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Hyssop

Hyssop

One of the oldest herbs in cultivation hyssop is an attractive evergreen shrub with brilliant blue, pink or white flowers held on a spike. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) grows well with other scented herbs such as lavender and sage. The fresh herb from garden is commonly used in cooking. The leaves can be used to make hyssop tea which is considered a cure for bronchitis and chest complaints but the leaves are more often used in soups, salads and stews to add a bittermint flavour. It can be used for robust, rustic dishes like potato or bean soup, and it goes well with fat meat; others suggest it to spice up calf and chicken.

The flavour is strong and not universally popular. It was also used by the monks who made Chartreuse and Benedictine liqueurs and hyssop oil is used in parfumes. The plant is also attractive to bees and butterflies.

Leaf Miners

Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are small insect larvae that feed inside the leaves of the plant. Eventually the whole leaf may be destroyed. The damage done by these garden pests to our plants is easy to spot because of the “mines” created as the bugs chews inside the leaf. Most leaf miners are moths and flying insects that evolved and survived through this protection against predators.

In some instances the leafminer will cause a light colored blotch on the leaf, in really bad cases the plant will look discolored and/or drop leaves. It is rare that leafminers do enough damage to kill a plant, what they destroy mostly is the aesthetic value of your ornamentals for a short period of time.

Indoor Plants That Clean The Air

Indoor Plants That Clean The Air

There are many reasons for creating an indoor garden – significant among them is the need to clean the toxins from our homes and offices. Today’s homes and offices are built to conserve energy and the outcome has been a lack of air exchange, with the resulting increase of indoor air pollution. The World Health Organization has stated, “there’s probably more damage to human health from indoor pollution than from outdoor pollution.” Symptoms associated with indoor pollution include allergies, asthma, eye, nose, and throat irritations, fatigue, headache, nervous system disorders, respiratory and sinus congestion.

Readying Your Garden For Winter

Readying Your Garden For Winter

Winterizing not only makes your garden look better during the cold weather months, but will make for easier work in the spring and it is essential in cold-winter regions, where freezing, drying conditions can tax even hardy plants. Start closing your garden down when there is frost in the forecast or the temperature consistently starts to drop to the low 40’s or mid-30’s (Fahrenheit), usually around late October or November.

One of the first things you should do is clean all the debris from your garden. Get rid of dead foliage, leaves, roots, stakes and row markers. The debris you clean from your garden can be added to your compost heap which will be a big help come spring. You want to be sure, though, not to add any diseased debris or pest infected dead leaves or stalks in your compost pile. You don’t want to accidentally spread a disease from this year’s garden to next year’s.

Use The Available Space For Your Kitchen Garden

Use The Available Space For Your Kitchen Garden

The first thing any gardener has to do when planning a garden is to measure the space there is available. This is particularly important when planning a kitchen container garden for when space is limited greater care has to be taken to make sure every bit is used to the best advantage.

Whether the space is large or small two fundamental rules apply: all the elements of garden must be easily reachable, and there must be a clear plan to the area. These may seem too elementary, even unnecessary, but planning involves simple things, such as allowing space to walk out of the back door, making sure you can reach all the containers to water them, allowing access to an outside tap, and checking the position of any windows so that growing plants will not obstruct the light. It is surprising how often such practicalities are forgotten.

Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies

Calla lily flower known for its distinctive shape is beautiful. The Calla Lilies are plants belonging to the Zantedeschia genus in the Araceae family. The genus contains seven plant species and they are all commonly referred to as Calla Lillies. Some of them have other common names as well. Zantedeschia aethiopica is also known as giant white arum lily and common arum lily. Zantedeschia albomaculata is sometimes sold as spotted arum lily, and Zantedeschia rehmannii is known as the pink arum lily. Zantedeschia elliottiana has a yellow shade and is therefore called yellow or golden arum lily. The other three species, Zantedeschia odorata, Zantedeschia jucunda and Zantedeschia pentlandii, are usually called just Calla Lilies.

All the Calla Lilies originate from the African continent and are found wild between north Malawi and South Africa.