Thursday, February 9, 2017

Yellow Orb Spider

Astragalus and Horse Chestnut

Beauty in Motion

Unfurling Astragalus membranaceus or (more recently) propinquus, Huáng Qí, milk vetch, Fabaceae

Ah, the immense joy, contentment, and appreciation I feel every time I walk by the trays of unfolding energy and hope. I dream of the healing power, the soil microbes, the special spot in the garden where these little beauties will find a home.

I looked at the seeds under a microscope, they are beautiful, diverse, flattish seeds with a minute, white-ish hilum in a deep marginal notch. They are like small speckled pebbles or a bird's egg, yellowish brown, leathery brown, grey, blackish, with dark irregular spots. They are slightly shiny, with a texture similar to tiny pitted leather, hard. Slow, mindful, meditative scarification paid off... I soaked them overnight in kelp-ish water. In my experience Astragalus suffers from damping off if not careful, tender care, gentle water.

Horse Chestnut or Buckeye, Aesculus hippocastanum, 
Sapindaceae, sub-family Hippocastanaceae.

Hello beautiful, happy Horse Chestnut!

I planted 3 walnut sized, smooth, dark brown with black seeds on 30 January 2017, they germinated and rose above the surface, 5 February 2017. These seeds were quick germinators, thank you Strictly Medicinal, you always have fresh, viable seeds!

 This is my second season growing Horse Chestnut from seed, I've started a little nursery, Paw Paw, Horse Chestnut, Maple, Oak, and this year Slippery Elm, fingers crossed!