The crisis in Crimea and our garden (yes, they’re related!)

I’ve blogged about this amazing flower before, and now I’m finally growing it at our new place. Lavatera tauricensis is a very uncommon perennial found in the mountains of Crimea. At some point, someone collected seeds and sold them to Thompson & Morgan, and I bought them way back in the 1990s. The flower’s name is actually somewhat disputed, but no one has suggested an alternative that I have seen. It is an unusual perennial — I’ve never seen it in anyone else’s garden or anywhere but online. One of the beauties of this plant is that it flowers the first year from seed, which is unusual for perennials. Another is that it flowers pretty much all summer, which is also rare for perennials!

It’s tough to grow from seed — I’ve actually tried several times with seed I harvested from my old house, and it didn’t work. It was a bit puzzling, because it does self-sow a little, but it doesn’t seem to like careful human sowing. This year, I tried winter sowing, and it worked!

This is where I go all touchy-feely-new-age on you… :)  As you know, this past winter/spring saw a crisis in Crimea, which culminated in Russia unilaterally taking the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. It was all over the news, and my good friend has a daughter living in Ukraine, so it captured my attention. I started telling my little seeds that they needed to sprout this time — to use their energy as a symbol of solidarity with the people of Crimea. I repeated this message often, sending my intentions out, and what do you know?  I got about a dozen plants from those seeds this time! These lovely plants will always remind me of the Crimean people and prompt me to send more intentions that they will be free and prosper.

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