While renovations to the Lake Hopatcong Train Station continue inside the building, Mother Nature, as she does every spring, is working on some promising renovations outside. There are some precious signs of spring peeking up from the ground that should paint the nearby native garden beautifully including some blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus), and harebell (Campanula rotundifolia).
Blue wild indigo and New Jersey tea were both used by Native Americans as dyes and medicinal tea. The roots of the former were used to treat toothache and nausea; the roots and bark of the later were used to cure infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Harebells, however, were more celebrated in literature. Also known as lady’s thimbles and witch’s bells, they have been referred to in the writing of William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. In “Cymbeline,” The Bard wrote:
With fairest flowers,
Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,
I’ll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azured harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweeten’d not thy breath.
New Jersey tea will be available at our Native Plant Sale on May 6 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Lake Hopatcong Train Station. We will have 26 different varieties of plants all originally native to New Jersey to get you started with spring planting in your yard!
To contribute to ongoing renovation of the Lake Hopatcong Train Station, please click here.