Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 09/01/2016

Photo taken on June 30, 2016

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Anne Elliott
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Levisticum officinale
flower cluster
Carrot family
friends' garden
© Anne Elliott 2016
30 June 2016

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Lovage / Levisticum officinale

Lovage / Levisticum officinale
The very tall, yellow-flowered plant in this photo is Lovage, a member of the Carrot family.

"“Lovage is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 1.8–2.5 m (5.9–8.2 ft) tall, with a basal rosette of leaves and stems with further leaves, the flowers being produced in umbels at the top of the stems. The stems and leaves are shiny glabrous green to yellow-green and smell somewhat similar to celery when crushed.

The leaves can be used in salads, or to make soup or season broths, and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable or grated for use in salads. Its flavor and smell is somewhat similar to celery. The seeds can be used as a spice, similar to fennel seeds. In the UK, an alcoholic lovage cordial is traditionally mixed with brandy in the ratio of 2:1 as a winter drink.” From Wikipedia.

On 30 June 2016, I just made it in time for a botany visit to our main naturalist leader's home and garden. He and his wife have an amazing garden, full of so many kinds of flowers, including a good variety of native plants. One of my favourites is Showy Milkweed - love the cluster of individual flowers growing on a rounded head. These plants have spread over a lot of the front garden. All they need now is for Monarch butterflies to fly a bit further north than they usually do and discover this little bit of butterfly heaven. In 2012, though, it was very unusual, as people were seeing a few of these amazing butterflies in Alberta, including in Calgary. I even got to see and photograph a few Monarch caterpillars in this garden, for the very first and last time.

Our leader also has a large vegetable garden. One thing that always fascinates me is the Egyptian Walking Onion. Each one seems to take on its own artistic shape and I love to photograph these - both fascinating and quite beautiful.

In the afternoon of this day, we experienced a huge rain and hail storm. Fortunately, it cleared up in time to go on Don Stiles' annual evening Bluebird route trip. I always look forward to going with Don on his nest box route, checking on a few of the boxes and finding either Bluebird or Tree Swallow eggs or babies. Don records all the information about numbers and dates, and also demonstrates how he carefully bands the young birds. Thanks, as always, Don, for an enjoyable evening outing and thank you for all the many, many years (must be somewhere around 35?) you have spent helping to preserve our beautiful Bluebirds. We all enjoyed seeing the various other bird species during the evening, too.