Monday, July 1, 2013

When is a weed not a weed?

So I decided to tell the pokeweed story because it is part of the sewing I managed to do last weekend.  I got the strips from the cheater Bargello class assembled.  I'm not sure yet which end is up. 

How do these two fit together, you may ask?  Let me 'splain.

 A few years back my friend Jennifer moved into a house which has a thousand Rose of Sharon bushes around it.  She asked if I wanted any and I said yes I did.  So armed with shovels and buckets to put them in, we went up to dig a bunch.  While we were looking around the yard, she noticed all the poke weed seedlings around the yard and jokingly asked me if I wanted some.  I said No thank you I have enough weeds.As far as I know, I had never even heard of pokeweed before that day.  But if it's a weed....
Later in the same year, I noticed a cool bushy plant growing in the garden at a house I pass on my way to work.  (I bet you can see where this is going)  I thought the blossoms were pretty- small clusters of white, and then noticed the berries- dark purple!  I wanted one!  But I didn't even know what it was.  I started noticing them in other places, but never where I could stop and get a picture to show anyone.  Finally one day I was at a garden center and thought to ask.  I described the plant in as much detail as I could.  The nice young lady there went into her little office and then called me to join her, showing me a picture asking is this it?  Yes!  What is it?  Pokeweed!  I burst out laughing, then told her about Jennifer asking if I wanted some.  So I knew where to get one.  They don't transplant well.  Only one of the 5 or 6 I dug survived.  But it obviously likes it here.  The windows in the picture above are easily 10 feet high at the top.
The other funny part is that now I know what to look for, I notice this grows wild in spots just up the road from my house!

So, back to my quilt.  I decided to use a bluish fabric for the bargello and use the pokeweed shapes I had drawn years ago for the applique.  This picture is my inspiration. 

Below are the detail pictures.  Aren't they the coolest?   I just love how the berries get that half green/ half purple look!

Pokeweed blossoms
Pokeweed berries ripening.
I drew some shapes, planning to do this using the techniques I learned from Jane Sassaman.  (the quilt at the top of my blog was made in the workshop I took and is still one of my favorite pieces!) But the project got moved down the list again and again and now it is several years later.  So these are just the interfacing shapes I traced in preparation for the project.  I haven't decided if it will have the purple at the top or the bottom.   (I think I like it at the top)

More gardening adventures.  George has decided birds are more fun to chase than the chipmunks, much to my dismay.  (although if she would focus on the English Sparrows I wouldn't mind)
It looks like she's asking if anybody's home? I chased her away after I took the picture, by the way. 

 I realized afterward I left this picture out of my garden post last week.  I asked Al to build me a hobbit house, thinking something very simple (and bigger) I could plant some ground covers on in a difficult spot in the garden.  He watched the Lord of the Rings movie to make detailed drawings and made this.  It's only about 12 inches high.  There's creeping thyme in front and Scottish moss on top.  It broke my heart to put it in the garden, actually.  But while it lasts, it dresses up this weedy patch a bit.

A "green" update- I did use the vinegar on my edges.  It works to an extent.  It does not kill the weeds, but it does slow their growth sufficiently to keep them from invading the garden.  Good enough for me, and no chemicals used!

I am grateful for:
Some cooler days (and nights!)
Making someone else's day special
Sewing time.
Peanut butter cookie in a cup (I add chocolate chips)
Kitty cuddles

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