susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Oregano, Mexican and Greek

Oregano, GreekOregano, Mexican

While both of these oregano plants look similar in the photos they have big differences.  The first photo is Greek oregano, which is low growing like a groundcover.  When Mexican oregano comes into bloom, the flower stems shoot up over a foot high.  While various bees like lavender and germander flowers, moths are especially attracted to the Mexican oregano.  I remember catching these moths when I was a kid (it is not hard to pinch the wings together when they are fully open).

In the culinary field, low-growing Greek oregano seems to me to have a stronger aroma and potency.  I recently acquired a small Italian oregano plant, that has yet to flower.  Have not yet done a taste comparison with the three varieties of oregano either.

I like using all of the oregano plants in the landscape, as they have some strong assets, besides their good looks.  They are deer and drought resistant.  The flowers are a pretty addition to a summer bouquet, but not over-powering in their scent.  While the Greek oregano flowers are good for very small vases, the Mexican variety is a nice accent for mid-size flower arrangements.

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley

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Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley

Parsley flowers are so small, they can be hard to notice when they finally bloom. The seeds are about the same size as the numerous flowers and are just as plentiful.

Seeds will sprout easily as long as there is plenty of moisture. Under, or near, a water faucet is a good place to start a parsley bed. Later on, seeds can be spread to other places to see where the emerging plants best like the prevailing micro-climate. This particular bed has been reseeding itself for many years, and I think it is in need of rejuvenation. This is where timing comes into play – I need to wait until the plants go to seed, then save some seeds, just in case there are any challenges (like a heat wave) when the planting bed is cleaned up.

In the upper right are parsley leaves, don’t be misled by the sage leaves in the upper left of this photo. Sage and parsley live together with stray violets, and are protected from deer in this fenced planting bed.  I keep any other interlopers (weeds)  out in an effort to encourage what I want to live here to thrive.