Saturday, January 17, 2009

Safely back, deeply tired. There was no snow, in Strathardle or elsewhere. Much rain.


That’s quite a story, from the Hudson River. I am slightly surprised that there is so little mention, in what I have seen, heard, and read, of the cabin crew. A hundred and fifty people in a confined space in a state of abject terror – disaster could still have happened, but for (I presume) the training and discipline of the crew.

I had a clutch of junk comments yesterday, which I have conscientiously deleted. This has happened a few times before, never in such quantity. I hope I won’t be reduced to verification.

Knitting & vegetable-growing

Not much knitting while we were away; a few peaceful rounds. Back here, last night, I finished Ketki’s first sleeve – it seems to fit the hole, more or less – and made a good start on the second.

In Strathardle I perfected my vegetable order, and – the big one – found “salsola soda” in Sturtevant’s “Edible Plants of the World” thanks to Else and Wikipedia and the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Encyclopedia of Gardening”. It’s there as “salicornia herbacea”. When I was young, I thought the Latin names of all the plants were written in a big book in heaven. On the contrary, it turns out they are various and mutable like everything else here below.

Sturtevant says of it, “The tender shoots of this plant in England are used as a pickle and are sometimes boiled for the table.” (When I read that to my husband, he said, “For Heaven’s sake, don’t get any.” But I shall.) Sturtevant’s reference is to Lightfoot’s 18th century work “Flora Scotica” which I had never heard of (and now covet) and the title of which encourages me to believe that it may actually grow in Scotland.

Anna, thank you for the tip about “Mara des Bois” strawberries. I’ve found a source, and I’ll go for them. My guide and mentor in all things horticultural, Dr. Hessayon of the “Be Your Own Expert” series, says that perpetual strawberries are not as hardy as other kinds, but I think this is a moment to cast caution to the winds.

The new kitchen shelves – not yet painted – are a great success. They’re not crooked; the camera must have been.


  1. About your strawberries. I believe that if your mulch them well in the Fall with a heavy layer of straw for the deeper part of the Winter they should do fine. Just uncover in early Spring. Good luck!

  2. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Google Book Search has at least part of the original text of the Flora Scotica.