Witch Hazel and a Wonderful Public Garden in Victoria BC

Witch Hazel blooming in the Government House Winter Garden BR -Jan2015

Witch Hazel blooming in the Government House Winter Garden BR -Jan2015

Last weekend the hunt was on for the elusive Witch Hazel! Beautiful January bloomers, you know you are getting close to one when you are get a whiff of a wonderful light sweet sent drifting in the cool winter air. I found a Witch Hazel in bloom in the Winter Garden section of the Government House Gardens in Victoria.

Witch Hazel leaves and bark have been used as a medicinal treatment  externally on sores, bruises, and swelling for centuries. You can checkout “15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel” for more details.

The RHS has a very complete guide on growing Witch Hazel.

To learn more about Government House Gardens, a free admission garden in Victoria maintained by over 200 volunteer gardeners check out this Government House Gardens Interactive Map.


News – Collard Greens “US Plant of the Month”

“Collard greens provide 4 core antioxidants and are sometimes referred to as a superfood because it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and vitamin E. Collards are also fat free, cholesterol free and low in calories.”

Read the full article here.

Botany and Everyday Chemistry

awkward botany

What’s not to love about plants? They provide us with oxygen, food, medicine, fuel, fibers, and countless other things. They help filter groundwater and sequester carbon. They beautify our landscapes and communities. They provide habitat for wildlife and help reduce soil erosion. And the list goes on.

But there is more to plants than meets the eye. There is something deeper within – at their cellular and molecular levels – that is just as worthy of our fascination and appreciation as the blooms that beautify our yards and the fruits that fill our tables, and that is the abundant and diverse world of chemical compounds present in the botanical kingdom.

But how does one gain an understanding and appreciation for such a subject. Luckily, there is a blog for that. It’s called Compound Interest. Authored by UK chemistry teacher, Andy Brunning, Compound Interest explores the “chemistry and chemical reactions we come across on a day-to-day basis.” Much of what…

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