Archive for July 13th, 2010

Late July in the Garden and the House

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

When feeding dahlias keep the fertilizer away from the top roots and stems. The fact is some gardeners like to top-dress the plants lightly with lawn mowings to keep the moisture in the soil, and this is no bad thing providing the lawn hasn’t been treated recently with weedkiller etc.

Layer border carnations as soon as suitable growths appear.

Bedding plants are growing fast and will require feeding.

Canterbury bells must be deadheaded or they stop flowering.

Geraniums and fuchsias should be well fed, remembering that standards have far to travel and therefore need a rich diet.

The last of the bearded iris must now be planted.

In the house, Many people have learnt how to master and grow the Saintpaulias or African violets with considerable success. They are comparatively easy from March to November, but tricky through the winter unless an even heat of between 15°C. (54°F.) and 18°C. (64°F.) can be provided together with a humid atmosphere.

Humidity is increased by plunging and retaining the pot in a larger pot or container of peat, which is kept moist, or by pack­ing the pot round with moss and keeping the moss damp.

Burnet Saxifrage

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Anise is an annual herb native to the eastern Mediterranean region (Egypt, Asia Minor, the Greek islands). In ancient times it was used mostly as a medicine to treat snake bites, nightmares and the like. The ancient Greeks introduced it to the Romans who also began using it in cookery. It was not until the 14th century, however, that it reached Europe as a flavouring for bread – aniseed bread is popular to this day, particularly in Austria and southern Germany. Nowadays anise is grown commercially on a large scale in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, France, the former USSR, Turkey, Mexico and elsewhere.

It is used to this clay as a medicinal plant for its diuretic as well as digestive and expectorant properties. In the Middle Ages it was believed to ward off the plague.

The delicately-scented, mildly pungent leaves with a cucumber-like flavour are used for flavouring. These are eaten as a salad by southern Europeans, the same as the leaves of Burnet (Sanguisorba minor). The young basal leaves are the tastiest if picked before the flower stem begins to grow.

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