The genus Lepechinia In the Mint family (Lamiaceae) Occur in California, Mexico to South America, and Hawaii. An interesting group of shrubs and woody-based perennials, some of them quite ornamental. They vary in habit but have large paired, usually hairy and aromatic leaves and irregular flowers with broad tubes and 2-lipped “faces”.
Attractive features of Fragrant Pitchersage Soft contrast of leaf and flower color Pleasant fragrance Interesting leaf texture Attracts birds and butterflies
Pitcher Sage in the garden Good plants for the background of a perennial border For banks and open slopes Mix with berry fruits in a border Great addition to a butterfly garden Planted near patios for their pleasant scent In shaded areas (does equally well in sun or partial shade) In the kitchen garden – makes a delicious tea, jelly, etc.
CA Wild Rose – Rosa californica http://www.yerbabuenanursery.com/wildflower_watch_wk18.htm
CA Wild Rose – Rosa californica S. OR to northern Baja In CA, everywhere but high mountain elevations Common thicket-forming rose in S. & central CA foothills Moist places, near streams, in shaded woods and canyons Spanish padres called it ‘Rose of Castile’ because it reminded them of the roses of Spain.http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?6677,6887,6889
http://www.yerbabuenanursery.com/wildflower_watch_wk18.htm CA Wild Rose in nature: thicket-forming
A rose is a rose…. Size: to 6 ft. tall, 9 ft. wide Winter deciduous Growth form: upright shrub that spreads by suckers; typical wildhttp://www.sci.sdsu.edu/plants/sdpls/plants/Rosa_californica.html rose Garden requirements: Light: full sun to semi-shade Soils: any well-drained Water: take cue from nature Does best in full sun with some summer water Will need less water in shaded areas Less prone to fungal diseases than cultivated roses http://www.yerbabuenanursery.com/wildflower_watch_wk18.htm
Wild roses are important habitat plants Blooms: Main season: May-Aug (but blooms intermittently in warm season) Flowers: single pinks; color varies slightly Important pollen source for bees and other insects Fruits (hips) Summer/fall Edible; good syrups & jellies goldfinches, bluebirds, grosbeaks, robins, mockingbirds, and sparrows-- relish the hips Plants/foliage Dense, spiny foliage provides good cover and nesting sites for birds
Processing dried fruits for herbal tea Why? Releases the flavor better Easier to handle, particularly if you’re filling tea bags How? Crumble with hands Chop coarsely with a knife Break with mortar & pestle Use a spice mill or rotary- blade coffee grinder Use a small food processer to coarsely chop
Fill your own tea bags Readily available Easy to fill & store Make a nice – and unusual & trendy - gift
Next you need to strain out the pulp, seeds, skin, etc. A jelly/juicing bag and holder can be really useful if you’re making a lot of juice/syrup or jelly
Making syrup is easy from this point on Use a good standard recipe; see recipes Place juice, sugar, etc. in pot and follow recipe Don’t overcook – will thicken when it cools Prepare your jars; get out your jar-processing tools
Fill prepared jars Remove ‘foam’ Remove sterilized jar from hot water Fill, using a canning funnel Cap with sterilized lid
If you want to store your syrup for more than a few weeks Use glass jars with tight- fitting lids – regular canning jars best Process using a boiling water bath (follow instructions to the letter) Cool; store in a cool dry place for 1-2 years Refrigerate after opening
Chaparral Gooseberry – Ribes malvaceum Coastal & foothill areas, including Channel Islands Chaparral Slightly more inland and higher elevation than white- and pink- flowered currants malvaceum: leaves like a mallow
Many possibilities for currants/gooseberriesin the garden As a berry bush in the edible garden; great for jellies As a shrub in backs of summer-dry beds Along walks or N- or East-facing walls In a fragrance garden As an accent plant – showy flowers & attractive foliage Even in large pots & planters