Botanical Wonders | Jungalow by Justina Blakeney


I never cease to be awed by nature. The more I learn about plants, in fact, the more I’m awed by these botanical wonders. This summer we planted an edible garden in our backyard for the first time since Ida was born. The key to our success this year was certainly the drip irrigation that Jason installed for us.

Plantastic Volunteers

We used soil from our compost and had many “volunteers” — a term I recently learned is used for the plants that unexpectedly sprout from seeds that end up in the compost.  In the above pic, you can see we had a jack-and-the-beanstock level squash volunteer. We later learned that in order for the squash to properly fruit we would have needed to lift it up off the ground, but now we know for next time. Our edible garden did produce enough cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, green beans and herbs  for us this summer to make lots of pesto, pickles and Greek Salads. It was really fun, the the ‘volunteers’ brought a lot of fun to the garden!

Plant Walks

The relatively mild weather this summer encouraged me to get out for lots of walks. I’m a slow walker, and that makes for good plant spotting. I’m not sure why some of this bush’s leaves were turning pink, but it was pretty breath-taking!

Someone drew/cut lines onto this agave, which hurt my heart a teeny tiny bit (is that crazy), but I also couldn’t help but also notice how beautiful it looked. I’m a sucker for engraving, and colors of the cream “scars” on the grey-sh blue agave leaf sparked my imagination. It reminds me or embossed leather but a vegan version.

When cacti bloom, it reminds me of how even the toughest creatures have a delicate side. They’re magnificent aren’t they?

This was one of the more surprising finds for me. The Schefflera plant has long since been a favorite houseplant of mine — the leaves absorb pollutants from the air and so the plants acts as a natural air freshener and detoxifier and I love the flower-shaped leaf clusters on the plant as well.  But, despite the fact that I’ve had several Scheffleras over the years, I had absolutely no idea that it grew these amazing rainbow-colored berries! I mean, I didn’t know it had berries at all!! My jaw was on the sidewalk when I saw this. Serious ROYGBIV berry moment!

I hope you all get some time to be out in nature this weekend enjoying some of earth’s botanical wonders!



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