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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

By Andy Patters, Tutor Horticulture, ADL Online Education on July 26, 2016 in Horticulture | comments

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a common wildflower with medical properties and a rich folklore, which should be welcome in any garden. It belongs to the large sunflower family, Asteraceae, and is quite closely related to chamomiles. The most striking feature of Yarrow is the feathery fern- like leaves with finely cut segments which are quite characteristic. The name millefolium indicates the many segments of its foliage. It is sometimes called Milfoil and Thousand Weed...


Hazel (Corylus Avellana)

By Andy Patterson, Horticulture Tutor, ADL Online Education on July 26, 2016 in Horticulture | comments

Hazel makes excellent dense cover for birds, and is often used as an understory in conservation woodlands for that purpose. It has been used since prehistory as a coppicing tree, and provides roundwood poles which can be used for wattle fencing, shelters houses, and gates. Coppice poles are suitable for use from age 3- 4 years, but anything up to 7 years can still be useful. Coppice woodlands using hazel for roundwood are often split into zones, and a rotation is employed to provide... 


Stinging Nettle

By Andy Patterson, Tutor, ADL Online Education on April 20, 2016 in Horticulture | comments

Stinging Nettle is one of many commonplace plants which are both good for the wildlife garden, and serve as a food & medicine. They are therefore doubly welcome in a permaculture design.

Nettle tea has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries in Europe. An easily made green tea from fresh or dried leaves, nettle tea has plenty of antioxidants and other metabolites that bring benefits to every system in the body. For two weeks in spring while the nettles are young and tender, a cup of nettle tea each day serves as a spring tonic. Vitamins, lutein, lycopene and iron in nettle tea are restorative to the system. Herbalists refer to nettle as an adaptogen, alterative, depurient, or a blood purifier, and it had found a place in many useful formulas, including more recently for hayfever. 

Image:  Wikipedia Commons





By Andy Patterson, Tutor Horticulture, ADL Online Education on April 20, 2016 in Horticulture | comments
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a wonder plant. It is a dynamic nutrient accumulator, drawing minerals out of the soil and into the roots and leaves. It is also a compost enricher and accelerator, a nutritious ingredient in liquid manures (comfrey tea, similar to nettle tea below). Comfrey is also a beneficial insect attractor, mulch, weed suppressant (it can be used as a border around vegetable plots to stop the paths getting overrun with weeds, biomass accumulator, livestock forage, edible, a wound healer and it was traditionally called 'knit bone' by herbalists as it helps heals fractures and soft tissue injuries (owing principally to its allantoin content). It's an ideal permaculture plant. Image credit: Public Domain, no ownership