Gardening again

My thoughts about bread baking yesterday encouraged some thinking about practices or habits that are grounding.  Grounding almost implies a positive practice, although I suppose other habits that aren't positive could be included.

Gardening is a grounding activity for me.

I realized over the last year of traveling,  being away from our own garden, I was really happy to have an opportunity to "clean up" the multiple-terraced garden that surrounded our HomeExchange house in Umbria.  (I was clearly enjoying it in this post from early in that time).

My kind of gardening is all about enjoying the process and creating plant vignettes that welcome us home, whether it's the pocket meadow up front, the side beds that evoke a sense of being in the mountains, the raised herb and vegetable garden in front, or the native woodland garden (ravine forest woodland) in back, "rescued" from invasives by my gardening companion, and slowly restored through additions of native plants to an attractive (and ecologically-balanced) forest community.

So, this morning, I was glad to venture in a small way to cleaning up the raised beds a bit more.  I'd done a bit of editing and clean-up after we returned home, but soon a flurry of presentations and other demands on my time, not to mention a strange laryngitis/bronchitis thing that hung around for two weeks, had found me putting any other gardening on hold.

Deciding which self-sowed Vernonia, Penstemon, and Rudbeckia seedlings might be potted up for my garden group's spring sale will be a start.

Red-veined sorrel in a front raised bed
Contemplating dividing this giant red-veined sorrel, I spotted a number of what looked like sorrel seedlings, nestled under a large radicchio plant.

Where did those come from, I thought?

Sorrel seedlings?
Had I sowed them?  I don't think so, nor is there any seed packet to match in my seed box, so I can only imagine that the large plant flowered early last summer, and perhaps distributed some seeds before our gardening neighbor, who was keeping an eye on things, might have tidied it up.

A mystery.

But now I'm thinking that it's more likely that they're red-stemmed chard seedlings or possibly beet seedlings.  I did sow chard and beets back in early August.  I do have a lot of seeds of cool-season greens.

Aha!  I thought, I'll taste a leaf and that will either confirm or deny sorrel....

Definitely, sorrel; its distinctive lemony taste distinguishes it from young beet and chard leaves!


  1. I am so envious of your gardening talents. I do not have much of a green thumb, but do enjoy my surroundings a great deal. I find the red clay so pervasive difficult to work with. I will just live vicariously through you.


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