Thanks goodness for a strong grandchild who can shovel snow and a great neighbor with a snow blower. We got as much as twelve thick, heavy, wet inches on Thursday, February 21st, 2013. I’m not complaining though. We desperately needed the moisture.
Now I’m thinking spring is just around the corner and that means long walks with Looie the schnauzer, outdoor BBQs, and – ugg – yard work. So this year, I’ve decided to try some new stuff and maybe get healthier in the process. The biggest bare spots are in the front yard where grass used to grow – until the drought. Maybe I should try growing Marijuana. Probably not. So here are a few of the plants I’m considering.
Definitely Joe Pye. A perennial with nice flowers and somewhat drought resistant. It’s also good to cure fevers, kidney stones (not one of my problems,) and typhus. The last outbreak of this dreadful disease was in 1903 but better safe than sorry.
I love ornamental cabbage and since it makes a good poultice for bumps and bruises, I probably need it for my awkward gardening moments.
Chrysanthemum. The feng shui symbol of a chrysanthemum flower is one of a life of ying, ease and balance. At the same time, this flower is considered to have strong yang, so it is used to attract good luck to you and your home. It also makes a good combination with cabbage.
Chrysanthemum and cabbage
I better grow some Catnip to stop the bleeding when I cut myself with my sharp clippers (which I do every year) and also for the migraines I get from too having to contend with too many weeds.
Did you know blackberries have useful healing properties? Of course they’re loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, but the leaves and roots have value, too. Native Americans have long used the stems and leaves for healing, while enjoying the young shoots peeled as a vegetable of sorts and the berries, either raw or in jams. The leaves and root can be used as an effective treatment against dysentery and diarrhea as well as serving as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Ideal for treating cuts and inflammation in the mouth.
Purple coneflowers bloom all summer. Their scientific name is Echinacea angustifolia though the Lakota call them Ichahpe hu. They are pretty in a field or garden and attract all manner of bees, birds, and helpful insects. A poultice of the root can be applied to wounds, swellings, and sores. The roots and seed heads are chewed to relieve toothache, sore throat, and other ailments. Echinacea is listed in numerous over-the-counter health products to aid in boosting the immune system and for relief of symptoms of colds and flu.
Dandelions. In the past I’ve spent a good deal of time and energy trying to get rid of these little perennial flowers but did you know that they are a generous source of Vitamins A, B, C, and D and various minerals? They are also useful for liver issues like hepatitis and jaundice and are a natural diuretic product for enhancing the immune system and fighting off illness. (Still not sure I want them in my front yard)
Peony. One of the most sensual flowers with a delicious scent, the peony has long been used in feng shui as a cure for love & romance. This especially applies to a couple of pink peonies. The symbol of the peony is often considered a metaphor for female beauty. Some feng shui masters do not recommend having the image of a flowering peony in an older couple’s bedroom in order to “prevent [men from having] affairs with younger women.”
And finally, Daises. Insects hate daises so if you rub the green sheath under the flower or any other part of the flower on your skin, the bugs won’t like you either.
One last good thing. These are all perennials. They reseed and spread so don’t require continual replant — just maybe thinning in the years to come.