Thursday, May 17, 2012

Serendipity in the Hoop House

2nd year mullein plant

According to Wikipedia, “Serendipity means a ‘happy accident’ or ‘pleasant surprise’ ; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it.”  Last year, at the end of summer, I found this in our hoop house ~

1st year mullein plant

It is a first year mullein plant.  Mullein is a very useful herb.  It has important medicinal uses ( I make a soothing ear oil from the blossoms) and also yields a very pretty yellow dye for dyeing wool fiber.  It was so beautiful, and obviously was thriving in the protected environment, so I chose to leave it in place.
As you can see in the photo at the top, the mullein is now in its second year.  It is a biennial and is just now
beginning to bloom ~

Mullein blossoms

The basic purpose of our hoop house is to grow nice hardy onions and green lovelies to eat all winter and into the spring… but it is also an environ where I enjoy the varied and burgeoning offerings of nature.
Last fall I found this little friend living in there ~

Spider in the Hoop House

She left behind a beautiful egg case and I am keeping a close watch so I can see the babies when they emerge this year ~

Garden Spider egg case

The other day I was in the hoop house, doing a bit of weeding, and found this interesting visitor ~

As soon as he could,  he found a way OUT.  I hope he comes back.


  1. I love mullien! I also love snakes.

  2. We will have a hoop house for the first time this winter and it may get too cold in the heart of winter here(MN) to keep things going but it will definitely help me get an early start on things next spring.

    1. Megan's, when the weather gets really cold here, we put wire wickets over our beds in the hoop house and cover it all up with floating row cover held on with clothespins. There are many crops that will winterover well - kale, machete, some of the Asian greens. Read. " Four Season Harvest " by. Elliott. Coleman " for great information.


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