Friday, July 11, 2008

Brooklyn Bridge entry, Manhattan side

One of my usual walking or running routes in the morning is from the Lower East Side, over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn, then back to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge. For the past few weeks, I've admired a small triangle of planting at the entry of the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path, near Centre Street.

Yesterday, I finally brought a camera with me, though I was a week or two too late to get a pic of the roses in their prime. As you can see, the Echinacea purpureum (Purple Coneflower), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), Verbena bonariensis (South American Verbena), Coreopsis (Tickseed) and what I think is Verbascum (Mullein) are still showing quite well.

A closer shot of the Echinacea with Achillea in the background:

In case you don't know, yes: Purple Coneflower is the plant from which the herbal supplement Echinacea is derived. Purportedly, it aides ones' immune system and many swear by it. Though personally, my immune system is somewhat stubborn and if wants me to get a cold, I get a cold. Achillea, as you can imagine, is named after the Greek warrior Achilles, who was said to use this plant for medicinal purposes.

Further along the edge of the planting, a Lavender (Lavandula) is thriving happily:

I love the austere texture of Lavender, though many around here have a hard time keeping it alive. I'm told it's not so much the cold temperatures of our winters that prevent the plant from thriving, but the cold, wet springs that irk the plant. Using a sandy soil mix and placing this soil mix over a layer of gravel should help keep the roots dry and ensure the plant's return each spring.

The only bad thing about Lavender is that it makes me wish I were in France... Bonne weekend!

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