Archive for April 26th, 2006

The Weed Formerly Known as Cow Parsley

April 26, 2006 @ 8:31 am | Filed under:

If you’ve been following the comments of my last post, you know that we’ve been trying to nail down the identity of Jane’s mystery mint relative. Theresa noticed its similarity to a wildflower Dawn was trying to identify.

These two weeds have led us on a merry hunt this morning. Alas, Jane isn’t home today, so our chief botanist is missing all the fun. Here’s what we have learned:

This plant, which my children have always called cow parsley,


isn’t cow parsley after all.

I don’t know where they came up with the name in reference to this particular plant, but it’s been in use around here for years. They rejoice at its arrival in our lawn every spring, for they love to suck the nectar honeysuckle-fashion from its tiny orchid-like flowers.

Dawn’s mystery wildflower appears to be the same plant, but when I looked up what I thought was its name this morning, I discovered that cow parsley is an altogether different plant (also called wild chervil).

In the course of the investigation, we happened upon a picture of Jane’s mystery mint relative. (She knew it was a mint because of its square stem.) Here’s her plant:


Rose can’t wait for Jane to get home so she can tell her this plant, which grows in abundance in what used to be my south-wall flower bed, is called ground ivy. (Also: creeping Charlie, field balm, cats-foot, and gill-over-the-hill; officially Glechoma hederacea L.)

Meanwhile, Dawn tracked down our not-cow-parsley plant: Henbit!

(Won’t Jane be surprised.)

Bring Nature to Your Notebook

April 26, 2006 @ 2:20 am | Filed under:

Over at Lapaz Farm, Theresa has been sharing some stunning pages from her nature journal. Truly an inspiration!

Jane has recently rediscovered her own journal—it’s hard not to be wooed by the out-o’-doors this time of year, and to want to bring a bit of it inside—and I’m thoroughly enjoying her handiwork on pages like these (click photos to enlarge):




More nature journal links:

Theresa’s page with book recommendations. (The Claire Walker Leslie books are a favorite of mine as well—see this post.)

Gorgeous images at Mudpies and Mozart, plus practical suggestions. I’ve linked to this page before, but it’s worth revisiting.

Artist Rebecca Latham’s nature paintings and sketches page.

Dawn’s nature notes.

And, of course, Cottage Garden, one of Alice‘s brilliant ideas: an online nature journal with contributions from the whole family.