Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dirty Ladies, Mystery of the Plant

Laura and I reintroduced ourselves recently - we've been neighbours (a house apart) now for three years, and have been spying over each other's gardens just as long. We've talked before, but it wasn't until the a few weeks ago - one evening when I was recovering in the shade on the front balcony with a glass of wine, and I yelled down to Laura to ask if she wanted a mugo pine. I was already half in my nightwear - a skimpy tank-dress, but with some garden grubs beneath, still with  dirty hands. I had no business being out of the privacy of home, but I went downstairs and out front with my glass of wine to talk without yelling over the neighbour. Laura was in her comfortable clothes too, and we both agreed we didn't care. 
We talked over my garden for a while, then we went to her garden for a while. She told me about Marla's garden, of which I've already heard enough about to be in jealous awe. We decided to peek over the fence, and following Laura's lead climbed a little hill in the back lane to get an even better view - at which point Marla, who was working in her garden, saw us, and instead of reporting two nosey gardeners to the police, invited us in and brought out a bottle of Riesling. This was the first meeting of The Dirty Ladies (named so by Laura...HEEHEE).

Marla was definitely the most dirty, and no wonder - her garden is a wonderland. Tulips were blooming, the sun was setting through the apple blossoms, alliums rising. The visit inspired me. Both her and Laura are growing Kiwi vines - which I informed R later that evening that we would be adopting some Kiwi's as soon as the soffits are in place on the back balcony (removing the horrible drip line that ruins a foot and a half of the little kitchen garden). 
After taking the garden tour back through Laura's garden, to mine again, the meeting was adjourned. It reminded me of year ago when Caroline, Shelly and I would walk barefoot from one another's gardens with summer drinks in hand.

I was in our backyard garden then other night when Laura yelled over the neighbour's yard - she had something to show me, so I invited her over. Dressed again in our garden skimpies, the Dirty Ladies stood and stared at a tall picked plant, slightly shrivelled. A mystery plant, unidentified from a friend's cottage - once a Finlander's land. She said it reminded her of a tobacco plant, maybe coffee plant. ? Tall and wild, hardy and perennial. It's surrounded by organized plants - once a garden, long overgrown, so likely something someone put there. 

From it's shrivelled condition and not having a photo I could only guess curly dock, but now that I see the photos it's obviously not. I'm with Laura that it is some kind of tobacco plant. ??? Maybe? She sent me the photos by email yesterday, which I received while still at the greenhouse - I went through every book and plant person there yesterday, nobody could say for sure. 

I pose the question of identity to the interweb sources now. Does anybody know what this is?
Mystery  Plant

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