December is always a busy month for us in the office. My good intentions of spending some time (even an hour here and there) pottering in the patch just didn’t happen this December. But because I’m an early bird, I was able to do any watering in those cool hours before the day got toasty. Watering is how I connected with the patch this month.
Soothing Aloe Vera
A next door neighbour introduced my eldest child to the soothing effect that Aloe Vera has on sunburn. That was years ago. Since then, we made sure that we had Aloe Vera in the garden.
It’s easy to propagate, I usually just divide an existing clump if I feel like planting Aloe Vera out somewhere in the garden. It is tough as well. The Aloe Vera in my patch rarely gets watered. I have noticed that some of the tiny Aloe Vera plants will look shriveled in really dry times but medium plants do OK.
Aloe Vera was the hero this month when we came back from a beach trip. The kids had sunburn and asked for some Aloe Vera to be put on their skin. I just slice a leaf in half longways and rub this over their skin. To make Aloe Vera even more soothing, pop the leaf into the fridge to chill, then use.
My youngest one has eczema – I’m trying all sorts of treatment for her. Aloe Vera can help treat eczema. Hoping that Aloe Vera will provide her with some relief. The best way to use Aloe Vera on the skin is to have fresh gel – it can’t get any fresher than straight from the garden. Closer than a chemist as well.
Coriander is a herb you either love or hate. It sure does bring up a strong reaction in people! I used to be a Coriander hater. The smell, the taste – yuk. But I changed, a few years ago my tastebuds adjusted to this strong tasting herb.
I saw this Perennial Coriander while I was picking up succulents to make a Christmas gift. I had heard that this plant was hardier than regular coriander in our hot, humid summers.
The label said Sawtooth/Perennial Coriander. Mmmm, sawtooth sounded sharp and the leaves of this plant are spiky. I brushed my fingers against the leaves and ouch!
This little spiky plant is now in its new home. I haven’t given the leaves a taste test as I would like the plant to grow bigger – but if I’m honest I think the spiky aspect of the leaves has made me cautious about eating them!
Another addition is a Plectranthus variegata or common name, variegated plectranthus 🙂 The label also sold me on this plant. It said ‘Plectranthus Mozzie Blocker’ This hardy plant has a distinct smell said to help ward away mosquitoes.’ As I’m not a mosquito fan, any plant that may have mosquito blocking powers is welcome.
OK so this isn’t an edible plant but hoping that a few of these plants will deter those pesky mosquitoes that like dining on me while I’m in the patch.
This will sound crazy but the smell and taste of dill reminds me of Big Mac burger sauce from McDonalds. Now I haven’t had a Big Mac since I was a teenager so I’m not sure why the association is still there but there you go!
Dill has never done well over summer in my patch. But I ended up picking up a punnet of dill seedlings because I love fresh dill with smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel. (and my food cravings often will often over-ride any gardening sense!)
Two seedlings did make it over December – yay! This means I had enough dill to snip and add to my bagels.
My enjoyment of fresh dill will be short lived however. One of my dill plants is starting to flower so while I will snip the flower to try to prolong the going to seed process, it is only a matter of time. But I also love the prettiness of a delicate dill flower and the pollinators love them so it is all good.
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WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR DECEMBER HAPPENINGS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH? WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW! PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.