Category Archives: herbs

Three new Black Currents for free- propagation using ‘layering’.

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Last spring I pegged down a low hanging branch from my black current, in the hopes of getting a new plant from it and it’s worked a treat!

Propagation using layering is as easy as pie, I do like to take cuttings but this method may take longer but works a treat and it’s so simple!

All you need to do is take a low hanging supple branch and either peg, bury or pop a heavy stone on top of it. I covered mine with about 7cm of soil and gave it a good water. You can see in the picture I’m pointing to the original branch that I layered, look at all those fab roots and the wonderful growth! Also be careful not to snap the branch as you bring it down to soil level.

Another point, ensure that it is able to respond to layering! Plants such as hybrid berries, some woody herbs, Hydrangea, Forsythia, honeysuckle, Wisteria – actually quite a lot, all respond nicely to this process. Then when it’s ready dig it up, cut it from it’s parent plant and either pot it up or find it a new home somewhere in your garden or allotment.

I have two plants from a Forsythia which was originally from my amazing Granddad Berty, who gave some to my Mum and then she did the same for me – it’s almost like a family tradition to pass it down! (The lovely thing is, when ever I look at it, especially when it’s in flower I think of my Granddad and his allotment and my Mum in her little veg plot).

It’s easy and gets great results, do it either now in spring or in autumn. And don’t be too impatient, just leave it to it and have a look the following spring or autumn. Although plants such as honeysuckle are loads quicker!

So new plants from old, that’s what it’s all about and it’s so simple… Happy gardening! X

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A curious little plant – Electric Daisy

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Acmella oleracea is part of the daisy family, normally daisies are cute little flowers, innocent souls, but this plant is quite quite different.

Another name for it is the ‘The toothache plant’, it comes from Brazil and has brought me so much fun. Basically nip the large buds off and chew it. First of all it’s very sweet like sucking a lemon, then next minute your whole mouth goes numb and tingles it’s amazing!

I’d say it’s like eating a chilli, but it’s completely different, like nothing you will of felt before. This naturally has caused me to become something of a trickster. Peoples reactions to it have been astoundingly funny. My 6 year old daughter ran around the allotment saying her mouth was on fire, my Dad said his mouth was a slobbering mess and my friends in work were screaming in terror and thinking they were about to die! Then after 15 mins of a numb tingling mouth it disappears…

The only draw back to these amazing tricky little plants is the slugs love eating their leaves and if left unguarded they will strip them in a night. But if you can keep them in a warm little spot protected from evil slugs you will have such a laugh at your next BBQ.

Get some next season for high jinx and if your sensible for tooth ache and sore gums.

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Deep sleep

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So last weekend I made some different things with herbs that I had grown, including a lavender wand and some lavender sachets.

Well I am reporting back. I over slept one morning this week such was my deep sleep (I slept through 3 alarms) I am putting it down to the lavender sachet under my pillow! I usually wake up if I hear a phone vibrate down stairs, I am a very light sleeper.

And so far no pesky moths or naughty spiders in my down stairs loo thanks the the insect repellant sachets which are hanging next the to window.

So an overall success I’d say, well apart from being a tiny little bit late for work one morning!

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Herb sachets, wands and other things

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Ooh the smell in my house right now is heavenly. Lavender and chocolate mint fills the air, like when you go into one of those lovely perfume shops except this has that beautiful natural gentleness about it.

So the aim was to make a couple of different herb sachets for different purposes.

I love sewing its a great way to relax, I do have a sewing machine but I only tend to use it when making clothes. But pouches and small things are more fun by hand.

Lavender wand
The Victorians made these to hang in their wardrobes basically you use long lavender stalks tied and folded into its self so the tiny pieces of lavender as it dries doesn’t fall out.

Herb pot
I decided to use some insect repellent herbs to keep the moths and spiders away. So it has Lavender, Tansy, Mugwort, Cotton Lavender and Peppermint.

Lavender Sugar
Layers of sugar and fresh lavender piled on top of each other, should be ready in a couple of weeks. Just perfect for cooking and afternoon tea.

The Herb Sachets – I did two of each one.
So there’s a sleepy relaxing one filled with loads of Lavender.
A stimulating one, to wake you up perfect for hanging in the car filed with Lemon Balm, Mint and Dill.
Insect repellent one, with Tansy, Mugwort, Peppermint, Hyssop and Cotton Lavender.
Relaxation bag with Lavender and Rosemary
And one that just smells great with sacks of Lavender, Lemon Balm, Chocolate Mint, Rosemary and Dill.

It was loads of fun, drying them slowly in the oven, bashing them in a pestle and mortar and bagging them up. All organically grown, freshly harvested and brimming with aromatic scents, just lovely!

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Quick herb harvest

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It’s all go in allotments and gardens around the world as we start to harvest our goodies for the winter.

Today I’m bringing in some already dried herbs from my potting shed along with some Tansy, Lavender, Mugwort and various other wonderful smelling herbs.

The plan is to make some herb bags and things to sniff through the dark gloomy winter.

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Love the colours

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Just a quick post to share these beautiful colours with you.

The top boarder around my old shed has burst into wonderful yellows and greens. I love how it has come together. The green buds of the Sedum, the bright yellow from Tansy and the pale yellow/green of the Ladies Mantel.

It was a joy to look at and I just wanted to share with you, soon it will change as the Sedum flowers open into a delicate purple cloud.

It’s little moments like this that bring me so much excitement when I’m pottering around. It forces you to stop and take it in. Tomorrow it will be different again… Breathe it in and savour every passing moment. X

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Drying some herbs

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The smell in my potting shed is intoxicating with herbs drying.

Mint, thyme, Rosemary, Lemon Balm and others mingling together to create a velvet curtain of scent that hits you when you walk inside.

By drying your herbs, your able to enjoy them throughout the winter months. I will crumble them into old spice jars when they are completely dried out.

It’s like an alchemists den in my potting shed at the moment!