Tag Archives: Heirloom

Throwback Thursday: Poppy

Throwback Thursday: Poppy

Mother of Pearl Poppy

I’ve mentioned before that I’m from California. Napa, CA to be exact. In Texas we get four to six weeks of beautiful bluebonnet season. In California we would have months of poppies, and I loved it.

This year I am growing poppies in my flower garden. I chose three kinds, Mother-of-Pearl, Shirley, and Ballerina. The Mother-of-Pearl are gorgeous, delicate, and antique looking. The Shirley are bold and cheerful and the Ballerina are graceful and majestic.




As I was researching this article, I learned that the poppy is a flower used to show remembrance for soldier’s that have died in battle. I think they make a fitting tribute.

Poppies have been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Of course, we now know that they contain

Blue Poppy

morphine and codeine, both of which are used to relieve pain. Mythbusters did a story about whether or not your drug test would be positive if you ate a bagel with poppy seeds on it. It turns out that you can, in fact, get a positive for opiates if you eat poppy seeds prior to your drug test. Something to consider next time you apply for a job.

My favorite way to enjoy poppies, aside from my yard, is poppy seed cake and poppy seed chicken. I’m sharing these recipes with you.

Have a paisley poppy day!~KeriAnne Read the rest of this entry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria


Robin Red Breast, Here comes spring!

All gardeners that I know have a “signal” that is the harbinger of spring for them personally.

For some, it’s the nodding of the daffodils. For others it’s the insistence of the robins with their red breasts. Perhaps it’s the forsythia with it’s cheerful disposition and blazing confidence.

Nodding Daffodils

The NHL playoffs? To each his own.

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Throwback Thursday: Moss Rose

Throwback Thursday: Moss Rose

On Throwback Thursday I try to shine the spotlight on an heirloom variety. For some people, this is an introduction to a treasure from the past, for others a memory spark about a long forgotten favorite.

Today’s Thursday Throwback is Moss Rose, or Portulaca. This is also called Common Purslane and is considered an edible plant, good eaten in salad and also in stir-fry.

Portulacaceae: Portulaca grandiflora: Portulaca, Moss Rose

Moss Rose is extremely hardy. So hardy in fact that it can become invasive if you don’t discipline it regularly. However, it’s so pretty, you may choose to ditch the grass and keep the Moss Rose. Portulaca comes in many shades of red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. This little guy is so tough, you can often find it growing in the crevices of sidewalks, between paving stones and even in cracks of building foundations.

Portulaca has a really low profile, preferring to meander close to the ground. If pruned properly, it can reach it’s full height of about 30″. Okay enough of the jibber jabber, let’s see the flowers.



White Sundial








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Paisley Plant of the Week: Ground Cherry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Ground Cherry

Ground Cherry? Where have you been all of my life?

Grown just like a tomato, this gem of the garden is a delightful addition to any garden. If you love to make jams and pies but don’t have room for many large bushes, this could be an option for you. So what is it?

Ground Cherry Plant

Ground Cherry

Physalis peruviana

You can put Ground Cherry anywhere you would put a tomato plant. The differences are small, but worth mentioning. For one thing, Ground Cherry is quick to germinate and grows faster than tomatoes. Another slight difference is Ground Cherry stems are stiff and rarely if ever, need to be staked. And I guess the most important difference is that the fruit grows in a paper like husk.

Ground Cherry Harvest

They remind me of the Chinese lanterns…fun. Oh, and they have pretty flowers too. A ground cherry by your eggplants make a lovely row.

Flower of "Clammy" Ground Cherry

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Throwback Thursday: Marigolds

Throwback Thursday: Marigolds

Throwback Thursday is a chance to spotlight an heirloom variety in hopes of either reminding us of a dear old friend, or introducing us to a new love. Today’s heirloom selection is the marigold.

Surely everyone has heard of marigolds? Perhaps, but don’t call me Shirley. It’s precisely the fact that everyone has heard of them that I want to highlight them. Often times our tried and true gets overlooked, and that’s just not right. Little miss Mari is a very hard worker in our gardens and for all she does, some credit is due. Aside from that there are a plethora of varieties, some of which I’m sure will surprise you or at least, you have never had heard.

Tagetes come in many shapes and sizes. There are three species of which most of us are familiar. Mexican Tagetes (cempasúchi), African Tagetes (Tagetes erecta) and French Marigolds (Tagetes patula). They are all beautiful and distinct in their own way. Marigolds are not Calendula. Although I love calendula as well, it’s important to know the difference if you are hoping to use them as companion plantings.

Mexican Marigold

French Marigold

African Marigold

They are all lovely and cheerful in their own way, but they each serve different purposes. I use the French varieties as bug deterrent companion plantings, along with Tansy. I use Mexican and African as a lovely border along my driveway.

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Phat Tuesday! pH Levels. Oy Vey!

Phat Tuesday! pH Levels. Oy Vey!

pH levels and what to do about them.

I am not a scientist. I do not play one on TV. However, my degree was in Library Science, which has enabled me to find out some of what scientists know.

Unfortunately, some of the information I was able to find seemed to be written in a foreign language of which I am not familiar. I speak Geek, but I wouldn’t say I was fluent in it.

Here’s what I was able to distill about pH levels.

  1. pH levels are a measure of the acidity (sourness) and alkalinity (sweetness) of soil.
  2. A numerical scale is used to express the pH level. The scale goes from 0.0 to 14.0, with 0.0 being most acid and 14.0 being most alkaline. 7.0 is considered neutral.
  3. It seems that pH levels are not a measure of soil fertility, but instead is an indication of the availability of access to the the nutrients. For instance, soil may contain adequate nutrients and yet plants may not be able to access those nutrients because of an unfavorable pH level.

What does that mean for gardeners? I think of it this way. I have four kids, they have four different values of nutritional needs in order to function properly. However, all four have different tastes and preferences. In order to make sure they get what they need, it may be necessary to make it palatable for them.

For example, all four need vitamin C. I could put out four glasses of orange juice for them to drink. But if Ryan doesn’t like orange juice, he won’t drink it. Meghan is on a diet so she leaves hers as well. Jonathan doesn’t like the pulp so his goes untouched. Patrick loves orange juice and drinks all four. Three of them did not benefit from the available juice or receive the vitamin C they needed. One of them is going to need the restroom in about 20 minutes.

Scenario #2, Necessary nutrient: Vitamin C

Ryan loves hot and spicy anything and loves vegetables. I give him a salad with jalapenos and sweet red peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin C delivered.

Meghan is on a diet. I give her half a grapefruit. Vitamin C delivered.

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