Viola odorata – Sweet Violet, one of those lovely plants that grows when you need it. Winter slows down our lymph system and violets can help clear it out. 5 or 6 flowers with stems removed, in a small cup of boiling water with a little raw honey, steeped for a few minutes, drink 3 times per day. After they’ve finished flowering, remember to remove those extra plants that have spread through the garden, to avoid violets taking over. Flowers and young leaves can be added to salads, or you can use flowers for edible garnishes. And their scent is gorgeous!
Off to visit a neighbour earlier with a winter harvest basket from the garden – olives, parsley, Avocados and some violets. She has a cold so these flowers made into a tea will help her lymph system clear out.
Plants often show us what they want – here’s some wild perennial rocket on the nature strip getting ready to take off in spring and wanting its old top growth cut off. Plenty of perennial edible plants could do with a trim about now, mint, all salvias, perennial basil, oregano and thyme.
Also thinking about a plants origins can help us grow a plant outside it’s natural environment, especially if you’re able to create an approximate micro climate to reflect the plants natural growing area. Have a look at the 2 success stories below:
This years turmeric harvest – thanks to @kat.lavers for hints from your parents! This great method for cold Melbourne, especially for those in a shady garden, is to grow it in big black plastic pots in a super sunny spot ( I grew mine on my garage roof ) and give it lots of feed and water. I’ve brought it down before heading to Switzerland st the beginning of July as I was worried that the cold weather would cause it to rot, like my massive sweet potato crop did 2 years ago on the roof in the epic cold that year. After looking at it and taking pictures it’s gone back into potting mix to be stored on the back verandah to be used as needed. I’m going to try ginger up there this summer, having had no success in previous years in the shade, which in the tropics and sun tropics is their natural environment. I’m still mildly surprised the turmeric coped with the blistering heat up in the roof.
Justine’s wasabi plant. Lives in a self-watering pot under an apple tree so in summer has filtered light and humidity, with more of the gentle light and sun of winter. Never allowed to dry out. This plant is well established and is flowering. I’ve tried to grow it in my Aquaponics system ( great in winter, too hot in summer), and in a pot that gets no direct sun at all, but this one is far happier than mine.
Winter reflection time is nearly over and spring is on it’s way.