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Yarrow – ACHILLEA (Achille’a)

herbs1DESCRIPTION: These hardy perennials are great for the herbaceous border and the rock garden. They are easy to cultivate and many will survive in poor soil. Their height varies from 6 inches to 3 feet. Their foliage is pretty and dainty and somewhat resembles a fern. They produce bunches of single or double, small flowers resembling daisies. They are mainly found wild in the countries of southern Europe. They belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. A.ptarmica is an erect, spreading plant. Its shiny, dark green leaves are thin and serrated. The snow-white flowers resemble pom-poms and they are borne in large, branched heads in the summer. They are great for drying, for garlands, and for winter arrangements. A. ageratum (Sweet Nancy) is a spreading plant with thin, finely toothed and divided foliage. The small, white flowers grow in loose, branched heads in the summer. Their centres are off white and they are also good for drying. In fact, the flowers of almost every variety of Achillea can be dried. A. Forncett Candy produces tiny flowers in large, compact, flat heads atop stiff, leafy stems during the summer. They are pale pink with darker centres. The feathery leaves are a flat green colour. This plant should be divided every 3rd year to maintain vigour. A. Lachsschonheit is an upright plant that produces tiny flowers in flat heads that terminate rigid, leafy stems during the summer. The flowers are pale salmon-red fading to a creamy yellow. The leaves are feathery and finely divided into oblong to lance-shaped segments. This plant should also be divided every 3rd year to keep it growing actively. Other Achilleas will be mentioned below in the varieties section.

 POTTING: These plants should be grown in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil in full sun. All, except A. ptarmica and A. ageratum should be lifted and divided every 2nd or 3rd year to keep them growing actively. Coronation Gold and A. Filipendulina should be planted in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil.

PROPAGATION: The herbaceous kinds spread quickly and may be increased by detaching rooted pieces in the spring or fall. They will need to be supported by stakes in the summer, since they have loose habit of growth. Those grown in the rock garden may be increased by cuttings taken from young shoots in the summer or by division of old plants in the spring or fall.

VARIETIES:

  • A. Ptarmica & varieties The Pearl & Snowball;
  • A. ageratum (Sweet Nancy);
  • A. Millefolium (Yarrow or Milfoil – flowers are hot pink) & varieties Cerise Queen & rosea;
  • A. Filipendulina (deep yellow) & varieties Gold Plate & Coronation Gold (brilliant golden yellow);
  • A. Taygetea (pale lemon-yellow);
  • A. ageratifolia & variety Aizoon;
  • A. Clavennae;
  • A. umbellata
  • A. tomentosa;
  • A. rupestris; King Edward (a hybrid);
  • A. Forncett Candy;
  • A. Wesersandstein (bright salmon-pink fading to sandy-yellow);
  • A. Lachsschonheit (pale salmon-red fading to creamy yellow);
  • A. Fanal (bright red fading to yellowish red);
  • A. Moonshine (bright yellow);
  • A. Schwellenburg (lemon yellow).
  • A. Fireland
  • A. Colorado Mix
  • A. Filipendulina

Chickweed – not entirely an enemy.

chickweedChickweed: Stellaria  media: not entirely an enemy.

Family of the chickweed: The  lovely Sweet Williams and other Dianthus (carnations or pinks), Irish moss (Sagina subulata), Baby’s breath (Gypsophylla paniculata), Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) and the popular garden plant “snow in the summer” (Cerastium tomentosum) are all from the same family.

You are very likely to find this weed in your garden, growing all over with its thin stems and starlike flowers.  If you want to get rid of it, think twice before just throwing it away. Caged birds and chickens love this weed and it is great for their health. If you have no  cage birds or chickens, you can  make a healthy tea with the leaves, flowers and stems. Steep a handful in hot water for a short while. The tea is said to energise, help with weight loss and constipation and it really tastes quite nice! The leaves you took out of the tea, can be used as a poultice on inflamed itchy skin, especially for psoriasis, sore eyes and even insect bites. You can even make an ointment with beeswax and essential oil which keeps well. Contact me for a recipe if you are interested!

Yvette on Burdock Root

Especially when used in conjunction with other powerful cleansing herbs such as dandelion root, red clover blossom, aloe vera, cayenne, and garlic clove, burdock root is powerful enough to cleanse not only your blood supply, but also your liver, your skin, and your digestive tract of many harmful toxins, including GMOs.

Bulbine frutescens (Stalked Bulbine, Balsemkopiva, Katstert, Elimpofu)

Bulbine frutescens

Indigenous

  • Description.  Bulbine frutescens has a stalked clump of long succulent grey-green leaves and carries star-shaped yellow or orange flowers with fluffy stamens on tall spikes above the foliage. Long free flowering season. The clear gel has medicinal properties and is traditionally used for mosquito bites and to heal cuts, abrasions, bruises and eczema.
  • 30 cm x 60 cm.
  • Full sun
  • Perennial clumps
  • Evergreen
  • Frost hardy
  • Drought resistant with moderate watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Mass plant as ground cover or as edging along a pathway
  • Flowering time – September to June