have not found out the real name of that scattery weed, whose picture I re-post below. In the past I asked if any of my readers knows its name, but they did not; maybe one of my newer readers does? I couldn’t find it in Weeds of the West. It arrived in our garden in the last ten years. UPDATE: It’s Hairy Bittercress or cardamine hirsuta.

cardamine hirsuta

Just a few feet away from the Persian Speedwell — a weed to me — is another cultivated type that I planted because I wanted it, Creeping Speedwell (below). So far the Persian has not even tried to invade the Creeping, though if the Creeping can be said to creep, the Persian gallops.

Before Fall I plan to revamp this whole area, but in the meantime, I must try to keep a little order. Today I put in several hours of work and got plumb tuckered out! I’m glad tomorrow is a day of rest.