Botany Unbound: part I, Tea & Succulents

Earthen greetings,  this is the first of some posts about days spent in a local university greenhouse. Other posts may follow the line of guerilla gardening, my own plants, and eco-projects involving any kind of flora.

I have been volunteering at a secret rooftop greenhouse garden on the 13th floor of a university building with 3 semi-distinct rooms. The greenhouse came into existence in the summer of this year to my knowledge, and grows around a hundred different species of house plants, teas, herbs, tropical and desert plants, greens/sprouts, and aquatic plants, sells them to local anti-capitalist/vegetarian shops in Montreal. So far I have tried out the greens session, succulents, and tea atrium. Here is what I did…
In the greens room I got to plant rows, and mix humus rich soil for a variety of Asian flora. In the horticulture succulents room (these are water rich plants that don’t need a lot of sun, like cacti), I seeded some mother of thousands, also called Mexican hat. These have myriads of small budding seeds with roots attached lining the edges of their leaves shaped like old ships. They grow in dry areas of Madagascar and can survive for long droughts if their leaves are full, like using a reserve water supply. I also did some propagation on mature plants, cutting their stems if they had shoots of more than two for replanting, effectively this would grow an entire new plant. In the tea atrium, I extracted oxalis which look like clover, from an olive tree planter, a ficus and a bed of nettles. I learned that small white mites in particular are pests to the cape gooseberry and basil, which can completely kill it. Also spent time cutting flowers off basil plants to allow it to keep growing After the flowers are produced by the plant, they will stop germinate and die because their cylce is complete but by removing the flowers early, it will become taller and more of the basil leaves will branch off. I collected these, which were put in a wooden solar rack for drying to be used for tea.

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