Thursday, June 22, 2006

Margaret's Garden


This is my friend Margaret with her ever faithful cart of plant goodies. She's been selling herb and perennial plants at Court Street Market and at Findlay since, oh, the mid 1990s or so. I first met her when I was working at a fine art printshop in Over-the-Rhine. On my morning strolls to make a bank deposit or pickup lunch, I would make sure to stop by her cart for a little chat or to buy a new find for my miniscule garden. It was Margaret who first introduced me to pineapple sage (really a member of the mint family--just check out those square stems!) with its sweet rich fragrance and end-of-summer red bell-shaped flowers. I'll never forget the afternoon I was sitting on my front porch reading and suddenly was distracted by a loud humming sound. There was my first sight of a tiny little hummingbird, sipping the nectar of my pineapple sage's first flowers. It was a delightful little moment.

Margaret also offers a wide selection of other culinary herbs: French tarragon, lemon verbena, several varieties of thymes and basils. Everything she sells is beautifully well-grown and large for the price. I have had a star-crossed love affair with her fabulous collection of lavenders for over a decade (I love them, but they love sun and my garden offers mostly shade :-( ) -- but if you are more fortunate than I in that department, you may pick up some Hidcote, Munstead, Jean Davis (whitish-pink) or Dentata. These are only a few of the kinds she carries with Dentata being my favorite. A tender perennial, I have actually successfully wintered this variety over in a hanging planter in my kitchen. And its toothed leaves are wonderfully fragrant.

Margaret also can make a custom fresh-cut flower bouquet for you. In the cooler days of spring, she even has old-fashioned, spicy smelling, deep pink sweet peas. Somehow that seems only appropriate. Margaret is a wise and giving lady who loves to share her knowledge of nature with her patrons and, especially if you are a gardening novice, she will be happy to help point you in the right direction.

Margaret's Garden
Farmer's Market Shed at Findlay Market
1801 Race Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours: Saturday 8am-3pm

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