Two Performers For My List of Perennial Plants
People often tell me that they love the way I speak about plants and the landscape on my website. I definitely do express a unique perspective on non-human species and other organic elements of this beautiful, magical planet. In this post, I will list perennial plants that provide multiple ecosystem services* to us and focus on the mystical side of the plant world, which I have worked with in my professional ecological landscape design business for the last 15 years.
I fell in love with Nature** as a child. I lived on a houseboat in Sausalito, and back then it was okay to wander for literally hours through the shipyards by myself. Generation X understands this. It was on those long, unsupervised walks that I discovered near-blinding pockets of magic. I would remember them for life. One was a tall stand of Anise (Pimpinella anisum) which had been colonized by a group of Ladybugs. The sun was shining on their brilliant red shells, popping them against the vibrant green stems. I stood surrounded by the wonderful scent of the plant and pinched several small lace clumps to savor the flavor, being careful not to scoop up any Ladybugs on accident.
I will list perennial plants that I talk about in this post at the bottom, so you can take that to a garden center near you or order plants online more easily. Anyway, in addition to it providing one of my first mystical experiences, it turns out that Anise is quite an amazing plant. Cultivated in Egypt and other ancient societies, it provides us with antioxidant-rich essential oil used widely for flavoring and preventing food spoilage. Mediterranean countries use it to craft alcoholic beverages named Arak, Raki, Ouzo, Anis, Pastis, Sambuca, and Zivania. The seeds are edible, as are the flowers and lace-like tops. As illustrated in the story of one of my adventure walks as a child, beneficial insects like it. Ladybugs will take care of aphid problems on plants, and many garden centers now sell them in refrigerated mesh bags to take home and release on your garden. I always tell clients to spritz them lightly with water mixed with a few drops of mild (non-toxic!) dish soap before releasing them. This temporarily seals their wings, and they give up trying to fly off and instead settle in to munch the aphids in your garden. Anise oil used as aromatherapy relieves stress. What a service in this world of commercial barragementt! Anise is toxic to mosquitos and several other insects nobody wants in their garden. Conifer seedlings beset by the pine weevil, for instance, are able to grow up with application of Anise.