NYC Rooftop Gardner big photo

NYC Rooftop Gardner big photo
September, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Celosia Spicata from Sunnyside

We will probably never know whether or not this Celosia Spicata was growing in the gardens of Sunnyside when Washington Irving wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but I like the thought of having that type of connection.  While studying the Hudson River School and Early American Literature we took a field trip up the Hudson and stopped at Sunnyside.  It was the end of the season and most of the garden had gone to seed.  We collected a few dead heads and this is one of them.  It turned out to be fantastic in the summer heat and was one of the last blossoms in October.  They lasted for 4-6 weeks until a storm snapped the stalks.
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunset Mallow a.k.a. Abelmoschus manihot

Mallow-Pod-118kbSome herbalists and Native American healers Mallow-pod-seeds-118kb

say that plants will show up in your garden or property for a reason.  They come to find you when you need them. So there I was walking in the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park when I found these interesting-looking seed pods in a pile of brush. I took a few home to plant. They grew vigorously and by August were up to 9 feet tall. Although they looked like a hibiscus, I didn’t know what they were so posted photos online and discovered the name, Abelmoschus manihot.  It turns out that this plant is widely used in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and relates directly to my own health issues. WOW, they were meant for me!  They were initially classified in the hibiscus family, but are now considered in the Malva family. The blossoms reach up to 10” across, and bloom only for one day. They catch the light beautifully and remind me that each day is filled with it’s own excitement.