So it’s been a while since I updated about our wild garden. When I’d last mentioned it, we’d run into a set-back, but this past Summer has seen it really take off.
For wild plants and seeds, the process of over-wintering is a crucial step in preparing them for germination in the Spring. Additionally, we found that, by far the easiest step to take, was to work with wild volunteers that were already appearing in our garden! Curled dock (Rumex crispus), wild amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis), and blackberry (Rubus spp.) have all shown up and we’ve nurtured and encouraged them as best we can.
We have had a lot of success this past year seeing a lot of things started from seed or transplantings as well! We found some purslane (Portulaca oleracea) growing, and since it’s such a wonderful, delicious vegetable, we took a couple cuttings and stuck them in, of all places, an old wicker papasan chair we had found, and it went bananas!
Purslane is a succulent, and can be readily propagated by taking cuttings during its growing season, similar to cacti. It loves to thrive in heat and humidity, when all other plants, wild or domestic, are wilting into Fall.
We were also able to extend the amount of time we had with the amaranth this Summer, simply because we kept introducing its seed into new places! Turns out amaranth seed, like many wild seeds, don’t need much encouragement, if anything. We also grew a rather prolonged crop of tomatoes, wild basil, and even managed to have some chocolate mint for a time.
The effect restoring all these native species has had on the rest of the ecosystem around us has been inspiring to see as well! From tree frogs, fireflies, garden spiders and butterflies to skinks, opossums, bats and mourning doves; we’ve really enjoyed seeing the positive impact we’re having on the world around us!
Even though native plants don’t need much TLC, it’s been hard working restoring and reintroducing all these different species to our yard. For that, we’ve been really grateful to have the help of the hardest working grub in the garden.
I feel really happy about the experiences our Luna is getting to have here, because it’s those kind of experiences which can really make a difference in a kid’s life. Seeing where their food really comes from, seeing and touching the earth and the land around them, learning how things change and grow; seeing Life. All too often kids don’t get those kind of lessons today, but that’s something we can change. Wild plants are available all around us, even in a large city like Houston or Dallas. Even if we live in apartments or duplexes, people are learning how they can bring some plants, some greenery, some Nature back into their lives.
No, we can’t change the world overnight, but we can make a difference each day, with each seed, each plant, each child. And, we’re finding, that’s all it takes.