Yearly Archive: 2017
- Kalms is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of symptoms of stress, mild anxiety, irritability and sleep disturbances.
- Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicine used for the temporary relief of mild anxiety, stress and nervousness.
- Kalms Night and Kalms One-a-Night are traditional herbal medicinal products used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances.
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. Its flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century. Valerian has soothing, calming properties which counteracts anxiety and has been used traditionally to promote sleep. Valerian, also known as Valeriana officinalis, is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. The root of the plant has long been used in herbal medicine for a variety of conditions such as sleeping difficulties, digestive complaints, anxiety and headaches.
The hop first attracted attention as a medicinal herb in early Egypt. It was later used in Europe to treat liver disease and general digestive complaints. Hops have a long history of use in folk medicine where they have been used to treat a variety of complaints. For example, hops are thought to have a sedative action and have been traditionally used in hop pillows for the relief of insomnia. Also, hops have been used as herbal antibiotics and were incorporated into wound salves and anti-inflammatory compresses. Hops also have a long-standing reputation for their ability to affect women’s hormonal balance, being used in hop baths to treat menstrual disturbances. The list continues, with hops being reputed to alleviate migraines, earache, bed-wetting, leprosy, travel sickness, digestive problems, kidney stones and coughing. With so many cures ascribed to one plant, it is easy to see how many viewed them as old wives tales. However, over the last few years there has been a major change in attitudes. New technologies have been developed which allow the rapid and relatively inexpensive testing of chemicals both synthetic and natural as cures for chronic diseases. As a result, pharmaceutical researchers have taken an increased interest in herbal remedies in their hunt for new medicines.
This vixen is being seen in a garden very close to mine on a regular basis so the chickens have been confined to the run for the foreseeable future. They are showing signs of boredom already but at least they are safe. The lady who is feeding the fox assures me that she won’t be interested in my chickens as she is well fed however, it is a natural instinct for a fox to kill a chicken and this will be even more true come the spring when she has cubs to feed. I love to see foxes and think they are beautiful creatures but I know that I need to be really vigilant to keep the hens safe from now on.
This year Laura has introduced a new little gem to our flower collection in the form of a South African, groundcover Marguerite. As well as being a pretty blue flower, the foliage is attractive and seems sturdy. Apparently although Felicia has a somewhat fragile appearance, this durable, pest-resistant plant requires little maintenance. Once the plant is established and shows healthy new growth an occasional watering is sufficient. Water deeply to saturate the roots then let the soil dry before watering again. Deadhead regularly to prevent the plant from going to seed for as long as possible. Prune the plant lightly when it begins to look tired in midsummer. The fluffy seed heads appear as late as November and can be collected or left to self seed. The common name of this little beauty is the Blue Kingfisher Daisy. I like it.
Update 8th April 2018 – Today I have sown seeds collected last Autumn from this pretty Marguerite. I am hoping to produce a few plants to place around the pond this year.
1 steak per person
4 heaped teaspoons of whole or crushed black peppercorns
4 tablespoons of olive oil
300ml of red wine
Clematis Cirrhosa Freckles is an evergreen variety that flowers from November to February. Freckles can reach a height of 12′ . This variety introduces a bit of colour and scent into a Winter garden. It is happy in a large container with support and some protection from strong winds. It is a group one Clematis so needs no pruning just keeping tidy. It carries attractive silky seed heads and green foliage with a bronze tint.
Scented, bell-like, cream winter flowers heavily speckled inside with reddish-brown freckles and glossy, dark-green leaves. This evergreen clematis is ideal for training over a sunny pergola or arch. This is the best way to appreciate the distinctive freckle-like markings, which are less visible when the plant is grown against a wall. No routine pruning is necessary. If the spread of the plant needs to be restricted prune immediately after flowering, cutting back overlong shoots to healthy buds. Apply a slow-release balanced fertiliser and a mulch of well-rotted garden compost around the base of the plant in early spring.
This recipe used to be a family favourite when the kids were all young. It’s a soft, moist fruit cake that can easily be adapted to become a celebration cake with the addition of treacle, alcohol, cherries etc. Another plus is that it does keep well if wrapped in foil or cling film. I have the inclination to give it a go again.
- 12oz of dried fruit
- 4oz margarine or butter
- 1/4 pint of water
- 4oz caster, granulated or brown sugar
- 8oz self raising flour
- tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp mixed spice if you like it
Add the water, sugar, fruit and fat to a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring to keep from sticking. As soon as the mixture reaches boiling point turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. At this point the mixture will be evenly mixed and the fruit plump and juicy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Stir occasionally to stop skin forming on top or cover with cling film or greaseproof paper. When cool gradually add the beaten eggs, flour and baking powder, folding in and making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour and a half. It does help to line the cake tin with greaseproof paper or as I do, wipe the tin round with margarine and shake flour so that the inside is coated evenly. At this point you could sprinkle with granulated sugar, decorate with almond slices or put a few candied peel slices on top. This cake also takes well to decorating with icing. All in all, a good all round stand by. My sort of cake.
The subject of Adam’s ashes has reared it’s head again and I am no nearer to deciding what to do about it. Up until today the blue box containing all that remains of my beautiful boy has been sitting in the living room underneath his photograph. However, I am aware that I am not the only person with an interest in what becomes of them. He has three children and their two respective mothers, two brothers and a father, all of whom have genuine rights when it comes to making a decision about this difficult problem. I am his mother, This was his home, Where he is now is virtually the same place where he was set down when I brought him home from the maternity ward in a little blue carry cot. I don’t think I am ready to let him go yet. I still haven’t come to terms with the way he died and I think that that is the crux of the problem.
Fourteen billion years ago the whole thing was begun.
Time itself came into being, the clock began to run.
And in the crucible of space, all there is, was born.
The building blocks of all we know from some galactic storm.
Collapsing stars formed elements, the elements combined
To form the substance of it all, the earth, the trees, mankind!
So look into the midnight sky, creation on parade. . .
For what you see in starlight is the stuff from which we’re made.
For we are in the universe, The universe in us.
The two are indivisible. A thing most beauteous.
So hear the song of nature. The song that all things sing.
For we are truly stardust, everyone and everything.
By John Marsh © May 2015
Well, I’m told that Sainsbury’s are selling off the pumpkins left over from the Halloween mayhem. Laura is hoping to bring us back a bargain for 10p. I shall cut up the flesh and cook in a little water until soft then use my blender to make a puree. Add a chicken stock cube dissolved in boiling water and season to taste, Pumpkin is very bland so any type of flavouring could be added, even curry powder, but I prefer it as it comes with a shake of black pepper on top and plenty of crusty bread. I have added a potato and a stick of celery before when cooking the pumpkin flesh, it just depends on what I have in the fridge at the time. The Delia Soup Collection advocates roasting the chunks of pumpkin in the oven first. I haven’t tried that yet but may do one day.
I large pumpkin deseeded and peeled
Chop up the flesh, rinse and put into a saucepan with a little water
If preferred add a potato, carrot and chopped celery at this point
Add a little salt
Simmer gently until soft
Drain and mash or blend to make a puree
Dissolve a chicken or vegetable stock cube in boiling water
Gently add the liquid to the blended pumpkin stirring until you have a creamy consistency
Serve hot with a chopped chives or parsley garnish
Sprinkle with black pepper and serve with crusty bread
Not one of my photographs but I don’t know who to credit the copyright to, It just seems to send that message,