Urban Garden in Ottawa: July 2021

I had the pleasure of taking a tour through an urban garden in Ottawa. Here are some photos. Thank-you to Ed Kulka for the notes.

fig tree

fringed loosestrife

lemon balm


purslane: ground cover or traditional edible weed

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “I have made a satisfactory dinner off a dish of purslane which I gathered and boiled. Yet men have come to such a pass that they frequently starve, not from want of necessaries, but for want of luxuries.”

musk mallow


tomatillo: or Mexican husk tomato often used in salsa verde

petit pain squash

French tarragon


black currant bush with berries. Leaves also used as a tea.

garden huckleberry (Solanum scabrum) with some black (mature) berries

nasturtium: orange flower used in salads

borage: only herb with an edible blue flower

oregano (pink flower)

garden sage (Salvia officinalis)

cilantro: also called coriander

cilantro with still green coriander seed

mustard greens: generic term for a variety of spicy salad greens in the mustard family



sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke, a member of the sunflower family. Produces an edible tuber smaller but similar to a potato. There are both wild and cultivated varieties.

lovage flower: the leaves are used as a soup herb and the seeds can be used as a spice.

orange cherry tomatoes (indeterminate). They flower and produce for the full season until first frost.

Italian sweet basil

reishi (Jap.) or Ling Chi (Chinese) the mushroom of immortality. This is a traditional medicinal mushroom usually dried, powdered and and drunk as a tea. Photo shows the mushrooms in the antler stage before flattening out into the mature bracket /polypore/conk stage

pink oyster mushrooms in the primordia stage before they expand into full mushrooms


These are works by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 – 1593)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Urban Garden in Ottawa: July 2021

  1. Maria Pedersen

    Such an interesting array of items. Fantastic art work–a new learning experience for me Thank you.

  2. Lisa Volkov

    What fascinating plants! I was salivating, reading about their culinary properties. I began to question my appetite at the first stage of the mushrooms, regained it, and then, the paintings made me less hungry but appreciative in other ways. Thanks Miles, (and Ed)! This was a remarkable, edifying experience–and a striking reminder that plants mean food as well as aesthetic appreciation!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *