Chestnut Herbal School

Joys of the Greening

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Berberidaceae

Here is the second set of the greening photos I promised earlier in the week. For those of you who play/learn on facebook with me, you may have already seen some of these. And I figure enough of you do not play that game, or at least not regularly, and these photos will be new to you. Thanks for all the comments on the previous photos, its good to know folks are visiting the blog!

magnolia bloom

Magnolia bloom, Magnolia x soulangeana, Magnoliaceae

RR enchanted this toad, who quickly became enamored with her forearm, and held on for dear life for over a half an hour. When we tried to pry it free, it tightened its grip and gave little squeaks of protest. Yes it could have been a male, exhibiting mating behavior typical for the season, perhaps mistaking RR’s arm for the warm embrace of the fecund female. But I have to wonder if its amorous behavior transcended the boundaries of external fertilization, and was motivated by something grander. Only the toad could say…

Nodding Trillium, Trillium rugelii, Trilliaceae

Nodding Trillium, Trillium rugelii, Trilliaceae

Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, Trilliaceae

Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, Trilliaceae

Sarah Stokes, the cat

Star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum sp., Asparagaceae

golden ragwort buds

Golden Ragwort buds, Packera aurea, Asteraceae

dogwood bloom

Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, Cornaceae

Baby mantids

Baby mantids

We place mantid egg cases all around the greenhouse when we accidentally disturb them in the garden, Here is a hatching this spring on a garden stake; photo taken with a macro lens (the mantid babes are tinier than your fingernail). There is a little wisp of white twine in the foreground for perspective. Mantids are voracious predators, so they help with controlling the insects feeding on our nursery plants. Plus, they are too fun to watch!

Fleabane field

Field of Fleabane, Erigeron philadephicus, Asteraceae

And finally, a field in our sweet little valley, awash with fleabane. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you are soaking in the preciousness of the season!

Meet The Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

Juliet Blankespoor

JULIET BLANKESPOOR is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She's a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business. 

These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and books in Asheville, North Carolina.

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2 thoughts on “Joys of the greening

  1. I find your delicious photos so inspiring and heart-waking, bursting with life and beauty. And I relish your descriptions of the wonders you portray. Thank you so very much!

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