Thursday, August 4, 2011

on an invitation basis

Calming and healing chamomile, Matricaria recutita, is not just for people. In the garden, chamomile helps improve the health of plants surrounding it. I love this quote from all the way back to 1914, and would assume a chamomile flower essence could achieve the same result.

"It is remarkable that each chamomile is a plant physician, since nothing contributes so much to the health of a garden as a number of chamomile herbs dispersed about it. Singularly enough, if another plant is drooping and apparently dying, in nine cases out of ten it will recover if you place a herb of chamomile near it." --W.T. Fernie. From The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants by Matthew Wood.

A lunaria heartleaf makes a sweet little seed-holder with a deep center. I'm inviting more chamomile by sprinkling its seed around the garden whenever I think of it.

Also a healing and useful plant is Belladonna, Atropa belladonna, but unfortunately its foliage and berries are poisonous. Belladonna or deadly nightshade is used in homeopathic form and quite a few pharmaceuticals. Uninvited, it appears here every few years only to be pulled out (wearing gloves) upon discovery. Too bad -- it's such a beautiful plant-- but Talula, our younger pup, still eats anything and everything.

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