Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Weed Like No Other

Last year when I let my gardens go entirely to weeds because of not being able to work in them, a strange plant took root on the edge of my rock garden. I thought about yanking it out... then just never got around to it.  I didn't know for sure what it was but remember  as a kid we'd see them growing alongside the dirt road by our farm. They got about 4 or 5
 feet tall and grew a stem in the middle where the yellow flowers bloomed along the side. We kids used to call them Indian Tobacco. Of course my younger brothers had to try rolling up a leaf and smoke it to see if it actually was tobacco. I don't recall them getting sick or anything... oh the stories I could tell ( five kids growing up on a farm) but I digress.
Maybe the real reason I let this thing keep growing, knowing it was a weed, was the memories it brought back of my childhood.

It is really quite pretty as far as weeds go.  The silvery hairy leaves are gigantic. I got a chuckle as I read more about my prized weed online.  Out west where the plant grows on the prairies they call it Cowboy's Toilet Paper! Oh man... I think I'll pass on trying THAT out! But I know two brothers who maybe would give it a whirl.... just sayin'! LOL!

Anyhoo... the real name of this glorious weed is Common Mullein. (Verbascum Thapsus)
The Reader's Digest North American Wildlife Guide says they are also known as Velvet Plant or Flannel Leaf. 
According to Wikipedia the plant has astringent qualities.  It was used in making torches.  Witches might use these torches to ward off evil.
Hmmmmmm..... lots of interesting stuff you can learn about something growing right in your own backyard!

Here's a pic of something else we have growing in our side-yard this year....  I think Hubby is down-right proud of his little gardening effort this year....

He usually doesn't entertain much interest when it comes to gardening. Probably because he works long hours and has more projects going around here than you can shake a stick at!
I had purchased a few Red Norland seed potatoes on a trip to a greenhouse and had intentions of planting them myself in a garden. Well, the gardens I have right now are just little rock gardens and don't have the proper room for growing potatoes.  On youtube I found a video of how to grow potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket! 
Wow... I was intriqued so I told Dave the potatoes were his responsibility. He reluctantly watched the video and followed all intructions to a T.   I am happy to report the taters are growin' like weeds... just not as big as MY prize weed though!  LOL!

If you want to grow your own spuds in 5 gallon buckets go look up Hollis and Nancy on YouTube!  I LOVE their gardening videos!  I just love listening to Hollis' sweet southern accent!

Well, there's more going on but I will save  it for another post!

Happy Gardening!
Cathy G


  1. I've used mullein to dye wool. I think it made a green color.

  2. It is a pretty plant and I learned something new. Every time I see your cute primitive flower pattern it reminds me that I purchased it from you and still haven't hooked it. One day when needing a quick fix will draw it out and hook it for sure.

  3. Your weeds are sure prettier than mine. Dave's potatoes sure are doing good. I'll have to remember that for next year.

  4. Such a useful weed to grow, heh... I'm actually growing potatoes in my garden. I'm so intrigued by your pail potato garden.
    I'm anxiously awaiting you first harvest.
    HUgs & smiles,

  5. Yep, you have plenty of TP there. That's what I learned it as and for good reason😉 If you dry the leaves, when sick make a tea from the leaves (running it through a coffee filter) it breaks up chest congestion and the crud. If you don't get sick, it really does make for good TP. What a fun post.

  6. Your big weed was traditionally the centerpiece in the PA German four square garden.
    Used for medicinal purposes and smoking. I don't know about the toilet paper. Ha-ha! They are pretty and impressive plants, aren't they. Has it bloomed yet? Lovely yellow flowers.

  7. I remember mullein as a young girl. You can now buy all different flower colors of mullein at the greenhouse.
    How interesting that you can enjoy one in your garden - glad you didn't pull it !

  8. Both your plants are doing well and that mullein is one very interesting plant. Might be a little rough for TP.;>)
    Enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing.
    Have a great week ahead. Peace and Blessings for ALL,

  9. So enjoyed this post. I have lots of "weeds" also. The field across from our gravel road is full of prairie flowers, plants and trees.
    My husband is always trying to pull my favorite Queen Anne lace and
    but it's all that is blooming by late summer. Thistles are so beautiful in their various stages of bud to blooms, just don't touch them without gloves....lesson learned...


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