Organic materials — that is, things that are or were once living — are the core of “organic” agriculture, and right from the get go, many years ago, I set out pitchfork in hand to gather these materials. Into large garbage pails toted around in my van I loaded manure from nearby stables. Neighbors let me haul away their bags of autumn leaves.
I even convinced city workers to dump a truckload of harvested lake weeds onto the side lawn of my small rented house. (That was in Madison, Wisconsin, where fertilizer runoff from lawns was spurring growth of lake weeds which, besides making swimming hazardous, were, upon their death, causing oxygen depletion of the lakes.)
Me mulching, even as a beginning gardener
Mowings of roadside hay, which I stuffed into the back of the van, were another source of organic matter, used for …
Oriental poppies, now in bloom with large, floppy, flaming red blossoms, are worth ooh-ing and ah-ing about. Likewise for Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum), with small gray-green leaves and small white flowers, except that too few people know or grow this plant. Here, the two plants look especially congenial together with Snow in Summer hugging the ground at the feet of the poppies and spilling over the rock wall that supports the bed in which these plants grow.
No skill is needed to grow Snow in Summer, or to propagate it. Plant it and it will spread, rooting as it creeps but never with frightening speed.
Alas, the show from either plant is all too transient. Poppy foliage is soon to yellow and melt slowly back into the ground. And by the time you read this, blossoms of Snow in Summer will have tapered off and its leaves will have lost …