Thursday, February 12, 2015

Our Vegetable Love: Helping Plants Walk Around #ctww

In The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World , Michael Pollan describes how plants get us to move them around by providing us with things we want: beauty, sweetness, the alteration of our mental states.

I am part of this. A neighbor down the street divided their Red-Hot-Pokers and left them on the parking strip for free. I planted some and they are wonderful!  My sister is coming by to pick up a few for her home across the Sound. The rest I will set next to my Little Free Library surely they will be throughout the neighborhood in a few years.

Veni, Vidi, Vinca!
Likewise, a friend gave me some periwinkle ("vinca minora"). I love this simple ground cover because you don't have to mow it - my goal is to zero out my mowing needs, and the vinca is a massive help. It doesn't need watering either, perhaps because it's a native and used to our seasonal cycles. The flowers are a plus!

And it's completely steppable. I grew up thinking that only grass can be walked on, so it seems a little odd to step on broadleaves, but seriously - it doesn't hurt them, in moderation, and it doesn't hurt me. Finally, it readily propagates. I have a space in front of my house which is basically the nursery. Every couple of months I thin it and put the culls into another part of the yard, where they root and displace grass. Recently I have started planting them in buckets (...free from the recycling center!!!) for easier distribution to family and friends. One tip: punch holes in the buckets so they drain the rain: vinca is versatile but it can't swim!

One of my first purchases when I bought this house was a mower. I tried to be environmentally responsible and get an electric mower, but it is still a waste of time and space when, with a little care, a mowless yard can be had from nothing but the patience to propagate the right plants.

And the plants nod knowingly; we serve them well.

"Our vegetable love shall grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow".

-----
I was inspired to write this by this week's Change The World Wednesday Challenge:

"This week, consider hosting a seed swap. Invite some friends and ask everyone to bring organic seeds to trade. If you'd rather not host a swap, investigate swap parties in your area and participate (it's a great way to get to know neighbors and other gardeners). Or, start a seed library by organizing seed donations and making them available to neighbors. The idea of this challenge is to share seeds in a fun, creative way."
I love seed swaps, but plants swaps are fun too!

1 comment:

Small Footprints said...

Oh I love the idea of plant sharing (and why didn't I think of that with this challenge ... LOL). I was given some aloe which I grew in pots. In no time at all, they had babies and ... my pot runneth over. So I separated them and, while doing so, saw a neighbor walk by. I asked her if she'd like some and she said yes. It was fun getting to know her over a "share". I'm interested in your ground cover. I hate lawns but do have some areas which need something to hold the soil. The periwinkle looks lovely. Does it survive the winter? Thanks, Randy ... loved this post!

Sign by Danasoft - Get Your Sign