foraging

Plant of the Week #9: Caragana arborescens

This is one of those cases where pretty much all of us have taken at least a passing glimpse at a Siberian pea-tree, also known as Siberian pea-shrub or simply Caragana (Caragana arborescens) many times but outside of the gardening world no one really pays attention to it; it’s simply another shade of green that blends in with the peripheral landscape of more familiar things. It tends to stand out most in spring, when it’s bright tender foliage emerges in sync with vibrant yellow pea-shaped blossoms. This handsome woody legume is your 9th plant of the week. (more…)

Plant of the Week #8: Nasturtium officinale

In most parts of the country, spring has undoubtedly begun to creep back into the landscape, however subtle that may be in some places. The lengthening days and strength of the sun is unmistakable and fills us with encouragement and hope for yet another prosperous and bountiful growing season. As such, many plants are beginning to show themselves as they put forth their first flush of green leaves after a long, cold winter. Many of the earliest plants to reveal themselves (even when temperatures are barely tipping above freezing) are members of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) which includes some of our favorite and most familiar garden vegetables. (more…)

Plant of the Week #7: Stachys affinis

Hello everyone, and happy April! Depending on where you are living the spring season may already be thoroughly underway, just beginning or still a faint murmur as you gaze out the window at snow drifts. No matter what climate you may find yourself and however prolonged or brief spring may be it is undeniable how satisfying it is to see the first edible plants (whether wild or cultivated) emerge from the formally frozen soil. They are absolutely delicious and so refreshing after surviving on a winter diet that is all too often very rich but also monotonous and usually lacking in fresh vegetables of all kinds.

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Plant Of The Week #5: Rosa rugosa

Despite the ever lengthening list of new and exciting plants I have come across over the last few weeks  that I would positively love to look into further for future installments, I decided to not let myself get too carried away. As such, for the 5th installment of Plant of the Week I am going to focus on a species that has been a favorite of mine for the many, many years that I have had the pleasure of having it carefully stored away within my botanical mind palace. If you two have not met already then allow me introduce you to the positively lovely yet rough and tough Rosa rugosa.
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Plant of the Week #4: Berberis vulgaris

Welcome to the 4th installment of Plant of the Week! The list of subjects for future editions is continuing to grow, faster than there are Mondays in a month and I sincerely hope that this trend continues.  Just last Monday in fact (when I posted my last article on the stone pine, Pinus cembra) I happened to be walking through a part of the Wildwood Park neighborhood here in Winnipeg and stumbled upon a European barberry (Berberis vulgris) shrub adorned in hundreds if not thousands of bright red berries. It is this species and a few relatives from around the world that I’ll be showcasing for you today. (more…)