Long Creek Herb Gardens

Flame azalea blooming in front of the Herb Shop porch.
Without a doubt, spring is my season. Everything that was asleep, comes to life. Above you can see the flame azalea just about to burst into full bloom in front of the Herb Shop porch. When it blooms, it looks like the burning bush of the Bible. Next to it, on the right, is a little yellow flame azalea. When it grows into the orange one, it really will look like it's ablaze.
Grancy graybeard (Chionanthus virginicus)
Grancy graybeard, or old man's beard, is in bloom. This small, native tree is a welcome addition to spring. Our friend, Billy Joe Tatum, first introduce me to this plant in her woods many years ago and it's a start from one of hers. Her name for it, which seems more appropriate, was "Grandady graybeard."
Lunaria annua, or money plant.
Money plant (Lunaria annua) is in full bloom this week, as well. Also known as silver dollar plant, I have both this dark purple one at left, and the more common lavender colored one. Both produce the silvery, translucent pods that people like to gather for fall bouquets. If you forget to gather them, you'll find they come up in unexpected places, like mine here (it's in the Ozarks native medicinal bed).

Lunaria annua, another variety of money plant.
Hesperis matronalis, or dame's rocket.
Hesperis, or dame's rocket, always blooms when the money plants are blooming. Mine came from my Grandad Long, back when I was a child. He brought the seed from wild (or escaped) ones when he visited  his brother outside of Colorado Springs in the 1950s. Missouri Botanic Garden warns this is a potentially invasive species but I've never seen it being a problem. I like it in my garden.

Note the red arrow at top, pointing to the bent-over asparagus top.

You may not be familiar with the tall plant (above). It's a Russian asparagus and I don't remember where I bought it, but I assume it's as edible as regular asparagus. Sold as "decorative" I have enjoyed it every year as it makes a larger clump. This is the first year I've put up bamboo poles to see just how tall it will get. In the past I've woven it in and out of the fence. As you can see by Aaron, our garden intern standing next to it, the plant is more than twice his height. The red arrow shows where the wind is bending it over his head.

Speaking of Aaron, his job today is cleaning the old straw out of the goat barn and mulching rows and rows of berries. He also has taken over responsibility for feeding the two most recently born goat twins. Their mother isn't giving any milk so 3 times a day Aaron bottle feeds the pair. 
Anytime we walk near the goats, these two come up and think they are going to be fed.
Every human that approaches is thought of as a source of food.
Native columbine in bloom.
In the medicinal plants bed, the naturalized red columbine (Aquilegia sp) is blooming. There are several medicinal uses dating back to Native American uses. Said to have come from Europe about 2 centuries ago, it is sometimes considered a native plant.

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