With food prices ever increasing, SAM and I have been working on turning our landscape into more of an edible one. As part of that effort, the Loropetalum tree--not edible as far as I know but too beautiful to cut down--that shades the front porch now holds pots of herbs. Can you spot the Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus) in one of them? Not a true oregano, also called Indian Borage, it has large variegated leaves, is very aromatic, and tastes wonderful in just about any dish that calls for oregano. I purchased it earlier this year at a Santa Rosa County Master Gardener plant sale. After watching its vigorous habit in a pot, I'm not about to turn it loose in the landscape. It might get carried away and cover everything in sight with its aromatic self, at least until freezing weather knocks it out. It's more suited for much warmer climates.
The Loropetalum might as well be called the Lunch Pail Tree now. Remember that unusual tree in Frank Baum's story Ozma of Oz (you might have seen it in the film Return to Oz)? It seems that Peanut the cat would agree that lunch is right at hand, only it's not herbs she has a taste for. The mockingbirds attracted to our edible landscape delight in taunting her. Now I'm not encouraging her to "thin their herd," but I won't discourage her from putting the Fear of Gardener into them.
Shortly after we moved back here, I noted that the local mockingbird population had exploded. We had already made great progress on the edible landscaping with the addition of blueberry bushes and plum trees a few years ago, and then pear and persimmon trees were planted shortly before we moved away. A few weeks ago, I told Peanut that I would be very disturbed if all of our work were fruitless on account of the birds. At least this time, she must have been paying attention to me.