Tag Archives | medicinal

Hippophae rhamnoides with Orange Berries

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae Rhamnoides also called Sea Buckthorn, is related to Elaeganeous and is shown here and below with it’s heavy crop of attractive Apricot coloured berries. The shrub can grow to over 15 feet but makes a nice ornamental feature. It flowers in spring followed by narrow silvery leaves through summer. Each plant is either male or female and you need both for pollination and only the female produces these great berries.

There are only 3 species of Hippophae. Hippophae elaegnaceae is excellent for seaside locations and is wind resistant. The orange berries are often retained on the plant through winter as they are a bit acid for the birds. They can and are cooked for human consumption.

Hippophae salicifolia has sage green leaves and can grow into a small tree with pendulous branches.

Tips Propagated from seed they can also be grown from root cuttings, suckers or layered.
Look for Hippophae sold under these alternative names as well as Sea Buckthorn, Seaberry, Siberian pineapple, or Alpine Sandthorn.
The berries are used in herbal medicine for a variety of ailments.

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Lovage a tall Perennial Herb


What is Lovage?

Lovage is a long lived herbaceous perennial herb that grows up to 4-6 feet tall.
The leaves are a grey green and architectural in appearance.
Lovage flowers yellow in an ‘Umbel’ and the seeds that follow can also be eaten or used in bread or as a spice.

Uses for Lovage

Lovage has a distinct aroma similar to celery but with Indian spice notes.
All parts of Lovage can be eaten and the stems can be used as you would celery.
Lovage is made into a wine liqueur and in soups, stews or as a roast vegetable.
Lovage is believed to have medicinal properties for sore throats.

Cropping Lovage

A healthy Lovage (Levisticum officinale) plant can spread in a clump 3 feet wide and such a plant needs space perhaps at the back of a border. One plant can provide all the leaves and stems a family would need. If leaves are the main requirement give the plant the ‘Chelsea Chop’ and cut down flowering stems before they blossom so encouraging new leafy growth.

Growing Lovage

Grow Lovage from seed or root divisions from an existing plant. 
They like plenty of water and space to grow.
Lovage prefers a sunny position.

Lovage - Liebstöckel
Photo credits
LOVAGE by Fool-On-The-Hill CC BY-NC 2.0

Lovage – Liebstöckel by yashima CC BY-SA 2.0


Sea Buckthorn – Hippophae Superfruit

Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn is one of the Hippophae species. The fruit have some medicinal properties and the shrubs have been cultivated for many,  centuries. The deciduous shrubs are Dioeceus having male and female plants.

Common sea-buckthorn has distinctive  pale silvery-green and branches that are dense, stiff and very thorny.

Propagating Sea Buckthorn

  • Many seeds are available from the ornamental orange berries.
  • Seeds should be pre soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing. Old seed is less viable.
  • Hard wood cuttings taken in winter can increase stock of the shrubs.
  • Bundles of cuttings are soaked in water and covering 2/3 of their length until the beginning of formation of roots.
  • Cuttings can also be treated with rooting hormone and placed in pots filled with peat in a bottom heated propagation box. Cuttings can be transplanted when the roots are 1-2 cm long directly to the field.
  • ‘Softwood cutting (15-20cm long) are taken when shoots begin to become woody, remove the lower leaves, leaving 2-4 leaves at the tip and dip into rooting hormone before rooted in media such as sand or perlite and keep special attention to the moisture of media.’ Quote from seabuckthorn.co.uk


Read Hippophae Orange Berries

Superfruit Health

  • Sea Buckthorn oil appears to prevent the effects of aging or to help restore damaged skin.
  • Some haircare products are made with Sea Buckthorn oil.
  • Sea Buckthorn oil may help to heal burnt skin. If you have acne, dermatitis, scar tissue, old burn tissue, or radiation markings, try it for a few months to see if there is a noticeable improvement.
  • Sea-Buckthorn berries have a unique composition including vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotenoids
  • Seed oil is a good source of anti oxidising essential fatty acids and may be used as a dietary supplement.

Growing Daisy Flowered Tansy or Feverfew

Tanacetum ferulaceum

White daisy like flowers cover this tansy relative, Tanacetum ferulaceum, which is one of 70 or so types of Tansy that can be grown in your garden.

Growing Tansy

  • Flowers are generally white single or yellow double
  • Common names include Bachelor’s Buttons, Ragwort,Bitter Buttons, Boerenwormkruid, Gold-buttons, Ponso, and Yomogi-Giku
  • Many varieties have a strong odour that I dislike but other may appreciate.
  • Feverfew grows easily from seed Tanacetum parthenium
  • The ragworts grow rapidly by underground rhizomes and can become a pest.
  • Heat and drought tolerant, Tansy will not mind if you ignore it.

Feverfew has medicinal properties


Growing Basil a Sweetherb

Fragrant and sweet tasting Basil is an easy to grow, popular herb. Aka Sweet Basil, with many other basil types including Sweet Genovese, Thai basil, Lemon basil and Mexican spice basil there is a good range to grow.

Sow From Seed
In May or June fill small pots with moist multi-purpose compost. I use 3″ plastic pots.
Sprinkle seeds thinly on the surface. About 10-12 seeds per pot.
Cover lightly with fine compost or vermiculite.
Keep on a warm windowsill and seedlings will appear in about 2 weeks.

Growing Onward
After 4-6 weeks the seedlings can be planted into individual pots.
Then leave on the windowsill or harden off for outdoor planting
Treat the Basil as an annual.

Outdoor Basil
Plant out in June or July in a sunny sheltered spot.
They make good fragrant container plants.
Feed with a general purpose liquid feed and water little and often.
Pinch out the growing tip to get a bushy plant.

Using Basil
Leave the stems on pick and come again plants taking a few leaves each time.
Grow several plants if you need large quantities for Pesto or other culinary uses.
The seeds can be used to flavour a drink.

Basil has medicinal and calming properties.
Photo by Marmot on flickr
Seed suppliers


Plant Label for Madagascar Periwinkle

Kew Lable Catharanthus roseus

If you want an informative label on your plant you can do a lot worse than go to Kew gardens. This fulsome label informs and educates the visitor about the periwinkle or dogbane that is currently in flower. Catheransus roseus or Madagascar Periwinkle’s alkaloids have contributed to 70 different drug formulations from this one plant species.

Catheransus roseus

Below is the more normal horticultural label for the same plant. The family name is top right – Apocynaceae or dogbane is a family of flowering plants that includes trees, shrubs, herbs, and lianas. often found in tropical rainforests, and most are from the tropics and subtropics. Some are perennial herbs from temperate zones and many have milky sap that make them poisonous if ingested. Vinca major and minor are part of this family.


Skunk Cabbage for the Waterside Lysichiton americanus


American Skunk Cabbage Lysichiton americanus is planted in groups along the streamside at the Valley Garden Harrogate. Over the years the plants have seeded themselves freely and now make a fantastic display covering the full length of the stream and beyond. The yellow flame-shaped flowers really called spathes, are 18 inches high and look magnificent reflected in the water in April and May. Then the flowers are followed by enormous paddle-shaped, leathery green leaves which remain until dieing back in autumn.
Lysichiton camschatcensis has a hypnotic white spathe and lime green flowering head and a cross between the two species produces a cream spathe (I like to call a spathe a spathe). This spathe surrounds a cigar shaped stem called the spadix which bears many small, bisexual green flowers.
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