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Saturday, 31 May 2014

A list of things for gardeners to do in the real world

It's cold outside, the garden is resting and I'm waiting for the aloes to flower. In the meantime, here is some sound advice.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Aloe ferox - a healing wonder

Aloe ferox (also known as Bitter Aloe) is a plant indigenous to one province in South Africa, and nowhere else on earth! There are over 100 species of aloe in South Africa, but Aloe ferox is the one that had been used by the indigenous people long before the arrival of Europeans to what is now the Cape Province.

Unlike most aloe vera products, aloe ferox never has to be filtered and thus retains all the natural present active ingredients. The bitter aloe is most famous for its medicinal qualities. In parts of South Africa, the bitter yellow juice found just below the skin has been harvested as a renewable resource for two hundred years. The hard, black, resinous product is known as Cape aloes or aloe lump and is used mainly for its laxative properties but is also taken for arthritis.“Schwedenbitters” which is found in many pharmacies, contains bitter aloe.

The gel-like flesh from the inside of the leaves is used in cosmetic products and is reported to have wound healing properties. Interestingly Aloe ferox, along with Aloe broomii, is depicted in a rock painting which was painted over 250 years ago.
  • Aloe ferox - is a pure and natural healer 
  • Aloe ferox - is herbal 
  • Aloe ferox - is non-toxic and has no undesirable side effects 
  • Aloe ferox - is renown for it's cleansing properties 
  • Aloe ferox - is a natural detoxing agent 
  • Aloe ferox - has more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and polysaccharides than aloe vera 
  • Aloe ferox- is traditionally use to stimulate cell renewal 
  • Aloe ferox - is better naturally 
(This info from Marvelous Aloe ferox)


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Autumn respite

The days are cooler, some actually cold and gardening has almost come to a stand-still, consisting mostly of clearing leaves, neatening borders and fixing up messes made by the chickens. The Marigolds are all but gone with the exception of a few new seedlings which are not going to make it as the days get colder. Our unusual autumn rains have definitely confused the issue as stacks of Nasturtium seedlings have also appeared - these might just survive the winter, I often have Nasturtiums flowering right through the year. But my garden birds are enjoying the  cooler days and spend a lot of time at the bird feeders and bird baths. During winter I always step up the amount of feeding as seeds and grubs get fewer and fewer.

Marigold seedlings intent on facing the wrath of winter

Two metal birds standing watch over the newly-planted Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers)

My Halleria lucida (Tree Fuchsia) recovered nicely from last winter's frost, but will soon be leafless again

My efforts at starting a compost heap has been a total failure. I followed all the guide lines and it grew bigger and bigger, turning into a huge pile of leaves and other necessary materials and no sign of the 'black gold' I was trying to cultivate! The only good that came out of it is that the chickens had a great time scratching it about! Oh my. So this week the whole heap will be spread around the garden as a mulch, hopefully protecting many of the plants' feet against the impending cold.


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