It all started with a single pine tree on the side of the road. At first there were only a handful of them up in that one tree. But each year their numbers grew until that one tree just wasn’t big enough. So they spread. Then spread some more. Now there are dozens of them up in a cluster of at least 8-10 pine trees on the side of the road.
If you have ever harvested produce from your own garden, or brought in cut flowers from the yard, you and I have very likely had a shared experience. You’re washing off your prize when out crawls something unwanted. Maybe it has six legs, maybe eight (the WORST!), or, ewwww, no legs at all and is slimy. Whatever it is, it is now inside. Exactly where you probably don’t want it to be.
We live not too far away from a stretch of river. As a result, we tend to get a variety of visitors to our neighborhood that make the trek from the river bottom, and on up into the suburbs. Some even decide they like it well enough and make our yards their homes. Some are welcome, some not so much.
This has to be one of the most interesting plants in our garden. The small, but profuse, orange blossoms coat the stems that emanate from the base of the plant and stick around for months on end. The leaves are an eye-catching bright green. Plant this and you will be able to enjoy the quintessential hum of summer as bumblebees and hummingbirds will flock to your yard. When the sun shines on it just right, the flowers seem to glow like magical little lights.
It never fails, I will either have gathered a huge bounty of vegetables from my garden or will have gotten a little crazy purchasing them at the market. That means a glut of things like eggplant, zucchini and other summer squashes, peppers, and tomatoes. Some of them I will cut into chunks and freeze for later use, but really, there is nothing better than using them fresh.