|Landscaping Gardening Information|
Garlic: The Stinking Rose
Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for centuries for both cooking and medicinal purposes. Known as the 'stinking rose' and Russian penicillin, its medicinal purposes have been documented for centuries and have always been a popular remedy for colds, coughs, and sore throats. Garlic was used in World War I and World War II to cure many diseases and because it is a potent antiseptic. Garlic is universally known for its health benefits. It is an excellent source of phytochemicals and contains vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), C, iron, phosphorous, sulphur compounds, and calcium. Medical studies have shown that it lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol and hypertension, prevents some cancerous tumours, protects against bacterial and fungal infections, and is good for the blood and heart. It is useful as an expectorant in respiratory ailments, eliminates toxic metals, and supports the immune system. Garlic may prove to be useful for diabetics, as it seems to regulate blood sugar levels.
As a culinary spice, the Indians, Egyptians, and Europeans have appreciated garlic for thousands of years, and most notably the Italians and Chinese who have made extensive use of this much-loved plant. There are records of garlic use dating back 3,000 years and botanists believe that garlic probably originated in central Asia thousands of years ago. In North America, early colonists discovered that the First Nations people were using a native species of garlic to treat a variety of medical problems including snakebite and intestinal worms.
Garlic is a moderately hardy herbaceous (herbaceous means a plant that lacks woody tissue and dies to the ground at the end of the growing season) perennial. It grows from 2-3 feet (0.6-1m) tall and has flat, long, pointed green leaves extending from the base. The young leaves grow 2 feet (0.6 m) tall and have a delicate chive-like flavour. Garlic has erect, hollow, green stalks that support pink or whitish flowering clusters or bulbils that appear in mid-summer. The leaves are organised into segments called cloves and may have anywhere from 4-15 cloves in a bulb. Garlic does best in rich, well-drained, highly organic soils, prefers full sun, although it will grow in partial shade. Avoid over-watering or the bulbs will rot. Garlic has white energy for chromotherapy purposes.
Garlic is available throughout the year but it is easy to grow your own. To plant, separate cloves from the head and plant cloves with the pointed end up. Garlic can be planted in early spring or late fall. It is best to plant cloves or bulbils available from nurseries or garden catalogues as store bought garlic is often sprayed with a sprout and root inhibitor that confuses its natural growth cycle. Fall plantings produce the best yields, as garlic needs a long growing period and a cool period below 10° C (50° F) for two months. If over-wintering in zones 3 or 4, plant cloves at least 3 inches (8 cm) deep and mulch with leaves or straw; otherwise plant bulbs 2 inches (5 cm) deep and 6 inches (15 cm) apart. (In the winter, I plant store-bought garlic in pots and snip the leaves to impart a fresh garlic flavour to salads and soups.) Garlic is generally pest and disease free.
Harvest garlic when the leaves die back and begin to turn brown and collapse. Pull up the mature plants and dry in the sun for a week; then trim or braid the stalks and hang the garlic braids in the shade to dry further. To store, keep in a dry, dark place with good air circulation. Garlic will keep for up to 6 months if stored in temperatures no higher than 0° C (32° F). Leaves, bulbs, and bulbils may all be eaten.
In the garden, garlic helps protect plants from fungus and pests. Scientists at New Castle University have shown that a barrier of garlic oil is an effective slug and snail repellent. Planted near roses, it aids in fighting black spot. Garlic spray is used to discourage many insects and combats various blights found on vegetables and flowers. To make garlic spray, mince garlic and add water. Some people add a few drops of vegetable oil to the spray to make it cling to flowers and foliage. Garlic spray is a non-toxic alternative to using harmful chemicals in the garden.
In the kitchen, garlic can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. Fresh is best. To peel, place the garlic cloves on the work surface and whack with the flat edge of a knife. The garlic will crack out of the skin making it easier to peel. You can also put the garlic in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, and then peel when cool. Crush with the flat edge of a knife and slice or chop as necessary. Garlic can be used to enhance the flavour of seafood, salad dressings, stews, casseroles, vegetables, soups, meat dishes, pasta, vegetables, and poultry. When roasting meat, make slits in the meat, sliver garlic, and stuff into the slits. Roast the meat as usual. Roasting or baking garlic mellows the taste. To eliminate garlic breath, chew the traditional breath fresheners: parsley, fenugreek, or fennel.
Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace - Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the book and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca
Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2005. All rights reserved.
How to Care for Long Stem Roses
Widely considered to be the most popular roses for all occasions, what many people think of as classic long stem roses are in fact Hybrid Teas. A mixture between the Hybrid Perpetual and Tea Rose from China, these long stem beauties have long pointy buds with up to 30-50 petals per bloom.
Choosing Garden Furniture
No matter how pleasant a garden is, it is not being enjoyed to its full extent if there is no where for visitors to sit and admire the beauty of the garden. Luckily, few gardeners are willing to sacrifice design for comfort and with the wide choice of garden furniture available today, it is rare to find gardens bereft of furniture.
Add Rich Color To Your Garden With Blue Perennial Flowers
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The Perfect Accent -- Miniature Roses
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Wooden Garden Furniture
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A Few Simple Facts About Purple Martins
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Colorado Blue Spruce And Lush Red Roses
Set in a broad expanse of lush green lawn a length of split rail fence forms a corner. Carpeted with a thick layer of soil preserving and plant protecting cedar mulch, three tall Colorado blue spruce offset the right angles of the fence.
A Compost Primer
Most gardeners and landscapers will agree almost unanimously that the single best thing you can do for your lawn is to add compost. Good, organic compost can remedy almost any problem you have with your soil.
Light Up the Night! Quick Facts about Outdoor Lighting
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Sculpture Can Bring Life to Your Garden
I should know: I've been a sculptor most of my life, and I have plenty of years behind me of experience. Most of my sculptures reside in the gardens and landscaped outdoors of residences.
How do you make those flowers bloom where they are planted and not go overboard and how do you make your turf stick to its own turf and not edge into your flower beds, borders, and garden spaces? Lawn edging is the answer!Edging bricks, lawn timbers, and treated wood edging , molded plastic edging and heavy duty plastic strips are all ways to wall in your flowers and keep weeds out of your garden and the other landscaped areas of your yard. In addition to curbing your weed problem, lawn edging also keeps mulch and decorative landscape treatments in place.
Tranquility in Your Own Back Yard
A garden fountain can add beauty and serenity to you yard or garden. It's long been known that running water can aid in relaxation.
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
Feng Shui in the Garden
"The Ancient Art of Placement" called Feng Shui (pronounced phung schway) literally means 'wind' and 'water.' The Chinese believe this cosmic energy, called Chi or 'the green dragon's cosmic breath,' is the life force energy that pervades human existence.
The Advantages of Silk Flowers
The silk flower is growing in popularity among young couples and families for many different reasons. Many event hosts or planners struggle over whether to choose fresh flowers or artificial flowers.
The Home Garden
The garden should be near the house and away from trees. If it's some distance away from the house, it will not be as well looked after, nor will most use be made of vegetables grown.
How to Grow Cooking Herbs
Grow your own cooking herbs to add fresh zest and flavor to your menus year-round!Is It a Cooking Herb or a Spice?The first thing to know in selecting which herbs to grow is the difference between cooking (culinary) herbs and spices. The cinnamon stick you put in your hot chocolate or apple cider is a spice while the parsley on the edge of your plate is an herb.
Why are Adirondack Chairs & Adirondack Furniture a Cottage Favorite?
With summer right around the corner, it's time to sit back and enjoy a cool beverage in an Adirondack chair.Adirondack chair you say? What's that? The Adirondack chair is an outdoor armchair having an angled back and seat made of wide, usually wooden slats.
Choosing the Proper Pond Pump
Whether you have a preformed or a liner pond, a pond pump is a paramount component of any water feature. Stagnant bodies of water attract mosquito infestations, which are a nuisance, and also undesirable, due to the recent outbreaks of the West Nile virus.
Roses - Creating Beautiful Cut Roses
Many gardeners like to enjoy their roses twice - first in the garden, then indoors as cut flowers. By choosing the right roses, cutting them at the proper time of day, and conditioning them after cutting, you can enjoy your cut roses for the longest possible time - up to five days or more after cutting.
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