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Friday, 28 April 2017

Summer's end

Autumn struck with a vengeance this year. I say 'with a vengeance', because it's more like winter! We're having extremely cold days, like 20℃, where are the balmy 24℃ and 25℃ temperatures? This will probably be the last cutting of the lawn that Chrissie does this season, already the grass is turning yellow in patches. We were lucky to have good rains this past summer, so all the plants are strong and healthy and ready for the winter.

It was a good flowering season for the Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia), attracting lots of bees, butterflies and sunbirds.

A Geranium sharing a pot with some Senecio Blue chalk succulents

The Hydrangea blooms were also exceptional this summer

After all that rain, the Sword Ferns spread like wild fire 

The last of the succulents left in my garden. All those in pots went to a good home (more about that later)

I always love it when these Leafy Foliose Lichens appear after good rains

The weather patterns are really peculiar lately and I just hope this coming winter won't be too severe, I feel heavy frost looming deep in my bones. But here's the thing - I might not experience winter in my garden this year as we are in the process of selling our smallholding. There is an offer in place and if that goes through, we will be moving down to Ballito on the North Coast (KwaZulu Natal). And of course I will keep you up-to-date on the progress of the (possible) big move.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

My Marigold kitchen

Just outside my dining room I have this wonderful clump of Marigolds (Tagetes). The flowers are tasty, fresh and couldn’t be more local: straight from the garden! There are some cookbooks out now which show how edible flowers on food are more than just pretty. The use of fresh herbs has come back into fashion and has proven to be more than a passing fad: edible flowers are all the rage.

Many of us have Marigold flowers growing in our gardens, but did you know that marigold flowers have great healing abilities? It’s true, these beautiful golden flowers will heal your body in many different ways. Marigold flower tea has great antioxidants that help to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer.

To make tea or infuse the flowers, make sure that you boil the water and then add 1 tablespoon of the flowers to the pot of tea and let it steep. Do not add the dried flowers to cold water and then let it boil. The tea purifies the blood, so drink this tea regularly.

Marigolds are also great insect repellents, mosquitoes hate them! By growing these flowers in your yard, you can be assured that mosquitoes will leave you alone and you’ll be helping out your local bees, too.

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