Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 63 > Page 29 - Jo Ann Gardner & Heirloom Gardens

Page 29 - Jo Ann Gardner & Heirloom Gardens

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/6/1 (313 reads)

it's overgrown by the woods. Then he showed me the next place they moved to. There was a new barn built in 1905. The barn burned down, so they built a new one. And there was already a Tansy patch there. They high? ly regarded that Tansy. Now that they used as an all-purpose herb. And an all-purpose herb is one you can use both internally and externally. It's like a cure-all. And they often do have properties--they cure wounds, or they'll help soothe a fever. The double purpose. And with Tansy it was also a dye-- a plant dye. And a bug repellent. So it was very valuable, and people liked it a lot. So when they moved, the Tansy went with them. It was a household furniture, right? And so the Tansy patch is still there. And I found Tansy--beautiful stands of it--in Logan's Glen. I was exploring up there, and we came across cellarholes with the most gorgeous stands of Tansy you ever saw--and bloomed in late summer.... See people, after they stop using it as an herb, they still have sentimental associa? tions with it. Somehow, they want it around; it's very comforting. And the plants (the 17th Century colonists) brought over are the plants that are men? tioned in the old English herbals. And I'm sure that some of these Scottish Highland? ers may have known about (them); or they were growing there, and they used it. For instance. Purple Loosestrife, that grows wild in the ditches here. That was a plant in the Scottish Highlands, and they used it for dye, black dye. It's not used any more. In fact, it's banned, it's outlawed in cer? tain parts of the States, because it grows in wet areas and it takes over. But I found garden varieties (of Purple Loosestrife)--these are cultivars. These were bred in Manitoba. Manitoba has a very famous experimental station where they have raised a lot of interesting plants and introduced them to the North American plant world. And the mordant cultivars of Loosestrife are among them. There's three; I think they first started in the '30s. They didn't take that one that's choking up. They took two other species of Loose? strife. See, Loosestrife is a very beauti? ful plant, and gardeners want it in their Warren Gordon Master of Photographic Arts (902) 564-5665 Gordon Photographic Ltd. 367 Charlotte Street Sydney, Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia BIP 1 El Visit our GALLERY of Cape Breton Scenes! "I Inherited a large mat of common Lungwort when we moved to the old farm. Every spring the flowers bring us joy as a herald of the new growing season, never failing to show their deep pink buds through last sea? son's decayed vegetation, even as the winds still blow hard from the north and temperatures remain low. Gradually the little flowers open • first pink, then vio? let-blue, then white, a family habit preserved in the many two-part folk names, such as Soldiers-and- sailors. Barely discernible in the budding plants, the small, pointed light green leaves grow in importance during the blooming period, to be covered eventually with lighter spots • little moons of varying size that, descending in a rush toward the tips of the foliage, seem to have dropped from heaven. "In full bloom on a warm spring day, these splendid plants are a shimmering mass of violet-blue, their small trumpets nodding in the breeze, calling forth our resident honey? bees, which come by the dozens, methodically visiting each open flower and then returning to the hive with the first harvest of the season. We aren't the only ones to appreciate the common Lungwort." • From The Heirloom Garden. garden. And they don't care whether it's clogging up the ditches and everything, they want it. And gardeners are very greedy, and when they want something, they plant it. And the world can go to hell. So, anyway, when they came out with these mordant cultivars, it was very nice, be? cause they don't spread. And the people around here who bought the mordant culti? vars. They were introduced through the farm papers, like the Farm Journal. And the farm wife would read about it and they'd say, you know, "Oh, this new plant's come out!" Like Kathleen MacLean told me that her mother-in-law--so this Four Great Wheels, One Great Deal. At Avis you can rent a professionally maintained vehicle at a very attractive low rate. So whatever your rental needs, call Avis first. Avis features GM vehicles. Chevrolet Astro. Call Today For Full Details And Reservations! Sydney-Glace Bay Hwy: (902) 564-8341 Sydney Airport: (902) 564-8265 AV/S We're trying harder thcin ever.'' IvAerqplan ?? 1991 Aviscar Inc.
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