Saturday, 30 June 2012

Coriander flowers pictures, information.

A native to Southwest Asia and North Africa, coriander is probably one of the oldest known herbs.It has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years for its medicinal and culinary properties.Fresh leaves, commonly known as Cilantro, are used as flavouring to salads, soups and other dishes, and remains one of the most widely today.Dried seeds are popular in exotic cuisine, adding a strong scent to cakes and curries.Medicinally, coriander has long been used as a domestic remedy for digestive problems.Please consult with your doctor before using coriander for health related purposes. Coriander seeds has a mild and sweet scent. The leaves has a fresh taste, but some people find its taste 'soapy'.

 Coriander is a soft, hairless plant, growing to 50 cm tall, with variable shaped leaves. The leaves are broadly lobed at the base of the plant and slender and feathery higher on the flowery stems. The asymmetrical, white or pale pink flowers are borne in small umbels, with the petals pointing away from the umbels is longer (5-6 mm) than those pointing towards it (1-3 mm). the fruit is a globular dry schizocarp 3-5 mm in diameter. 
 All part of coriander plant is edible, but fresh leaves and dried seeds are the parts commonly used in cooking. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds. The flavours have been compared to those of the stink bug, as similar chemical groups are involved (aldehydes). The fresh leaves are used as garnish, added into dishes, and used in salad or sauces. The leaves spoil quickly once remove from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen. Coriander contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food. Both the leaves and seeds contain antioxidants, but the leaves have stronger effect. Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis.
Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran. It is also a traditional treatment for diabetes, as the extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity. Coriander is extremely easy to grow in almost any soil. It grows quickly, producing harvest able cilantro (the leaves) in a month or so and coriander (the seeds) in about 90 days. The flowers of coriander are attractive to many kinds of beneficial insects and the foliage is eaten by the caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies. 

Friday, 29 June 2012

Acanthus flowers pictures information.

Geographical origin:
South eastern Europe, eastern Mediterranean areas, north eastern Italy and western Turkey. 
Acanthus are large plants of between 30 and 120 cm and are often used as border plants. Acanthus have spiky leaves and purple flowers.

 Typically flowers from late spring and throughout the summer. Although spines are the norm for this plant, they are too soft to harm those that touch them. One of my sources says they are vicious plants, but I'm thinking they meant the species A. spinosus var. spinosissimus, which has wicked ways with wicked spines.
Acanthus comes from the Greek word acanthos, meaning thorn. It's easy to figure out what its epithet spinosus means and you are correct if you thought spines.
The common name, bear's breeches, is somewhat puzzling; however, it was originally derived from brank-ursine, a Latin word for bear's claw. It appears that time and translations might have something to do with how it ended up as breeches instead of claw. Callimachos, fifth century Athens sculptor and architect, is credited for using an acanthus leaf as a design for Corinthian column capitals. The leaf design is still used today as a design element. It's no wonder that the in the Victorian language of flowers acanthus signified artistic skills and fine arts.
This is a bold, spectacular plant and not for those who want a dainty look. Planting its tropical form in with hostas and ferns makes a grand statement in the shade garden.
 Common Names: Bear's Breeches, Mountain thistle
Life Cycle: Hardy Perennial.
Height: 12 to 48 inches (30 to 120 cm).
Native: Europe, Western Asia.
USA: Zones 5 to 10.
Flowers: Late Spring and Summer.
Flower Details: Purple, pink, white. (Beware of spikes beneath flowers)
Foliage: Sharp spiky leaves. Variegated. Evergreen. Herbaceous.
Sow Outdoors: 1/4 inch (5mm). Following last frost or Autumn. Spacing 36 to 48 inches (90 to 120cm).
Sow Indoors: Use Peat pots. Germination time: 3 to 4 weeks. Temperature 50 to 60°F (10 to 15 °C). Sow in late winter, transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full Sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 6 to 7 for best results. Good drainage. Deep soils. Water during prolonged dry spells. Propagate by root cuttings in the autumn.

How to Grow Acanthus

It is best to plant Acanthus at a depth of 1/2 cm, 90 to 120 cm apart after the last frost of spring or in the autumn.Acanthus prefers light and can be grown in full sunlight or in partly shady conditions. The soil should be deep and well drained, ideally at a pH between 6 and 7. Acanthus plants are unlikely to survive in wet areas. They require 20 to 25 days for germination at a temperature of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. If growing the plant indoors it should be sown in late winter to early spring in peat pots before transferring outside in the early spring.
Acanthus is a very easy plant to care for, it requires watering until flowering only when conditions become too dry.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Yellow lily flowers pictures.

Asiatic Lily 'Medallion'
COLOR: yellow
DURATION: June - July
USE: Bedding plant, cut flower.
ZONE: 3-8
SIZE: 16-18cm
CONSIDERATIONS: Fragrant, 12 flowers per bulb. Plant 12-18" apart.

Yellow lily flowers pictures. Lilies have been associated with many ancient myths. They are mentioned in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, and symbolize chastity and virtue. Even today, lilies are associated with purity and faith.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Succory ,chicory flowers herbs.

Biological NameCichorium intybus                                                                                                           OtherNames: wild succory, endive, Chicory, garden chicory, Succory, garden endive, wild chicory
Elements Applied: Root and green parts of the plant are applied in the period of blossoming.

The Wild Succory (Cichorium intybus) is a common roadside English plant, white or blue, belonging to the Composite order, and called also Turnsole, because it always turns its flowers towards the sun.It blows with a blue blossom somewhat paler than the Cornflower, but "bearing a golden heart."Its fresh root is bitter, and a milky juice flows from the rind, which is somewhat aperient and slightly sedative, so that this specially suits persons troubled with bilious torpor, and jaundice combined with melancholy. An infusion of the herb is useful for skin eruptions connected with gout. If the root and leaves are taken freely, they will produce a gentle diarrhea, their virtue lying chiefly in the milky juice; and on good authority the plant has been pronounced useful against pulmonary consumption. In Germany it is called Wegwort, or "waiting on the way." The Syrup of Succory is an excellent laxative for children.

 white succory, chicory.
 The Succory or Cichorium was known to the Romans, and was eaten by them as a vegetable, or in salads. This Succory plant bears also the name of Rostrum porcinum. Its leaves, when bruised, make a good poultice for inflamed eyes, being outwardly applied to the grieved place. Also the leaves when boiled in pottage or broths for sick and feeble persons that have hot, weak, and feeble stomachs, do strengthen the same.
 It is said that the roots, if put into heaps and dried, are liable to spontaneous combustion. The tap root of the cultivated plant is roasted in France, and mixed with coffee, to which, when infused, it gives a bitter taste and a dark colour.

The chemical constituents of Succory and Chicory are--in addition to those ordinarily appertaining to vegetables--inulin, and a special bitter principle not named. chicory, when taken too habitually or too freely, causes venous passive congestion in the digestive organs within the abdomen, and a fullness of blood in the head. Both it and Succory, if used in excess as a medicine, will bring about amaurosis, or loss of visual power in the retina of the eyes. Therefore, when given in a much diluted form they are remedial for these affections. 

The only benefit of quality which Chicory gives to coffee is by increase of color and body, with some bitterness, but not by possessing any aroma, or fragrant oil, or stimulating virtue. French writers say it is contra-stimulante, and serving to correct the excitation caused by the active principles of coffee, and therefore it suits
sanguineo-bilious subjects who suffer from habitual tonic constipation. But it is ill adapted for persons whose vital energy soon flags; and for lymphatic, or bloodless people its use should be altogether forbidden.The flowers of Succory used to rank among the four cordial flowers, and a water was distilled from them to allay inflammation of the eyes. The seeds contain abundantly a demulcent oil, whilst the petals furnish a glucoside which is colorless unless treated with alkalies, when it becomes of a golden yellow.                                                                                                                Additional Info: Chicory belongs to perennials and is specially raised in Europe and the USA, where it is also met wild. The rhizome is yellow on the surface, white inside, and features milky juice with bitter taste. The branch stem features lanceolate leaves. The flowers are blue to purple-colored and toothed at the top. The blossoming period starts in midsummer and ends in the first half of autumn.Preparation and Intake: The rhizome should be collected in spring.To make a decoction take a teaspoon of rhizome of green herb for half a cup of cold water, boil it up and filter the result. This should be used in a quantity of a cup to cup and a half per day, a swallow at a time.Herb juice is taken at a dose of one tablespoon diluted in water or milk, thrice per day.Safety: There is no data concerning the plant’s safety level. Still, it is possible that the herb interacts with the medicine you use. Speak with your health-care provider before taking the remedy.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Saffron flowers details.

Saffron crocus

Scientific classification
Species:C. sativus
Binomial name
Crocus sativus
 That above table is from wikipedia.                                                                                                                                             

Saffron Crocus.

Saffron threads come from the female portion of the crocus flower (Crocus Sativus). Although saffron is expensive to buy, you can grow your own supply if you have some patience. After an initial planting of ten to twenty corms (much like bulbs), a few flowers will multiply into a good saffron harvest.

How To Grow Saffron Crocus Bulbs.

Saffron Crocus

 Saffron has often been described as a spice that is worth more than its weight in gold. It is so expensive that you may wonder “Can I grow saffron crocus bulbs and harvest my own saffron?” The answer is yes, you can grow saffron in your home garden. Keep reading to learn how to grow saffron.
 Although the crocus is famous for being one of the first flowers of spring, the saffron crocus is a fall bloomer. Crocus Sativa is hardy in zones six through nine, and thrives in full sun with rich, well-drained soil. It also prefers a sheltered location. Avoid windy spots, or areas that stay wet in the heat of summer, around down spouts or at the bottom of slopes.plant them four inched deep and about four to six inches apart in late spring to early summer.A favourite of gophers, crocus should be protected with a mesh enclosure or other varmint resistant device. Years where there is a long, hot summer will give you the best harvest. 
The saffron crocus will send up flowers in late September to early October that will last for about three weeks. A good bloomer, look for upright, spiky lavender blossoms of about four to five inches with long red stigmas. These red stigmas are the saffron. The saffron crocus will grow additional corms from the mother plant. After three years, the corms can be dug up (during the summer when the plant is dormant), divided, and replanted. Break off the smaller outer corms from the mother plant and replant them in a separate location or at a distance of four to six inches from other plantings. Periodic thinning of the corms, at lease once every six years, will keep your crocus plants healthy and blooming well. Three red stigmas occur in each bloom and should be harvested in the morning when the flowers have fully opened. Carefully remove them from the flower with tweezers and dry them in a dehydrator or in a warm dark location. To avoid spoilage, give your saffron plenty of time to dry and store it in a dark, tightly capped container. Delicately flavoured and useful spice. Beyond the traditional rice dishes, saffron can be used in meat and fish recipes, as well as in soups, breads, and cakes. It makes a relaxing addition to tea, and can help settle an upset stomach.
Historically, saffron was used as a fabric dye, hair dye, an aphrodisiac, and as an ingredient in perfume. In your kitchen, homegrown saffron can help you create memorable meals at a fraction of the cost of its commercially available counterpart.

 Saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulbs or Crocus sativa, which is an autumn blooming crocus. The spice is actually the red stigmas of this crocus flower. Each flower will only produce 3 stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce 1 flower.
 Saffron plants need well draining soil and lots of sun. If saffron crocus is planted in swampy or poor draining soil, it will rot. Other than needing good soil and sun, saffron crocus are not picky.
When you plant your saffron crocus bulbs, place them in the ground at about 3-5 inches deep and at least 6 inches apart. About 50-60 saffron flowers will produce about 1 tablespoon of saffron spice so keep this in mind when figuring how many to plant. But, also keep in mind that saffron crocus multiply rapidly, so in a few years time you will have more than enough.
After your saffron crocus bulbs are planted, they need very little care. They will be hardy down to -15F. You can fertilize them once a year, though they grow fine without being fertilized as well. You can also water them if the rainfall in your area falls below 1.5 inches per week.
Growing saffron crocus is easy and certainly makes the expensive spice much more affordable. Now that you know how to grow saffron plants, you can give this spice a try in your herb garden. Saffron, is the most precious and most expensive spice in the world. The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativas Linneaus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world's most precious spice.

But, because of saffron's strong coloring power and intense flavor, it can be used sparingly. Saffron is used both for its bright orange-yellow color and for its strong, intense flavor and aroma. "Crocus Sativus Linneaus" contains crocin, the source of its strong coloring property, bitter-crocin, which offers the distinctive aroma and taste and essential oils, which are responsible for its therapeutic properties.

Saffron is available both in filaments and powder, though the long, deep red filaments are usually preferable to the powder as the latter can be easily adulterated. Today, the greatest saffron producing countries are Greece, Spain, Turkey, Iran, India, and Morocco. The largest saffron importers are Germany, Italy, U.S.A., Switzerland, U.K., and France.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Snowball flowers.

Common name

Common Snowball Viburnum

Botanical name

Viburnum opulus


Bloom color


Bloom time



part sun


9-12' (2.5-3.5 m)




1-2 times per week

 Snowball flowers. Snowball is the common name for beautiful deciduous shrubs of honeysuckle family. The plant is well known for its ball-like clusters of snowy white flowers, which resemble snowball. Snowball is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. The plant is also widely grown in North America. Snowball is also called as European cranberry or Guelder Rose or snowball tree.

 Snowball flowers. plant grows to 7-12 feet tall. Size of flower clusters may be as much as 4 inch wide. Flowers of cultivated species are sterile and do not produce fruits. However, wild species of snowball plants bear juicy red berries. In Europe, the Middle East and Western Asia, some of the species are termed as snowdrop. Snowdrops are widely grown in gardens across Europe and North America. Snowdrops can grow up to 9 inches tall. White and bell shaped flowers of snowdrops grow in the early spring. Snowball plants are easy to grow in partial shades and moist soils. Bulbs of snowdrops are planted 3-4 inches deep during the fall season.
Snowball flowers. , this sterile shrub produces no berries. Ideal when planted in large groups as a hedge or screen. Plant in a shrub garden with holly and hydrangea, or use as background for peony and day lily. Prefers well-drained soil.
 UMISnowball flowers. small snowball flowers gradually turn from green to pure white. There are over 150 varieties of viburnum, one of the most popular is known as the "snowball bush." Attaining tree size at 12' by 12', clusters of tiny white flowers resembling snowballs cover the plant in spring. A hardy shrub that does well in zones 2 to 9, it is easy to plant and care for, and requires very little maintenance. However, at times, a pruning can keep the perennial from growing too quickly, and help it maintain optimal health and shape. Remove any damaged branches, or those that look diseased or dead, first. Cut the branch back to healthy wood and carefully pull the unwanted branch out of the shrub.Prune any branches clustered tightly together, especially if several cross each other. Also remove any that are beginning to intertwine. This allows sunlight and proper ventilation to reach the remaining branches.Cut any branches back that show accelerated growth by sticking out above other limbs. Level these with the remaining branches to allow the bush to keep a natural-looking shape. Trim any root shoots or "suckers" at the base of the shrub, or on the ground directly below; these can develop into additional plants that threaten the health of the pruned bush. However, the removed shoots can be rooted in pots to start additional bushes for your yard, or to give away.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Milkwort flowers.

 Wild milkwort flowers.

 Each stem terminates in a spike-like raceme of purple flowers about ¾-4" in length. The central stalk of the raceme is light green to purplish green and glabrous. Each flower is about ¼" long and across when it is fully open, consisting of 3 petals, 5 sepals, several inserted stamens, and a pistil with a single style. Two sepals are enlarged, rosy pink to purple, and petaloid, forming a pair of lateral wings. The remaining three sepals are smaller in size, light green to purple, and ovate in shape. The 3 petals form a fringed tubular structure that surrounds the stamens and style; they are rosy pink to purple, often becoming more white toward their tips. The short glabrous pedicels of the flowers are light green to purple, slender, and often nodding. Sometimes a few cleistogamous (self-fertile) flowers develop toward the base of the raceme; they are bud-like and inconspicuous. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. Only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Afterwards, they are replaced by 2-celled seed capsules; each cell of a capsule contains a single hairy seed. In addition to the above-ground flowers, Purple Milkwort also produces cleistogamous flowers along underground stems. The root system consists of a taproot.

Common Milkwort is a native, perennial, scrambling, patch-forming, low herb, growing up to 30cm.
The small flowers (4-7mm) are purple, blue, pink or white, in short spikes.
Individual flowers have a corollary tube made up of 3 joined petals; an upper entire petal and 2 frilly lower petals. The corollary tube contains 8 stamens.
The flower also has 2 large, coloured, petaloid sepals (like wings) and 3 small green sepals.
Leaves are dark green, slightly fleshy and ribbed.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Bugloss flowers.

 Common Name: Viper's Bugloss,  Blueweed, Blue-devil, Blue thistle, Blue Echium - The name Bugloss has survived several cultural translations: buglosse in French, buglossa in Latin and bouglossos in Greek. Its original genesis is the two Greek words bous, which means the head of a cow and glossa, meaning tongue.  This refers to the hairy and spiny leaves that are "as coarse as a cow's tongue."  The distinguishing term "viper's" is added to distinguish this plant as the specific bugloss with fruits or nutlets that have the shape of  a viper's head.
 Scientific NameEchium vulgare - The generic name is probably from the Greek word for  viper, echis. This would seem to be appropriately consistent with  the common name Viper's Bugloss; however, as it is the genus and not the species name, this etymology is suspect. Echion appears in Greek mythology as the name of one of the Spartan warriors who sprang from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus. Historically, Echion was a painter in the 4th Century BCE. Alternatively, Echius was a Trojan warrior slain by Patroclus, the companion of Achilles according to the Iliad. Vulgare is from the Latin vulgaris, meaning common, ordinary or usual.
 Viper's bugloss was introduced to the North America from Europe in the 17th Century; it has taken on the status of a noxious weed in some areas, notably the state of Washington. It is a native to most of Europe and western and central Asia; its distinguishing brilliant hues make it an easily identified and well-known species. The beauty of the florescence belies its pestilential association; it is ironic that the burned root was used for charcoal by artists. It goes by many names, most of which emphasize the brilliant blue:   lan ji, or  "blue luck" in China; gewöhnlicher natternkopf or "common viper head" in Germany; himmelbrand or "sky-fire" and  stolzer (proud) Heinrich in Austria; andsinyak obryknovenny, or "common blue" in Russian (blue here is a colloquial word like the "black and blue" of a bruise). It is in all cases considered to be a very common blue flower.

"Viper's Bugloss hath its stalks all to be speckled like a snake or a viper, and is a most singular remedy against poyson and the sting of scorpions" in his 1656 work "The Art of Simples" (medicinal herbs were called Simples, as the practice of using herbs medicinally was called Simpling). Any benefit that Viper's Bugloss might impart to a snakebite victim would be largely due to the placebo effect.

Viper's Bugloss was also used as a "simple" for the treatment of a variety of ailments more mundane than snakebite; there may be some credence to its efficacy in these applications. John Parkinson, the apothecary to King James I of England (aka King James VI of Scotland), wrote in his seminal "Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants, or, An Herbal of a Large Extent" that "the water distilled in glasses or the roote itself taken is good against the passions and tremblings of the heart as also against swoonings, sadness and melancholy."  The treatment consisted of drying the leaves taken from near the bottom of the plant and making a tea by placing an ounce of the resultant powder in a pint of boiling water. The effect was to promote the purging of  liquids in sweating, expectoration and diuresis.  The net result was a diminution of fever, headaches, and other "nervous complaints."  It fell into desuetude as a medicinal in part due to the decline of nature herbs in the pharmacopoeia and in part due to its potential toxicity.

Viper's Bugloss contains relatively small amounts of pyrrolizodine alkaloids that make the plant toxic to livestock and to humans.  These compounds are called hepatotoxic due to their deleterious effect on the liver. Instances of human illness due to these alkaloids  are rare and  have occurred primarily as a result of medicinal teas made from plants that have relatively high levels of the compound, like comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice as a biochemical indication of liver dysfunction; death can result in several weeks if consumption is sustained. Similar symptoms are manifest in range animals that consume the plant, sometimes inadvertently mixed in with other silage. Another manifestation of the toxicity is that the hairs of the stem impart contact dermatitis to humans.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Thyme flowers.

Thyme, like many herbs, does best in well drained exposed positions and is one of the easiest herbs to grow. The aroma comes from aromatic oils the plant produces which are thought to act as a repellant for many insects, a substitute for water evaporation in hot weather and antifreeze in frosty weather that prevents cells containing water, bursting in winter snows. Thus more oil is produced in plants in cold alpine type climates. Easily identified as a compact very tidy bush with tiny oval leaves that can be up to 45cm tall or in it’s more prostrate form, as a dense fine leafed ground cover, it thrives in the rockery or as a border plant. The stems can either be trailing or upright with small, elliptic leaves that are very fragrant. Many species are evergreen. The leaves are small and oval with tiny flowers of mauve or purple in summer. The flowers are attractive to honey bees.
Thyme is native to the Mediterranean region, and it is thought that the Romans spread it around their Empire, to Europe, Asia, Britain and North Africa. 
Records show thyme was used as far back as the Sumerian days as a disinfectant.  Ancient Egyptians used thyme as a part of their mummification formula.  If you look at the properties of thymol, which is the phytonutrient found in the thyme’s essential oil, you will see why.  This compound is known for killing moulds, microbes, bacteria and fungus.  Thyme is traditionally associated with the spirit world, and even today is thrown or planted on a grave in some cultures.
Greek soldiers bathed in thyme and had a thyme oil massage in order to bring out their bravery.  It was a compliment in ancient Greece to be told that you smell of thyme.  In medieval days, ladies embroidered thyme on a scarf or cloth and gave it to their favorite knight for courage.
Both the Romans and the Scots used thyme to treat depression.  The Scots believed thyme could ward off nightmares.  A sprig of thyme under your pillow at night is said to prevent bad dreams.
Thyme is very attractive to fairies.  In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania the Queen of Fairies sleeps on a bed of wild thyme.  Drinking a potion of thyme is said to protect a person from fairy mischief.  Thyme is the main ingredient in a 17th century Irish recipe which is supposed to make the drinker able to see fairies. 
 Thyme enjoys an alkaline soil and a hot sunny position – it also does very well grown in pots which generate extra heat that thyme just loves. All species need full sun and good drainage. Avoid poorly drained soils, plants will die in soil that stays wet for long periods. Thyme grows very well all summer in sub tropical climates and even tropical areas if the humidity is very low, especially if it’s very cold at night. If plants wilt or get die back due to high heat and humidity; cut them back and new growth will emerge. Ideally thyme should be pruned annually to keep the bush compact. With scissors give the bush a haircut – pruning the tips. Plants will be fuller and more vigorous if they are pruned back frequently up until August. (Pruning after this may result in tissue that is not hardy enough to survive the first hard freeze.) It is important to not cut plants back during fall or winter garden cleanup -- wait until new growth emerges in spring.
Thyme enlivens the garden, purifying the air and enhancing the overall health of the garden and one can simply not have too much of it in the garden. Plant thyme and rosemary liberally in your  garden because it encourages honey bees which will improve pollination of everything else in your garden increasing the yield by a minimum of 20%.

As a garden plant perennial thyme can be used as an edging plant, between stepping stones, in pockets in stone walls, and in containers.
 Growing thyme: 
Thyme can be grown from seed, plant division or stem cuttings.

Growing herbs often becomes a passion and Thyme is one of the easiest of all herbs to grow, whether grown from seed or from bundles of store bought plants – it should be planted in abundance for its uses are amazing.

Thymus vulgaris is the plant most used medicinally and also for use in the kitchen (generally known as common thyme).

Sow seeds in trays in moist but not wet soil and cover very lightly, the seed is very fine and will rot if planted too deeply.

Seeds germinate in 3-4 weeks at 21ºC – so Spring is the optimum time for sowing. When they are about 2cm high and have been “hardened off” by exposing to ever increasing outside temperatures daily – returning them to shelter in the evening. When well hardened, plant them about 30cm apart or closer if you want a hedge. Thyme plants grow to about 30cm in height and make an easy care inexpensive hedge that the bees love.
Thyme related species and varieties:
  1. Thymus x citriodorus
  2. , lemon thyme, smells like lemons and grows 9 to 12 inches tall. Look for the pretty variegated forms.
  3. T. herbabarona, caraway thyme, smells like caraway and is a robust plant that grows 2 to 5 inches tall.
  4. Thymus praecox, mother-of-thyme, is the traditional dark green ground cover that grows 4 inches tall.
  5. T. pseudolanuginosus, woolly thyme, has minute, woolly silver leaves and stays low to the ground.
  6. T. serphyllum, wild thyme, grows 4 to 6 inches tall and is used extensively as a ground cover. 'Coccineus' bears tiny rose-colored flowers and forms a dense occur on short, dense spikes. The flowers are very attractive to honeybees.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bramble flowers.

Rubus fruticosus (Bramble or blackberry flowers)

 A name often referring to the native blackberry bush, a thorny perennial plant that can often be seen growing wild amongst hedgerows and in gardens and woodland. It is able to tolerate even poorest soil types, and if left unchecked, often spreads, covering large areas of ground.
 Its distinctive growth of long ‘biennial stems’ also known as Canes, these are covered along their length in sharp spines or thorns. In late Spring/early Summer stems of white petaled flowers appear from the canes attracting many species of  butterflies, and other insects like hover flies and bees.
 As the flower petals fall away first signs of the green fruit begin to appear, growing in size during the summer and turning from red to black when fully ripened in the Autumn.
 The blackberry is one of a group of more than 350 different species found around the world, these include raspberries, cranberries and loganberries.
Edible Uses 
Fruit; Leaves; Root and New Shoots. 
Fruit either raw or cooked. The best plants have delicious fruits there are a range of types, because of this it is possible to obtain ripe fruits from late July to November. The fruit is also made into syrups, jams and other preserves. If the fruit is eaten before it is ripe and soft it can cause stomach upset. 
Root - cooked. The root should be neither to young nor too old and it requires a lot of boiling. 
A herble tea can be made from the dried leaves. The young leaves are best for this. 
Young shoots can be eaten raw. They are harvested as they emerge through the ground in the spring, peeled and used in salads.