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Holiday gardening ...

Fresh garden mint for Tabbouleh ... YUM!Fill up the herb garden. Plant some chillies. Protect your roses and Clivias, just in case. A quick release feed such as 7:1:3 now will boost the lawn colour and get everything looking fresh for Christmas week.
It is the time of the year when you don't want to spend too much time on chores ... it's time to enjoy the garden and take it all a little less seriously.

Herbs for Christmas

Besides the wonderful flavour herbs add to your Christmas meal, have you ever wondered why some herbs are used almost as a tradition in Christmas meals? There are many legends about herbs and the roles they played in the Nativity story, using them has become part of many traditional Christmas lunches with this in mind.

Sage is very popular in stuffing recipes. Sage was kind and charitable and when the Virgin Mary approached with a request to hide her and the baby, it readily blossomed and created a canopy for the Mother and the Child. The soldiers passed by them, without suspecting a thing.

Rosemary and Christmas roast go hand in hand for lunch. Rosemary is for remembrance and has long been associated with the Nativity story. Tradition has it that the shrub became fragrant after Mary laid the garments of the Christ Child on its branches and that the flowers are the colour of her blue cloak.

Thyme is most commonly used in Chicken and Turkey recipes over Christmas. As a manger herb Thyme signifies the courage and strength of Christ.

Many family favourites are prepared for Christmas and when some families are spread all over the globe as is ours it is a wonderful way to remember them. In our home Tabbouleh, Dill potatoes and generous portions of fresh Mint Jelly remind us of special times with the family.

Chillies make the summer hotter

Chillies grow best in hot dry sunny spotsChillies come in all shapes, sizes and colours ranging from tiny extremely hot chillies to the larger fleshy peppers. This is the best time of the year to select as you can harvest almost immediately. In our family it's always a challenge to see who will eat the hottest but somehow afterwards they always make it into the meal.

Chillies will grow in some light shade but grow best in hot sunny spots in a well-drained soil. Chillies do not need much water at all. Water them once or twice a week and keep them slightly dry between watering. Feed with an organic plant food, this will produce stronger plants with better flavour than plants that are forced with chemical fertilisers.

Clivia and rose protection

Don't forget to protect your Clivias from the destructive amaryllis worm burrowing through the leaves before you go away. Roses too are the target of the Christmas Beetle chomping the leaves into lace this time of the year.

Christmas beetles come out at night!The only way to successfully stem the damage is to use a systemic insecticide which penetrates the leaves and stays there for a few days. We recommend Aphicide plus or Efekto Plant Protector, as a systemic only the insects that are damaging your plant will be affected and not other insects that just land on it or are passing by when you spray. As it is residual for a few months the localized population of beetles or amaryllis worm will be cleaned up and you won't have to deal with it till next summer.

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written by basit, 09 June, 2015
nice blog

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