You've probably been out and found a sunflower this month. Or even just a picture. A long, long time ago I had a little book called "The Language of Flowers" and if it didn't belong to my mother, it belonged to my aunt. I've looked everywhere and I can't find it. I can't find anything online about the meaning or symbolsim of the sunflower, although I have a feeling that constancy is associated with it, because the heads follow the sun. I wouldn't trust me on that, though. That's frustration for you.
My garden is another frustration. I am fairly relaxed about where plants decide they want to grow, but I do object strongly to stinging nettles in amongst my vegetables. Apart from using up the nutrients that my vegetables need, they sting me when I pull them out - even if they are teeny-weeny ones and I'm wearing thick gloves. They have little hairlike structures on the undersides of their leaves and stems that deliver something like acetic acid into your skin. Think poison ivy and you get the idea.
|Peacock butterfly on buddleia|
The good things about nettles: they are fantastic food plants for all sorts of butterflies and moths, including the beautiful Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies. They also make great nitrogen rich plant feed if left to rot down in a bucket of water for a month or so. Nettles for leafy growth, comfrey for fruiting plants.
Quite a few readers will be nodding their heads sagely at this. I know that because I've seen a lot of lovely gardening blogs during the April A2Z, and some that blossom afterwards, especially Sue Ann Bowling's Homecoming blog
. I was blown away by the varieties of plants she grows in her garden - herbs, mints, lavenders, squashes, beans... I do grow these... but I'm not in the Arctic Circle! Sue's garden is an inspiration, and I must try and keep up with her!
|Sue's garden (c) S A Bowling|
If you're in the southern hemisphere, I expect you're just gearing up for planting your tomatoes and squashes and other plants for the summer. Here in England I'm making last sowings of winter lettuce and carrots, hoping they get big enough to see themselves through the winter for some early spring produce. The ones I hope to eat during winter were sown at the end of July and some slugs ate half the seedlings. That's life in gardening.
Gardening for vegetables needs a lot of planning ahead. I must do some more work on my theme for next year's A2Z , too - anyone know of a natural phenomenon beginning with X?
Other garden-related blogs I've enjoyed:
Marcy Howes: Creation and Compassion
Stepheny Houghtlin G is for Garden Shed
Sharon Himsl: Shells-Tales-Sails
Do you ever blog about gardening - or growing things on your balcony or windowsill? Add your link in the comments!
Guest author Jemima Pett blogs at http://jemimapett.com about books, life, gardening and anything else that she fancies!