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".

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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!