What’s on the show today?Find out what "forest bathing" is all about with one of the few guides in this feature interview.Plenty of violet flower but what to do with them in the Good Earth segment,; how do pineapples really grow in Vegetable Heroes; succulent arrangements in Plant of the Week.
THE GOOD EARTH
Some decorative but others quite edible.
You might not know that this species in particular , sweet violet (Viola odorata, Violaceae) is the principal medicinal and culinary species used in Europe.
But apart from the fragrant, albeit very small flowers, there’s quite a few other things you can do with them.
Let’s find out.
You can use the petals fresh in salads, just remove the other parts of the flower to avoid that bitter after taste.
Paint the flower petals with an artists brush and then dip it into something like caster sugar.
Dry them face up on paper and either use them straight away or store in a jar for up to 2-3 months.
You can also preserve the petals in honey. Preserving them this way will help with dry coughs and even asthma possibly.
- Put the petals in the bucket and cover with the prepared sweetened water
- Close the lid tightly.
- In the first month open and stir every day. The pressure will build up in the bucket (particularly in warm weather) and needs to be released. This is also why flexible vessel needs to be used – a glass jar can shatter under pressure.
- For the next two months stir occasionally. You will see a film of yeast and bacterial blooms showing on the surface. This is normal and as the mixture becomes more acidic, these cultures will die.
- After three months in the bucket, strain/filter the liquid into plastic bottles for storage and compost the solids.
- The pineapple is like a lot of Bromeliads in appearance, with blue-green sword shaped stiff leaves.
- In general, Pineapples are best suited to humid coastal districts in tropical and subtropical regions of northern and eastern Australia.
- But in a warm, sunny, sheltered and frost free position, they will cope with cool nights for short periods.
- Tip: One thing most Bromeliads don’t like is frost.
- Remember that pineapple plants are bromeliads.
- Like all Bromeliads, some can take sun and some prefer dappled shade.
- Usually the hardness of the leaf will indicate which situation the Bromeliad you have likes.
- We all know that the tops of pineapples are very stiff and prickly, so that gives you an indication that Ananas or the pineapple Bromeliad can take full sun, but surprisingly, it will grow in dappled shade as well.
- And like a lot of Bromeliads, you don’t want to overwater your pineapple bromeliad, because you may cause it to rot.
- Bromeliads don’t like soggy waterlogged soils but can get by on very little water except of course during extreme heat waves.
- In that instance you may want to cover any Bromeliad you have with an old sheet to prevent leaf scorch.
- There’s no need to bury the pineapple top in the ground.
- Mix compost in with your soil before you plant the pineapple, and then mulch thickly around it.
- Just make a small depression in the ground or in a pot and stick your little pineapple in that.
- Push the soil back in and firm it around the base so the pineapple sits straight and doesn't fall over.
- You can use a couple of small sticks each side to keep it upright until your plant grows some roots in about six weeks.
- Mulch around the plant to stop it drying out too much.
- If the soil is dry give it some water.
PLANT OF THE WEEKFloral arrangements are something that ‘s widely known and practised but what about other types arrangements?
Could you have a living arrangement of plants that were brought inside for a little while then left outside to keep growing?
Would they outgrow their pot or could you find plants that don’t need to be moved?
Today, we’ve got the answer and this is like a living display but how and what plants should you use?
Let’s find out. I'm talking with Rachel Gleeson, horticulturist and owner of succulent and bonsai nursery, Ivy Alley. www.ivyalley.com.au
PLAY: Intro to Ivy Alley_5th December_2018
Pick a couple or sculptural or architectural succulents and then fill in the spaces with spreading succulents such as sedums.
Rachel suggests Sedum “Green Mould” as a filler succulent and whatever takes you fancy, maybe Echeveria Topsy Turvy and another 1 or 2 architectural succulents to make your display.