Spring Messenger

“Spring is coming, Thou art come!” wrote William Wordsworth in his poem To The Small Celandine. He was delighted by the arrival of this flower, which promised the return of the sun “when we’ve little warmth, or none.” It may be an annoyingly persistent weed to some gardeners, but it is said to have been…

Vedas of the Violet

True Brahmin, in the morning meadows wet, Expound the Vedas of the violet (from The Gardener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Quatrains) Violets have long held a reputation for inspiring finer feelings, often associated with the spirit of childhood and innocence. Culpeper introduces the flower as “a fine, pleasing plant… of a mild nature and in no…

Pennywort

This plant has been drawing my attention for a while, especially as it has stayed so green while everything else dies off for winter. Known as Pennywort or Pennypies (for its shape) and Navelwort (for the cute little dimple in the leaves’ middle), Umbilicus rupestris is a plant with some fondly given common names. It’s…

Hart’s Tongue Fern

Evergreen, glossy and hardy, Hart’s tongue fern, Asplenium Scolopendrium, is a valuable plant for any gardener to consider. Here’s a look at it in its native woodland habitat, but it fits well in a lush tropical-style border with a rainforest feel…