Friday, 1 May 2020

Privacy Planting in Containers and Savory Herb


Plants for Privacy in a Container
What do you do if you want a plant for privacy but there’s either not enough soil in that location or you’re in an apartment?
I’ve talked about big trees in pots with horticulturist, Adrian O’Malley from Plant of the Week, before, but it doesn’t have to be just about trees for privacy.
So what can it be?
Let’s find out .
I'm talking with Steve Falcioni from

Choose as large a pot/container as you can accommodate in the spot where you want to achieve some privacy.
For my Magnolia 'Little Gem,' I have a 60cm terracotta round pot.
The disadvantage with round terracotta or ceramic pots, is that they can be bowled over in strong winds.
Mine has a large crack down one side having been blown to the ground numerous times during strong winds.
Magnolia Little Gem surround by orchids.
Cracked terracotta pot after being knocked over in strong winds.
There is of course the problem of replacing the soil which over a few years, will slump.

Rejuvenating Your Large Potted Plant

  • TIP: employ help to push the container gently to the side then ease out the tree or large shrub.
  • Use this opportunity to give the plant a root prune, about 10% all over.
  • Replace any loose soil with good quality potting mix and only a couple of handfuls of compost, whether homemade or store bought.
If you really want a sure fire winner, then choose Murraya paniculata or commonly called Murraya, for your screening option.
Yes, I know it’s pretty common, but that’s a good choice if you’re prone to forgetting to prune it.
A lesser known and somewhat handsome plant that Steve mentioned is Radermachera “Summer Scent.”
Originating from Southern China, Summerscent has lush, glossy, compact foliage.
Best of all this plant has clusters of white to pale pink scented flowers that flower profusely throughout the warmer months.
A perfect plant for hedging or screens as it responds well to pruning and adds a tropical feel to the garden.
Summerscent grows well in full sun and shade as well as indoors if kept in a well lit position.
If you have any questions of course, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


Savory, The Herb of Love
Winter savory (Satureja montana) is a perennial herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae,) and it’s native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe
  • How many times have you heard the phrase "a savory stew?"

Savory is used in herb combinations, such as Herbes de Provence, a French combination of herbs used for seasoning.
  • Savory is an annual or perennial herb, Satureja hortenis, for Summer Savory, or Satureja montana being for Winter Savory.

Winter savory is now little used in Australia, but for hundreds of years both winter and summer savory have been grown and used.
  • Both have strong spicy flavour.

What do they look like?
They have dark-green, narrow leaves for winter savory and light green narrow leaves for summer savory.
The savories  can be used fresh or  dried and crushed.

History of Savory Herbs

The history of savory goes back about 2000 years and it’s one of the oldest culinary herbs.
 Here’s a surprising fact, the genus or first part of the latin name Satureja is derived from the word satyr, the half-man, half-goat creature in mythology who owned the savories.
It has been associated with love potions for centuries.
Romans used savory as a medicinal and culinary herb long before they discovered pepper.
In medicine they used it for bee stings, and as an aphrodisiac.
When the Romans brought savory to England, it was used there as an herb for chicken stuffing instead of a medicinal herb.

Winter Savory herb
  • I have an English friend who says she grew this herb back in England and used it often in her cooking, especially with chicken.

As previously mentioned there are two distinct varieties of savory - summer and winter.
Summer savory is most often used for healing.
Summer savory is said to increase sex drive, while winter savory decreases it.
Make sure you get your savories right!

Medicinal Uses of Savory Herb

  • The active ingredients of savory are carvacrol, p-cymene and tannins.It’s an astringent and mild antiseptic.
  • A tea made from summer savory is said to control a mild sore throat.
  • Rubbing a sprig of savory on an insect bite will bring instant relief.

What does Summer Savory like?
Summer Savory: Satureja hortensis
Well, it’s no different than growing Thyme, it likes full sun with well-draining soil.
Savory prefers to be planted in soil that's slightly alkaline.
Give it a side-dressing of compost or worm castings whenever possible. 
  • Summer savory is bushy and low-growing so it makes an excellent edging plant for a kitchen garden, herb bed, or vegetable garden.
  • Summer savory likes regular water. I have some growing in a strawberry pot so that it cascades out of one of the holes. It seems to like that spot better than the strawberries. As far as the soil in my container goes, well it’s just potting mix with soil wetter crystals added to it. So you see it's well-suited to container gardening, as well.
  • If you know of someone with this plant, now’s the time to take soft-stem cuttings of about 2-3 cm long and put them in some seed raising or propagating mix. You probably don’t even need to cover it, because, just like the herb Thyme, it strikes very easily.
  • Savory flowers in mid-January with white or pale pink 5mm flowers grouped in terminal spikes.
  • You can begin to take the leaves from your savory plant as soon as it reaches 13cm or about 6 inches in height.
  • Keeping the plant pruned means you’ll always have some.

 My plant dies down a bit in winter, but always regrows, so that’s a good reason to get some summer savory for your herb garden.
Tips For The Chef
  • Summer savory, Satureja hortensis, is a nice herb to use when you are cutting back on salt-it's flavour is mild, a little bit similar to thyme, but with it's own unique flavour.

To me, it has a slightly peppery flavour, but a piney fragrance when you crush it in your hand.
  • You can mince summer savory and combine with bread crumbs for coating fish or vegetables such as squash before sauteeing. Use it in potato dishes, tomato sauces, meatballs or vegetable juices. It's also great in egg dishes such as omelets and frittatas.

Savory is popular in teas, herbed butters, and flavoured vinegars. It complements beef soup and stews, chicken soup, eggs, green beans, peas, rutabagas, asparagus, onions, cabbage, and lentils.
Use savory when cooking liver, fish and game.

  • Mince fresh summer savory leaves and combine with garlic, bay and lemon for a good marinade for fish.
  • Savory blends well with other herbs such as basil, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. Chefs and cooks say that the taste of savory brings all these herbs together in a unique taste that makes savory an Amalgamating herb.

Why is it good for you?
Savory herb is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins -.
Its leaves and tender shoots are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium.
This herb also has dietary fibre. Who would believe?
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

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