Friday, July 25, 2008

Echinacea is good for you

Our living situation is very good. We are blessed with a huge house in a wonderful location. There are big windows that catch delightful sea breezes on warm summer days, and the floors are original tongue-and-groove hardwoods, circa 1830. So the kitchen (added on mid-century last) isn't very efficient, and the bathrooms (all 5 of them!) wouldn't be featured on HGTV, but everything works, so it's a small price to pay.

One of my favourite things about where we live is the courtyard. It's off the kitchen, paved with brick and on the small side. But slowly, in the last few months, we've worked to make it a place we like to just "be". There's a small garden (which my wonderful next-door neighbour helped clear out; she's a horticulturalist and architect, which I find very impressive), and right now, mid-summer, it's filled with lavender, black-eyed susans, bee bombs, and echinacea. And bees, so many bees.

We have tubs of tomatoes and cucumbers and capsicums in various stages of development. I also have a pot of strawberries I'm watching closely for signs of fruit. 

I go out there every day just to drink it in, and sometimes, in the midst of clean-up duty, I'll raise the screen on the kitchen window and stick my head out just to look at my little patch of nature. I don't know about it's supposed immune boosting properties, but echinacea certainly is a mood booster for me.


B.O.B.(bob) said...

That is a great space. Nice oasis in the middle of the city. Was the garden in when you moved in our did you do the planting? Look for hummingbirds on the bee-balm(not bomb, sheesh did Bill tell you that?, it's a bergamot) and goldfinches on the echinecea once they go to seed.

sjb said...

Oh no, LOL! My neighbour told me what they were called and I guess I misinterpreted (to me, the American "bomb" sounds like "bahm"). And I sorta thought they looked like little exploding fireworks. I need to go out and smell them, are they fragrant? I'll keep an eye out for the birds, although I'd be pretty surprised to see a hummingbird in the middle of the city. We do have purple breasted finches, which I've learned are actually red. Oh, and the garden was here when we moved in; you may have picked up on my notverygreen thumb!

Stickthulhu said...

Bee balm, bee bomb, I wouldn't know a dandelion from algae.

B.O.B.(bob) said...

The leaves on the bee-balm smell like earl grey (well they smell like bergamot which is what earl grey smells like). I don't think the flowers actually smell.

I'm always amazed at where I'll find birds. They tend to find any source of food. I know Patti's sister used to get hummingbirds in Cambridge when she lived there. So not so far away from you. City parks tend to be great birding spots since they tend to concentrate the birds in a small area.