Above: Of the two species of Patchouli grown for it’s essential oils, Java Patchouli is more common to find in cultivation and can be grown as a beautiful container plant, as a fast growing annual or as a perennial in the greenhouse. Patchouli was used during the silk trade to keep moths from laying their eggs in clothing, but it became considerably more popular during the Hippy movement to mask the scent of marijuana! Patchouli can be an anti-depressant for those who like the smell and even has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. So, situate that love seat near your patchouli patch! “Step into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly.
For Javanese Patchouli and other botanical rarities, stop by the OAEC Nursery! Our shelves have never been more full of a wider array of fabulous diversity and it’s time for you to visit…
Only six weeks left in our Nursery season!
Open Fri-Sat-Sun 10am-5pm,
now through the end of October.
Tours of the gardens on October 7th and 21st at 1pm.
It’s that time of year as we anticipate cooler temperatures and shorter days to plant your fall and winter garden. We have put out a selection of our favorite annuals for you to choose from, including brassicas such as Romanesco Cauliflower, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Portuguese Cabbage and Doug Gosling’s own Shiny Diney kale; alliums such as our favorite Blue Solaise and Bulgarian Giant leeks; favorite chards, Alan Chadwick’s Choice and Perpetual Spinach; annual herbs such as OAEC chervil and Rak Tamachak cilantro, the largest-leaved and tender cilantro we have ever grown; and salad greens like our signature Salad-in-a-Six-Pack and the new perennial Wasabi Arugula that tastes remarkably like the real thing! We will also be featuring our famous Biodiversity Six-packs for kale, collards, chard, green chicories, radicchios, endives and lettuces. These annuals will be all released over the course the next two weeks.
It’s also the perfect time to be planning your perennial plantings. Check out our packed tables of some 350 species of perennial food crops, culinary and medicinal herbs, habitat and pollinator plants, and our ever-growing collection of 55 Sages or Salvias – including several new hard-to-find ones, the well known Chinese medicinal Red Sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza,) the rare Dominican Sage (Salvia dominica) from the Middle East that is used in perfumery and cosmetics and the yellow-flowered “dweller among the clouds” Himalayan Cloud Sage (Salvia nubicola), long important in Tibetan medicine.
In the perennial food department we have put out red Alpine Strawberries, sweet and nutty Earth Chestnut (Bunium bulbocastanum) and Tzimbalo (Solanum caripense), a miniature Pepino from the Andean regions of Peru, Columbia and Ecuador. The recent new medicinals to grace our shelves are three kinds of toothache plant or Spilanthes, from Kenya, South Africa and Brazil, all traditionally valuable in treating gum diseases.
We continue to expand our herb tea collection with new introductions of Navajo Green Tea (Thelesperma megapotamicum), Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguayensis) -yes, we can grow it here, California native Coyote Mint (Monardella villosa), Virginia and Short-toothed Mountain mints, both white and blue flowered Anise Hyssops (Agastache foeniculum) and for those of you who are mint freaks, an additional 15 assorted yummy mints for you to experiment with! We recently added Dyer’s Chamomile to our natural dye collection and European Vernal Sweet Grass- even more fragrant than the North American native sweet grass- to the fiber plants we offer.
Some of our ornamentals and habitat plants now include the beginning of a collection of milkweeds or butterfly weeds, including the medicinal Blood Flower (Asclepias curassavica), Mexican Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) and appropriately named Hairy Balls Milkweed (Gomphorcarpus physocarpus), all well-known nectar sources for bees and wasps, and as a larval food source for monarch butterflies. For you collectors, we are now offering the rare and beautiful Tibetan Gentian (Gentiana tibeticum), used as a digestive bitters in the Himalaya and the stunning North American native, Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) pictured here.