Bridget

Garden Musings on June 1st.

In Gardening, sustainable living on June 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Broom is in flower at the moment. This is the native variety, Cytisus scoparius. It grows plentifully by the river where I often take the dogs for their wash. I brought this plant as a self sown seedling 2 years ago to see how it would do. It was about 6 inches high at that time. It is now about 5 feet. Think I will have a few more on the next river visit. Broom is used in homeopathy to treat irregular heart rhythms. It does not have any herbal uses as all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Honeysuckle has also started to flower. This is the wild one which grows in the area. The flowers emit a gorgeous scent. Also called Woodbine it grows easily from cuttings. The plant does well in sun or shade although it produces more flowers when in a sunny spot. Red berries appear after the flowers, these are highly poisonous.

In the polytunnel the Grape has produced lots of flowers. The variety is Black Hamburg. This is a good variety for a polytunnel as it will ripen without extra heat. There is lots of vigorous growth at the moment. I usually prune a few times during the Summer cutting back to 2 leaves beyond the truss. Last year we pressed the grapes and froze the juice, it was great to have our own Grape juice in the heart of Winter. Might try making wine this year.

Calendula officinalis or Pot Marigold as it is commonly called is a very useful plant. The leaves are edible and look so lovely sprinkled on a salad. It also has medicinal use as it has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. The flowers can also be made into an infusion to help digestion , promote bile production in the liver and for use as a mouthwash for gums especially useful after tooth extraction.

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  1. Your grape vines look amazing. I want to pick those leaves and make dolmades, yum. I am a serial grape vine killer.

  2. I too have a Black Hamburg vine. Last year there were mountains of bunches. This year, I’m not sure what will happen. (Yours are ahead, being in a tunnel.) Our honeysuckle is filling the garden with scent. I enjoy this. (We used to have a jasmine but it smelled like non-stop bubble bath so I dug it up.)

    Did you hear on the news that fracking tests near Blackpool may have caused two small earthquakes in Lancashire?

    Esther

    • Yes, I heard that news. Hopefully it will help the case to stop the whole ugly process coming to the Lough Allen Basin, one of the most beautiful unspoilt areas of our country. Shame on our governments for allowing this.

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