Sunday, June 25, 2023

Plant Story -- Sweet Potatoes, Ipomoea batatas

Sweet potatoes are morning glories, or morning glories are sweet potatoes. That's because sweet potatoes are Ipomoea batatas, in the genus Ipomoea with all the morning glories. If you've grown sweet potatoes, you will have seen the tubular blue flower, very like weedy morning glories such as Ipomoea hederacea and Ipomoea purpurea.

sweet potatoes, Ipomoea batatas
sweet potatoes, Ipomoea batatas

Monday, June 19, 2023

Garden Thoughts: Who Are All These Plants?

This spring I've been gardening daily. My current Garden Concept is a space of native plants, that welcomes the insects that eat them and the birds that consume the insects. But I like plants, so I have no intention of digging out the peonies or lilacs, even though they support very few native insects. With that complex approach, I took a look at my garden and discovered it was even more complicated.

yard photo

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Plant Story-- Madder, Rubia tinctorum, Famous Dye Plant

Dyer's madder, Rubia tinctorum (madder and coffee family, Rubiaceae) was the base of most red cloth in Eurasia for millennia. 

dyer's madder, Rubia tinctorum
dyer's madder, Rubia tinctorum

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Writing History to Better See the Present

This January I published an historical novel, I Have Seen Marvels, A Journey to Paraguay 1630. As the angst and excitement fade and I move on to other projects, I am reflecting on the experience.